Not my will
Torah Portion: Noah B’resheet/Genesis 6:9-11:32
Haftorah Reading Isaiah 54:1-55:5
Tonight, I want us to look at this Torah portion from a couple of directions. We will look at what happened and what Noah’s role was in the events. We will also look a little deeper at the spiritual powers at play.
First, when we think of the flood, we usually think the main subject is that the people of Noah’s day were deep into sin and the flood was G-d’s judgement on them for their actions. That is truly what happened for sure. Maybe, a deeper question would be, why? Why had it come to this? We also see the same situation later in our portion at the building of the Tower of Bavel. In this case, the people were building a tower that would reach to the heavens to safe guard them from being scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth and to make a name for themselves. (Genesis 11:4) In both of these situations the motivation was similar. This is where I would like to begin our discussion.
What similarities do you see? Let me begin by saying in both of these cases the people suffered from basically the same issue. The pursuing of their own will kept them from understanding, grasping and following the will of G-d. We see this happening over and over throughout scripture, both in the Torah and also in the Messianic Scripture. We all remember the story in the Messianic scriptures of the woman at the well who was able to accept the message of Yeshua and change her life by accepting G-d’s will for her life. On the other hand, you also remember the rich young ruler who could not let go of his possessions (his own will) and follow Yeshua.
In this Torah portion we are struck by the sin and depravity that held the people in such a tight grip that they could not, would not change. They continued on following their own depraved desires.
Now I want us to take a moment to examine four people who in some ways faced the same choice. We read how G-d come to Noah and told him His plan to wipe out life on earth with the exception of Noah and his family. What was Noah’s response? Did he plead with G-d? Did he try to tell people what was going to happen if they didn’t change? As far as our verses here are concerned he basically got to work on the ark. We read of no communication with the people around him. G-d said this is what I am going to do and Noah got to work on the ark. He accepted G-d’s will and got busy building an ark to the exact specifications G-d sat out. He did it exactly right but no where do we see compassion for the people around him.
Now, take a moment and look at Genesis/B’resheet 24:23-33. This is when G-d came to Avraham and told him of His plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. What was Avraham’s reaction? If you read these verses you will see Avraham argued with G-d in an effort to save the people who lived in these cities.
Think of Moshe, when in Exodus 32:10-13 he interceded with G-d over His plan to destroy the people. In the Messianic scriptures the easiest example of someone aligning their will with G-d and making a difference, in fact giving the entire world an opportunity to align their will with the Father’s, is found in Luke 22:42. Here Yeshua said, “Not My will but Yours be done.” Because Yeshua surrendered His will to the Father’s, we all sit here today studying and living our life as His people.
All of this brings us to the place where every day we must choose to subject our will to the Father’s will. Our lives everyday are an opportunity to do His will not our own. Our will is wrapped up in our natural inclinations as a human being. Many times, those stand in conflict to G-d’s word and will. Our inner inclinations come up against the will of the Father daily. Maybe in our natural, human state we are stingy and like to keep what we have earned for ourselves. What does scripture say about this? Again, the example of the rich young ruler (Matt. 19:16-22) shows a man who chose to not change his natural inclination to line up with the will of G-d.
In our society today what rules? Freedom. We are told to do what you want as long as you don’t harm anyone. Our measurement of right and wrong is our own will, not what scripture says or what the will of the Father is.
A good example happened this week in the House of Representatives when a woman resigned her seat because of her affairs. At no time was right or wrong mentioned concerning what she did. The only issue was how unfair our system is against women.
As G-d’s people today we all have a battle to fight, not my will but Yours be done. Don’t relax your faith and let things go because, “it just is the way I am.” We are called to be better than that.