Sunday, April 23, 2006
Noah and the New Creation
During the Easter vigil we read from the story of Noah. Why? Because God's covenant with Noah is a symbol of the new creation, which is accomplished in the resurrection.
We often speak of the covenant with Noah but actually the covenant with Noah is a “renewal” of the creation covenant. The word used for “establishing” the covenant with Noah actually means “renewal” (Gen. 9:9). In fact, the story of the flood evokes creation imagery; Noah is portrayed as a new Adam. Through him, God is about to bring forth a kind of new creation.
-- Out of the waters, a new creation emerges (Genesis 1:2; 7:11)
-- The flood begins after “seven” days, evoking the seven days of creation (Gen. 2:2; 7:10)
-- As the Lord rested on the seventh day, the ark comes to a rest in the “seventh” month (Gen. 2:2-3; 8:4)
-- Like Adam, Noah is told to be “fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 2:28; 9:1)
-- Also, like Adam, Noah is given dominion over the creatures of the earth (Gen. 2:28; 9:2)
Moreover, the author of Genesis describes Noah falling from grace in terms reminiscent of the original sin. As Adam was ashamed of his nakedness in the garden after he had eaten the forbidden fruit, Noah ends up in a vineyard, naked and ashamed because he had drunk of the fruit of the vine (Gen. 9:20-27).
For a more detailed study of Genesis, check out the free on-line course "Covenant Love: An Introduction to the Biblical Worldview", available from the Saint Paul Center's on-line instruction program.