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We first hear about Noah in Genesis 5, which begins with "this is the book of the generations of Adam." This is a recurring phrase in Genesis, and chapter 5 details the godly line of Seth as oppose...
Noah's life is exemplary. Within his first 150 years, Cainan, Mahalalel, and Jared passed away, leaving only grandfather Methuselah and father Lamech to nurture and instruct him in the ways of the Lord. Such training was essential, having been born into a generation so corrupt, that God cursed the land upon which they toiled for substance (Gen 5:29). It was a time of gross immorality, when the sons of God abandoned their former, celestial state (Jude 1:6), and took for themselves human wives, who birthed giants (Gen 6:4-6). According to the Dead Sea Scrolls (Enoch ch 6-11, Jubilees ch 5-7), in order to accomplish their plans, the Watchers seduced mankind by corrupting them with the knowledge of metallurgy, weaponry, warfare, witchcraft, cosmetology, astrology, abortion, and according to rabbinical tradition, the acceptance of homosexual marriage. This last development led to a complete breakdown in the family structure, the practice of beastiality and the corruption of all flesh (Gen Rabbah 26:4-5; Lev Rabbah 23:9). Thus,the biblical narrative states that the earth was corrupted and filled with violence (Gen 6:11-12). However, among men, Noah alone found grace with God, being just and perfect in his generations, implying unsullied DNA (Gen 6: 8-9). He was 480 years of age, when God called him to preach, and he did so for 120 years, while building the ark, despite never seeing a single convert (Gen 6:3, I Pet 3:20). In Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews 2.3.1, we find the additional insight that ultimately "Noah moved him and his people away from them, for fear they would kill him." He was 600 at the time of the flood, and about 700, at the birth of Peleg (division) and Joktan (dispute). This was when Noah divided the earth by lot, in order to prevent tribal and territorial disputes (Gen 10:25, Chr 1:19, also see Jubilees 9). According to the Talmud, Noah commanded his children to establish governments and nations, with statutes based upon 7 Noahide Laws, banning idolatry, blasphemy, murder, sexual immorality, stealing, and consumption of blood or flesh cut from a living animal. Courts were then established to enforce these laws, and add new ones. Prior to the flood, Noah strived with the souls of men, only to see them harden their hearts, and reap the rewards of ungodly rebellion in the deluge. Standing amidst the water soaked remains of a fully defunct civilization, he worshiped Almighty God and received a great promise, yet all his faithfulness, even nearing his 800th year, could not prevent the establishment of the idolatrous Ur, with its vicious wars and inhuman slavery. By his 900s, he could only watch as Nimrod’s rebellious Tower of Babel caused the confusion of tongues and scattering of the people. He was the 10th of the pre-flood generations, and a messianic figure for his day, who would live to see the birth of another messianic figure in the 10th post flood generation (Abraham). His life spanned 950 years, yet in his lifetime he saw mankind's days diminished to a mere two centuries. From Noah we should learn the importance of knowing God’s voice; the absolute necessity of obedience; perseverance in the face of disappointment; faithfulness in the face of failure or disappointment; the fact we cannot be responsible for others decisions, once they have heard the truth; no matter how bad it seems, God is always faithful, and he always has a plan to bless the remnant who are faithful to Him.
I would have to say the most important thing that we could retrieve from Noah’s life was his obedience to the command of the Lord to build an Ark. Just imagine, it had never rained on the earth before and I do not know if he had any idea what rain looked like. Or what devastation rain could cause if poured out in large amounts over a period of time. The word of God states that “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29. Noah believed the voice of the Lord although it sounded far fetched.
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