The much-anticipated movie “Noah” debuted this past week-end. The film was a #1 box-office hit, raking in $44 million. Director Darren Aronofsky, an avowed atheist, created controversy by saying his film was “the least biblical, biblical movie ever made.”
Reaction has been mixed, both among critics and Christians.
“This is a Noah for the 21st century, one of the most dazzling and unforgettable biblical epics ever put on film, wrote, Richard Roeper, for The Chicago Sun-Times.
“If you are looking for a biblical movie, this is definitely not it,” said Glenn Beck.
Movie goers also had varied reactions.
“I expected a Sci-Fi movie, and that’s what I got,” said one man.
One lady complained that “Noah” was “like a slap in the face to religious people.”
“It was Sci-Fi, but it also had a grain of truth to it” comment another lady.
I’ve haven’t seen the movie. But I did reread Genesis 6-9. Here are 9 things I know from the narrative that adds up to more than “just a grain of truth.”
(1) Sin Messes up Mankind.
The Bible says that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen 6:5)
The problem was not pollution, or environmental. The problem was sin. Sin afflicts the heart. Pollutes the mind. Affects society. Sin ruins lives.
(2) God is Grieved by Sin.
When God looked upon the wickedness of the world, he felt sorrow. God is not pleased with sin. Nor does he overlook, or rationalize it.
Yes, God is love. But He hates sin. If I’m to be more like God, I need to love righteousness and hate wickedness.
(3) Noah Believed God.
He was a man of faith. Faith in God. Faith in His Word. And faith in His promises (Heb 11:7).
God’s Word produces faith (Rom. 10:17). “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Heb 11:1). Through faith Noah received God’s approval. And so do we!
(4) Noah Obeyed God.
Faith alone is not enough.God told Noah to build an ark out of gopher wood. He gave the exact specifications. And Noah obeyed. He built it exactly as God said. Without addition. Or subtraction.
This life lesson is simple. Faith works. Acts. Obeys. Faith does precisely what God says. Period.
(5) Noah was a Person and Preacher of Righteousness.
Darren Aronofsky portrayed Noah as a man subject to weakness. Of course, we know that. All people sin. None of the heroes of faith were without fault. Yet Noah was a righteous man. Upright. And just.
And he preached righteousness (2 Pet 2:5). Noah was not a violent, vindictive, or vicious man. Not according to the Bible. Noah is an example of godliness to us.
(6) God’s Patience is Limited.
God is longsuffering. For 120 years people were given the opportunity to repent. But finally God’s forbearance ended. The door of the ark was shut.
Today, God patently waits for us to come to Him. But time will end. The Lord will return. And the “door will be shut.”
(7) God Punishes the Disobedient.
Other people could have boarded the ark. But they chose to ignore Noah’s preaching. So, what happened to those outside the ark? They were lost!
How could a loving God allow people to be lost? Only when they refuse to believe and obey Him!
(8) God Blesses the Righteous Person.
Noah found favor with God. He “walked with God.” He influenced his family to be godly. And they were rewarded for their righteousness.
Today, God calls us to get in “the ark of safety.” To be a part of his “chosen people.” To trust him. Obey him. Serve Him.
(9) Good and Evil Continue to Co-exist
Today the world is filled with wickedness. Vice. And perversion. However, “in times like these, it pays to recall, there have always been times like these.”
Jesus said the people then were like those in Noah’s day. Eating. Drinking. Marrying. Going about their lives with little regard for God. And so it is today.
The narrative of Noah teaches me some simple, but valuable lessons. Let’s not get sidetracked by the fallacies in the film. God lives. Loves. And cares! But also punishes. He wants us to turn from sin and receive His saving grace.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman