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Teachings

Noah B’resheet(Genesis) 6:9-11:32

Torah Portion: Noah B’resheet(Genesis) 6:9-11:32

Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 54:1-55:5

Tonight we read and study the Parasha Noah. There are many ways to look at this man’s life. We will look at several aspects of Noah’s life and see what each have to say to us.

For each of us there are milestones on our spiritual journey that change the direction of our life and set us on a new path. Some of us have had times when we look at our life and we think, “When will I ever catch a break? When will I get a chance to just breathe?” Maybe all of us have been in that place at some time in our life. Some people look at Noah’s life and see him as such a person. He was surrounded by a totally wicked world. Noah’s answer was his encounter with G-d. The Father told him to build an ark for him and his family as well as the animals.

Noah’s name gives us a hint of his personality. Noah, in Hebrew, means rest. G-d came to him and called him by name telling him details of what to do. Noah and his family entered the ark, G-d closed them in and once inside they found peace while the world around them was destroyed by the flood.

The Hebrew word for ark is teva. This word gives us a deeper understanding of what brings peace in the midst of a world that seems to have lost its way. Teva can also mean word. So here we can see how our lives can be affected by this story of Noah. Just as the ark/word gave him and his family peace and rest, so G-d’s word/teva can give us peace in the middle of the turmoil we witness around us.

If our time is spent poured out in getting to know Him who formed us from the dust of the earth and gave us life, then no matter what storm comes we are okay. In John chapter 1 Yeshua is compared to the word of G-d. Just as Noah was able to ride out the storms of his life we will also be able to stay calm and face our trials by being in G-d’s teva. 

This does take our participation, as it took Noah’s in his world. You must set aside time to pray, to read, to enter into G-d’s teva He has designed just for you. This is His design for weathering the storms that surely will come in each of our lives. When storms come we must remember Noah and stay in the word of G-d and rest in Him. It took Noah years to build this ark. So for us, let’s get to work building our ark.

What else can we learn from this man and his story? When G-d told Noah to come out of the ark he and his family emerged and started the task of rebuilding society. Should he have come out immediately? Why did he wait for G-d to tell him to come out?  In Genesis 8:15-16 we read, “Go out from the ark, you, and your wife, and your sons and your son’s wives with you.”

What is interesting in verse 15 is the word used when G-d spoke. Here spoke is debar in Hebrew. This is the first time this word is used in Torah for the English word spoke. This word, debar, has the meaning of speaking harshly or with force. The word amar is the other Hebrew word for spoke. The difference is telling. We could conclude that Noah did not move until G-d commanded him to move. It is important in our life to not get ahead of G-d in our walk with Him. But is also important to not lag behind. When we see things that are not right according to the word of G-d we have the responsibility to speak out, to do something without G-d have to prod us along like Noah. Some things call for our reaction in a timely fashion.  In Genesis 17:1 we read where G-d told Avraham, “walk before Me and be thou perfect.” Some things are so clearly wrong G-d expects His people to step out and speak the truth without having to be prodded to do so.

Now to my last thing tonight. I asked everyone to find places in scripture where the flood or Noah was mentioned and in what context was the story of Noah used.  What did you find?

A few places are:

Isaiah 54:9 (promise)

Ezekiel 14:14 (warning)

Hebrews 11:7 (warning – example to follow)

I Peter 3:20 (warning)

II Peter 2:5 (warning)

Matthew 24:38-39 (coming of Messiah)

Luke 17:27 (warning)

So by these verses we can see this story as a warning of what happened to an evil society and also when G-d promises He never breaks that promise.

May you be blessed this week.