The final weeks of 2013 and the beginning few of 2014 have seen the UK battered by wind and rain. It is painful to see the misery that the ensuing floods have brought to people on this Fair Isle. The old saying that an Englishman’s home is his castle goes out the window when water seeps through the door frame and up through the floorboards. My heart goes out to people who have been flooded out of their homes and seen the value wiped off property that in some cases is impossible to insure. The resigned stoicism and gallows humour of some of the victims when they have been interviewed by news reporters is a credit to human resilience yet in some ways only heightens our sympathy for their plight. I have heard more than one person suggest in jest that they might respond to the incessant rain by building an Ark in their back garden.
The story of Noah’s Ark and the great flood is one that is deep at the heart of our cultural heritage. I am intrigued to see how this biblical account will be portrayed in the Russell Crowe film ‘Noah’ which hits the big screens in March. It will also be interesting to see how audiences respond to this epic story. The trailer suggests that it will be far from the fluffy depiction favoured by children’s story books. The trailer also suggests that the film will not back away from the biblical perspective that the flood was a judgement from God in response to mankind’s rebellion against him.
Some people hold the view that wrath and judgement are purely an Old Testament manifestation of God and that in the New Testament we find an altogether gentler, loving side to his character that supersedes what went before. A more detailed reading of the Old and New Testaments reveals that God’s wrath and mercy are equally present in both. In the Old Testament, God’s love provided a way for Noah’s family to escape the apocalyptic destruction of the earth by flood through Noah’s Ark. In the New Testament, God’s love provides a way for us to escape the apocalyptic destruction of the earth by fire through the Cross of Christ. Noah’s neighbours mocked the faith that led to the building of the Ark, yet regretted it. Today there are many who would like to dismiss talk of a coming judgement day as a scaremongering myth – will they come to regret this? What about you?
This blog post featured in the February 2014 edition of Hook Focus