Parashah Noach (Noah) Genesis 6:9 – 11:32

Who hasn’t heard the story of “The Flood?” It has been told over and over, movies made about it (mostly dreck, stupid Hollywood fodder, fit only to be burned) and most every major civilization has a similar story. They have found evidence of a tremendously wide-spread flood in the Middle East (some 6 feet of clay layered at a level approximate to the time of the flood), and multiple sightings of an “ark” on Mt. Ararat.

Archeologists that search for the Ark are looking for it to prove the bible story to be true. They are like Indiana Jones, seeking the Ark of the Covenant, or the Holy Grail.

The world rejects God, and at the same time, it wants proof that He exists and that the bible is true. And what’s even scarier than that conundrum is that I understand why! It’s because we know that when something sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t true. The truth about God, that He exists, that He is going to judge us all and that Yeshua is the Messiah He sent to allow us to escape the judgement we deserve and all we need to do is call on His name to be saved (of course, you still have to work at it), well…it just sounds all too good to be true.  Where’s the catch?

The catch is that although it is true salvation is yours simply for the asking, it is hard to keep.  It will require you to suffer, to lose friends, family and maybe even your life. You must devote yourself to changing your attitude and your actions, and you will be attacked by the enemy every time you draw closer to God. Your life will be more difficult, but with the help of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and the never-ending love and support of God to bring you through things, your life will be richer, more fulfilling and you will be blessed more than you could ever imagine. And even better, because you will have God’s spirit and a new outlook, you will receive and appreciate the blessings you get, which most people who don’t know the Lord can’t really understand, so they don’t feel the fullness of joy that God’s blessings bring. Oh, yes, there’s one more thing…salvation through Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) is the best retirement plan the universe offers.

So what value is there in proving the flood story to be true? As far as I am concerned, regarding salvation, proving the flood to be a real-life event will not matter at all. Oh, there may be a few people who will “convert” to some form of Born Again realization, but they are probably going to be like the good seed on poor soil. The word of God never returns void, but it does rebound off many ears that are clogged with self-importance and (even worse!) wrongful teachings (i.e., religion.)

Salvation comes one way- through faith. If we prove God exists, if He shows Himself in majesty and splendor, that won’t make a big difference.

“Oh my Gawd!! How can you say that, Steve? God’s majestic presence shown to the world won’t make a big difference? What are you- nuts? Of course it will! It will prove He exists! It will be on YouTube and Twitter! Fox News will even show the video at 6 and 10! The world will see it and believe. Halleluyah!!!”

No, it won’t. How can I say that, so assuredly? Because we’ve seen it already. It’s proven every day that God exists; just look around. The entire nation of Israel saw His majesty and power on Mt. Sinai, they saw His cloud by day and His fire at night, they were given manna from heaven, they saw water come from rocks, they saw Elijah call fire from the sky at Mt. Carmel, they saw David defeat Goliath, they saw the Maccabee’s defeat the best army in the world, they saw the Son of God do miracle after miracle, and they have seen miracles since.

And we still don’t believe. So if God came from heaven and landed right on top of Mt. Carmel, the world would reject Him, still. That’s not my opinion, that’s what it says in Revelations. The bowls of wrath will be poured out on the earth, and people will curse God. In a way, cursing God is (at least) some form of recognition that He might exist, isn’t it? But it’s not accepting Him.

The flood is a wonderful story and has great value for those of us who want to know God better, and the history of His intercession in the lives of His creation. We can talk about how this was the first time people saw rain, how before the flood we were all, men and animals, herbivores but after the flood carnivores came into existence. We can recognize that even before God gave us the laws of Kashrut (Kosher) they were known to people, and how even before God told us in Leviticus not to eat the blood because the life is in the blood, He told Noach not to eat blood. We can trace the generations to see how Ham, being cursed to serve his brothers (and Shem assigned as the leader) has fathered those nations that historically have been the sworn enemies of the descendants of Shem, rebelling against the curse of their father, Noah, by attacking and constantly (to this day still) trying to destroy those that they are to serve.

All of this is interesting stuff, and valuable in understanding where we came from, which explains why things are as they are today.  We are (the United States, that is) interfering in a sibling rivalry that dates back to the Flood. It is not going to get better, it is going to get worse, and the longer we stay involved the more we will end up having to either get out, altogether (which we won’t) or take sides (which we will.) And when I read Revelations it says the entire world will come against Israel in the end days, so I think we can guess which side the US will end up on.

If you follow this blog you know I almost never get “political”, and I am not really trying to be so now. I am just saying that even the US, a long-time friend of Israel, will end up doing what God has said will be done. And when everything that the bible says will happen, happens- many will not believe but, in fact, be turned away from God. That’s right- God’s tribulations will not make more Believers but it will turn those who Believe to apostasy. Again, this isn’t my opinion- Yeshua tells us this will happen: read 2 Timothy 3, read Matthew 24:10, read Revelations and the churches that Yeshua says are failing to do as they should, and how in the last days most will turn away from the faith. Not some, not a lot, but most (this word may be different than ‘most’, depending on which bible interpretation you have.)

Faith is what saves us, faith comes from God (that’s in the bible, too) but it is up to us to work at strengthening our faith. And that is easier than you might think- in the same way we can see the proof of God’s existence we can strengthen our faith- just look around, observe what happens in your life and the lives of others, be open to accept that miracles are all around us, that happenstance and random chance could not ever have resulted in the unbelievable diversity of life that we have here on Earth, and that believing in God and being a slave to Messiah is not a crutch or a cop-out, but the smartest and most ‘freeing’ thing that anyone can do.

People want to feel that they are in control of themselves. I think that is one of the main reasons they reject God- they don’t want to cede control. The sad truth is that they are not, never have been, and never will be in control.  No one human being is in total control of his or her life, but God is in control of everything. If you want to be in control of anything, then you need to be working for the one that controls everything.

I’d be happy if I could just control my hunger, and even better, my tongue. I’m making progress, and that is only because I am asking God to help me.

Who’s helping you stay in control? If it isn’t God, it’s the enemy.  Forget about controlling anything, and just give in to faithful obedience to God. When you try to control things, it always gets screwed up, doesn’t it? C’mon, be honest! You know that we mess things up, all the time. Heck- we’re human. Screwing up is almost the definition of humanity. But God? Well, He doesn’t screw anything up. He is always in control, He always will get what He wants done, done. He is totally flexible, and eternally forgiving and merciful.

Follow God, let Him take the reins, and just faithfully believe. Forget archaeological evidence, forget scientific proof, forget needing to show anyone undeniable evidence that God exists. It’s been done, it’s been shown, and it hasn’t changed anything. Been there, seen that, didn’t even buy the T-shirt!

Just let God be the Boss, do as He says to the best of your ability, and dedicate yourself to being more of what God wants you to be. That’s all you need to do, that’s all you need to “control”, that’s all you will ever need to worry about. And if you do, you will be blessed beyond your wildest imagination!

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