Today’s Readings: Genesis 5:28-7:24 and 1 Timothy 6:3-10
No I haven’t seen the movie … I may be in the minority but I do know many who have, and there seems to be a wide range of reactions and responses. Some were disappointed by how far removed it was from the bible story; more fantasy than truth. For others, the ‘Hollywood angle’ on the big screen brought to life the enormity of this epic event in the history of the world, and some classic one-liners which provided much food for thought and opportunity for conversation.
Whatever your reaction to the movie, there is no denying the significance of the themes that run through as threads (not just in the movie, which I hear to be true), but in the reading of these couple of chapters today.
As we pick up this part of scripture, what is strikingly obvious from the start is the level of depravity and corruption mankind had reached; extremely sobering given the enormous anger expressed by God which resulted in his decision to destroy his creation!!!
The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. Genesis 6:5-6
But even as far reaching as the evil extended, there was a glimmer of hope which showed God’s mercy.
But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:8
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Genesis 6:9
What a profound statement which requires much stopping and reflection. Imagine what life was like for Noah and his family living in such contrast to the REST OF SOCIETY. Yes, this is about UPPER CASE and bold; a text which shouts the reality of living totally surrounded by a people and a culture which was as stark a contrast as black against white; light that highlighted just how dark the people had become.
There is no description in the scriptures of what unfolded for Noah and his family across the weeks and months and probably years it took to complete the outrageous task of building the ark. But it doesn’t take much to imagine the mocking, scorn, rejection and probably persecution they faced.
All this simply points to a man; yes a very, very old man who had faith in his God; a God who is to be believed, even when everything seems to verge on the edge of the ridiculous. The work of Noah’s hands was an expression of his faith because he knew the heart of a God who was both just and loving.
Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Genesis 6:22
Noah heard the encouraging voice of God above the shout of the crowd; the steadiness and stability of God which would have kept him focused on the task at hand.
For us, there are many similarities to Noah …. and I don’t mean the rain or flooding.
I know I certainly face personal challenges every day living in a world which brings many distractions which can pull me away from the call God has on my life. And I never go through a day without hearing about the depravity of mankind in the way people treat each another; little or no respect for the weak or vulnerable; little or no respect for life; little or no respect or love for the other person.
But like Noah, we worship a God whose grace empowers us to wake up each and every day to whatever he brings across our path; from the ordinary response of compassion to the extreme acts of daring he calls us to bolding step into on his behalf.
Pray with me that each day God will grant us the ability to step out confidently on the path he sets before us, no matter how outrageous the goal may be because you never know if and when it might be about ‘building an ark’!!!!