Hitting the high streets just now is the latest Hollywood blockbuster entitled ‘Noah’. Judging from the reports of those who have seen the film, it’s more likely to result in nightmares rather than sweet dreams! Not everyone’s idea of ‘entertainment’.
Sadly, the story-line developed in the film has left the original ‘script’ far behind, perhaps in an effort to make ‘a Bible story’ appeal to a wider audience. As a result, many of those who see the film will conclude that what they are watching can be read word-for-word in the Bible too!
Naturally, with any interpretation of a Biblical story — especially one as short as Noah — the director is going to have to take some creative liberties if he is going to get an audience and give them an evening’s entertainment. But where should we draw the line between creative liberty and a blatant altering of the story’s themes?
Whether of not you believe that what you read in Genesis chapters 6 to 9 is an account of something that actually happened – which I do – it was written to teach us some important lessons, not to entertain us.
Our need for salvation
Faced with a world that was going from bad to worse, the Bible tells us that Noah and his family were different from those around them. They ‘stood out from the crowd’ by their obedience to God’s commands!
But God didn’t want to destroy the rest of his creation without giving everyone a chance to change their ways. So, for over 100 years – while Noah built that Ark – anyone wanting to be saved could have done so.
But nobody did! So everybody still alive when the Ark was ready died in the Flood. Only Noah and his family were saved.
The lesson for us today is no different. Most people ignore God’s offer of salvation – the ‘good news’ in the Bible – and simply don’t want to know what the Bible teaches.
Telling his listeners what the world would be like just before he returns to set up God’s kingdom, Jesus drew their attention to the account of Noah. He told them:
“For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man (ie Jesus himself). For as in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:37-39 ESV)
In other words, everybody but Noah and his family just got on with their everyday lives and ignored the fact that they needed to be saved. They were totally preoccupied with their own lives.
Sadly, many people today are the same, without any interest in God’s offer of salvation and his gift of eternal life. They don’t believe that Jesus is coming back soon to set up God’s kingdom.
But perhaps you are more like Noah and his family, willing to be different and wanting to be a Christian – a follower of Christ?