By Rev. Dr. Rick Chesher
We all love the story about Noah. Those of us that were brought up in church from our childhood have heard the story of Noah a number of times in our lives. It has become a familiar story to us, most of us could tell from memory. And yet maybe it is that familiarity of the story that caused me to miss some very exciting facts about the story.
I always find it exciting when I find new things in the Scriptures I have been studying for years. It means I have really dug and worked to get there in my mind. But it also means that Yahweh is taking me to a new level in my walk with Him, for it is Him and His Spirit who are the revelators of His Word to us.
This whole excitement has to do with really just a few verses in Genesis chapter 6. The first verse is verse 9. Yahweh (God) calls Noah righteous and blameless. The first means to be right in Yahweh’s eyes, but the word blameless tells us why He was right with Yahweh. Blameless means Noah had integrity with Yahweh’s law. So this tells us we can be seen by Yahweh to be righteous and blameless if our life is a life of integrity with Yahweh’s law. This explains why Noah was chosen for the task of this story, because his integrity with the law was above all of his generation.
As exciting as it is to learn how to be view as righteous and blameless, it is equally as exciting to me to find out what that brings in the life of those who do. This next part is found in verse 14 of chapter 6. Noah is told to build an ark. This word ark means box in the Hebrew. Now I got excited because I thought it was in reference to the Ark of the Covenant we found taught with the Exodus story with Moses. So I went to check it out. The word ark there also means box, but it is a different Hebrew word altogether.
Now this was perplexing to me, so I started to dig deeper to see what happen there. That is when I found it. The same word for ark in the Noah account is connected to another great story all of us have heard about. This word is the same word used for the basket Moses was put in when He was a baby and Pharaoh’s daughter pulled him from the Nile. Both had to do with a place of protection from judgment. Noah was saved from Yahweh’s judgment on the earth, and Moses was saved from man’s judgment against His people. Just two more observations I want to share about the Noah story. The pitch he was to uses, in the Hebrew means to cover and to atone for, and the word gopher wood means to house in. Both describe how Yahweh takes care of His people.