This week as we discussed That Darned Flood, I thought to myself, “I just thought it was a cool story of survival and hope.” I’ve never really sat down and thought (or read) thoroughly enough to deduce the common argument that indeed, God was mad and decided to wipe out the world with a flood and start over. I guess that WOULD suggest we have an Angry God on our hands.
However, though their conversation, Dr. Elnes and Terry Fretheim made several great points diffusing the Angry God theory:
- We are punished intrinsically in our sin.
- God created a world where acts have consequences.
- God isn’t up there pushing buttons.
- Floods were part of creation, not something new. Humanity corrupted itself. Our loving God did not punish us with the flood. But indeed, God saved us from the flood (and a few other doozies as well.)
- And by the way, the flood didn’t necessarily destroy the world – things like vegetation are abound after the flood. Interestingly enough, sinful people continue after the flood that the Angry God theory people suggest God had intended to wipe out.
That makes more sense to me. And just when I think I’m not thinking on this enough, it occurs to me, that perhaps I am. Because I put my weight on this story with Noah. I’m inspired by humanity. I’m not hoping for God to hook me up with a miracle. I’m putting my hope and faith in my friends, and my community.
Last night I had to hustle to the grocery store for some mom emergency, I’m sure. (I think we needed cookies.)In the two-minute drive, I got in the middle of a story on NPR. It was an interview with a lady from Winnipeg who was on a bus ride in the middle of winter. It was 5 degrees out, and the bus driver saw a man walking with no shoes. He stopped the bus, took off his shoes, ran them out to the shoeless man, and then got back on the bus without saying a word and drove his patrons to their next stop. The lady continued in talking about the amazement and beauty witnessed by everyone on that bus that day. I sat in the parking lot amazed.
Makes you wanna keep your eyes open for the next opportunity of kindness, doesn’t it? That’s what the story of Noah does for me. It’s not the story of the flood. It’s the story of Noah that does it for me.