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God changes the relationship between humanity and animals. The animals will now be afraid of people, and people are given permission to use animals as food, but they are restricted from drinking blood and from killing fellow humans. We are given an important insight that murder is wrong because humanity was created in God’s image. The story of Noah getting drunk is strange for us. In that culture, dishonoring one’s father was very offensive. Some argue that Ham seeing his father’s nakedness is a figure of speech for some type of sexual act or abuse. Since the brothers were blessed for not seeing Noah’s nakedness, it seems more likely Ham is criticized for dishonoring his father by using the opportunity to make fun of him. We will see the cursing of Canaan become a reality in later books in this reading plan.

Almost everyone recognizes murder as wrong, but on what basis? The Bible tells us it’s because humanity is created in God’s image. When a person kills another person, the murderer fails to honor the image of God in his or her victim. Jesus said that even being angry with someone is subject to judgment (Matthew 5:22). It’s easy to forget about the image of God in others, especially those who have done something to harm us or have done something we find especially evil. People aren’t in the image of God because of what they do, but because of how God made them. Who do you need to honor by acknowledging the image of God in them today?