Monday, October 26, 2015

Noah and the Flood (Part 3) – The Family's Promise

It's been nearly three years since I first began reading the Genesis account of the flood. I can't tell you the number of times I've read Genesis 6-9. Each time the Lord has pulled back a little more of the curtain to help me see and understand the account in a way I never imagined. 

He is developing an image in me of the story that I'm still praying out. I hesitate to use the word "story" because this is not fiction. It is a spiritually-inspired retelling of the Scriptural account. 

What you are about to read is what the Lord is birthing in me. I have no idea how long the process will take. I'm not in charge. I'm simply the vessel that is blessed to be used and I am looking forward to the journey. 

Noah sits and now his family sits. He looks at his sons. “How long has it been now Shem? A hundred years?” He looks at them and says, “Time passes and you forget a lot of things, and sometimes that’s a good thing.” They are nodding their heads in agreement. “But what the Lord did 100 years ago, I will never forget. How about you boys?” You could hear them say “No sir,” almost in unison.

Noah looks at his family. His face is stern. He slowly rises from his seat. He takes his staff in his right hand and slowly points to his family. It’s almost as if he’s following an invisible line from on one side of the meadow to the other. 

“And I don’t want you to forget either.” His voice is firm and commanding and increases with each admonition. “I tell this story year after year because when I’m gone, I want you to tell this story to your children and to your grandchildren and to their grandchildren!” 

He’s now pounding his staff, up and down, on the stone slab and it startles some of the little ones. They're crying as they rush into their mother's arms. The older children, who have heard the story many times before were talking and laughing. They are quiet now and looking at grandpa. He has their full attention.

“And when you’re gone I want your children to tell this story to their children and to their grandchildren,” he says, as he continues to pound his staff on the stone slab. He looks at the staff as he’s about to pound it again and stops. The tears are starting to flow freely again. He closes his eyes and breathes slowly to let the emotions pass. 

“This story,” he says slowly, deliberately and slightly above a whisper, “will not die with me. Do you hear me? It – will – not – die – with – me!" He looks at Shem, then Ham and then Japheth and says, "Promise me this! Promise me!” 

His family is silent. The seriousness of the occasion is sinking in – again. In the silence, Shem stands. All eyes are now focused on him. He looks at Ham and Japheth and nods and they slowly stand. “You have our word father,” he says. The eldest son has spoken for the family.

Noah takes a moment to look at his family and then he sits. He closes his eyes just for a moment and then looks up toward heaven and sighs. "The story must be told again Lord," he says in a soft whisper as he wipes away the last of the tears. He will tell it again because, for Noah, it’s a story of necessity.

To be continued