Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #2 Noach (Noah) Genesis 6:9-11:32
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 54:1-10
B’rit Chadashah: Luke 17:26-37
This year we are going to concentrate on Genesis 11:1-9. These verses address human pride that defies G-d’s warnings against it. In retrospect, we start with the example of Adam and Eve eating from only One Tree, the fruit of which was forbidden. In their lust for knowledge and wisdom, being like G-d, and knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:5) overrode their will to obey G-d. In our parashah, the whole earth came together using the same language, the same words. Pride reared its ugly head again and has pervaded the minds and hearts of humankind since. The people traveled from east to west, going further away from the Garden of Eden to the plains. They decided that stones and other natural building materials were less than optimal for building so they decided to make bricks. They aspired to making a tower within a city with its top reaching heaven and a name for themselves as a united people.
Adonai came down to see what the people were building, noting that they had a single language and that nothing would be impossible for them to accomplish. In Gen. 11:7-9 He states “‘Come, let’s go down and confuse their language, so that they won’t understand each other’s speech.’ So, from there, Adonai scattered them all over the earth, and they stopped building the city. For this reason, it is called Bavel (confusion)- because there Adonai confused the language of the whole earth, and from there Adonai scattered them all over the earth.”
Before we delve into the focus of this teaching, we need to address the word “let’s” used in this verse. With whom is Adonai speaking? According to the “Geneva Study Bible,” Adonai spoke as though He took counsel with his own wisdom and power: that is, with Yahshua and The Ruach, signifying the greatness and certainty of the punishment. According to “Gill’s Exposition of the entire Bible,” Adonai was not addressing the angels, as the Targum and Aben Ezra; for, as Philo the Jew observes, they are said to some co-workers with G-d, which angels could not be in this work of confounding the language of men; it being above the power of creatures to work on the minds, and to make alterations in speech. Philo’s opinion and that of the Geneva Study Bible are not contradictory in that the Complex Unity of G-d does not work against itself. We see another example of this conversation between G-d and Yahshua in Genesis 1:26.
Establishing the foundation for the conversation between G-d, Yahshua, and the Ruach, we move on to the action taken against those attempting to usurp G-d’s sovereignty. The goal was a united language, a tower that reached to heaven, and a name for themselves. What can be wrong with such “inclusion” and “tolerance” using a single language for unification? Let’s look at a few examples in scripture that inform us why these aspirations are not consistent with G-d’s Torah/Instructions. Isaiah 4:1 reads “On that day, seven women will grab hold of one man and say, ‘We will supply our own food and wear our own clothes. Just let us bear your name; take away our disgrace.’” This verse is in the context of what YHVH is going to do to on the day He has in store for all who are proud and lofty (Isaiah 2:12). We see the word “pride” used again, validating the consistent problem with mans’ spiritual character and priorities. What does this passage about the women mean? This passage describes mane religious denominations and sects that have evolved since the original account of Babel. These women represent apostate religion starting with Edom (Catholicism)the Christian Church, and Protestantism. Babylon the Great is also known as the Whore of Babylon, referring to a place of evil mentioned in the Book of Revelation chapter 17. Many scholars believe that “Babylon” is a metaphor for the Roman Empire (Edom) which is a pagan institution. But it is more than the geographical confines of Rome. It is a Roman-Hellenistic world that is a world alienated from G-d. Interesting that a Roman coin minted under the Emperor Vespasian (ca. 70 AD) depicts Rome as a woman sitting on seven hills. Incidentally, have you ever noticed the iconic artwork and architecture of many government buildings in America? They reflect a Hellenistic-Democratic paradigm. Just because a majority rules it does not always mean they are right. Just read G-d’s Torah for proof.
According to the “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia” “The characteristics ascribed to this Babylon apply to Rome rather than any other city of that age: (a) as ruling over the kings of the earth (Rev. 17:18); (b) as sitting on the seven mountains (Rev. 17:9); (c) as the center of the world’s merchandise (Rev. 18:3;11-13); (d) as the corrupter of the nations (Rev. 17:2;18:3; 19:2); as the persecutor of the saints (Rev. 17:6).
