Darren Aronofsky made a valiant effort to tell the story of Noah in a fashion worthy of Hollywood. His 2014 film, starring Russell Crowe as Noah, certainly has its flaws. No one would dispute that the filmmakers took considerable liberties with the biblical account. Nevertheless, this telling of the story captures something that people often overlook: Noah, like all the rest of us, walked hesitantly through life trying to understand what he had been created and commissioned to do. With the hindsight of four millennia we assume that our Creator held a conversation with Noah at the start of the project in which He explained everything that Noah needed to know about the task of saving humanity in a giant boat. And yet Russell Crowe’s portrayal is something entirely different. He shows us a very human Noah who, like us, hears from the Lord only imperfectly, and must move forward one step at a time as he receives additional information through various means, including the wise counsel of his elders. And there is something else: we learn that Noah and the people with him were active participants in the story, and that the outcome very much depended on their decisions and actions. The Lord God indeed had a plan, and an ideal way for that plan to be implemented, but then, as now, it is imperfect human beings who shape and carry out that plan.
This is the first Shabbat (Sabbath) of a new Torah cycle. Each year, Jews and Messianic believers in Yeshua go through the Torah (the Books of Moses) and the Haftorah (selected passages from the other books of the Tanakh (Old Testament)) in weekly portions. The portion for this week is Beresheet, “In the Beginning”.
The world’s first truly global conflict, known in Europe as the Seven Years’ War and in America as the French and Indian War, was a disaster for France. By the war’s end in 1763, France had ceded the vast territories of Canada and Louisiana to England and Spain. And yet it was not a complete disaster; the Treaty of Paris which ended the war left France with its most prized possession: the Caribbean sugar island of Guadeloupe. Great Britain had won control over both Guadeloupe and Canada during the war, and in the peace negotiations the British deemed Canada more strategically valuable to their empire. But Guadeloupe had proven more valuable economically, producing more income for France than all the fur collected by trappers and traders in Canada, and all the sugar produced by Britain’s own island colonies. King Louis XV, therefore, was quite willing to trade a vast empire for this small island.
A similar transaction appears in Scripture, when the Lord explains what He is ready to do to redeem a people He deems more valuable than all the nations of the earth:
Would it make any difference in how we live our lives if we are about to go through the end of the world? Some people would call the end of the world the Great Tribulation. In truth, the Tribulation is not really the “end of the world”, but it is the end of this particular time period. The Bible explains that the world continues after that, but with Yeshua ruling it directly from Jerusalem. (If you would like to know a little more about that, check out the post, “Give Me A Place Where I May Dwell”.)
- Some super-powerful being named God made the universe and everything in it.
- Every human being has a choice to believe this or not, but whichever way you choose, make sure you understand why you made the choice.
- If you believe it, you should not have any trouble believing what’s in the rest of the Bible.
- God put human beings in charge of the earth for the purpose of making it orderly and productive, and every one of us still has that same purpose.
- God intended to train our ancestors Himself so that they could handle the responsibility of knowing the difference between good and evil and use that knowledge properly.
- Our ancestors chose to cut God’s training plan short and grab knowledge for themselves by eating from the tree that made them super smart, knowing good and evil.
- Since our ancestors disobeyed God, all of us humans after them have followed their example by choosing to set up our own standards of right and wrong rather than follow God’s standards.
Fox Byte #4 examined how our ancestors in the Garden of Eden chose to educate themselves on the knowledge of good and evil rather than get that knowledge in the way God intended. How big of a problem was it that Adam and Eve decided to cut short God’s training program and grab the “godlike” status of knowing good and evil? Even if they were not quite ready to handle all the truth at the moment they acquired it, would they have grown into it eventually?
Well, maybe not.
Here’s the problem: knowing the difference between good and evil is not just an intellectual exercise. Once you have that knowledge, you are responsible for it. That means not only that you must recognize what is good and what is evil, but you also must make a judgment on which to choose. Please click here to continue reading
If Adam and Eve were made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), then God made them super smart in the first place. After all, God made them to be in charge of the whole earth and keep it in order. They would have to be really smart to do that. But if they were so smart, what was the point of that tree in the garden? Please click here to continue reading