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Noah

12
Top Ten Old Testament Stories: #2 Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6-9)
TIMING: Potentially corroborated by geological data of flooding related to melting ice caps around 5600 B.C. (http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/010599sci-black-sea-flood.html). REASON TO READ: This epic story has the sort of excitement that movies are made of. My personal favorite is Evan Almighty which does not try to be historically accurate but rather captures the spirit of how crazy Noah must have felt to build his ark. BRIEF SUMMARY: The world had become so evil that God wanted to purge the world of its evil and start over. He tells Noah about His plan and tells him to build an ark so that he can survive the impending flood. Noah listens to God and builds an ark on land despite the ridicule from the people around him for the decades it took him to build it. He brings his wife, three sons, their wives, seven of every clean animal, two of every unclean animal, and seven of each type of bird. God brings rain upon the earth that lasts 40 days and 40 nights so that everyone on the ark is saved and everyone else perishes. Noah sends out a raven that does not return. He sends out a dove three times: the first time it returns empty-beaked, the second time it comes back with an olive leaf, and the third time it does not return. This is Noah’s sign that it is safe to leave the ark with his family and the animals that came with him. HOW THIS FITS IN THE TOP TE...

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11
Noah's Ark Covered with Pitch
In Genesis we read "Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.  And this is how you shall make it..." (Genesis 6:14-15) The ark is a symbol of the Church.  Everyone outside the ark perished, whereas everyone inside the ark was saved.  Similarly the Orthodox Church teaches us that the Church is essential for our salvation, through which we receive the Mysteries which God gave us.  Many church buildings are designed to be shaped like Noah's ark for this reason. God instructed Noah to cover the ark with pitch from the inside and the outside.  The pitch here is used to protect the ark from the water so that it wouldn't leak through inside the ark.  Notice here that the pitch is to be on the inside and the outside, not just the outside.  Similarly the Church should be protected from attacks on the inside and the outside.  Also note that God instructed Noah to cover the ark with pitch from the inside first.  The attacks that target the Church from the inside are usually more detrimental than the attacks from the outside. Protecting the Church from the inside: Attacks on the Church from the inside could come in many forms.  One form would be attacks of heresies.  For example a heresy that says that Christ is not fully divine, or Christ is not fully human.  S...

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13
The Ark Took How Long to Build?
In Genesis chapter 6 we read about Noah building the ark according to God's commandment.  We can estimate the length of time it took Noah to build the ark from a few verses.  Genesis 5:32 and Genesis 6:10 mention that Noah was 500 years old.  Genesis 7:6 reads "Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth."  This tell us that the ark took about 100 years to build. A question that comes to mind is why did it take that long?  Obviously it's a very large vessel built by a 500 year old man, but why did God allow this to take 100 years to build?  Remember at that time the earth was filled with corruption and unrighteousness but God didn't destroy it yet.  The Bible reads "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth." (Genesis 6:11-12)  Yet God tolerated man's atrocities for over 100 years while the ark was being built!  How can God let evil flourish for that long?  Even today we might find ourselves asking the same question.  We're living in a time where innocent people are being murdered, Churches being burnt, Christians' homes and shops being destroyed, and yet God is letting it all happen.  It might seem to us that God is looking the other way w...

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23
Noah - An Example of Righteousness
 "... Noah was a righteous man, who was perfect in his generation and well-pleasing to God." (Genesis 6:9) Continuing on with the Story of Noah, this verse raised many questions.  In a previous article we talked about The Righteousness of Noah.  In describing his righteousness, the above verse adds "in his generation".  Why did the bible need to say "perfect in his generation"?  Does this mean that perfection is relative?  Is perfection in Noah's generation different than todays? Certainly not!  Perfection is from God, and perfection is God.  Our Lord Jesus Christ in His sermon on the Mount teaches us saying "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48).  Also, from St. Paul we know that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8).  If God is Perfect, and we know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then it must be the case that perfection is the same as well.  So now the question still remains, why did the verse add "perfect in his generation".  Also why did the verse need to add "well-pleasing to God" since it already said that he was a righteous and perfect man? The verse starts by saying that "Noah was a righteous man", then it goes on to explain this righteousness in two parts:  The first ...

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30
The Righteousness of Noah
It is often said that it is impossible to live according to God's commandments in this Generation.  It is also said that God's laws may apply to the earlier days, but now however it would be impractical what with all the sin that is all around us.  Sometimes sin presents itself and is almost forced upon us.  People in the old days must not have had it this hard...  Or have they? In Genesis chapter 6 we read about Noah.  The Holy Scripture attests to him by saying that "Noah was a righteous man, who was perfect in his generation and well-pleasing to God." (Genesis 6:9).  So far nothing special since there were many good people a long time ago.  However, Noah did not live in any ordinary times.  Just a couple of verses later, the Bible tells us why Noah was special by describing the circumstances as follows: "Now the earth was corrupt before God and filled with unrighteousness.  Thus the Lord God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh corrupted their way on the earth." (Genesis 6:11,12) Noah wasn't just righteous.  He was "perfect".  Not only that, he was perfect while everybody else were extremely wicked.  The environment that surrounded Noah was much worse than anything we're seeing today. We can only imagine what Noah must have gone through.  How much pressure to do evil Noah must hav...

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17
Noah, and the Extent of Man's Wickedness
In Genesis 6, in the story of Noah, we read "Then God said, 'I will blot out man whom I created from the face of the earth, from man to cattle, and from the creeping things to the birds of heaven, for I am grieved I made them." (Genesis 6:7) But why would God destroy the creation which His hands have made?  Shouldn't God give them another chance to repent and live?  Where's God's mercy?  This seems too harsh at the first glance.  However, after careful examination, we discover the extent of man's wickedness and understand the amount of grief man caused God. Earlier in the chapter the Holy Scripture offers the explanation in the following verse "Then the Lord God saw man's wickedness, that it was great in the earth, and every intent of the thoughts within his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5)  Man's wickedness was great.  It wasn't simple offenses.  But even great offenses could be forgiven if man were to repent.  The scripture however adds that evil was in "every intent of man".  Not just some or most, but man reached a state where every intent of his heart was displeasing to God.  Not only that, but each intent was also "only evil".  It wasn't partially good and partially evil.  It wasn't good towards some and evil towards others.  It wasn't good in certain situations and evil in ot...

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