Daily Archives: March 29, 2011

Thoughts on Noah

Our mackerdoodle is fascinated with the details of Noah and the worldwide flood. She wants to know all the details about how the world flooded and what the ark looked like and how did the animals come to the ark, and how heavy the rain was . . .

Yesterday at supper she was asking all sorts of questions, and I was trying to answer them, when my very wise husband said, “Instead of just talking about this, let’s read it directly from the bible.”

Good idea. Why didn’t I think of that?

Jonathan didn’t read all three chapters (I mean, it was supper time, and she might be smart, but she’s only 3.5), but he hit the high points and emphasized the redemption aspect of the story. As he was reading, I saw a couple of things that I hadn’t seen before.

Thing One

They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the LORD shut him in.  Genesis 7:15&16

God specifically rescued those things that contained the breath of life. Noah wasn’t charged with preserving any form of plant life. God makes a distinction here. He defines “living” as anything with breath. This is significant because there is a movement trying to claim that because Adam and Eve ate plants in the garden, death pre-existed sin. The flood tells us that God doesn’t consider plants to be living things. Death did not enter the garden until God killed an animal to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness.

Thing Two

the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” Genesis 8:21&22

So I know this is going to be controversial, but I couldn’t help but notice here that God does not leave room here for humanity to affect climate. Obviously sin corrupts all levels of creation, and other parts of scripture tells us that famine and drought and localized floods and storms are a part of (a) the general effects of sin and (b) God’s specific judgement and correction of his people. What the promise of the rainbow tells us, however, is that the regular pattern of weather, the movement of seasons, the overall state of global climate, will not be altered significantly. The idea that humanity could cause world wide catastrophic climate change of any form is denied by the covenant of God, because the God who was able create the earth and then destroy most of it in a world wide flood, won’t be undone by the piddly efforts of a few industrialized and developing nations.

Just my thoughts on what I thought was a familiar bible story.