Praying Within Relationship

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Posts Tagged ‘noah’

Found drunk and naked – a Godly conumdrum

Posted by craig b on February 11, 2008

After they finished Noah has a time of worship, he builds an altar and takes some of the clean animals and birds and sacrifices them to God, with a heart full of thanksgiving. God is pleased with the sacrifice Noah makes, enjoying the pleasant aroma of his sacrifice and worship. Personally I don’t think that it is the sacrifice of the animals themselves that God finds pleasing. For King David centuries later says about sacrifices, “…that of the sacrifice of animals, God is not pleased…instead it is worship with a contrite spirit and broken heart that is pleasing to God. (Psalm 51:16-17) It is the attitude of Noah’s heart and it is the attitude of genuine thanksgiving that God found pleasing.
In response God makes a covenant with Noah and not only with Noah, but also speaks to his sons. God tells them,“Though the inclination of mankind’s heart is evil from
childhood, never again will I curse the ground nor destroy all living creatures, as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” Gen 8:21-22

He then says to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, the animals and birds will fear you from now on. From now on they are given to you for food, in the same way that I gave you all the plants for food. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And you must not murder, for I will demand an accounting from both people and animals who takes the life of another person. I tell you that I will never again destroy all of my creation by flood, and after it rains I will place in the sky a rainbow which is the sign of my promise to all of my creation.”

Scripture says that Noah was a man of the soil. He became a gardener of sorts and planted himself a vineyard. I think this statement is humorous, because after one year and eleven days of being cooped up in the ark, I doubt if he would have wanted to become a fisherman. After one year and eleven days of constant smell and noise and living so close to all those animals I doubt if he wanted to continue any kind of occupation involving animal husbandry. The one thing they lacked on the ark was a garden. They lacked fresh produce, the smell and aroma of flowers, the taste of fresh fruit, juicy apples, grapes sweet oranges and tomatoes etc. Is it any wonder that he was a man of the soil? And so he begins his task in planting his garden. He digs the soil, plants his vines, tends to his trees, and crops. His Sons are involved with him in this venture and some years go by and a son is born to Ham; Noahs second son. Noahs other sons have sons and daughters and soon Noah is a grandfather and then a great grandfather and finds that the years quickly go by from the time they first entered the ark.
It was during this time of Noah being a grandfather that he produced enough grapes to make wine. There could have been a celebration of the harvest, where the whole family gathered to celebrate, and in the course of the celebrations Noah become drunk and staggered to his tent falling asleep.
Think about the tent. It was years after they came out of the ark and Noah was still living in a tent. He didn’t live in a house, but in a tent. He was a craftsman of craftsman. He had all the skills to build a house, and a nice solid one at that. So what was it that caused this man to be still living in a tent? I think it was his experience of being confined in the ark for one year and eleven days that had a lot to do with it. He could have dismantled the ark and built a home from it. They could have stayed in the ark and continued to use it as their home. Did Noah and his family suffer from claustrophobia stemming from the long time on the ark? Perhaps his family continued to live on the ark and Noah stayed outside, living in the tent. Or perhaps they all lived in tents? Scripture doesn’t tell us what happened; we can only read between the lines. It is a story of real people, real problems, with a real past that is having an affect on the now.
Ham, Noah’s middle son was a hothead, someone who lacked self control, for his name means “Hot” as in the tropical sun. He not only discovers him lying naked in the tent, he looks upon his genitals, which most likely were frail and shrivelled, with contempt. He goes and tells his two brothers about it outside. Here we read a story about a young mans rebelliousness towards his father, a man who is showing the truth of his name. He doesn’t just go and say quietly to his brothers,

“Dads in a mess, look he got drunk and passed out on the floor, while trying to get undressed and we need to help him”

Instead he looks upon his father in contempt, he looks upon him in disgust, and while mocking his father he goes out to his brothers and says words to the effect.

“Look at that silly old goat inside, stupid bastard, got himself drunk and now look at him. He calls himself a man, humph, look at the size of him”

To his brother’s credit, they would have none of it. They did not join in his mocking, and his unrighteous anger; instead they rebuked their brother through their actions. They quietly spoke and working together picked up a garment or blanket and spreading it between themselves they walked into the tent backwards covering their father with it. They would not allow themselves to see their father’s state and they would not allow themselves to partake in their brothers shameful actions.


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A year and eleven days goes by

Posted by craig b on February 9, 2008

There they were, locked in this wooden boat for one year and eleven days. While the Scriptures do not speak of what happened in the boat, there was a story of humanity living in extremely close proximity with each other. There was a story of real human relationships happening on board that boat. Were there tensions? Were there arguments? Were they going stir crazy? Did they ever have real arguments? What were their living conditions like? Imagine what it was like being stuck on a boat three stories high. What were the practicalities of living on the ark? For it was full of animals both noisy and smelly. Animals that needed feeding, animals that needed their stalls mucked out, and even perhaps animals that both fell pregnant and gave birth to their young while on board. I have worked around animals for many years, mostly on dairy farms. And I can say they stink, though you do get used to the smell after a while. Think of the smell of the boat, the smell of the timber, the tar, the manure and the smell of each other. For one whole year the ark was their home, it was their prison and it was also their means of salvation and hope for the world.

