Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lessons from the Book of Noah from Noah the movie

Watch Noah, a movie about a pre-Deluvian man of God. For those who know the Bible, he is the one described by the Ancients as the son of Lamech, a son of Methuselah, the oldest man on biblical record.

The movie is unique because it captures visually, the socio-economic environment depicted in the bible. While watching the movie, you get to feel as if the very milieu where Noah and his family once roamed was re-created before your very eyes.

Russel Crowe played Noah, while other familiar faces acted in the movie.Unlike other Hollywood-sy movies, Noah is simple yet visually affective. Cinematography at its best. The use of special effects is likewise admirable.

What I like about this movie is its faithful rendition of the Biblical version, spiced up by recent archaeology and probably even used The Book of Enoch, a book which, though not included now in the present roster of Books in the Bible remains a very influential one because of it being quoted liberally by several authors of the bible.

Basically, the question that the movie wants resolved is--what defines man?

Is man, a creator, just like God? When Adam sinned, he and his family were banished from the Garden of Eden. God planted him in a place far away. There, the first men laboured and toiled in the earth. Without the grace of God, Adam worked the land, planted seeds and got his nourishment from the fruits of the land.

Watchers or in some places, transliterated to be "angels" were sent by God to "watch over men." In the Bible, some of those who did, lusted upon the women of men and had carnal knowledge with them. They procreated and produced mythical giants of old called Nephilims.

Those angels who watched and eventually helped man worked the land, were banished from heaven and became "watchers." In the Book of Enoch, their sin was they shared knowledge with men. That knowledge, man used to dominate other men. Thus, it led to sin.

Men fought for resources using the tools given to them by the Watchers. Men began killing other men and thus sin increased in the land. Blood was spilt and it spoiled the earth.

Thus, God had no choice but to cleanse the earth of all filth. He then tasked Noah to build the Ark, where he will stay, along with his family and the species that roamed the earth.

Question--why was it that Noah did not include dinosaurs in there? Seems like all those animals included in the ark were of those species which existed after the dinosaur era. Or probably, because of men's sin and greed, they virtually wiped out the dinosaurs during those times?

Going back to the question of what defines man. Is man a creator himself or a servant?

For Noah, man is to serve God without any question. His unwavering faith in God transformed him into what we now term as fundamentalists. Noah, like his great, great grandson Abraham, never tried to question what God intended to do. He is ready to even kill his own kin, if God wanted to.

When his adopted daughter sired two daughters out of wedlock with his son, Shem, in defiance of what God wanted which is the eradication of mankind, Noah was adamant. This was not God wanted, he ranted.

He then resolved upon himself to kill the two babies. Shiloh relented and when at the very moment when he raised his arm to strike those babies, his grand daughters, Noah prevented himself from doing so.

Noah did not muster enough courage to do what God had instructed him to do and that led him to a moment of extreme mortification.

What the film resolved is the fact about free will. Yes, man is to serve God, but this service must be of willingness to do God's bidding. Man must learn not just to serve, but to exercise mercy in circumstances where it is not clear what God really wanted.

God, in His anger, wiped out nearly all creation from the face of the earth. What the movie gave us as a lesson is that love and mercy are two things which God also felt when He allowed the waters to cleanse the earth.