© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 16 February 2019
3A13. GOD’S NATURE TO BE EXPRESSED TO AND THROUGH PEOPLE:
God’s Covenant with Noah and all his descendants, and His Covenantal commission for them, in grace
3A13(title) God’s nature to be expressed to and through people
God intended to express His own nature by making Himself known TO and THROUGH all people.
3A13(sub-title) God’s Covenant with Noah and all his descendants, and His Covenantal commission for them, in grace
After people had populated but corrupted the Earth, the FLOOD destroyed almost all of them. But now, in grace, God was making a “new start” [3A3(c)] by establishing His everlasting Covenant. This was with Noah and his family and all living things on Earth Gen 9:9-10,11. It was even highlighted by beginning on “new year’s day” of the 601st year of Noah’s life! Gen 8:13a.
By establishing His everlasting Covenant, God formally confirmed His ongoing commitment to planet Earth as a continuing place for all people and creatures to live. His Covenant also confirmed His unchanging love and UNCONDITIONAL commitment to all people.
God’s Covenantal commission for all people was the next phase in how He intended to accomplish His primary purpose. This included a whole Covenantal package of declarations and promises. These set up His Covenantal relationship with all people and stated His requirements and warnings for them, in order to enter into this relationship and carry out His Commission.
3A13(a) The people’s responsibility and accountability
The people would be held accountable for their responses. Again the same basic paradigm of authority, responsibility and accountability was in force [1A13(sub-title) and 2A13(sub-title)] as follows:
3A13(b) Had God’s Covenantal commission for Noah replaced or only modified His original roles for Adam and Eve and His intended roles for all people after the FALL?
As shown above, God’s overall paradigm of responsibility for all people had not changed. The core feature continued to be His demand for their total obedience to His requirements. That was how people were to express their complete commitment to Him.
But instead of being responses to just one simple requirement (Era 1) their obedience had now become massively complicated (Era 2). Now having knowledge of evil as well as good, they had to assess every life-situation ethically, decide what was RIGHT and then DO it. This was further complicated by the fact that God’s Enemy now had direct access to this “internal processing” by them!
Combined with their self-serving desires and their influences upon each other, the result was that they had strong inclinations to do what was NOT right. The final outcome of this in Era 2 had been the complete sinfulness and corruption of almost all people. God ended that by His conclusive act of judgment, the FLOOD.
Yet in Era 3 God in grace was again providing a way for the survivors to still share with Him in accomplishing His primary purpose. He was in effect not replacing but only modifying His original roles (Era 1) and intended roles (Era 2) for all people. His Covenantal commission depended upon and developed out of these two roles that preceded it. So there was continuity rather than a complete difference between them.
3A13(c) Similarities to God’s original relationship with Adam and Eve
There were many close connections in Era 3 with God’s original relationship and roles for Adam and Eve. This emphasized that it was a “new start”. The same pattern of almost all features can be seen in Charts 1A and 3A, as follows:-
# God unilaterally initiated the relationship
# The recipients included all of their future descendants
– for Adam and Eve Gen 1:28a [1A11(c)(i)]
– for Noah Gen 9:8-9 [3A8(title)]
# God maintained His commitment to them, making Himself known TO them and they responded to Him
# God gave them full provisions for their continuing existence (both physical and spiritual)
# God declared His blessings upon them
– to Adam and Eve: Gen 1:28 [1A6, 1A11(c)]
# God set His requirements for them
– a single command for Adam and Eve Gen 2:17a [1A10]
# God defined their roles, or gave them His commission
– to Adam and Eve Gen 1:28 [1A11]
– to Noah Gen 9:1-7 [3A11]
# Obedient participation with God by them was required
# God also gave them His warning concerning disobedience
– to Adam and Eve Gen 2:17b [1A12]
3A13(d) Some further clarifications of Eras 1 and 2
The above similarities also shed much light on Eras 1 and 2. Many evidences of God’s unchanging love and ongoing commitment to the people and to all of His creation had already been seen in these two previous Eras. His mercy towards people despite the FALL was constantly demonstrated [1B33 and 2A4]. In grace, it was even possible for people to receive His acceptance! [2A8].
This meant that the violation by Adam and Eve at the FALL of the “one strike and you’re out” principle [1A12] had not resulted in a final judgment for all people. All was not lost, although almost all had been destroyed by the FLOOD.
Eventually the extent of God’s grace was spelt out Gen 8:21,22. This plainly revealed the heart of God as well as the hearts of people! Yet He still intended that all people were to have the likeness of His own nature of love. This required Him to allow them freedom of choice despite their evil-heartedness [1A6(f)]. In grace He was even UNCONDITIONALLY binding Himself to provide for their continuing existence!
God had provided a CONDITIONAL basis for His acceptance of people. This was due entirely to His extraordinary grace despite their sinful imperfection [3A11(b)(ii.i)]. It was how all people could carry out God’s Covenantal commission. But it was still up to them to choose that way to live.
3A13(e) How would it all now work out?
God in grace had solemnly confirmed His ongoing commitment to Noah and his family and all their descendants by means of His Covenant.
God had set up a stable environment for their ongoing existence and given them His Covenantal commission. His Covenantal provisions, requirements and warnings were for how they were to live in order to fulfil their intended roles as individuals, families, clans and nations.
So it was still possible for these fallen and sinful people to fulfil their intended roles in accord with God’s unchanged primary purpose. The issue then was how it would all actually work out. This is shown in Chart 3B.