Saturday, February 01, 2014

OT #6: Noah Prepared an Ark to the Saving of His House

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine lesson #6: "Noah Prepared an Ark to the Saving of His House"

You may read my 2010 post on this lesson here.

Sons of God vs Sons of Men

Ancient texts tell us that angels fell from heaven, bringing with them the secrets of heaven to corrupt and use for selfish purposes here on earth. According to scholar Margaret Barker, these fallen angels were once righteous men who were considered divine beings (angels), but then mixed with the sons of men and became animals (mortals). In one sense, Adam went from being a man to an animal when he fell and was cast out of the Garden.  Yet, because of his repentance, he was again saw as an angel or Son of God.

In Noah's world, most of the sons of God escaped by entering into Enoch's city, a cosmic ark, and being translated into heaven. Noah, however, did not have the great power to move mountains as did Enoch. His strength was in preparing the ark so that a remnant of the sons of God could remain on earth after its destruction.

However, even with the children of Noah's sons were problems.  They were starting to go astray, marrying themselves to the sons of men.  These are the same ones whose giants tried to kill Noah, and now were marrying and giving in marriage to those outside of the faith.  Worse, their daughters were marrying those who served and kept secret combinations.
And when these men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, the sons of men saw that those daughters were fair, and they took them wives, even as they chose.
 And the Lord said unto Noah: The daughters of thy sons have sold themselves; for behold mine anger is kindled against the sons of men, for they will not hearken to my voice. (Moses 8:14-15)
Two trees: the tree of life versus the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Two Gods: Jehovah and Lucifer. Two covenants: faith in God or faith in the devil. Two lifestyles: righteous or wicked.

Why would Noah's granddaughters and others reject his teachings and embrace the world? Because they became convinced that it was not wicked.  They could see good things in the world that made them feel special or important. Pretty clothing enticed them, and the inventions of the Watchers (the fallen angels) made life easier and more exciting.  Their period of time was as confusing and challenging as today's world.  Youth today do not think that sex outside marriage is sinful. Sex and violence are ever present in the world today in movies, video games, music, and tweets.  Putting oneself in the center of the universe seems better than losing oneself in service to God and others.  The knowledge of this world makes God's wisdom seem foolish and antiquated. 

Our world has tasted of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil and now are convinced they may be as the Gods knowing good and evil.  Sadly, the fruit of that tree places them in the path of physical and spiritual death, as the concepts learned can easily be corrupted and used for evil and selfish purposes by anyone and everyone.  For the sons of men in Noah's day, their lives caused them to mock and hate Noah the prophet. They refused to enter the ark, and so forfeited their only chance at life, because they thought they were smarter.

Noah's ark becomes a tree of life, filled with animals and birds, food to eat, and with salvation and new life at the end of the Flood. Only those within the ark would survive the ordeal - and it was an ordeal as life is extremely difficult.

After the Flood, the animals moved off the ark and into a new world, representing the presence of God.  It was like stepping through the veil and into the celestial room of a temple, where all was pristine and life was new and fresh.  It was a new Creation, as the ark passed through the Chaos of the waters, its passengers baptized by the giant waves crashing against the little ship. The Chaos dragon was conquered again, as the ark settled down.  A dove returned with an olive branch, showing that the tree of life preceded them to the new Eden.

The Nations

Gerhard Von Rad tells us that the establishment of the 70 Nations by God, each receiving its own divine Lord to rule over it, may seem out of place in a story focused on the Creation of the people of God.  Jehovah would reserve Israel for itself, and yet Israel would not be a people for several more centuries!  This story seems to contradict a second story, wherein the Tower of Babel still has the people gathered together, suggestive of two different writers (Documentary Hypothesis).

At this point, the Lord seems pleased with the re-population of the world through the 70 Nations.  Yet if we are to combine the two stories, we find that with Nimrod, the Nations suddenly seem to gather together to again establish secret combinations.  It is in confounding the languages at the Tower of Babel that God prevents mankind from uniting again in the great violence and evil they once did before the Flood.

And yet, we see that the people of Babel are eager to use their knowledge of construction, war and other talents to  cast God out of heaven.  This is a second attempt at a war in heaven, as Satan tries to use humans as his army to cast down God.

With the Table of Nations, Jehovah has chosen Israel as his own. Yet, as I noted, Israel does not yet exist. The Lord will choose Abram as his only son in beginning a path that would one day flood the earth with the Bible and the story of God's people.


The Tree of Life: The Fragrant Tree, Margaret Barker in The Tree of Life: From Eden to Eternity, ed John Welch and Donald Parry

 Old Testament Theology, vol 1. Gerhard Von Rad.

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