No. I didn’t see Noah (2014 Paramount Pictures). There was no one reason why. I’m not a special effects junkie. I tend to be discouraged by Hollywood’s attempts at bringing the Bible to life. I was busy. I just decided to sit this one out.
I didn’t, however, escape from a flood of reviews about Noah. They were everywhere and were a mixed bag even from within the Christian community.
Christian movie blogger Brian Godawa wrote about what troubled him: “Flat characters that you just don’t care about. A sick twisted hero that you just don’t care about. Look, I know your hero has to have a character flaw, but this is so extreme that you can’t stand Noah, and you just want to leave the theater.”
Ken Ham (of Answers in Genesis) wrote: “Friends, last night I watched the Hollywood (Paramount) movie Noah. It is much, much worse than I thought it would be—much worse. The director of the movie, Darren Aronofsky, has been quoted in the media as saying that Noah is “the least biblical biblical film ever made,” and I agree wholeheartedly with him.”
I was intrigued by a review by Greg Thornbury of The King’s College in New York. While he had some major theological objections to the film he saw in it some redeeming qualities: “The grim, gritty, and supernatural antediluvian biblical world takes us back into ancient history, of origins. Who are we? What has gone wrong with the world? Where is justice? Is God there? What does he have to say? That ancient world sets us back on our heels and forces us to take stock in this strange new world inside the Bible.”
This leads me back to another reason I didn’t go see Noah. I confess I might not give the Bible story that good of a review! If you look beyond the cute Noah’s Ark set in the church in the nursery, and actually read the story in Genesis… you feel the horror of it all. It is hard not to see the scene through the eyes of anything but a children’s picture book. Maybe the film might “set one back on their heels” for the first time. In the Genesis account, God meant business. Most of the evil and foolish men He had created were wiped out in this Million year flood. This is as frightening a plot as any thriller Hollywood has ever dreamed up!
Stories about judgment are never an easy read. Whether it is in Genesis 6 & 7 (at the Bible’s beginning) or in the Book of Revelation (at the Bible’s end)… these are not stories for the squeamish heart!
But as one stands there contemplating the destruction and the surge of the water don’t forget… the ark! Yes, the judgment of God was severe and He destroyed just about all flesh on the earth. There was a completely different perspective just on the other side of the ark’s door. They were singing Hallelujah!
Four facts of life we all need to see and embrace from Noah’s tale:
1. There is a coming judgment for sin. “…for the earth is filled with violence… I am about to destroy them…” (Genesis 6:13)
2. A way of escape has been made. “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood…” (6:14)
3. We need to enter the escape hatch before it is sealed. “And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded them…” (7:16a)
4. God is the one who makes the protective seal. “…and the Lord closed it behind him.” (7:16b)
We can’t hold the waters back with our own efforts of goodness. There is no human who can provide their own protection. Only God can do save us. And He did that in Christ.
Peter writes in the New Testament how: “…God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (3:20b-21 NLT)
The review from within the ark is a much different one than one from outside its protective walls. One day the final judgment will take its toll on this earth. But those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb will find themselves rescued from the wrath of the Lamb. I don’t deserve such mercy… but I am thankful He saved me. Like a child protected in their home during a thunderstorm I can sometimes take my salvation for granted. Help me never to be ungrateful.
How about you? Have you responded to God? If not, come to Jesus. He will not turn you back.
Have you been baptized in order to picture this great saving act of God? If not, then surrender to His will and be baptized to symbolize what He has done for you.
Hurry, He might be about to seal the door.