You're Not [Noah]
We left off last time with Adam and Eve exiled from the Garden and one of their sons murdered. Like his mother and father, Cain was mastered by sin and took what was forbidden, this time the life of his brother. He is cursed and flees further into exile. 1 John 3v12 tells us that Cain was "of the evil one"; he was a seed of the serpent.
We know that Abel can't be the promised seed of Genesis 3:15; his blood has soaked into the ground, crying for justice.
The rest of Genesis 4 shows us that there is also no hope from cursed Cain's House as his descendants are even more violent than him.
God Chooses Noah
But there is another son, Seth, and the story draws our focus on to his House as they begin to call on the name of the Lord. Eventually, in the house of Seth, Noah is born and a prophecy is spoken over him at his birth (Genesis 5:28-29):
"This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, caused by the ground which the Lord has cursed."
Noah would bring relief from the curse of Genesis 3:17-19. In other words, Noah is being presented as the potential Seed of the Woman. The next chapter tells us that Noah found grace or favour in the eyes of the Lord and that he was a righteous, blameless, faithful man who walked with God (6v8-9).
God, because of the spread of evil, tells Noah that He is going to stop holding back the waters and allow them to collapse, destroying the earth and everything on it. He commands Noah to build a way of salvation for his house.
After the earth is destroyed, the breath of God hovered over the waters again, just like in Genesis 1 (1v2, 8v1) and out of them came the earth once more; a new creation. Because of Noah's sacrifice God declares that He will never flood the earth again (8v20-22, 9v8-17). Noah is then given the same blessed command as Adam and Eve; to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (1v28, 9v1). He plants a vineyard and begins to work and keep it.
Surely Noah is the one, right!? He has brought his house into new creation, under the covenant blessing of God! Surely he will bring us relief from the curse.
Sadly, Noah's story doesn't end there. Noah, the head of this new humanity, instead of ruling over creation, takes fruit, gets drunk and creation rules over him (9v20-21). Sin has not been dealt with. The serpent is still loose.
Then, as Cain is warned that sin is crouching at the door of his tent, one of the sons of Noah, Ham, crouches into the door of his father's tent to see his nakedness.
Adam, the head of humanity, falls in the garden by taking fruit and the line of his murderous son is builds a cursed city of violence
Noah, the head of new humanity, falls in the vineyard by taking fruit and the line of his lustful son spreads an empire of violence
Noah is a failed deliverer and this new creation project has died before it even got started. He cannot be the one who will bring humanity back into a perfect relationship with God again. We need someone who won't allow creation to control him.
You Are/Aren't Noah
Noah, even though he failed, is remembered as a righteous person (Ezekiel 14v14, 20). The author of Hebrews points to what Noah did as an example of faith (11v7). We, however, are not Noah, we are the ones who need a Noah.
We need a Noah who will:
walk in perfect obedience to God, finding favour in His sight
build a way of salvation for his house, saving us from God's just wrath
successfully intercede for a sinful humanity, appeasing the righteous anger of God
bring us into new creation blessing, giving us comfort from the curse
The point of Noah's story isn't for us to ask the question of whether God is asking us to do something for him that we don't understand, but do by faith anyway. The point of his story is to show us that we need someone like him, but better.
Like Noah failed, so we too have failed. We too have been ruled over by our passions and desires. What we share in common with Noah is our need of a greater Noah.
Like Noah, Jesus found favour in the eyes of the Father (Luke 2v40, 52).
Just as the dove hovered over the new creation after the flood, so the Spirit, when Jesus was baptised by John in the Jordan, descended upon Him in the form of a dove. Jesus is the bringer of the true New Creation.
Through His perfect obedience Jesus has built a way of salvation for His House. Through His accepted sacrifice His House now enjoys the covenant blessing of God. Jesus is the One who truly brings relief and comfort from the curse.
Part 1 - You're Not [Insert Name Here]
Alan Campbell is from Northern Ireland. He pastors at Union Chapel, Bath. He is passionate about equipping believers to engage the Post-Christian world and helping them to root their identity more and more into the person and work of Jesus. He is married to Victoria.