Genesis 9-11…God establishes his covenant with Noah, the genealogy of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth is recorded, the Tower of Babel incident leads to various human languages, and the family line from Shem to Abram is laid out.
God’s covenant with Noah, symbolized by the rainbow, stands to this day because God always keeps His promises. The rainbow is the reflection of the beams of the sun shining upon or through the drops of rain. All the glory of the seals of the covenant are derived from Christ, the Sun of righteousness. And he will shed glory on the tears of his people. A bow speaks terror, but this has neither string nor arrow; and a bow alone will do little harm. It is a bow, but it is directed upward, not toward the earth; for the seals of the covenant were intended to comfort, not to terrify. As God looks upon the bow, remembering the covenant, so should we, being mindful of the covenant with faith and thankfulness.
And yet, in Genesis 10, not long after God has destroyed the entire earth and offered peace, men go back to wanting to bring themselves glory. In Genesis 4:11, we see the true condition of our own sinful hearts: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” When we live for ourselves, and make much of ourselves, we do foolish things. Notice also that these men were worried that the Lord wouldn’t take care of them. This is exactly what we’re like, and similarly, we are quick to forget what God is like.
Chapter 11 connects the dots from Adam (implied from Adam to Noah to Shem) to Christ (implied through Abram). Noah was a Christ-type, in that he symbolized many of the characteristics of Christ, but was a sinner like all other men, and needed a savior. As we’ll see in the upcoming chapters, Abram was a Christ-type as well, but the ultimate Savior, the second Adam, would be without sin, and yet would lay down His own life for our sake. God’s amazing and unlikely rescue plan would include Him humbling Himself, becoming a human, and living the perfect life without sin that we couldn’t live.