Thursday, October 22, 2009

Torah Portion Noach


Parasha Noach
·         Genesis 6:9-11:32
·         Isaiah 54:1-55:5,
·         Matthew 24:36-46


The Torah Portion at a Glance
The world is totally consumed with violence and corruption.  So, YHWH instructs Noach, the only righteous man, to build a large wooden ark, called a “teivah” in Hebrew.  The ark is to be coated within and without with pitch. A great deluge, says YHWH, will wipe out all life from the face of the earth; but the ark will float upon the water, sheltering Noah and his family, and each animal species.


Rain falls for 40 days and nights, and the waters churn for 150 days more before calming and beginning to recede. The ark settles on Mount Ararat, and from its window Noah dispatches a raven, and then a series of doves, "to see if the waters were abated from the face of the earth."  When the ground dries completely -- exactly one solar year (365 days) after the onset of the Flood -- YHWH commands Noah to exit the teivah and repopulate the earth.


Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifices to YHWH.  The Almighty swears never again to destroy all of mankind through water because of their deeds, and sets the rainbow as a testimony of His new covenant with man. YHWH also commands Noah regarding the sacredness of life: murder is deemed a capital offense, and while man is permitted to eat the meat of animals, he is forbidden to eat flesh or blood taken from a living animal.


Noah plants a vineyard and becomes drunk on its produce. Two of Noah's sons, Shem and Japeth are blessed for covering up their father's nakedness, while his third son, Ham, is cursed for taking advantage of his debasement.
The descendents of Noah remain a single people, with a single language and culture, for ten generations. Then a group of Noah’s descendents defied their Creator by building a great tower to symbolize their own invincibility; YHWH confuses their language so that "one does not comprehend the tongue of the other," causing them to abandon their project and disperse across the face of the earth, splitting into seventy nations and languages.


This Torah portion concludes with a chronology of the ten generations from Noah to Abram (later Abraham), and the latter's journey from his birthplace of Ur Casdim to Charan, on the way to the Land of Canaan.
(adapted from chabad.org)




The Messiah in the Torah Portion
Noah is a shadow of Messiah.  We read in this week’s portion that Noah was “righteous in his generation.”  This doesn’t mean that he was perfect but that his heart was towards the Almighty.  It is said in Genesis 7:5 that “Noah did all that YHWH commanded him.”  Noah understood the importance of obedience.  He was given specific measurements to follow and he obeyed in all ways.  This is similar to Y’shua the Messiah who came in the Father’s image.  Y’shua said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does,” John 5:19.  What separates Noah and Y’shua is that though Noah’s actions were admirable, he still wasn’t perfect.  The drunkenness of Noah and the events that ensued show a distinct difference between the patriarchs of our faith and Messiah.  Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and others were people of faith and we can learn from their lives.  But, our true example should not be these sinful humans.  Only the Messiah Y’shua is to be our role model and source of inspiration.  We should always look for Y’shua in the lives of the Patriarchs.  The lives of people like Noah simply point to the greatness of Y’shua. 


Finally, Noah saved the world through his boat made of wood.  The ark would be covered inside and out with pitch.  The Hebrew word for “pitch” is “kaphar.”  This Hebrew term is usually translated “atonement” and “ransom” in the rest of the Old Testament. This coating is a picture of the atoning power of Messiah’s blood, which atones for our sins.  The one door on the side of the ark is a picture of the pierced side of Y’shua from which water and blood flowed.  YHWH used wood to save the world with Noah.  The Messiah used wood to save the world through Y’shua.  May we never forget what our Master Y’shua did when he paid the death penalty for sin as he died upon the wooden execution beam.  “”YHWH showed His great love for us like this: while we were still sinners, Messiah died for us,” Romans 5:8.


Applying the Portion to Life Today
When the people of the earth decided to build a tower to the heavens, they were joined together in perfect unity.  They wanted to make a name for themselves.  This is similar to how companies purchase the rights to name a high rise building in major cities (like the Sears Tower in Chicago.)  The Almighty makes an alarming confession regarding the people and their plan.  In Genesis 11:6-7, “YHWH said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."  Here, the Creator recognizes the power of unity. 


They had unity in vision.  The people were not building several cities or several towers.  No, they all agreed to work together for the one purpose.  We read of no one who wanted to have all the glory or build their own tower in their own name.


They had unity in language.  The people all spoke in the same tongue and in a way that each other understood.  This allowed people from various lands to aide in the building.  We read of no one who spoke against this project in an effort to stop the progress.


They had unity in effort.  The people acted upon their desires and began building a structure that could reach into the heavens.  We read of no lazy people who stopped the work.


Much can be learned from such an example as the builders provided.  First, if we desire to reach the heavens then we must choose to have unity.  We must choose to look past the faults, issues, and errors of others for the greater good.  We must accept the Mater’s vision for His people which He expressed in Matthew 28.  This vision hasn’t changed!  Y’shua came to seek and save the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  If we are to be about our Father’s business then we must have a heart for the lost and a vision for restoration.  "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in My Bane, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” Matthew 28:18-20.


