Noah – The World of the Text

This week in our reading we are continuing to look at the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11.  We will be looking at Noah as found in Genesis 6 and 7.

5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord.
9 These are the descendants of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Today we are going to look at the World of the Text for the first section of reading, Genesis 6: 5-9.

This text shares some similarities of the Cain and Able story from last week in how the language communicates what exactly is happening.  Last week the text make great efforts to show the difference between Able and Cain’s offering, this week the text goes to great lengths to shows us just how evil things had become.

Notice the cascading of evil in this passage: wickedness was great, every inclination, thoughts of their hearts, evil, all the time.  Each of these passages hammers home to us, over, and over, it’s really bad.  Look how far it’s come since the garden. We are shown here that the sin of Cain has engulfed the entire world, the entire creation.

Ok, what is this sin though?  There were no laws given yet, either divine or human, so they were were not breaking an established code.  What were they doing?  They were violating the code of conscious, the internal right, and wrong that each of us has. That conscious that the Lord has placed upon all of us.  In this passage, we see that right/wrong is not dependant upon laws that are written, but that right/wrong, i.e. sin, is much, much deeper than that.

What happens because of this?  We see that God is grieved.  Now, remember the Old Testament is in Hebrew, the New Testament is in Greek, so many of the words/phrases do not have perfect comparisons in the original language. But the grief alluded to here is very similar to the concept we later in the New Testament when we are wanted not the “grieve the Holy Spirit.” It is painful to God when we as humans know the right thing, know the difference between right and wrong and still choose wrong. That is a pain to God.

So, God is ready to start off. But we see that Noah stood out.  He found favor with God  Why?  We’ll see tomorrow.

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