It was here on the boat that Noah and his family learnt about Gods faithfulness. It was here that they learnt to relate to one another as family. And it was here that they learnt to worship God.

Every day for forty days as the rain came down they would have heard its noise against the roof of the boat. I wonder if they thanked God every day for the protection he gave them. Did they ever complain about the rain? Did they suffer grief for the loss of their family and community? There were Noah’s brothers, his sisters, his wife’s family, the daughter in laws family and perhaps their friends. How did they cope emotionally knowing that they would never see their loved ones again? Every day within the one hundred and fifty days that it took for the flood waters to recede, the ark was at the mercy of the winds and the waves. Scripture tells us that God sent a wind to dry the earth. What a mighty wind it must have been! We are not talking about a gentle breeze here. It would have been a howler, one that caused the ark to pitch and roll around. They were at the mercy of God; they had no method of steering it, or powering it. Did they suffer from sea sickness? Did God place a shield over them to keep the waters calm and the ark stable? We don’t know for Scripture gives us no insights into this. What was their health like? Were they eating properly? Did they suffer from jaundice from lack of sunlight?

Five months after the rain started they feel the bump as the bottom of the ark lodges on the top of the mountain. What sort of elation do they feel as the ark stops moving freely in the water? Do they have a sense that their confinement is nearly over? Yet their ordeal is not over. They have to wait for the water to continue to recede from the mountains, draining away from the valleys.

Another three months takes place before they can see the top of the mountains poking out from the water. How this ordeal must have tested their patience.

They waited for another forty days Noah opened the window and let a raven go, where it flew in the sky for a week. He then sent out a dove, which came back to him, meaning it had no dry ground for it to land on. Another week went by and Noah sent the dove out once again. This time it returned with an olive leaf in its beak.

Here is another story waiting to be told. It was the story of creation recovering from the flood. Note that the dove returned to Noah, this meant it still had no place to settle. Yet it had an olive leaf in its beak. Think about the olive tree, still immersed in water, its branches reaching skyward bound, struggling to get air, having the need of the warmth of the sun shining on it and suddenly the tip of its branches break forth. Just enough of the branches for a few leaves to sprout, yet not enough for the dove to land and make its nest. This tells the story that all of creation suffered from mans sin. It shows a picture of patience as creation still groans with the weight of sin, waiting for God to restore it once again. The branches of the tree lifting up higher than the flood waters shows a picture of how Gods creation can lift their hands high towards their creator, worshipping Him, as they reach to Him, the only one who can provide for them in the midst of the floodwaters of life.

Another seven days takes place and Noah lets the dove out once again, but this time it does not return. Three weeks have taken place before the dove found a place to land, a place to call home, and a home it found for it did not return. Imagine the sorrow Noah had when the dove returned the first time. Then his reaction as it brought him an olive leaf and his elation when the dove did not return. What was the reaction to his news each time he shared it with his family? What was their reaction when he showed them the olive leaf? Did they eagerly grab it off one another to touch and smell it? Did they rejoice when they realised the dove was not coming back? Did they have real sense of anticipation that they too could be released from the confines of the ark? Yet in the ark they stayed.. Three months after they first felt the ark go bump and lodge against the mountain top, Noah removes the covering over the top of the ark, and sees that the surface of the ground was dry. Listen to the silence in this story. Suddenly there was no wind. The wind stopped howling, and it was in the silence that Noah was finally able to remove the covering over the ark. What was his reaction as he looked around, twelve metres up from the ground, on the top of the ark looking at the ground? Did he itch to jump off and run around? Did he have to restrain his sons from doing the same? Yet they still had to stay on the ark as the ground was still muddy.

Creation must have been rejoicing madly, its grass growing and its trees blooming, their leaves and branches reaching upwards soaking in the sun.

Then God says to Noah and his family. It is time. It is time to come out of the ark. This happened one year and eleven days after they first went into the ark. What was it like for them? Did they hoop and holler? Did they leap around like a bunch of hillbilly’s having a square dance? Or did they in dignity walk out of the ark as God opened the door for them? I doubt this very much. I think there would have been a mad scramble to be first between the brothers, wanting to explore their surroundings.

But they still had work to do. They also had to bring out the animals from the ark. It took them a week to get them into the ark, how long did it take to get them out of the ark? Did the animals want to leave, or had they become so used to their pens and confinement that they had become used to them, and needed a lot of coaxing and prodding to get them out? I like what Scripture says, that the animals came out of the ark, one kind after another. Picture the mad rush, the noise, the thunder, the stampede as they rushed out, eager to get out, eager to munch on some fresh grass, to eat some fresh leaves, chew on some real bark and tree roots. As the animals dug in real dirt, scrambled up real trees and flew high into the sky. And for some maybe just laying down in the shade or warming up in the heat of the sun basking on a heated rock.

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