There’s been a lot of talk about the new movie ‘NOAH’ that features Russel Crowe as the patriarch himself. Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it:
The worry that people have is that Hollywood won’t be true to the actual narrative of the story. But since we haven’t seen it yet (it doesn’t come out until the end of March) we really don’t know if they are going to butcher it or not. What we do know is that the story spanned over 100 years in the Bible and that leaves Hollywood a lot of room to play.
My specific concern about Hollywood’s recreation of this movie is one borne out of my own experience. When I was in Sunday School as a wee little child, I remember being taught the Biblical account of Noah and the flood. I remember being taught that God was going to flood the world and he commanded Noah to build a massive ark. So Noah and his family built the ark and along the way they warned people that there was a great flood coming and they only way to be saved was to be on the ark. But the people mocked Noah and his family, not believing him one iota. So when the rains finally came and God flooded the earth, they all perished because they didn’t believe Noah.
Now if that’s the story they tell, I will be greatly disappointed. Why? Because that simply isn’t what happened. Allow me to walk you through it. It starts here in Genesis 6:3:
And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
120 years is how long it will be before God floods the earth. Let’s pick up Genesis 6:5-8:
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
We see here that it was God’s intention to destroy everything and everyone because man had become so evil, so evil that it grieved His heart. But Noah was the only one who found favor with God.
It makes another reference to this a few verses later in Genesis 6:11-13:
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
God then proceeds to tell Noah how to build the ark. In the midst of that he says this to Noah in Genesis 6:17-18:
And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark — you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
So far God makes no mention of anyone being saved from the flood except Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives. It continues in Genesis 7:1:
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.
Still just Noah and his household. Notice in all of this God never tells Noah to go warn people that a great flood is coming. And the Bible never records Noah having done this. Here’s even more proof from the very mouth of Jesus in Matthew 24:37-39:
For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
So the world had no idea that the flood was even coming until it was already upon them. And this was obviously by design. God intended that all should die except Noah and his family.
So why was I taught in Sunday School that Noah tried to warn the people? I don’t know really. But I suspect it’s because people have such a hard time with God’s absolute justice, that by His own intention God destroyed every person on the face of the earth without even a warning, with no one to say here is your last chance to repent and be saved.
After all we live in a day and age where many people think that everyone will be welcomed into the gates of Heaven no matter how foolish they were on the earth. They believe that God can’t be so unloving that he would send people to eternal damnation just because they didn’t know Him. Surely, they think, He will have compassion on his own creation.
But this doesn’t represent the God of the Bible and I think people have a hard time with this. It’s also possible that since my Sunday School teachers were teaching this to children, that they changed the story to make God sound more loving. Again, these are just my suspicions.
Either way, I find many believe this false story and I just hope it doesn’t become part of the movie. I hope that Hollywood gets it right. We shall see.