In his fourth chapter Belcher discusses the Noahic covenant. He begins by tracing the biblical story, with its emphasis on human sin from Genesis 4 to Genesis 6. Belcher does not think that the covenant referred to in 6:18 is a renewal of the creation covenant, since that was a works covenant and the Noahic covenant is part of the covenant of grace. He does not think that the use of qûm in this passage necessarily means that the Noahic covenant is the renewal of an existing covenant, though he does think this terminology may be used to highlight that the Noahic covenant is continuing the purposes God had for humanity under the creation covenant.
As the covenant is spelled out in Genesis 8-9 Belcher sees both redemptive and common grace elements to the covenant. Belcher claims that even though the “Noahic Covenant deals with all the creation order, including human beings and animals, while the Covenant of Grace deals with believers and their seed,” it is still proper to see the Noahic covenant as part of the covenant of grace because it is ensuring the necessary conditions for the fulfillment of the covenant of grace.
Belcher is correct in his interpretation of Genesis 6:18. This verse refers forward to the Noahic covenant that is spelled out in chapters 8-9; it is not a distinct covenant. I also agree with Belcher’s claim that the use of qûm to describe the establishment of the Noahic covenant means that the Noahic covenant not is the renewal of an existing covenant. Against the progressive covenantalists, who hold the Noahic covenant to be a renewal of the Adamic covenant, Belcher correctly observes that the Adamic covenant is a covenant of works while Noahic covenant is not.
On the other hand, Belcher struggles to make the Noahic covenant cohere with the covenant of grace. To be sure, the Noahic covenant ensures the necessary conditions for the plan of redemption to move forward. Those who see a unified redemptive plan instead of a unified covenant of grace would agree. However, it remains difficult to understand how a covenant made with all creation is an administration of a covenant made with Christ and all the elect in him.