[Gen 6:9, 13 KJV] 9 These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God. … 13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.[Gen 6:14 KJV] 14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
Noah was a Righteous Man
Scripture tells us that Noah was a righteous or “just” man and he was “perfect in his generations,” and he “walked with God.” These are the three reasons he was chosen to build the ark. Scripture doesn’t tell us he was a perfect man, but he certainly had not gotten down on the level of those around him who were turning to robbery and violence. For 120 years Noah was obedient in the building of the ark. People would walk by and ask him what he was doing, and he would tell them that God is bringing a flood upon the world, in hopes that they would repent…but no one did!
No Repentance in the Land, No Prayer for Mercy
Genesis 6:13 And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold I will destroy them with the earth.
God made this announcement to Noah and instructed him to build an ark. Again, 120 years Noah built that ark. Day after day people walked by and asked him what he was. Day after day he told them God was bringing a flood, but nowhere do we see where Noah prayed for the people to repent. He physically did the work, making the preparation for the end of the world, but he didn’t ask God to spare them.
The Zohar teaches:
When God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh is come before me,” Noah said, “what will You do with me?” But he did not pray for mercy for the world, as Abraham would pray for the city of Sodom. This is why the Flood is called “the waters of Noah” (Isaiah 54:9) – he is culpable for them, because he did not appeal for mercy on the world’s behalf.
Noah did his best work. He looked out for himself, but the sages say, he didn’t care enough for the people of the world to pray mercy for them. “In other words, Noah’s involvement with others was limited to his sense of what he ought to do for them, as opposed to a true concern for their well-being.” – Chabad
120 years of work and not one soul repented, not one! Would that be tolerated in today’s churches or would we be looking for another pastor? Awe, did I catch your attention? It’s not just the pastor’s job to get the people to repent..it is also OUR job! Are we doing our part? Are we standing in the gap for sinners, leaders, communities, families, etc.? Or are we like Noah, “What will you do with me, Lord?”
Listen to what the sages have to say:
But in order to influence others, one’s motives must be pure; in the words of our sages, “Words that come from the heart, enter the heart. ” Deep down, a person will always sense whether you truly have his interests at heart or you’re filling a need of your own by seeking to change him. If your work to enlighten your fellow stems from a desire to “do the right thing” but without really caring about the result, your call will be met with scant response. The echo of personal motive, be it the most laudable of personal motives, will be sensed, if only subconsciously, bu the object of your efforts, and will ultimately put him off.
As I read this in preparation for this blog, I took a long look in the mirror and simply prayed, “Lord, may my motives ever be your motives!” I do not want to serve myself! May God’s will be done through this blog and may the readers ever be encouraged!
Ark = “Word”
The Hebrew work for ark, “teivah,” also means “word.” “Come into the word,” says God, enter within the words of prayer and Torah [biblical] study. Here you will find a sanctuary of wisdom, meaning, and holiness amidst the raging flood-waters of life. (Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov) So, when Noah was building the ark, it was a call of repentance to the people of the world, but they did not come. Noah, in a sense failed them, because although he labored hard, he did not cover them in the garments of prayer. We see a “coming into the word” when Noah and his family and the animals entered the ark, but they could just stay in the ark. We are called to also “exit the ark,” come out, take the word into the world.
Applying Noah’s Flood to Today
Why was the generation of the flood utterly destroyed, but not the generation of the Tower? Because the generation of the Flood were consumed by robbery and violence, while amongst the generation of the Tower love prevailed. – Midrash Rahhah
Our world today has its share of robbery and violence, but there is HOPE! We have not reached a point of hopelessness. There are still people in the Word and taking it to the World, but there are also prayer warriors who are standing in the gap for the lost souls, misguided leadership, communities, and families. We need more! Will we be like Noah and worry more about ourselves or will we sacrifice our time and get on our faces before the Lord pleading for mercy as Abraham did for Sodom? The choice is ours to make. What will you choose today?
Father of the universe, thank you for guiding our steps. Thank you for giving insight into these stories of old in Your Holy word. Thank you for creating the “ark,” Word for us to take shelter in. Please keep our motives pure and in line with your will, never becoming self-serving. Please guide our steps as we exit the ark and take Your Word and Mercy to the world. Lord, I lift our world to you this morning, and I ask You to have mercy upon us! Lord, if there are but ten righteous in Your eyes, please spare your judgment from falling. I plead mercy of Your courts on the lost souls. I ask you to provide the words that need to be spoken to them. I ask you to protect them, Lord, and touch their hearts, minds, and ears that they might hear and receive Your word. In Jesus name. Amen.