Chapter 6 contains Myers’ discussion of the Noahic covenant. He begins in Genesis 6 by noting the fallen condition of mankind and the grace God showed to Noah. Myers observes that Genesis 6:8 concludes a major section of the book with the statement that that God gave grace to Noah. Genesis 6:9 begins a major section of Genesis (marked by the toledoth heading) by identifying Noah as righteous. Myers rightly points out the significance of the order. First Noah received grace from God, and only after the reception of grace is he declared to be righteous.
Myers rightly understands the Flood to be a decreation judgment. This is the background for the Noahic covenant.
Myers rightly rejects interpretations, like those proposed by David VanDrunen, which distinguish between a redemptive Noahic covenant in Genesis 6 and a common grace Noahic covenant in Genesis 8-9. There is one Noahic covenant. Furthermore, while Myers grants that the Noahic covenant is universal in scope, he does not pit the universalism of the covenant against its redemptive purpose. Instead, he concludes, “In this, we see that the common-grace elements of the Noahic covenant neither exhaust nor essentially reveal the central concern of the covenant. Preserving regularity in the creation is not God’s foremost purpose in the covenant; it is, rather, a result of God’s purpose. Most essentially, God is manifesting His ability and His intention to gather a heart-changed people before bringing cataclysm on the creation, and the divine pronouncement of creational regularity is but a function of that underlying purpose” (140).
The rainbow, the sign of the covenant, testifies to the redemptive purpose of the covenant—to hold off judgment while God redeems a people for himself.
Subsequent Scripture also confirms a unitary, redemptive Noahic covenant that delays the final judgment until its appointed time. In discerning this point Myers surveys Isaiah 54:9-10; Hossa 2:18-23; Jeremiah 33:19-26; Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30; Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5; 3:1-10.
At several points in the chapter, Myers repeats his claim that the use of heqim berith demonstrates that the Noahic covenant is a continuation of the covenant of grace rather than a brand-new covenant. However, I did not see him address the difficulty of this covenant being made between God and all creation while, in his view, the covenant of grace was made between the Father and Christ (and all the elect in him).
Myers also argues that the Noahic covenant undermines the distinction between law and promise covenants. First, he argues that even though the covenant promise was given to Noah, Noah had to obey and build the Ark to be saved. However, I would argue that this observation is irrelevant to the Noahic covenant, which was not established until after the Flood. Second, Myers argues that within the Noahic covenant there is both promise and command. This is true, but it does not invalidate the distinction between law covenants and promise covenants. If the Noahic covenant were a law covenant, the commands of the covenant would need to be obeyed for the blessing of no further worldwide floods to be maintained. But the Noahic covenant is a promise covenant because God has unilaterally committed himself to keeping the promise of no more worldwide floods despite the fact that so many people throughout history have broken the covenant’s commands.
I disagree with Myers’s attempt to make the Noahic covenant an administration of the covenant of grace and with his blurring of the distinction between law and promise covenants. But aside from those two areas of disagreement, I found this chapter to be full of exegetical insight.