Updated: Oct 18
[15-21 Oct 2023]
Theme of the Book of Genesis:
Desire for life, to choose life and to create!
Meaning of "Noach" = "Noah" = rest
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Genesis 6:9-22
Monday: Genesis 7:1-16
Tuesday: Genesis 7:17-8:14
Wednesday: Genesis 8:15-9:7
Thursday: Genesis 9:8-17
Friday: Genesis 9:18-10:32
Shabbat: Genesis 11:1-32 & Isa 54:1-55:5
1 Peter 3:18-22
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
1 Peter 1-5
2 Peter 3:1-14
The word "noach" means rest. There are two Hebrew words for rest: noach & shabbat. Noah had a desire to do what God instructed him. In the previous Torah portion, it was all about choosing life. And choosing life means choosing Yeshua. Noah continued to choose life because he continuously choose to obey Abba's instructions.
It come as no surprise that when Abba instructed Noah to build the ark, that Noah was obedient - because that's just who Noah was. From Scriptures we know that Noah was a righteous man. And righteousness comes from obedience. Whatever God asked of him, Noah did. God told Noah that He was going to wipe the people with their evil desires from the earth. The people of the earth chose their own fleshly desires and it resulted in death.
It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. The number 40 is the number of judgment. Symbolic of God's judgment on mankind who went astray and did not choose life!
After 150 days, the ark settled - but they couldn't yet climb out until God commanded them to get out and re-populate the earth.
Noah and his family were 8 people. The number 8 is the number that signifies superseding the natural. Confirming once again that God is in control and will take care of His righteous ones. When Noah and his family got off the ark, they saw the rainbow - which was God's covenant that He will never again destroy the earth with water.
Now that they were off the ark, God commanded Noah regarding the sacredness of life. God instructed Noah that man was permitted to eat the flesh of the animals - but not those of living animals, nor the blood of animals. Acts 15 confirms that this instruction is still valid.
In this portion we also read that Noah got drunk and passed out in his tent. We read that his son Ham, went and told his brothers about their father's nakedness. Shem & Japheth, the other two brothers, then went into their father's tent backwards - to not expose their father and see him naked and they covered him. We then further on read that Shem & Japheth was blessed for covering their father's nakedness and that Ham was cursed for his transgression. But what was the transgression? It seems a bit odd to curse your son and his descendants because he saw his father naked after his father passed out from having too much to drink. But we have to consider this incident in context. Nakedness in those times were considered completely taboo. Especially the nakedness of one's parents. Seeing one's parents naked had the connotation of sexual intimacy and sometimes even incest or rape. The Scriptures are not explicit about what exactly happened - however, in Gen 9:24 we read that Noah "knew what Ham had done to him." Merely seeing your father naked is not doing something to him. Whether something more happened in the tent between Noah and Ham is irrelevant. The fact is that Ham disrespected his father and bought shame unto him by telling others about their father's nakedness. And as a result, Ham's offspring was cursed.
After Ham was cursed, they all still remained one nation - because they all spoke the same language. And then later on we read that they (Ham's descendants) built a tower (Babel). God then confused their language so that they (the brothers' offspring) could no longer understand one another. God brought division between the righteous and the unrighteous. And the peoples were split into nations.
This Torah portion starts with a righteous man (Noah) and ends with a righteous man (Abraham) - who both listened and obeyed Abba's instructions. And as a result both of them were blessed. The theme of this portion is about living a life of righteousness as a result of a willingness to be obedient to Abba's instructions.
In the Apostolic Writings (New Testament) we read how Yeshua, during His time on earth, compares His second coming to the days of Noah. So what happened in the days of Noah? The people drank and lived in sin. When Noah warned them about God's coming judgment, they did not listen to him. Noah wasn't a very popular guy in the community. Much like the times we are living in now, don't you think? When people today warns others to prepare because Yeshua is coming back soon, we are mocked. Just like in the days of Noah, people don't want to listen.
It took Noah 120 years to build the ark. 120 years of people mocking him but Noah stayed obedient. 120 years of opportunity for the people to repent but they chose to continue in their sin. When we read the story of Noah, we all see the judgement of God that came. But we often fail to see His grace which preceded the judgement. For a full 120 years, they were warned about the coming judgement. Years and years for them to come to their senses and repent for their sins, but they chose not to. In the same way, today - we are warned about God's coming judgment. There is still time to return and repent of our sinful ways. But time is running out. Just like in the time of Noah, the flood eventually came and the time for repentance ran out. In the same way, Yeshua will soon return and then it will be too late to repent and turn back to Him.
From Scripture we read that Yeshua's return will be unexpected. And religious people are quick to quote this verse when someone says that Yeshua is returning. But Yeshua Himself said that His return will be like the days of Noah. So we all have a choice. We have an option to get ourselves ready. Or we can remain in lukewarm worthless religion and spend eternity in hell. The Torah is clear. We have a choice between life and death. They are polar opposites. You can't have a little bit of life and a little bit of death. You are either obedient or not. You will either spend eternity in heaven or in hell.
Noah didn't know when exactly the flood would come, but he knew that it would come. In other words it wasn't completely unexpected. The timing was unknown, but what will happen was known to those who were obedient. If the coming of Yeshua will be like the days of Noah, then what does the above mean to us?
Just like Noah built an ark because he knew what was coming. So we should also build an ark metaphorically. In other words, we should prepare ourselves for what's coming. And we do that through a relationship with Abba.
We don't know when exactly Yeshua will come. But we know that He will. And therefore, we should prepare ourselves every single day. Because every single day we have to prepare is grace. We should never take it for granted! The flood is a reminder for us of how quickly Yeshua can come!
Yeshua, The Righteous One, died for the unrighteous. So that through His resurrection we might be saved. His flesh was taken away so that His Spirit could continue to live. The water baptism is also symbolically linked to the flood. Once water destroyed, and now it brings forth life. When we give our lives to Yeshua, we die to our sins and we stand up as new & redeemed beings through the Blood of Yeshua.
Noah was a righteous man and he got to this place of righteousness through his faith. When the whole earth's people were in sin, God regretted creating man. But Noah was obedient and found favour in God's eyes. Noah was saved because he was righteous.
In Scripture we read "Abraham believed in God and it was accounted to him as righteousness." Our faith in God through our relationship of love and obedience is what will make us righteous.
Matt 5:10 says that through our obedience we will be saved. Just like Noah was mocked, so the world will ridicule true believers of Yeshua for our lifestyle of obedience. When we are saved it means that we accept Yeshua's complete work on the cross. And as an act of obedience, we then get baptised. Baby baptism is not Biblical - but that's obviously a whole different story for a whole different day.
The story of Noah should encourage us as true believers to remain steadfast in our obedience to Yeshua - regardless of how the world treats us. We should stand firm in our faith and our lives should be a testimony unto others so that they could also be saved!
When we take the themes of parashot (plural for parashat) Bereshit & Noach together... we see the theme of choosing live and we do it by living a lifestyle of righteousness. And how do we do that? Through a willingness to be obedient to whatever it is that Yeshua asks of us!
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Portion 2: Noach (The blog you are reading now)