Beresheet (Genesis) 6:9–11:32
This week’s Scripture portion is “Noah”. Noah is one of my favorite men in the Bible. He is described as, “…a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9b). What I admire most about Noah is his commitment to honoring God regardless of the cost. His righteousness was a result of his faith in God, which he then put into action.
God gave Noah a very unique task that probably made no sense to Noah. In fact, what God asked Noah to do most likely caused those around him to think he had lost his mind! I have no doubt that it was a lonely task, yet Noah was obedient to do as God told him:
Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. “And this is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. “You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. “And behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. “Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind shall come to you to keep them alive. “And as for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did. (Genesis 6:11–22)
There is an interesting connection to Yeshua and His Kingdom in this parasha. When God commanded Noah specifically to cover it with “pitch” in verse 14, the word He used is “kofer”, which comes from the same root as the word “redemption.” If we think about the purpose of the ark, we understand that it was a vessel by which those who chose to enter would be saved from the impending devastation of the flood. Is that not exactly what Yeshua offers us?
The ark can also represent the Kingdom of God. We as Yeshua’s followers are just like Noah; we are called by faith to build His Kingdom. This requires sacrificing everything, possibly to the point of losing family and friends as a result. People may even look down at us and pity us for our faith, thinking it’s some form of weakness. Maybe they’ll even think we’re crazy!
However, just like in Noah’s times, so it is today; the evil of human nature against God is growing, and our call is to do simply that which God has called us to do. We need to remember that just as it was in Noah’s days – that no one believed the devastating flood could happen—so it is today for those who reject the Son of Man, i.e. Yeshua our Messiah.
And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:26–27)
God provided a mode of redemption for Noah, his family, and the animals whom He created and obviously cared for; He has likewise provided redemption for us through His Son, Yeshua the Messiah. Only through Him can we be redeemed and stand before Him clean on Judgment Day.
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G-D’s Word refreshes and comforts and encourages. May we remain resolute to abide by HIM in whatever circumstances befall me/us. Amen.