The fallible Noah

10.11.2019

 

Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.
(Genesis 6:9 NKJV)

Noah's faith is exemplary, to the point that the writer to the Jews places him among the heroes of the faith, and attributes to him an inheritance of justice (Hebrews 11:7). In a perverse and corrupt society to the point of deserving extermination, Lamek's son is declared "perfect in his generations". He was the best human being on the face of the earth, and this is demonstrated by the fact that unlike his contemporaries he walks with God. And he does so to the point of not hesitating to do exactly any of the things that are commanded him (Genesis 6:22). His total surrender and trust in God, allows him to proceed with the realization of an abnormal work, from the collection of the material to the final assembly, the reception and custody of the animals. And then the arrival of rain and waiting ... When the waters receded and the worst was over, his behavior is that of someone who has the fear of God before his eyes. In fact, "Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma" (Genesis 8:20-21 NKJV). His first thought is to thank God.

With the genealogical narrative and the descendants that populate the earth, the story of this admirable man could have been concluded, thus leaving us an impeccable picture of his life. But the Bible does not, and a final episode holds between us. We don't know when time has passed since leaving the ark, if Noah has continued to offer sacrifices. Scripture just informs us in the next chapter that: "Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent" (Genesis 9:20-21 NKJV). At the choice of planting grapes, the text seems to alert us, because from that fruit Noah produces wine and drinks it. As usual, we would say. Why would he have produced it otherwise? But the verb "to drink" immediately follows "getting drunk". The wise old man, a man of faith and God-fearing, lets himself go to a few glasses too many. The moment he is drunk, he loses inhibitory brakes and undresses. Bad memo that he was at home, you'll think. However, it is not a big sight for the "right and blameless" man. This is demonstrated by the behavior of his son Cam, who, despite his mistake, derides the parent.

Being the best of his people, and the one on whom the divine eye rested, does not mean being free from weaknesses and falls. The extraordinary nature of the Scriptures also lies in this. We do not have before us examples that are impossible to achieve, but characters like and worse than us, capable of performing extraordinary works for the hand and help of God. We should remember in the end what had been the beginning of everything, namely when God decided to send the flood and destroy the human race: "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6:8 NKJV). The beginning of this man's story lies in the grace that God grants him. We remain the warning to be careful not to fall into idleness, father of vices, inspirer of lightness. Very little is needed to ruin the image of a life and lose dignity.

 


Devotional 46/2019
Weekly Bible reading plan

November 11, Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8
November 12, Jeremiah 51-52; Hebrews 9
November 13, Lamentations 1-2; Hebrews 10:1-18
November 14, Lamentations 3-5; Hebrews 10:19-39
November 15, Ezekiel 1-2; Hebrews 11:1-19
November 16, Ezekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40
November 17, Ezekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12

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