Noah’s New Beginning
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. . . . Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out . . . . Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. . . . Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.
Genesis 6:9; 7:23; 9:20-21
A comic calendar once designated the first two days of the new year like this:
“January 1 — Day for Making New Year’s Resolutions.
“January 2 — Day for Breaking New Year’s Resolutions.”
Maybe most of us feel we can do a little better than that. How often has someone among us — a child, a teenager, even an adult — resolved on January 1 to keep a diary or a daily spiritual journal, and then has kept on writing in it faithfully each day until . . . when? February 1? March 1? May 1?
The problem is, new year’s resolutions just don’t work. The year may be a new year, but the person is still the same old person. It isn’t enough to resolve by sheer willpower to make a new beginning. There needs to be a radical change, a break with the past, a spiritual newness from the inside out.
Noah is among the Bible characters toward whom we are taught to have a generally favorable attitude. Indeed, the Bible says many good things about Noah. If anybody could have made a fresh new start in life, it would seem that Noah could have. After all, didn’t that great flood sweep away all of the old world? Was there any living being left on earth to mar any new beginning that Noah and his family might have been able to make?
The Scriptures are unsparing in the way they show us that even the best among Bible characters were sinful men and women, just as we are. In Noah’s case, he faithfully followed God’s instructions to build and occupy the ark. Once the flood waters had receded, he also followed God’s instructions to be fruitful and multiply.
Strangely enough, it was a type of fruit that marred the fresh new beginning Noah had hoped to make. As so many of us have found out to our sorrow in the years and centuries and millennia since then, God’s good gifts can be so misused as to become a curse instead of a blessing. Case in point: Genesis 9:20-21.
The Bible-based poetic meditation that follows is a sad reminder that good resolutions, even for the best of us, are not good enough. Try seeing things through the eyes of Noah. Then thank God for the life-changing power of Jesus Christ!
Would you like to start all over?
Wash away the time that’s past?
Let me warn you: Think it over.
All that newness may not last.
All my world was drowned in water;
only eight of us came through.
Every parent, son, and daughter
died, and all the world was new.
All those many people perished
for their wicked ways, their sins,
for the evil that they cherished.
Now, with us, new life begins.
Ah! My new life’s resolution
quickly leaked, and now it’s sunk.
What was my great contribution?
I made wine and then got drunk.
Help us, O God, to take warning from the story of Noah. Thank You for the life-changing power of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Copyright © 2014 by Perry Thomas