Genesis 8:20-9:7 (ESV)
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.
“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”
So, what does a man who walks with God do when he walks off the ark?
Here, worship takes the form of a sacrifice. For this Noah has to build an altar and then sacrifice some of the animals on it. Just think about how precious those animals are. Not only does each one belong on the endangered species list, but Noah has just spent a year keeping them alive.
His sacrifice is impressive, and the LORD is suitably impressed. Remember, God can make more animals, so he’s not worried about them becoming extinct. But, to Noah, these animals are irreplaceable. That makes this sacrifice significant.
The LORD responds with a significant blessing. He basically gives the planet to Noah, but with one restriction – blood is precious. Eating flesh with blood in it is prohibited, and so is the shedding of man’s blood.
Have you ever done spontaneous worship – something more than a quick prayer dart giving thanks? Think of your narrow escapes: auto accidents barely avoided, trips to the emergency room, things arriving or being completed in the nick of time. All too often, we don’t even remember to take a moment to give thanks, much less to give serious worship.
Think back to a time when you dodged one of life’s bullets and play through how you could have worshiped God then. Try to set things in your head so that after the next crisis you’ll think to give the glory to the one who bailed you out.
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