Genesis 6:9 – 11:32

What is a parasha?

This week’s Torah portion (Genesis 6:9 – 11:32) is all about Noah and the events in his life surrounding the great flood. The reading begins by setting the scene: Noah lived in a corrupt society and a violent world, so much so that God regretted making mankind. Despite this, Noah chose to walk with God and not with the rest of the world. When God finally decided to destroy mankind because of all this sin, Noah found grace in God’s eyes, and received specific instructions for rescuing his family.

The story and life of Noah is one that we can all aspire to live. It can teach us so much in our walk with God, giving us great insight into God’s nature. What he longed for back then, he’s still longing for now.

Noah chose to live a life pleasing to God and to walk with him at a time when the world around him was full of corruption and violence.
Those of us who love the Lord will know that there is no greater life to live than one spent walking with God our creator. The life of Noah demonstrates that when we walk with God and let him lead us, our lives become completely different to the lives in the world around us, and bare fruit of eternal significance.

Many of us will know stories in the Bible in which individuals chose to walk with God instead of following the world around them. Very often these people are walking alone with God for a very long time before they see any of the fruit or evidence for their walk with God. Noah was 600 years old at the time of the flood, so it is likely that he may have been seeking God alone for hundreds of years before he fully understood and saw the outcomes of his life compared to the lives of those around him. Noah is an example that in choosing day after day and year after year to seek God and walk with him, God is able to fulfill his purposes through us. In the New Testament, in John 15:5 it says,

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
This again reminds us how when we remain in union and are walking with God like Noah did, he is able to work through us.

Isaiah 59:1 tells us that,

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
God’s desire for us to walk with him is so strong that even when we have chosen to live outside of union with God, the moment we call out to God, he will hear us. This is relevant to so many of our nations today, but especially to the nation of Israel. Let us pray that God will strengthen all those in our nations who are walking with him. So too may we pray that those who are not will turn to God and begin walking with him.

Let this week’s Torah portion remind us of how Noah was obedient to God as he walked with him. May the story of Noah strengthen all of us who know the Lord and encourage us to continue walking with God.

The European Coalition for Israel is a unique grassroots movement, which is seeking to promote better relations between Europe and Israel through advocacy and education. More information: www.ec4i.org

Header image: “The longest journey begins with a single step”, by John Spooner