This is the second week since we have restarted the reading of the Bible from Genesis. The reading this week, which is the second reading of the Bible, is Noah (Genesis 6:9-11:32).
This reading is the second most important reading of the whole Bible. Genesis 1:1-6:8 was read last week, and in my opinion it is the most foundational and important part of the whole Bible. In this next Shabbat’s reading Noah continues the downturn of the relationship between the Creator and His creatures, the humans.
In these readings we learn more about the nature of man and even more importantly the nature of the Creator, the Lord of all! The reading from the prophets is from Isaiah 54:1-55:5, from the New Testament the reading is from Matthew 24:36-46, and 1 Peter 3:18-22.
I would like to review a summary of the downfall of humanity from a different viewpoint:
- God created the heavens and the earth. Everything that we see and feel and eat and adorn and build is based on what God did on those first seven days that started with God’s creation in six days and His resting on the seventh.
- There was only one thing forbidden to Adam and Eve – to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve and Adam preferred to ignore The Creator’s authority and to do the one thing that they were forbidden to do. The consequences of which still continue to beset our whole world, wherever humans exist.
- The next story of the Bible is where a brother kills his own brother for “religious” reasons.
- In those days, people lived long lives, hundreds of years. The earth was prosperous and the weather was perfect, there was no rain. Still the human race rejected the Creator and sinned beyond repair to the point that the Creator regretted that He had created man.
- The only cure for the condition of the world was to delete and reset. To do this the Creator chose not to start over, but to preserve the human race by choosing Noah and his family to be the seed that would restore the human race to a proper relationship with the Lord.
- The next thing you know is that even after the flood, in the land following the salvation of Noah’s family, sin still existed and Noah himself and his son sinned. The flood hadn’t changed human nature or man’s inclination to sin and to disobey the Creator’s program.
- The next thing we hear is that all of humanity unites to depose the Creator from His authority and to seek independence from the authority of the Creator and establish their own authority.
- At the end of this week’s reading the world is still in a sad state, divided beyond repair, estranged from the love of the Creator, and again the mercy and grace of the Lord provides one individual through whom salvation and restoration of relationships between the Creator and His creatures will be eventually accomplished, Abraham! Abraham our father.
Next week we will be reading about Abraham, and how the Creator intended to use this man from Mesopotamia to be a blessing to all nations.
Just look at this short outline and ask yourselves, my dear brothers and sisters the following question:
Where in this scheme of Genesis would you find yourselves?
My personal answer, is this, I would find myself in the Garden – probably as the Snake! I would find myself as a victim of religious aggression like Able, the brother of Cain.
I would find myself a carpenter working with Noah, to build the Ark and complaining every day about my father Noah’s stupidity and the hopeless dreams that would never be fulfilled. I would find myself demonstrating with black and red flags for unity and raising funds to build the tower that would reach Heaven and provide humanity liberty and would be imagining a world without nations like John Lennon.
I would find myself in the land of broken dreams after the fall of the Tower of Babel. Out of desperation I would pack my bag and get ready to roam the earth, depressed and dejected, hopeless and dreamless.
On my way to the great nation of Egypt, the America of the ancient world, I would encounter a large caravan of many camels and donkeys, and a small army led by a wealthy old Iraqi chieftain and his barren old, very bossy wife Sarah, going down to Egypt.
I would ask Eliezer the caravan leader if I could join them on the journey. He would say: “Young man, if you promise not to worship idols, you can join us!” The rest of the story you can put together for yourselves.
The reading from the prophets this week is also full of wonderful and encouraging words of God. Let me just bring you a few of these words that I find as a source of strength:
“‘Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, You who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate Than the children of the married woman,’ says the Lord. ‘Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited. Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.’” – Isaiah 54:1-5 [NKJV]
Thinking of the history of Israel in the last 2000 years, and remembering the suffering of the Jews through the centuries, the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition where Jews were tortured and burned, some alive, in the city squares of Europe. Thinking of the massacres of York, England, and Lion, France, and the expulsions, and pogroms in Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Russia, the Baltic countries, then the Nazi Holocaust.
Then reading Isaiah the prophet’s words spoken and written nearly 2800 years ago! These words are medicine to my soul, and they ought to be a great encouragement to every God fearing believer and disciple of Yeshua the Messiah.
No matter what hardships and difficulties we go through in this world, personal, national, international, it does not matter. God has proven in human history that He keeps His promises.
If there is no other proof, the greatest proof is Yeshua Himself. His birth and life were prophesied hundreds of years earlier His entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey, his death, his burial, his crucifixion, resurrection, ascension to heaven, and His return, are all set in the program for the salvation of the world by the Creator Himself.
As I consider the fulfillment of God’s promises in the Torah, the fulfillment of the bad things that would happen to Israel for their disobedience, and the challenges of today, I feel like getting and dancing for joy when I read the words of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, and all the prophets.
I am filled with faith, and hope and love, for both my fellowman and for the Creator. Knowing that no matter how bad things are for Israel, and for the world, and for my own family and personal health, the Lord is faithful to keep His promises.
The end will be good for all those who love the Lord and who walk with Him on His path. Everything else is just another lesson that the Lord / the Creator is trying to teach us so that we can have a better life now and for eternity.
This of course includes the coronavirus and all the havoc that it is creating throughout the world. This too will come to an end and we might discover that this horrible illness might turn out in the long run to have been for the good of mankind.
This article originally appeared on Netivyah and is reposted with permission.