Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #22 of Genesis, chapter 8 and we are going to read Genesis 8:15-19:
And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
I will stop reading there. In our last study we were looking at the word translated as “go forth” or “bring forth” and it is used four times in this passage in verses 16 through 19 of Genesis, chapter 8. God commanded Noah and his family, “Go forth of the ark,” and God also commanded all the animals to be brought forth, so we have a command to people and a command to the creatures. Then we read in Genesis 8:18 that Noah and his family went forth and we read in Genesis 8:19 that the animals went forth out of the ark. So the command was given in verses 16 and 17 to man and beast to “go forth” and then in verses 18 and 19 the command was carried out as they went forth.
We saw how this ties in very well with the language of the resurrection of Lazarus, as we read in John 11:43-44:
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
We see the same thing. There is the command, “Lazarus, come forth,” and in the next verse he that was dead “came forth.” There was the response, an obedient act in following the command given, just as it was with all the people and animals that were commanded to go forth of the ark. The connection is that the historical setting of Genesis 8 is the time after the flood when the water is dried up and then it is time for all those that were saved to leave the ark and enter into the newly dried earth; all of this pictures the end of the world during the Day of Judgment, which will conclude and the wrath of God will be “dried up” and then there will be a transition for God’s people from this world to the next world. In the case of Lazarus, he was dead in the tomb and the command to come forth brought him to life. The transition from this world to the next is really a transition from “death” to life, whether it is the resurrection of the bodies of the elect in heaven that are still in the ground or whether it is the resurrection of the bodies of those elect that are physically alive. Our bodies have the “sentence of death” in them and they must be transformed, so we will be brought to “life” in the resurrection.
Additionally, the “not clean” animals on the ark represent the creation of God and God has said the creation will be delivered from the bondage of corruption and the creation will be brought forth and transformed into a new creation. The picture is that just as saved mankind are “new creatures,” likewise, the creation is delivered or saved from the curse that had been pronounced upon it. The curse caused it to groan and all God’s people groan together with it.
The Greek word translated as “came forth” in John 11 is Strong’s #1831 and it is the same word we find in Matthew 27:52:
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
The word is translated here as “came out” and this word can have identification with the resurrection, as it does here and as it does in John, chapter 11. It is coming forth into new life and that is exactly how God is using it in the spiritual application in Genesis, chapter 8 when after 370 days the judgment is complete and it is time to “go forth” out of the ark. It is a wonderful picture of God’s people leaving this world behind and leaving their bodies behind and leaving the old creation behind and entering into the new creation in our new resurrected spiritual bodies.
If that is the picture, we have some questions because it says in Genesis 8:17:
Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
Obviously, there is no difficulty in the historical context. This was exactly what God intended to happen. The eight souls were to come forth and they were to multiply and replenish the earth. The animals were to come forth and, likewise, they were to multiply and replenish the earth. It says, “that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth,” so since verse 17 is speaking of the animals, it is possible it would just apply to them. God is using language of transforming this earth, but He is really going to destroy every particle of this creation and it will be burned, including all the animals of the earth and they will be gone forever. But in the picture God is painting of the creation being delivered from bondage and created new, it is as though the animals and the rocks and trees and everything else are reformed and perfected and the curse is removed. However, in reality it is a completely new creation. It is a new heaven and a new earth and we do not know anything about it.
It may be that God will create creatures just as He created creatures for the earth and seas of this world. There is a wide spectrum of creatures – large creatures, small creatures and creatures we cannot see with our eyes. There is an enormous array of animals and it testifies to the unlimited ability of God to create. Even today scientists are still discovering creatures in the deep sea that they did not know existed. It is just amazing. The Lord’s brilliance in creation is unending. The wonders He designed that we have been privileged to see in the heavens above, in the sea beneath and all over the earth testify to the power and brilliant mind of God. He can certainly create another world with vastly different creatures that are perfectly suited for the new and perfect creation. They may be similar to animals we identify with this creation in the sense that they are animals and not man, but God is not limited and He can never run out of ideas for animals He could create and God could populate the new world with even more creatures than we have in this world, whether they fly or swim, and so forth. They will be suited to the new environment that we know nothing about. Our minds are geared toward this creation, but the new heavens and new earth may not have a sea or a sky and we have no idea what that world will be like or what types of creatures will inhabit that world. All we know is that it will be perfect and good.
