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(Read Part 10)


There are several obligations that are put upon man in the Noahic Covenant.

Now, the main part of the covenant covers God’s obligations, which He has made by way of promises to man. He has obligated Himself to the fact that He will never send another flood to destroy the Earth.

God even put a scientific sign in the sky to remind everyone of His promise (cf. Gen. 9:11-17).

In this post, we will consider the first obligation that mankind has under this covenant, which gives us the revelation that will govern the dispensation of conscience.

Man may now eat meat, but not blood.

We begin in Genesis 9 by looking at verse 2:

And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

My assumption is, this is new—that the fear and dread of man had not been within animals. There was a harmony between the animals and man—which explains a lot from living for a year on a boat with all these animals.

Someday God will undo Genesis 9:2. At that time, as Isaiah the prophet tells us:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (Isa. 11:6-9)

Peace and harmony will come to the earth in that day. We may try or wish that we could live this way with the animals, but that is not the world we live in today. There is a fascination and a desire—almost a longing—to have communication with the animals. That is where man came from, and where we are going. But it is very limited today

But when we turn back to Genesis 9, we realize that verse 2 is not going to be undone until the millennium—until the King comes and sets everything straight. That is the world we are going to live in.

Now, notice verses 3 and 4:

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

I am going to make another assumption—that this is the first time that mankind, as a whole, became carnivores. They began to eat meat.

Now, it is true that we are not told that people had not eaten meat before this. Furthermore, we know that there had been animal sacrifices before this time.

We also know that there was a lot of sin before the flood (cf. Gen. 6:5), so maybe mankind had already gone this way in a sinful manner. So we do not know if this is the first time that people ate meat, but we do know that this is the first time that they had been given permission to do so by God.

But verses 4 and 5 provide a prohibition to go along with the permission.

But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

Notice that people were allowed to eat meat, but they were still not to eat blood.

A theological principle that we should learn here is that, typically, the first time that we encounter a subject in the Bible it reveals much of how that subject will be looked upon in the rest of the Bible.

Let’s think about some of the first mentions of the subject of blood in the Bible.

In Gen. 4:10-11, we find that God gives a sense of life to the blood of Abel, which had already been spilled on the ground.

The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. (Gen. 4:10, NASB)

Although Abel is dead and gone, God still gives a sense of life to his blood. Note that He specifically mentions the blood! It gives us the idea that “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11).

The bottom line in all of this is that life is sacred. An article that I read from the Institute for Creation Research demonstrates that truth in a wonderful way by showing some of the qualities of blood.

Genesis 37:22-33 also illustrates this point from the life of Joseph. Notice how his brothers put blood on his coat before they presented it to Jacob (cf. Gen. 42:22).

In Genesis 49:11 , blood becomes the clothing of Shiloh—a name for the Messiah.

We see from these Scriptures the Biblical importance of blood.

In Genesis 9 (the events of which occur before the giving of the law), we find that one may eat the flesh, but may not drink the blood. People could eat meat, but not blood. Similar prohibitions are found within the law, and even after the law we read in Acts 15:20 and 29 that Peter commands Gentiles who are not under the law at all that they are to “abstain from . . . blood” (v. 20).

In other words, this type of instruction is given during pre-law, law and post-law dispensations.

In societies that have a Judeo-Christian foundation, people generally stay away from eating blood. This is a foundational element in such a society which demonstrates a respect for life.

This practice allows for eating meat, but it also affects how we slaughter animals and how we prepare the meat. There is going to be death, but we can be humanitarian about it and respect the fact that God has given life.

We will continue along that same line of thought next week, when we will see that man’s second area of obligation is the need to enforce capital punishment.

Editor’s Note: This blog article is taken from the following sermon, which you can watch in its entirety here:

(Read Part 12)

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the King James Version.

Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
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