Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "ESCHATOLOGY
SECTION 2C - Genesis 8:15-11:26
THE POSTDILUVIAN AGE and
THE DISPENSATION OF HUMAN RULE (Government)
BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
Edited by Dr. Clarence
E. Mason, Jr.
- Genesis 8:15-11:26
THE POSTDILUVIAN AGE and THE DISPENSATION OF HUMAN RULE (Government)
- The key personage is
Noah. See New Scofield note at Gen. 8:15.
- The extent of the period
is from the Flood to the call of Abraham.
- The general Scripture
portion is Gen. 8:15-11:26.
- The characteristic or
state of man during its course:
- In the previous age,
Cain and Lamech could murder without fear of what their fellowman
would do to them. Thus, "violence" became the key word
to describe that period. Noah and his sons knew how fully mankind
had failed and had seen God's terrific judgment upon that antediluvian
- A new feature now enters.
Man, with practical knowledge of the failure under Moral Responsibility
(or Conscience), is made responsible to protect the sanctity of
human life by the orderly rule of mankind over the individual man
and the command of God is now "whoso sheddeth man's blood,
by man shall his blood be shed." Gen. 9:6
- The following features
indicate the condition of man in this age:
(1) No additional curse was to be upon the ground nor was there
to be fear of another universal flood, Gen. 8:21; 9:11, 15.
(2) An established order in the elements and seasons of nature was
assured, Gen. 8:22.
(3) Noah and his sons were to be fruitful, and multiply, and fill
the earth, Gen. 9:1-7.
(4) They were to have dominion over all animal life as before. Gen.
(5) The flesh of animals was added to their diet. Gen. 9:3-4.
(Presumably man had been a vegetarian prior to the flood.)
- The special responsibility
instituted by God.
- The new condition which
now comes in and determines the main responsibility of this age
is stated in Genesis 9:6. Noah and his descendents are instructed
to take human life by legal procedure, if necessary, to maintain
order and uproot sin. "Capital punishment is the highest
function of human government; it presupposes all forms of legislation,
organization, and enforcement." Unless the government has
the right to the supreme penalty, its basic authority is questionable
and insufficient to properly protect those under its care,
- Capital punishment
was not man's idea, but God's. Man was accountable to God to use
this authority to enforce righteousness (cp. Rom. 13).
"Whether man, by social organization, legislation, and law
enforcement, could make himself acceptable before God"
(Thiessen) and cause righteousness to rule in the earth. (Some today
think man has succeeded, but God made the test long ago and man
- The failure of man under
- Noah began with "an
altar" (Gen. 8:20), but he was soon drunken and unfit to judge
and rule. Gen. 9:20-21
- (1) In chapter 10,
mention is made of:
(c) the Philistines;
(g) Gomorrah; etc.
(2) Chapter 10 shows how the dispersion of the descendents of Noah
was carried out (cp. Deut. 32:8). Chapter 11 tells the cause for
which it was done. Having gathered together on the plains of Shinar
(of course, before the dispersion of chapter 10) in deliberate defiance
of God's command, to scatter and refill the earth, they got the
idea of human brotherhood and sought to make a name for themselves
and chose their own gods (see Rom. 1). This was the great period
of idolatry and moral degradation and the key example of failure
is rebellion at Babel.
- "They cultivated
fellowship with man and lost the fellowship of God."
- "So man forgot
that he should rule for God. Today all the nations are in this condition
before God." "For the heathen world there has been no
advance in the dispensations since the days of Noah, as is clear
from Rom. 2:12." H. A. Ironside, The Mysteries of God,
- The resultant judgment
Men, having lost fellowship with God, thought to have strength in union;
but God confounded their speech and caused them to scatter as at first
commanded (Gen. 9:1). Until the present day, gentile nations are under
the obligation to rule as Noah was commanded, but (1) pride, (2) force,
(3) greed, and (4) injustice rule in the affairs of the natural man.
Still people think that by "purifying politics, " etc., general
good will be brought in.
- The gracious intervention
Though God scattered man over the earth. He did not make an end of man;
He chose Abraham and through him a nation which He sets in contrast
with all the other nations of the earth. This nation, Israel, is dealt
with till 586 B.C., when she is sent into Babylon in discipline. Forty
or fifty thousand returned under Zerubbabel. From the remnant, in due
time, Christ was born. Israel rejected Him and her dispersion still
continues. The "times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24)
began with Nebuchadnezzar and will continue till Christ's manifestation
as the "stone cut out without hands" when He will put
down all gentile power and turn to bless and exalt Israel again.
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