1.Look at the word in Hebrew for ark. It is tevat. Like many Hebrew words this one carries more than one meaning. It can also mean “word.” If we look at this as its meaning what could this story be telling us?
Sometimes we can feel like life is a series of storms. Sometimes these storms can cause us to stumble. Psalms 32:6-7, Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” gives us good insight as to where our true help comes from. The word of G-d in the form of a wooden boat saved Noah, so can the word of G-d save 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.
So this box-like craft that Noah was told to build was to save him and his family from the flood. It had no rudder, no sail, no navigation system Noah could not steer the ark even if he wanted to. This makes a powerful connection with the word covenant. Noah was completely dependent on G-d. His only obligation was to enter into the ark. He was totally dependent on G-d for the whole voyage – the entire storm.
G-d even shut him and his family in. So once the ark was built Noah did nothing except sit out the flood. His deliverance was not dependent on him at all but only on the will of his Heavenly Father. Noah only had to build a box that would float and everything else he put his faith in G-d to take him through what would come.
Like Noah we have to work to make sure that ark/word is built strong enough to weather the storms. We must put in the time and effort through our own study and prayer to build our ark. When we do then it will lift us above the waves and carry us through. Don’t depend on someone else but make the effort each day to add another plank to your ark.
When the storms of our life come we can enter into the ark of His Word and rest in Him. Do this each day. Take time. Religious Jews begin each day with two words. As soon as they awake they pray “Moda Ani” which is, Thankful am I. May each of us thank our G-d each day for His presence in our life, a strong tower into which we can run.
2.In B’Resheet 9:20-28 we read about the incident where Noah became drunk and probably passed out in a state of being physically exposed. First, his son Ham saw him and reported back to his brothers what he saw. The two brothers covered Noah with care taken to not look on his nakedness. Ham was cursed. Shem and Japeth were blessed. Why?
Ham’s reaction was not one of helping his father but rather one of judgment and being more concerned with gossiping to his brothers rather than helping his father in his undone state. If we accept that G-d brings things into our lives, why did He bring this situation into Ham’s life? Like each of us, it presented him with a choice. In some ways these choices are G-d’s way of showing us something in our own lives that needs our attention.
The other two brothers sought to cover their father without even glancing at his condition. In fact the Torah is usually very conservative in the use of word but here makes a point that we see the extent they went in not judging their father. They took action to help without talking about him. How could he have done this? We thought he was better than this? What a spectacle? They just helped him.
I read a quote, “When you see ill in your friend, it is your own ill you are observing.” The problems we think we see in others are usually the problems that are in our own lives. What does the Messianic scripture say about judging? Matt. 7:1-11. Usually when we see a flaw in someone it is G-d’s way of gently telling us to take a look inside.
Now we might comfort ourselves by thinking that we are helping a person see the errors of his ways. Don’t take too much comfort in this thought. One way to discover our true motivation might be when you see something or hear something if your first impulse is to judge and then try to help you are the one who will be judged. But, if you first see the need to help, like the two sons of Noah, then you are looking at a window of opportunity not a mirror that reflects your own faults. I pray we each are like Shem and Japeth and not Ham.
Verses on gossip: Psalms 41:7; Proverbs 25:23; Leviticus 19:16; Proverbs 11:13; Romans 1:28-32; II Corinthians 12:20
3.Where in the Messianic scripture is Noah mentioned and in what context?
Luke 17:26-27 26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
Matthew 24:37-38 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;
II Peter 2:5-9 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.
I Peter 3:20 G-d to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
4.In the last verses of this Torah portion it says, “Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.” Genesis/B’resheet 11:31-32 My question is, why do you think they stopped in Harran when the verses say they set out for Canaan? There’s no clear answer to this question but bring your thoughts and we will discuss.
So why did we need to know about Terah leaving Ur to go to Canaan, but stopping in Haran? After all, the record of Abraham’s family history and call could have started in Haran. Why did we need to know about Terah and Ur? Since the Word of G-d provides this information, I think it must be significant.
First, what would motivate Terah to uproot his family and leave the great city of Ur to travel 1,000 miles to the land of Canaan? This would be a slow, arduous and dangerous journey.
Second, since he left Ur to go to Canaan, why did Terah stop in Haran rather than continuing on? The land of Canaan would have been about another 400 miles, so he was over halfway there. Why did Terah settle halfway?
Maybe G-d originally called Terah to go to Canaan with the same promises that were later given to his son Abraham? We don’t know. It seems likely, because that would explain his reason for leaving his extended family and the prosperous city of Ur to travel to a land he did not know. That would also explain why G-d chose to tell us so much about Terah and his move to Haran. We can only speculate. Maybe he just got tired.
It could be that once they lost their momentum by stopping, they just got comfortable and settled in. This is a good lesson to us. Don’ get too comfortable.
Abraham demonstrated his faith in G-d by continuing to obey Him through many hardships and trials. “Abraham believed G-d, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6, James 2:23. So Abraham is the example we should follow, not Terah.
So what do we learn from these verses? It seems that this is an example of Yeshua’s statement “Many are called, but few are chosen” Mathew 22:14.. Terah and Abraham were probably both called to go to Canaan and both answered the call and left for Canaan. Abraham got there and fulfilled his calling. Therefore, he is the main figure in the next fourteen chapters of Genesis. He was called a “friend of G-d” II Chron. 20:7.
Final interesting observation, In our Torah portion, in Genesis 6:11 it says, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.” If you look at the verse in Hebrew the last word, violence, in Hebrew is hamas. That says a lot to us today, don’t you think.
וַתִּשָּׁחֵ֥ת הָאָ֖רֶץ לִפְנֵ֣י הָֽאֱלֹהִ֑ים וַתִּמָּלֵ֥א הָאָ֖רֶץ חָמָֽס׃
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. Gen 6:11