Torah: Gen 6:9 – 11:32 Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1-55:5 Brit Chadasha: Matthew 24:34-44
Who says we can’t be perfect
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:9
And it came to be when Aḇram was ninety-nine years old, that יהוה appeared to Aḇram and said to him, “I am Ěl Shaddai – walk before Me and be perfect. Genesis 17:1
I always pondered verses like those. I grew up hearing messages about how ‘bad’ the ‘law’ was, how it didn’t work and what not and how nobody could keep it and so forth and so on. But I always scratched my head when I read where the Eternal was commanding folks to be perfect. My thought was if folks can’t achieve perfection then why in the world would the Creator ask us to be/do something that we can’t carry out.
Let’s look at this word that’s translated as perfect in our Scriptures. The Hebrew word is (תמים) taw meem which means to be complete, without blemish, integrity and is also used to mean require nothing more. This passage in Genesis 6:9 is portraying to you and me that Noah was a man of Elohim basically to put it in modern day terms. As I mentioned in last week’s commentary, I believe that Adam and Eve had Torah or at least some form of Torah. I also believe that Noah had some form of Torah as well because he was righteous but also as to what Psalm 119 says.
Blessed are the perfect in the way, who walk in the Torah of יהוה! Psalm 119:1
Here we have a verse referring to those who walk in Torah and the benefits one can gain from being obedient to the Father. The word perfect here is the same word that was used in the passage describing Noah. The Hebrew goes onto say something else interesting. The phrase, in the way, means a course or path that is walked down or it could even be said a mode of life. Hang with me because I am going somewhere with this. There is a Newer Testament passage where Y’shua commands us to be complete. I wanted to add it here for those who think the Newer Testament says or means something new to us today.
“Therefore, be perfect, as your Father in the heavens is perfect. Matthew 5:48
This is very important because of the time that Noah found himself living in. I hear justifications and excuses as to why folks aren’t living right today and many times it is usually brought up about how dark the times we find ourselves living in and the pressure to conform to our friends and the world around us. I don’t want to be harsh here but what about Noah and his family? Couldn’t it be said that they were living in some of the darkest times that the world had known. I mean it was so dark and wickedness prevailed so much that the Creator had to literally wipe mankind off the face of the map save Noah and his family. It had gotten to the point, in my opinion, where wickedness was so prevalent that it was the only thing that was being reproduced. I guess you could say it was multiplying in the earth like gain green.
And the earth was corrupt before Elohim, and the earth was filled with violence. Genesis 6:11
The Hebrew word for corrupt is (ותשׁחת) shaw kath which means to decay. Also, this word is used in the Scriptures in order to point out something that is in a degenerate state and no longer can be reversed. I mentioned that the word means decay so let me give an example from Scripture that will bring that home.
And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Mitsrayim have corrupted themselves. “They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a moulded calf, and have bowed themselves to it and slaughtered to it, and said, ‘This is your mighty one, O Yisra’ĕl, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim!’ ” Exodus 32:7-8
Here we see this same word corrupt being used to point out that the children of Israel had turned away from the commandments of the Eternal. Remember over and over we are taught in the Torah that obedience brings life and blessings and disobedience brings curses and death. What happens when something dies? It begins the process of decay. These were the days that Noah found himself living in and ‘death, corruption and violence’ was all around him and his family.
The Hebrew word for violence is (חמס) cha mas and it said that the earth was full of this. The word violence doesn’t really do justice for you and me when we read this because we have our own definition of what violence is such as murderers, abusers, and aggression and so forth and so on and rightly so these fall under violence. Scripture paints this word in a clearer light though. This word violence paints the picture of unjust gain and is also used as evil to the extent of evading the law. It is even further used to portray how a falcon snatches its prey. Do you remember last week where I pointed out how the Creator commanded the fish to go fill the waters and man was to fill the earth? If not let me refresh your memory. The word fill there is maw law which means to fill up with meaning or give full meaning to and it is the same word that is translated as fulfill in Matthew 5:17. So here we see Scripture telling us that the earth was full, maw law, with unjust gain, evil to the extent of evading the law and folks not caring about anyone else but themselves. The earth was full of this and what happens when a cup fills up? It overflows and no longer can contain what is being placed into it. This is why the Father had to send the flood to ‘cleanse’ if you will the earth because there was more corruption being produced than righteousness in my opinion.
Now we would all want to point the finger at Hollywood and our society and the world around us, and we would be correct in doing so because of all the corruption and wickedness that is around us but I had a little different thought when I read the part about a falcon snatching its prey. Falcons don’t care how deep they dig their talons into their prey when they swoop in to grab them or they don’t care if their prey is going to be injured or traumatized from their attack or even if they cause broken bones to their prey in their attack. How about you and me today when we use our words and even actions against a brother or sister when we swoop down and attack them like they are prey and we don’t care what damage is done because we are in attack mode. Just food for thought because it isn’t always Hollywood or the evil folks around us that help add to the violence in the earth. Again just food for thought; this is why it is so important that we watch what we do and say because we have enough folks adding to the violence daily as it is and it just isn’t healthy for the people of Elohim to strengthen what is going on in this violence filled world in which we find ourselves in today.
