Optimism for a new beginning in this new year is high.  But our immediate future is built upon the respectability of decadence and rebellion.  The rebellion is to reject God and His way, to live and achieve in man’s way.  The rebellion to save our world without God.  The decadence is the so-called new morality.  We have a Prime Minister living with His partner in an adulterous relationship in No.10, and all’s well with this new world.  Prince William has taken on a prophetic role to the world.  He has clambered aboard the ‘Climate Change’ bandwagon, declaring that humanity risks irreparably damaging the Earth with climate change.  He wants to use our “unique power” to solve the climate crisis.  People are being coerced into voluntarily surrendering their rights.  That the “climate crisis” is a natural phenomenon is irrelevant.  Climate change is a natural part of a fallen creation.  But Climate Change as proposed by the kings of the earth and the rulers (Psalm 2:2), is a deception and manipulation to bring in a new structure of world governance.  Millions, if not billions, of tax-payers’ money will be used legitimately, to wedge us into an antichrist system.  The kings of the earth are just that – of the earth, and they will perish with the earth.  They plot together against the Lord and the King that he has chosen.  The kings of the earth revolt, and the rulers plot.  No doubt we will witness an increase in the influence of false religion, Islam in particular; as well as a continuing rise in apostate ‘Christianity’.

Man messed up in Eden, and one catastrophe led to another.  Having been removed from the Garden, many other changes and conditions took place, changes in the environment and the lives of humans that I have covered in previous articles.  The world that was created to house man and all living earthly creatures and plants, now began groaning, waiting for its redemption.  The environmentalists and unbelievers in the days of Noah got it all wrong.  When they were told what was coming and what they should do, they laughed at Noah and mocked him.  The world hasn’t changed much in that sense.  The environmentalists and unbelievers today are the ones issuing the warnings this time, but they have got it all wrong again.  Why?  Because as in the day of Noah, they have no interest in what God has said will happen to this world and its inhabitants.  The fate of the world is not sealed in plastic bags but in the Word of God.  Those running around wanting to spend billions and billions of dollars on what they call environmental issues, saving the world, are barking up the wrong tree.  The greatest threat to the environment, if you want to use those terms, is the environmentalists themselves; the earth dwellers.  Man messed up in the Garden of Eden.  Man messed up before the Flood; and man is messing up before the return of Jesus.  We are without excuse.  We have God’s Word.  We have God’s Spirit at work in the world (John 16:8); and we have God’s creation.  “How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field be withered?  Because of the evil of its residents, the animals and birds have been swept away, for the people have said, ‘He cannot see what our end will be’” (Jeremiah 12:4).  God had judged the nation of Israel for sin, by sending a drought.  The lack of rain caused the land to mourn because of the wickedness of the people (Jeremiah 14:1-6; Leviticus 26:19-20; Deuteronomy 28:22-24).  The people believed that God was indifferent to their sin, claiming that He [would] not see what happened (Psalm73:11; Psalm 94:7).  We are doing this now, in all the nations.  A Prime Minister can take his adulterous relationship into his national residence believing that God doesn’t see.  It is not the end of the creation story; the best is yet to come.  There is a future glory for the whole of creation – “Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time” (Romans 8:21-22).

Though many today want to be and are vegetarian or vegan, man lost his herbivorous status along with everything else when the rains came down, and the floods came up.  It was “All Change.”  The Bible doesn’t preach the virtues of a meat-free lifestyle.  Like a lot of things these days, its fake science and environmentalists that want beef production and meat-eating in general stopped.  Those poor cows burping, and their toxic rear-ends belching out methane are deemed to be a threat to life on this planet!  Adam and Eve were naked in the garden, but clothed when it was time to say goodbye to the old life.  Apart from the nudist camps and their belief system, people mostly wear clothes.  That is the same with eating meat…it is a product, a fall-out of the Fall and the environment in which we now live.  Sit naked, eating as many green salads as you like, you can’t go back, the damage is done, the horse has bolted.  Sin is your master until you are born again into the Kingdom of God – “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).  Because of Man’s wilfulness and sin, a paradigm shift has taken place, first of all at the Fall, and now at the Flood; one that God will use to recover and restore Man’s relationship with Himself.  The world will return to its herbivorous state, but only when this world is wrapped up and the new world is rolled out.  In the fallen condition and environment of the present world, humans are permitted, by God, to eat the meat of animals.  In the new world and creation to come, the lion will lay down with the lamb (Isaiah 11:6-7; Isaiah 65:25).  There will be a new environment, with no ozone holes, and no need for “Clean Air Acts”.  With our new bodies, meat-eating will be unnecessary as a resource for healthy living.

