Noah, and all the bible I found there

This was initially shared as a Facebook Note, but due to the number of shares it was getting I thought I’d post it here as well. 

I saw Noah last night and thought it would be fun, and hopefully helpful for some, to recall some of the parts I found to be very  biblical.These are just some quick thoughts that come to mind as I think of the movie and it’s biblical story, found in Genesis 6-9. I’m sure there are more, and I’m sure there are plenty of artistic liberties taken. When I go to movies, I don’t expect to receive sound biblical theology from Hollywood. I go to be entertained and to be extorted by popcorn and Coke prices. With Noah, however, I was both entertained and pleasantly surprised by how much bible I found there. But with any movie taken from pages in our most sacred of books, I hope it causes you to turn to the primary source, as it did for me.  Don’t go to the movies to get your bible on when we have in our hands – and take for granted –  what Noah would have died for to have in his. 

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1. Creator. The name “God” does not make an appearance in this film, but “Creator” is named numerous times. It is very clear in the movie that there is a Being which created all that is, and that this Being has a will and a plan for Creation. It would have been unbiblcal for Noah to have called this Being “God” because the name for God does not come till many, many years later to Moses.  The movie reminded me that Noah didn’t have a bible to refer to while he was alive and had far less revelation than we have today about who God is and how God acts.

2. Veggies. Noah and his family, who are called “good,” eat only the plants and seeds of the land. The “wicked,” who are called Sons of Cain, eat meat. Noah is obeying the commands of Creator as found in Gen. 1:29, where the Creator gave Adam and Eve all the plants and seeds for food, but not animals. It is not until after the flood that the Creator grants permission to eat meat (9:3).

3. Evil. I thought the movie made it clear that the reason the Creator was sending this flood was to wipe out humankind due to their wickedness and to begin again. A number of times there were flashbacks to Cain’s murder of his brother Abel and reference to the evil that spread through the land due to Adam and Eve’s first transgression.

4. Nephilim. These are called “sons of God” in Gen. 6:4 and are mentioned again in Numbers 13:33. The Hebrew word literally means “giants” and these “Watchers,” as the movie called them, were as good a guess as to what they were like as any one else’s. I thought they gave a plausible account to how Noah might have built such a huge boat.

5. Heavy. In the biblical story we are not told much, if anything, of Noah’s thoughts or feelings. The movie depicts Noah as being very heavy-hearted and burdened by the task given him. And no wonder! Noah watched the world, and everything in it, die, while only he and his family and the animals on the ark survived. If I were in his shoes I would have had nightmares over the screams heard outside the ark as people drowned. I would have wondered, “Why me? What good am I that I should be saved?”  and I would have second-guessed all the time whether what I was doing was right (remember, Noah didn’t have a bible).   I appreciated this interpretive look into the heart and mind of Noah, which I think rings true. If you are expecting a story of hope and joy and butterflies and rainbows, where Noah is excited about watching the world drown while he pets sheep, you will be disappointed, and, I believe, recalling unbiblical renderings of the story from our green felt-board days in Sunday school.

6. Cross. My favorite line in the movie was when Noah, wrestling with being obedient to the Creator above all else, says, “We have been entrusted with a task far greater than our own desires.” What a beautiful foretaste of the Cross of Jesus Christ and the calling of everyone who bears His name! Whether the director intended this or not, he put in the mouth of Noah words which echo throughout all of Scripture: That obedience to God is more important than the desires of our flesh. All who wish to follow Jesus must live by these same words.

 

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4 thoughts on “Noah, and all the bible I found there

  1. Really great points- except for the one about the Watchers. I thought that was dumb, some kind of crazy nod to the idea of aliens. It took Noah 100 years to build the ark, so I think other options might have been plausible.
    I really appreciate that you posted this,Chad! I bawled my eyes out over the twins, Ham’s trials, Noah’s confusion about yhe heart and mind of the Creator, etc.
    I think it is also noteworthy and interesting how the women know God through the men, while the women live oriented toward the men. Very intetesting and accurate portrayal- I really wish men could get this.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, the Watchers were a bit fantastical, but I cut them some slack on it. I have no clue what the Nephilim really looked like, and imagine we will all be surprised one day when we know 🙂

      Yes, the part about the twins was heart-wrenching. We have no idea what really happened while they were on the ark for so long, but the story-line the movie portrays is one of deep struggle between doing what we want to do vs. what God wants. I loved how in the end, he chose mercy, and his daughter-in-law tells him that this is why God chose to save him, because he knew his heart. If the director was trying to make an unbiblical film, he failed (though I suspect that is all a marketing ploy to drum up business – and it worked!)

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