Life for the eight of us
On that same day Noaḥ and Shĕm and Ḥam and Yepheth, the sons of Noaḥ, and Noaḥ’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, went into the ark, Genesis 7:13
The Torah over and over talks about those who obey the Father receive life. Well this week we see a clear example of this principle. There were eight people who not only listened to Noah but did what he told them and in essence they were obeying the Eternal because Noah told them what the Father told him. We all know the story of how the family of eight entered the ark and were the only humans who survived the destruction of the flood. I don’t find it being a coincidence that there were eight of them and the number eight represents new beginnings. What an honor, privilege and great responsibility to be the man and family that repopulated the earth after the flood. Not just only that but what a great way for the Creator to continue His plan of restoration using a man who the Scriptures refer to as righteous and complete. This should be an encouragement for us to ‘stay in the ark’ or stay inside the Father’s house because that is where safety, provision, blessings and life is out. Outside of the ‘ark’, the Father’s house, well we saw what happened to those outside.
Bricks or Stones; You Decide
In order to share what I want to share next; I have to thank my good friend Brad Scott for pointing this out to me. So let us look at religion and where it began.
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. The Hebrew word for east is qedem, which in its root form means ancient or old. Here it mentions these folks journeying from the east or better stated going away from the east, going away from the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob. Genesis- 11:1-3
Remember the Garden was planted eastward in Eden and when Messiah returns it will be from the East. So clearly the picture here is folks walking away from the Creator of the Universe. One more point here is before they built the tower, in their hearts they had already walked away from the God of Israel. Shinar was east of the garden.
In verse 4 we see the mention of building a tower. What is interesting here is when their hearts wandered then the next thing was their minds and then the last thing is their behavior starts to express their hearts and minds. We don’t find these folks seeking the counsel of Yahweh asking Him for his advice and input about building a tower that reached to heaven. Possibly there was a doctrine floating around out there that said the day of building stone towers ‘had been done away with’ and a ‘new’ way using bricks took the place of stones. Maybe they felt that all of Yahweh’s Word didn’t really apply to them. We see this pattern today in mankind.
Something very important to note is that this tower was made of bricks instead of stone. Has anyone stopped to think why the Bible is so specific here in distinguishing what the tower was made of? I submit to you that the reason why is the beginning of religions or religious systems!! Why do I say that? Well easy bricks are MAN MADE and stones are God made. Bricks are something that MAN MIXES together to produce and stones are made by God. The picture of what is happening here already happened in the Garden. Why? The whole concept of mixing started there. All Adam & Eve had to do in the Garden was walk around and pick fruit off of trees.
After their disobedience, Scripture says they will eat bread by the sweat of their brow. In order to make bread there has to be a MIXING together of ingredients to form bread. It didn’t grow on trees in the Garden after their disobedience. Yahweh’s purpose from the beginning never has been MIXING this is very evident in the Garden because everything started out PURE. Man has caused the MIXING and this carries us right over to the tower of Babel and the making of the bricks (mixing of things to make something).
Men are to blame and not Yahweh. It has never been His Torah or His instructions that has been the problem. It’s always been MAN that has been the problem. Even in the hard to understand passages in the Newer Test. that many misinterpret. Hebrews 8 is a fine example. I was taught that this chapter was teaching against the Torah or the old covenant until one day I read slowly what it says. Heb 8:8 says for finding fault with THEM… it doesn’t say finding fault with it. So unless the old covenant was a person, which it wasn’t, then this passage has been extremely misinterpreted. The context was referring to PEOPLE (the them) instead of referring to the old covenant. We read what we believe & don’t believe what we read.
Ok back to the tower. Something else interesting is we find them wandering away from the God of Israel and creeping slowly but surely to the days of Noah before the flood. Is this déjà vu? No, we see this today man has wandered away from the Ancient of Days because he hasn’t kept the commandments and is creeping closer to the days of Noah before the flood again. So how does this tie into bricks and stones. Well Peter tells us we are to be living stones. Stones come in all shapes, forms, sizes, colors, and weight.
Bricks on the other hand look exactly the same. So what I submit is you know you are in a religious system or religion when everyone has to believe exactly the same thing, wear certain types of clothing, or when your fellowship tries to wrestle you into conforming to ‘their’ man made images and appearance & doctrines. We are told to conform to the image of Messiah (Rom 8:29) and interestingly enough Scripture doesn’t tell us what He looked like but it does tell us how He functioned. Many folks are more interested in what the form of something is rather than the function. How many times have we judged others just by what clothes they wear or how they might comb their hair? My point is don’t be a brick (mixture); be a living stone that not only conforms to the image of Messiah but functions like Him as well.
Thought for the Week
“For as they were in the days before the flood, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noaḥ entered into the ark, Matthew 24:38