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I have been intrigued for many years by storms…scared of them, too. They cause a great deal of trouble in our lives. They also have great displays of power. In ways, it is not hard to see why people would associate storms with the work of gods. The storms that are in the Bible have interesting stories to tell. Over the course of some of my next few posts, I would like to discuss some of them.
One of the most well known storms in the Bible had a lot of water…the flood with Noah. There is an element in this story that intrigues me. And please, bear with me a bit. When you read Genesis you need to keep in mind, these stories were originally kept alive orally…they were spoken, probably around a campfire. One aspect of Genesis that most people loathe is the family tree list…the “these are the generations of” passages. Some scholars would describe these as the “toledoth”. The way the passages read put many to sleep. Oddly enough, in the original languages there are usually little nuggets of interest hidden away in these lists.
Years ago, I was reading through the early chapters of Genesis in my Reader’s Hebrew Bible. Little sidebar here, the Reader’s bible has the words that appear 65 times or less footnoted with their meanings and the proper names are glossed (I will provide Amazon links). It is helpful to students. I use mine on occasion still. I have done work in the Hebrew bible, also. I would like get a copy of a parallel text of the English and Hebrew running side by side. I think that would work best for me in worship. Reason being that if you get lost in the language text because of lack of vocabulary skills, you can keep up with the English version. Ok, sidebar over.
While I was reading in Genesis, I was in chapter 5 going through the family tree of Noah. So, I come across this passage of ‘this one bore this child and he married and had many sons and daughters’ (repeat…times infinity). Of course in Hebrew it has a rhythm, too. So, I am reading along and I come to, and this one “had a son, and he named him Noah.” Now, outside of the change in text to the English ear that is not that big of a deal. To the Hebrew listening, they would heard the change sooner than “Noah”. The word for “son” in Hebrew is different in it’s plural and singular forms. Hebrew adds an “-im” (sounds like “eem”) to the end of masculine plural words. The rhythm changed dramatically pointing some significance to this child.
Noah was asked by God to something really strange according to societal norms. A farmer building a boat for a flood on dry land would have been really weird. Then, you add that it is a big boat and it gets even stranger. There are a great deal of supernatural happenings in this story. But it also tells the human story of arrogance that leads to destruction.
From a very basic perspective, the rising waters of a flood can be devastating. The Weather Channel offers continuous warnings about rising water and it only takes a few inches to disrupt travel or cause your car to hydroplane or sweep a human off of their feet. The point?? It only takes a little water to throw you off balance or take your life.
The science of a flood is described as a great amount rain falling at once. We often use the word “flood” in psychology. “I was flooded with memories.” “The grief came on me like a flood.” The events happen quickly, and many people are not prepared for the onslaught of emotions. We often use the same terms as scientists interchangeably. The events “rained down on me”. Noah and his family survived because they followed God’s instructions. Was it easy? Of course not. Was it painful and scary? Probably. But, they survived.
We will always encounter “flood like” events in our lives. Getting through them is never easy. God will provide instruction and provision for us. Many times we may not be able to see it in the moment. God is always there though. Fight to trust in Him in the hard times. And be patient, He will remind you of His presence. You will also have to lean on others in those times, too. You cannot make it alone.
I haven’t posted in a while because i have been working on how to make some money with this. I have missed the writing part. Glad to be back at it. I will have to take breaks periodically to handle the business side of things. I have a regular job, now. So, until I am able to possibly do this full time…it will be like this. 😦
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