Genesis 8:1-10:32 There are no heroes
I don’t think the way we teach the Bible to children is all that helpful. Many people were taught that the people in the Bible were heroes of the faith. But, when you actually read about these heroes, you realize that they were usually pretty bad people. This throws modern people for a loop–if the people in the Bible are supposed to be heroes, then why are they such bad people?
Here’s another way to look at it, however: what if the point is not that the people in the Bible are all that great–what if the point is that God uses flawed people for his good purposes? “God writes straight with crooked lines.”
And, don’t worry if the Flood story seems strange–it is strange. Focus on what the story is telling us….
8:2 – In Genesis 1, God is pictured as shutting up the waters of chaos and giving order to a disordered universe. In the Flood story, God is unmaking what he’s made, and the waters of chaos are allowed to rush back in. But then, God pushes the waters back again, and dry land appears again. One of the things the Noah story is about is the promise that God will never destroy the world out of anger, no matter how much we might deserve it.
9:3-5 – Originally, God’s intention was that humans be vegetarians, but here, God gives them animals to eat.
9:6 – Killing a human is forbidden because humanity bears the image of God. Human life’s sacred.
9:20-9:27 – Several things are going on here. First, though Noah is a good man, he’s not perfect, as this bizarre episode shows. Whatever happens in the tent, it’s not a good thing. Also, note that sin can’t be washed away by a flood, because sin is in every human heart, even the so-called good people, like Noah.