Our language must be the same as well if we will walk with unity with other believers.  Our tongue must speak the dialect of the Spirit.  Our words must be the Father’s words, spoken in love at all times.  1 Peter 4:11, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of YHWH.”  Too many times, our words harm other believers as we speak out of prejudice or pain.  “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil,” Proverbs 15:28.  For unity to prevail we must have a common language of hope and love.  Remember that we “overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,” Revelation 12:11.


Finally, our efforts must be unified towards one common goal.  Our goal should not be to build a ministry, gain knowledge, or to even get people saved.  Our goal must be to walk in the authority that Y’shua has given believers and allow the Holy Spirit to draw people towards our witness.  Then, as people are attracted to our life and ask questions about our Torah observance we can direct total attention to Y’shua.  When we are asked about keeping the feast days, clean foods, or various commands we should always point people to the Messiah and make salvation the main issue.  Torah observance doesn’t do anyone any good unless they have a personal relationship with Y’shua and have accepted Him as their Master.  Our common goal must be to lift up Y’shua that He would draw all men unto Himself.  The tower builders had one goal and mind and worked towards accomplishing this.  Our goal should be to present Y’shua to the world through our lives, attitudes, and actions. 


When we do all of this, nothing shall be impossible for us and we can ascend into the very heavens.  Finally, think about a simple molecule of water.  A small droplet of H2O doesn’t have much weight.  One minutely mall trickle of rain can’t do much damage.   But, a flood comes as a rain molecules come together in large mass.  This is the power of unity.  Together we have power to change the world.  Have you helped build unity in your assembly?  Have you ever hurt the unity within a family or a group of believers?  A believer must choose to walk in unity with others.  This choice for unity superseded minimal differences in opinion, doctrine, and personality.   Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity.  Indeed, “YHWH says, ‘“I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place,’” Isaiah 28:17.


Portion Points to Ponder

  1. From whose lineage is Noach from?
  2. Noah was “righteous in his generation.”  This could mean that each generation has a level of sanctification.  If Noah lived today, would he be considered righteous?  If you lived during Noah’s time, would you be considered righteous in his generation?
  3. Did Noah take two of every animal into the ark? 
  4. Read Genesis7:2.  Why is it taught that all animals came two by two when the Scriptures insist different?
  5. What purpose would there be in taking more clean animals than unclean animals on to the ark?
  6. Why would Noach be told to create a window into the ark?
  7. What type of animals did Noach sacrifice to YHWH?
  8. How long did the rain waters pour down from heaven?  Why is this number symbolic?
  9. In the story of Noah and the ark, what type of people were destroyed and who was left behind? 
  10. What language did the entire world speak before the tower of Babel?
  11. Noach and his family were saved from destruction.  Did Noah’s righteousness redeem his family?
  12. Where did the ark rest after the flood?  Where is this mountain today?
  13. In Genesis 1:28 Adam and Eve are told to “be fruitful and multiply.”  This same phrase is spoken to Noach after the flood.  How is Noach like Adam?  Does this precept apply today?  How?
  14. What does it mean that Noah’s nakedness was uncovered?
  15. Where did the descendents of Shem camp after the flood? 
  16. What language did the entire world speak before the Tower of Babel?  (Hint, this is the language of creation that YHWH spoke to Adam and Adam taught his children.)
  17. What group of people left the east to make a name for themselves?
  18. Where the descendents of Shem part of the rebellion that built the tower of Babel?
  19. What language did the descendents of Shem speak after the fall of the tower?
  20. Who was Nimrod?  What does it mean to be a “mighty hunter before YHWH?”
  21. Is there a connection between the tower of Babel and Babylon? 
  22. What did you learn from this Torah portion that you didn’t know before? 
  23. How can you apply this Torah portion to your life this week?
  24. What does the rainbow symbolize in the Torah portion?  What does the rainbow symbolize today? 
  25. The Biblical covenant of Noah is symbolized by the rainbow to never again destroy the world by water.  What does this covenant mean today?
  26. What does this Torah portion state about Abram?
  27. Read Isaiah 54:1-55:5.  How does this section of scripture relate to the Torah portion this week?
  28. Read Matthew 24:36-46 and discuss why this would be paired with our current reading.
  29. There are seven specific commands given in the creation and flood account that relate to man.  These are called the Noachide laws and some sects of Judaism teach that a Gentile can become righteous if he obeys these precepts.  Is this true?  Review and discuss these laws in relation to holy living, salvation, and the resurrection of Messiah.  The laws are as follows:

Murder is forbidden.
Theft is forbidden.
Incestuous and adulterous relations are forbidden.
Eating the flesh or blood of a living animal is forbidden.
Idolatry is forbidden.
Cursing the name of HaShem is forbidden (Blasphemy).
Mankind is commanded to establish courts of justice.




The Open Bible is a teaching series written by Daniel Rendelman of Emet Ministries.  Find more teachings, audio messages, videos, and music at www.emetministries.com


Daniel Rendelman is the found and leader of Emet Ministries and the author of the book “Finding the Truth.”  He, his wife, and five children live in Newberry, South Carolina.  He can be reached at emetministries@gmail.com

No comments:

Post a Comment