As these animals are brought forth from the ark and they are commanded to breed abundantly and be fruitful and multiply, it is possible that the animals or creatures in the new creation will have the ability to multiply and fill the new earth. That is one possibility in what God is saying here, but the same statement to the animals is given to man also, as we see that God said to Noah, in Genesis 9:6-7:
Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
So God is really giving a renewal of the command that went back to the creation of Adam and Eve, in Genesis 1:27-28:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…
This is a reissuing of the command because the historical circumstances call for it. There was a need at the time of the original creation for God to give this direction regarding what He wanted His creatures to do. Of course, none in the animal kingdom have difficulty with submitting to the Creator’s command to procreate and be fruitful. It is only mankind that rebels. Why is that? Why is it only mankind that seeks at times not to be fruitful and multiply or to put it off altogether? Some do not want children at all. In our day people use contraceptives and often when a woman is with child she will terminate the pregnancy. It is a terrible act of rebellion against the Creator who created mankind and commanded him to be fruitful and multiply. That command is to be obeyed on the physical level as far as bringing forth children. It is a command that was renewed after the flood with Noah and his family.
It is a command that has never been rescinded. God has never said, “Be fruitful and multiply until the population reaches seven billion people or until your nation has reached a certain number of people.” Then man looks around and says, “We cannot keep this up because we will run out of resources.” Some nations today have that mindset. Families today do the same thing as nations do and they say, “We have one child and we cannot have two.” Or, they say, “We have four children and we had better not have a fifth child.” All that kind of thinking is contrary to the Bible and it goes against God’s Law. It was a command straight from God. I know people like to think they are much wiser than God and they will look at their own situation and apply their own wisdom to make the determination of when and how many. All this kind of thinking is against the will of God.
The true child of God desires to do the will of God, so we leave it in His hands. We know He is wiser than we are and we know that we are not to usurp authority and think we have some special circumstances that God is not aware of. That is not true because God knows everyone’s situation and He knows everything about every human being. He knows the pressures, difficulties and lack of resources and finances that some people have, but the commandment stands; we are to be fruitful and multiply.
First of all, there should not be sexual relationships outside of marriage and if this Law was kept there would be no children born outside of marriage. But within a marriage, we leave childbearing in God’s hands. We do not try to prevent pregnancy and we are certainly not to end a pregnancy. The child of God submits to God who is in complete control. If it is not the Lord’s will to bless a family with a child, they will not have a child. Some families try and try, but they cannot conceive a child. If it is the Lord’s will, He will bless them with 10 children or one child or whatever number He sees fit. That is in His control and not our control. It is not an area we should meddle with when we see a command like, “Be fruitful and multiply.”
Now someone might say, “I agree with you as far as after the flood and all through history, but that was when God was still saving people. But now in the Day of Judgment when the door of salvation is shut, God would not want His elect people to bring children into the world when the door of heaven is closed and He is not actively saving anyone.” But, again, that kind of thinking is not found in the Bible. That kind of thinking is to involve ourselves in matters that are not our concern. God does not say, “Bear children except during the Great Tribulation,” and He does not say, “Do not bear children if you find yourself alive and living on the earth in the Day of Judgment.” We do not read exception clauses in regard to the bearing of children. What are we to do? We are to leave it in the hands of the almighty and all-wise God. If He gives us a child in the Day of Judgment, so be it. He is the one that creates life in the womb. He is the one that preserves and protects the child until it comes forth into the world. This is all God’s business.
But what about the matter of salvation? The command from the Bible is to raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Those commands are not expired. We would read the Bible to the child and pray for the child: “O, Father, may the cup of your wrath pass from off this child.” We can pray that prayer fervently, as the Lord Jesus Christ prayed in the garden: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” A believing father or mother that wants to do God’s will are blessed with a child and they continue to beseech God on their child’s behalf. I am sure that parents that would bring forth a baby into these days after the Tribulation would find themselves praying for the child even more than any other child. They would be constantly beseeching God that He would consider their child that the cup might pass. This is what God would have His people to do and to leave the salvation of the baby in God’s hands as has really always been the case. There have been plenty of believing parents down through history that have had unsaved children, but due to the times and seasons they did live with some hope and expectation that God would save their children, but, perhaps, God never did save their children. However, they may have beseeched God for their child for thirty years. If you asked them, “Was it worth it to have a child that never became saved? Would it be better if you had never had that child?” There is no worthy father or mother that would say they would not have wanted that child. They would say, “It was a blessing to have this son or this daughter, even though it was apparently not God’s will to save them, but I love my son and I love my daughter. I pray and pray, but God’s perfect will be done.”
Has that attitude really changed? No – it has not. We can still pray. We can still bring the Bible to any baby born today. We can beseech God on that child’s behalf and leave the question of salvation with the Lord. We leave God’s perfect will with the perfect God. We should not intermeddle with it and think, “We will make the decision now not to have any more children because we know the horrible circumstances today and in our wisdom we will not bring a child into it.” This kind of thinking is not to enter into a believer’s mind.