We all know the story of Noah and the Ark. Because the Earth was full of sin and treachery God regretted that He had made people. He decided to destroy all the evil there was, except for Noah, who was the only righteous one and who God allowed to be saved.
Have you ever wondered whether this meant that only Noah was righteous, but not those in his family? Could it be that they were saved for Noah’s sake?
I don’t mean to question God’s actions, and especially not to cast doubt on God’s ability to do whatever He wants to do, but I have to ask myself this one question: did God really think that the next generation would be any different? Let’s get real, people…the world was still a cursed place. With the flood the Earth did undergo a kind of T’vilah (baptism, or cleansing), but the new generation of people were still under the curse that Adam caused us to suffer, weren’t they? Noah was born with original sin, so were his sons and all the wives, and their children would be, too. No change there.
So, nu? What was the reason for the flood? If it was to destroy, once and for all, the sins of mankind, well, sorry- didn’t happen. Sin was evident as soon as Noah got fall-down drunk. That was a sin. Then Ham, of course, not doing anything respectful, such as covering up Dad’s exposed equipment when he saw him dead-to-the-world on the ground, also sinned. We haven’t even gotten past the generation that was saved and already we have sin.
As I have said, and will repeat often, when interpreting the Bible we cannot make an argument from nothing, but if I was to read between the lines (in Judaism we call that giving a midrash) is it possible that Ham didn’t just tell his brothers about his father? Is it possible that Ham went to them and, like a child, was laughing about it and left his father that way so he could bring them over to see, then they could all have a good laugh? Maybe? It seems that Noah’s curse on Ham is a little over the edge if all Ham did was let his brothers know that Dad was passed out. What do you think?
So, the flood has come and gone, all the baddies are dead, and Mr. and Mrs. Noah (already hundreds of years old) are going to repopulate the Earth, with his children’s help, of course. Big job, and I can just imagine how the women felt about this (“Oy…I’m gonna be pregnant for the next couple of centuries!”) Maybe they were happy that human mortality was about to see a significant change with regards to one’s expected lifetime.
Going back to my question, was it God’s plan to remove all sin? If it was, it didn’t work. If it wasn’t, then why would He do what He did? Why destroy so many people, and all those innocent animals (there’s a good discussion- can an animal be innocent? After all, to be innocent, don’t you need to have the potential to be evil, and animals act on instinct, so they can’t really be evil, so they can’t be innocent, but they are the ones to sacrifice because the shedding of innocent blood is the only way to absolve sin, but if they aren’t evil and they can’t be innocent can their blood really work?)
Maybe the animals had to be destroyed because they are innocent, if we define “innocent” as meaning devoid of evil intentions and desires. And by destroying the animals, i.e. shedding their blood (figuratively, since they drowned), each animal that died was a sacrifice to atone for the sins of each and every one of the people destroyed? Maybe not so much to cleanse the person, but to cleanse the land? I don’t know!
There were some significant changes after the flood; for instance, up until the flood there was no rain. The Earth was watered by a mist every morning and everyone, animals and humans alike, were herbivores (read the beginning of Genesis.) After the flood the animals and humans feared each other because now they were food to us, and we were food to some of them. And the animals also would eat each other. Carnivores, herbivores, insectivores, and all the other -vores now inhabited the Earth. There were going to be seasonal rains, which were absolutely necessary for the agricultural economy that existed. We would have droughts and famines. What might have happened if there were no famines in the land? Would Abraham have gone to Egypt? Would Yitzchak have moved? Would Pharoah have had the dream that Joseph interpreted, fulfilling the prophecy God told Abraham about his descendants being slaves? If there hadn’t been a famine to cause Israel to send his sons to Egypt for grain, would we have had Moses? The Torah? If there had not been a drought, how would God have shown His glory and power to the Northern Kingdom inhabitants when Elijah called fire from heaven on Mt. Carmel?
Ya know? Maybe the flood was necessary not just to get rid of sin, which it didn’t, but to get a fresh start. To kick it up to the next level, allowing for this new generation of humans to take the next step in God’s plan of salvation. Maybe, just maybe, the story we hear has more to it than just a flood to ged rid of the drek of society.
That is one of the many things I love about reading the Manual every day- you read something you have read many, many times before, and suddenly….WHAM!!! You get this revelation, this new view, on what you have been reading for years. You see something in there you never saw before and have ask yourself, “How could I not have seen this?” It’s like the Bible is one of those optical illusions, except this is, maybe, more like a spiritual illusion, where you’ve seen one thing for years and then you see something different, in the same place. Like the picture below: is it two faces or is it a lamp?
The point to this whole thing is that we will never know, for certain, what God is up to all the time. Sometimes He makes it clear, sometimes He doesn’t. As He tells us in His Word, that which He wishes us to know we will know, and that which He wishes to remain secret will remain secret. God is no respecter of persons- He tells us that Himself. He will do what He wants to do, and when He wants to do it. He will tell us, or He won’t- it’s His game, His rules.
The best we can do is make sure that whatever He has told us, we study and learn. We will need to know it when the real spiritual battle begins. And what He wants to reveal to any one of us at any time, He will do through the Ruach.
In the meantime, keep reading, keep asking the Ruach to guide you, and stay faithful that just because we don’t know what’s happening or what’s going to happen, God does.
And faithfully believe that God is in control.