Noah the movie: Three truths!

Written by On Monday, 12 May 2014 13:46
Noah the movie: Three truths!

When I saw the trailer I was instantly hooked, I started counting down to the Kenya premier. It wasn’t long before the internet was flooded with  everything that was wrong with it; from its flawed theology to the outright lack of creativity. In fact one blogger simply said.

‘’ Don’t bother watching it, it’s a complete waste of money!’’

I would be lying if I said that he didn’t completely kill all the excitement I had for it. But as God would have had it and thanks to my friends I ended up watching it for myself and I didn’t regret it one bit. It is definitely not easy watching a movie with a preconceived notion, Noah had everything working against it from the get go, and yet, I ended up being pleasantly surprised. This movie has received more than its fair share of negative reviews especially from the Christian fraternity, so what good thing could I possibly have to say about it? I realized that with all the nitpicking on the ‘biblical rightness’ of the movie we may miss the message in the movie especially among believers. Don’t get me wrong, of course a movie that claims to be based on a biblical character should at the very least stick the biblical story and not push the limits of ‘poetic license’.

Having said that, I am going to talk about three themes that you may or may not have missed in the movie –assuming that you have watched it; if you haven’t, be warned, Spoiler alert!

Our God is a judge

One of the many comments I have heard and read about the movie is the apparent ‘wrong’ image of God that is portrayed; that the movie only portrays God as a horrible and angry being who can destroy the entire world even without sympathy for the women and children. So, God is good yes? God is loving? God is forgiving? If that is so, then why would he kill people so mercilessly? To have this one sided view of God is not only wrong but prevents us from experience the wholeness of who God is. I do not claim to know God completely and I am not sure anyone can make that claim either, but one thing I do know is that God is not only merciful but he is also Judge and if we believe what Romans says about the wages of sin being death then why would we have an issue with God meting out His judgment? As sinners we are all bound to die and not to live, but as believers who have accepted The Christ we are saved and are looking forward to eternal life. What then will happen to those who do not believe? If you do not believe and give your life to Christ you are doomed to eternal damnation! Now, that might not go down very well with some people but it is what the scriptures teach us. The scriptures also say that it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  God’s wrath is real and we need to know that, some people need to hear that, it might be what draws them to repentance and Noah showed that plain truth.

The cost of discipleship:

I know what you’re thinking, how does that come up in the movie? Follow through with me and hear me out. It's probably because we are currently going through teachings on radical discipleship in our church that this theme popped out but nevertheless, it was there.

 Large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

When Noah decides that he is going to kill his grandchildren (yes I know that this is not biblical) believing it to be what God would have him do, he ends up having an intense argument with his wife who (in summary) tells him that if he goes through with it, he is going to lose his entire family. That particular scene struck a chord with me. To imagine that Jesus taught that as a disciple you must be willing give up everything for him! If doing what your family/friends want you to do means going against God’s word, God’s call for you and God’s purposes, you must choose God otherwise you are not a disciple of Jesus.

 ‘God chose me to do this because He knew I will not fail Him’,

Noah makes this statement that at first sounds self righteous but when I thought about it I wondered about myself. Does God know that whatever thing He calls me to do I will do it and follow through to the very end without chickening out when things get tough? Can it be said of you?  Are you a disciple of our Lord? Would you for a minute think about what would have become of the word and the gospel if the disciples did not go all out to do what Jesus told them? If they had not gone out to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth; and in the process turn the world upside down? Would you be a believer today?

‘I am a man, created in your Image. Why won’t you speak to me?’

At this point in the movie, I just teared up, thank God I was not seated near anyone I knew. These words spoken by Tubal-Cain, the self proclaimed King in the movie moved me to the point of defending the 'villain' in the movie for the first time ever. Just that week, I was kneeling next to my bed crying out to God.

 ‘Speak to me Lord, speak to me. Why won’t you tell me anything?’

To hear the very same words spoken by someone who had no hope of saving his life pierced the depths of my heart; and I felt like shouting out, ‘Yes Lord, why don’t you speak to him? Why don’t you speak to us?’ The villain and I were on the same team! Do you realize what that meant to me? In the movie of my life, I was that guy who couldn’t communicate with his creator and that idea bothered me a lot! The next couple of days God started ministering to me and teaching me how we Christians get to that point. Some of these things I had always known but had somehow been conveniently tucked at the back of my mind.

When the bible says ‘…today if you hear His voice do not harden your heart.’ Hebrews 3:15 what do you think it means? who is it talking about?I have always thought that verse was referring to the unbelievers, those who get the call to salvation and yet refuse to give their lives to Christ. Well, that might apply as well but when you read the context further at verse 16 it tells us who these people were, who rebelled. They are the very same Israelites who had been delivered from the hands of Pharaoh in Egypt. These are people who had already seen the saving power of God and yet when they heard his voice, they did not obey, instead they rebelled. It makes much more sense then, that this scripture is applicable to you and me who are believers. Every time we hear the voice of God, through our conscience (the Holy Spirit), through the scriptures, through the preacher, telling us to do something or not to something and we ignore it, we are slowly hardening our hearts. The more we ignore the voice of God, the more our hearts harden, our ears become dull of hearing and eventually we become deaf. Pretty soon we begin to think that God stopped speaking or that He has gone silent and yet we are the ones who can’t hear him. God is always speaking to His people.  If we stop responding to the Spirit of God we respond to the flesh by default and the wickedness of the flesh will reign.

This is what happened in the days of Noah:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth and every intention and thought of his heart was evil continually… but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord…Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.

This is why God chose Noah and used Him to fulfill his purposes on the earth in that generation. Everyone else was wicked and no amount of begging with God could cause them to hear His voice. The same applied to me, there was no amount of crying that could make me hear from God; for as long as I entertained sin and hardened my heart to what was already being said then I couldn’t hear him. For believers to be able to hear the Rhema word of God we must be soaked in the written word, to not only read but to do what it tells us to do. Then our hearts will become pliable and communicating with our maker will be easy, just the way He intended it to be.

It is very easy for us believers to make a mockery of Hollywood and its intentions to create movies out of biblical accounts, but we are not doing it. If we want the stories told right we need to tell it ourselves, we need to go out there and use these channels to get the story of salvation out there. But even so, my point in all this is that God can still use such movies (produced by unbelievers) to get his word out there even if that was not the intention of the Hollywood producers and creators. After all, did God not use a donkey to talk to His Prophet? What can’t God do? I challenge you, if you have already watched this movie to watch it again, only this time ask God to talk to you, to tell you what it is He wants to tell you through the movie.

Your turn! What did you think of the movie?

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