So, what is the problem with Protestants since they broke away from the Catholic Church? Protestants are taught to believe that all that is necessary for eternal salvation is faith in Jesus Christ and acceptance of his crucifixion as payment for our sins. As a majority, they do not keep the Sabbath, designated times of G-d, dietary laws, or the fact that Yahshua taught that keeping His instructions/commands out of love is required for someone to be considered a true believer. This is the meaning of Deuteronomy 6:4-11 when translated properly. Also see Romans Chapters 2-3; John Chapter 14; Revelation Seven -Fold Witness.
What does this information have to do with our parashah? It provides a historical and present-day correlation between G-d’s disdain for human pride and His plans for the haughty and proud. We only need look at our recent history in America to see how America is full of pride and arrogance against the commands of G-d as He is “kicked out” in place of “inclusion” and “tolerance” of behaviors and lifestyles that are clearly stated as abominations against G-d. Sins such as stinginess (the evil eye), gossip (lashon hara), necromancy, sorcery, homosexuality, lawlessness, and disregard for the sanctity of life abound and are being promoted in our society as a better way to live.
Unlike G-d’s rapid judgement on the original Babel of old, He is patient and longsuffering that people might turn from their sins and turn to Yahshua; not by a profession of faith only, but through a life of actions validating their change of heart and allegiance from the idols of this world, to Yahshua as the One True G-d. Romans 3:25 and 2 Peter 1:9 remind us that it is our PAST sins that are forgiven when we come into a relationship with Yahshua. We will be held accountable for all sins after that reconciliation that require repentance and a change in behavior. All the computers, satellites, automatic language translators, and other means to further the cause of secularism; independence from G-d, and a One World Order will not succeed now or in the future, any more than the original City of Bavel. Success in these secular humanistic and endeavors that provide a facade for Communistic world order may seem to be the panacea to all of the world’s problems, but the real problem is as it has always been; human pride. The solution to the problem remains as it has since the beginning of mankind’s existence; reliance on and obedience out of love to the One True G-d, YHVH Yahshua. May He return swiftly and soon.
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1-10
Forsaken Jerusalem is likened to a barren woman. G-d enjoins her to rejoice, for the time will soon come when the Jewish nation will return, proliferate, repopulating the once desolate cities of Israel. Isaiah assures the people that G-d has not forsaken them. Just as evening precedes morning as written in our last parashah, Israel’s darkest hours must occur before the dawn with the appearance of the restoring and Infinite Light; Yahshua. Yahshua will gather Israel from their exile with great mercy. This haftarah compares the final Redemption to the pact G-d made with Noach in this week’s parashah. Just as G-d promised to never bring a flood over the entire earth, so too will He never again be angry at Israel. “For the mountains may move and the hills might collapse, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace collapse.”
B’rit Chadashah: Luke 17:26-37
The backdrop of this passage is the question about when the Kingdom of G-d will come. Yahshua tells the Pharisees that it will not come with visible signs because the “Kingdom of G-d is among you.” They did not recognize Yahshua as the Kingdom of G-d because they were expecting tangible signs other than the One that was standing right before their eyes! Yahshua tells them that the time of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah right up until the day that Noach entered the ark; then it was too late, and the flood killed all those outside the ark. Yahshua also relates the story of Lot and the immediacy of G-d’s judgement on S’dom. The urgency of leaving homes and other unbelievers which may include family are emphasized. Those alive during the return of the L-rd are not to look back or take any possessions. Yahshua uses the phrase
“whoever aims at preserving his own life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will stay alive.” This means that we are not to focus on our own lives throughout our lives. We are to live for G-d by following His Torah out of love. This consistent commitment to G-d as a prerequisite for eternal life is reinforced and clarified in Chapter 18 that will not be addressed today but the reader is encouraged to study for further clarification of Luke 17:33-35. Other comparative scriptures include Matthew 16:24-26; Matthew 10:21-23 to list just two of many others.