Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Insight On Noah

Last weekend Debbie and I saw the movie “Noah” Here is the disclaimer the producers captioned as the film began,

”The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.

The last sentence is certainly true, of course, but what about the rest of the statement? In one sense, the film was inspired by the biblical account of Noah. It has Noah, an ark, a flood, and some other names from the Bible. But the film could have certainly been way more “true to the essence, values and integrity” of the account of Noah in Genesis chapters 6-9.

For example there are many mythical additions like rock creatures that look like they come from a Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movie. This was clearly an area where the movie’s director, Darren Aronofsky took some serious artistic liberties. He also injected that Shem’s wife gives birth to twins on the ark, as well as Noah thinking these twins needed to be murdered to ensure the total ending of the human race. Both of these stretches in the dramatic plot were created solely by the writers of the movie.  Now, could it have been true? I suppose Shem’s wife having twin girls could have explained where the other brothers found their wives, but could Noah have misunderstood God’s plan?
   In the biblical account, God does not remain silent but explicitly reveals to Noah what He is up to. There is no question that all of mankind except for Noah’s family will be rescued in the ark will die at the just hand of God. Yet God assures Noah that He is establishing his covenant with Noah. In the book of Genesis God does not leave Noah in the dark as to His will, but mercifully reveals it to him in its entirety.
The movie makers have also imagined a sense of “magical” that runs through the antediluvian world. There are rocks that when struck creates fire, plants that grow instantly, and Noah’s grandfather Methuselah who has mystical powers along the lines of Gandalf the white wizard in J.R.R. Toliken ‘s novels.  So yes, great artistic license was taken to imagine this very different world that changed so dramatically after the flood.
What does come through loud and clear is that humanity deserved to be destroyed  by God’s wrath – a wrath that is swift and total. The deluge is depicted in horrifying detail with water pouring from the sky and exploding forth from the ground. There’s a powerful shot of the ark floating near a top of a mountain with dozens of people perched atop, only to be swept to their watery doom by a massive wave. The wrath of God over sin is a terrible, terrible thing. Remember what Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah so it will be with the coming of the son of man.
What I was most disappointed with was the films ending. Even with a spectacular rainbow representing the covenant that God made with humanity that He would not destroy His creation by water again, there was no joyful hope in the mercy and grace of God. 
 Unlike “God’s Not Dead” we left Noah, uninspired.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Tonight :
VCA Open House @ 6pm

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