Old Testament – Genesis 8 and 9
Today we see the end of the flood and return of people to the earth. Noah and his family exit the ark and God gives the earth back to them. What’s key here is that God makes a covenant with Noah and his family. God promises to never again destroy the earth with a great flood. This is the second covenant God has made with man. The first was with Adam and Eve. What is important to note is the first covenant was with a couple. This second covenant is with a family. Throughout the Bible the groups with whom the covenants are made will continue to grow in size, until eventually it encompasses the entire world.
Next we see this curious episode where Noah gets drunk soon after exiting the ark. Some speculation is that Noah did not yet know what wine was. Regardless, the event results in Noah cursing Caanan, the son of Ham. This is important because it establishes the line from which Jesus will one day descend.
New Testament – Matthew 5
In the second half of Matthew Chapter 5 we see Jesus establish a new way of looking at moral responsibility. We go from “though shall not kill” to “love your enemy”. This is so well known to us that its revolutionary nature is lost on us. In the ancient world there was a real “eye for an eye” mentality. Jesus is ending this practice and calls men to a higher standard of love and forgiveness. He calls for us to “be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”