Man, in the form of Noah and in obedience to God, builds the ark and gathers in the animals.  He reminds me of Jesus, the Man, working in cooperation with God the Father to bring redemptions to the world.  When you read Genesis, you will note that the seventh day never ended, it still continues, and, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working” (John 5:17).  A new catastrophe was going to strike the earth as God deals with sin yet again.  Noah, under God’s charge, constructs this wooden protective womb, which would birth the new humanity.  On the human side, Noah constructs the ark and gathers the animals in to preserve them from the judgment that is about to come upon the earth and from extinction.  Perhaps we see a symbolic rebirth in their emergence from the ark, with Noah being the one that delivers them from their floating womb, sending them out into the world and to a new existence.  Thinking this way leads us to some word-play.  The expression for offspring in the Bible is, “yotze yereke,” – “the issue of one’s thigh/loins,” (Genesis 46:26; Exodus 1:5; Judges 8:30).  The animals restored to the land by Noah are “yotze hateva” (Genesis 9:10), “the issue of the ark.”  The animals are born again, and it is Noah, in obedience to God, who is the one that brings them forth into the world.  There are parallels with the work of Christ, for instance, in Noah, and in the Ark itself that we are safe and preserved from judgment, and that Jesus is the Deliverer.  We are the fruit of His loins, as Jesus was of the Father’s – “Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne” (Acts 2:30).

Sending forth

At the beginning of creation, the Holy Spirit is featured somewhat as a dove, brooding over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2).  Noah sends out a dove three times (Genesis 8:8-14).  It is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit active again in this new beginning.  Noah had sent out a raven in the first instance, and the raven flew back and forth until the waters receded.  There is a difference in the sending.  No explanation is offered for sending out the raven; but the dove was sent to see if the waters had receded from the surface of the ground.  The dove returned, but the raven doesn’t appear to have done so.  The dove is described as returning ‘to him’ in the ark.  The Holy Spirit descended like a dove, and in bodily form lighted upon Jesus (Matthew 3:15; Luke 3:22; John 1:32), and again, water was involved.  Jesus Had come up out of the water after His baptism, and a voice came from heaven… “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  In Genesis when the Spirit was brooding over the waters, God spoke, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good (Genesis 1-4).  Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1).

After the Flood God speaks, “Leave the ark… And every living thing of all flesh that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every crawling thing that crawls upon the earth – bring them out with you, and let them swarm on the earth and be fruitful and multiply on the earth” (Genesis 8:16-17).  Noah is seen as the representative of humankind, and he, under the hand of God, sees the animals reborn into this now cleansed world.  In a sense, He is a partner with God in creation, in the new world.  He is not the master of the new world, but rather submits to God who tells him precisely when to leave the safety of the ark.  Similarly, Jesus did only what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19), and had come to do the will of the Father (John 4:34; 6:38).  He did nothing on His own (John 5:30).

At the birth of his son, Noah’s father gave the reason for his son’s name: “He named him Noah saying, ‘This one will comfort us in the labour and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed’” (Genesis 5:29).  Then when we go forward to the eve of the Flood, we discover another etymology implied in the text.

“The Lord regretted (vayinaḥem) that he had made man on the earth, and He was pained to His very heart.  And the Lord said, ‘I will wipe out the human race I have created from the face of the earth – from man to beast to creatures that crawl and to the birds of the sky – for I regret (niḥamti) that I have made them.’  But Noah (Noaḥ) found favour (ḥen) in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:6).  Presented in these verses is the tension between most of the human race, that which God regrets (naḥem) and Noah (Noaḥ) who finds favour (ḥen) in the eyes of God.  “Ḥen,” “favour,” spelled “ḥet-nun,” is the reversal of “nun-ḥet,” “Noaḥ.”  When Noah sends out the dove, yet another etymology appears: “But the dove found no resting place (manoaḥ) for its foot (Genesis 8:9).  This etymology comes closest to the literal meaning of Noah’s name – outside of the ark, there is no resting place for the dove’s feet, but inside the ark, Noah waits for its return.  He holds out his hand as a perch for the dove’s tired feet, and brings her inside – here I think of the Lord holding out His hand to Peter (Matthew 14:31).  Once again, one can see a parallel to Christ and His ministry; outside of Him there is no rest for the weary, but for those that come to Christ, they find rest for their soul (Matthew 11:28-29).  Keil suggests that the verse “And the ark came to rest (vayanaḥ) in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4) is also playing on Noah’s name.

Noah is the 10th Generation from Adam, and like Enoch of the 7th generation, he is described as a person who walked with God; but not only does he walk with God, he is further described as “ a righteous man, blameless in his generation” (Genesis 6:9) and one might say, a partner in a covenant with God: “I will establish My covenant with you” (Genesis 6:18), then there was the covenant of the rainbow that came at the end of the Flood narrative.  Some people say “never say never again”, but God says “Never again”, in fact He repeats it: “And I will establish My covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the Flood, and never again shall there be a Flood to destroy the earth” Genesis (9:11).  One commentary I looked at states that here, God made His promise never to destroy the world again.  But that is not the promise He made.

Blessings and shalom

Malcolm [03.01.2020]

 

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