NOAH–Following God’s lead—- or Not
Today’s Daily Word gives me a chance to say a word about the new film, NOAH. It stars Russell Crow and Jennifer Connelly, with a strong performance by Emma Watson, of Harry Potter fame.
Most of us who were raised in Christian traditions know the story of Noah, one of the descendants of Adam and Eve who is appointed by God to build an ark (huge sea worthy ship of logs) to gather and preserve the earth’s animals in pairs. For God (The Creator) is very disassatisfied with the behavior of humankind,who have in large part, descended into utter disregard for creation and lost inner guidance or outer morality that is a part of their divine birthright. This is called sin. According to the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible,Noah and his family were saved after 40 days and 40 nights of rain, which we know as the Deluge or Flood by which the world was destroyed, and given another chance to repopulate and act in accordance with the will of God . We are living in that time.
In this motion picture, Noah, is the historical and righteous descendant of men who coupled with the Sons of God, angels. These angels were outcast from heaven because they came to help man after the Fall (disobedience of Adam and Eve). Genetically and morally, Noah is the last of a kind of human being. The other human beings are those who have multiplied into greedy, immoral, domineering, killing kind. Noah is hard pressed to live in isolation and keep his family safe from their raids and the desolation of the world–a clear analog to the environmental challenges we face in places where clear cutting or toxic emissions have threatened us with barren unproductive land and unhealthy ozone and city smogs. Noah has clairvoyant dreams and knows himself to be a recipient of God’s laws. In a series of visions and potent dreams, he gets the call to build the ark,and his family,his wife (Connelly) three sons, an adopted daughter(Watson)help over a number of years. Except in this movie, the Sons of God,now huge megalithic stone beings(simlar to transformers except in roughened stone) aid them. They are so encased because they are being punished still by God for disobeying Him. God is profiled as very uncompromising., vindictive, and unforgiving.
Like God, Noah is a hard man. He takes his mission to be to get rid of humankind,including his own family, but to save the animals for the new, unspolied Paradise. His plan is to have the family kill each member in a cycle of deaths, so that when the sleeping animals(unique to this film) on the ark awake, only the youngest family member (Japhet) will be alive to attend to their release, and he will live alone until death. Noah is certain of this plan. He feels honor bond to obey. He asks God for signs to know for sure that is to do, yet when God gives those signs–such as the end of the rain, such as the ark striking land, and such as the birds returning with green leaves from trees, he takes them as puncutating his strong belief that all of humanity needs to die fore the world to be the pristine paradise it was with just the animals and the eternity of days unspolied by mankind. The film fails by using the snake and apple literally as symbols of the fall because God does not appear walking in any garden.
The plot includes Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah, Noah’s great grandfather who is like the guru of the mountain whom time has forgotten and separated from humankind and family. It is a little absurd, and his role is as sage with a healing touch is an odd injection. There is the requisite village of sinners lead by an evil “king of men” and it is he who represents the possibility that humankind will be unredeemable. He is the devil incarnate and tempts Noah’s middle son, Ham who is torn between being a man with the desire for a mate and a boy who is as strong and committed to doing the will of his father. He helps the “king” actually stow away on the ark. Ham is only biblically authentic at the end when he leaves to go off on his own. This begs the same question as is in the bible? Does he expect to find other people? How can he? Didn’t God just wipe the world clean of everybody but Noah’s family?
The film is a long way from the Bible story in that it makes-up a psychology of the players unfound in the ancient Hebrew texts. It also pieces together some implications spread throughout the Old Testament about the Nephelim, giants who walked the land in those days. But mostly it creates conflicts implicit to the imagination, and undermines the humble Noah we imagined in Sunday school. Noah of the film had to come to recognize God’s will and his own. He had to know that God gave him a task and other choices and stepped away. After getting the passport from God, one can only follow one’s best and highest instincts. I ask you, how can you tell when it’s God’s Will that you are following or a distortion based on your own views through a glass darkly?
Spirit is active in me to accomplish unlimited good.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Every dream has a point of origin—a moment when we know there is something that is ours to do. Our dreams are sparked by divine ideas. From the start of any new adventure, I draw upon my faith, because I know I am one with Divine Mind. I embrace divine ideas as they come to me, knowing I have the power to bring them to fruition.
Through the power of imagination, I envision my dreams unfolding. I cultivate them in my consciousness and give thanks for their ultimate manifestation.
I use the power of strength to persevere in my goals and use wisdom and will to make the right choices. With a spirit of success, I joyfully embark on new life adventures.
Be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating.—Isaiah 65:18