The mister and I went and saw the movie “Noah” this weekend – and to be honest with you, I was kind of nervous.
Just like anyone else who has ever anxiously awaited the release of a movie about a historical figure they have researched and studied (ex: “Ray,” “Walk the Line,” or “The Aviator”), I was interested to see how the movie “Noah” portrayed the actual story and person in the Bible. Was it going to completely destroy the message of the story, or was it going to portray what the true story does – hard-to-swallow justice, grace, and hope?
I was pleasantly surprised.
Just to be clear from the get-go (and state the obvious), the movie “Noah” and its biblical story do not match exactly. In areas where the biblical account is both loose and firm, Darren Aronofsky (the director) took quite a bit of creative liberty. Although, I personally found some of these things hard to watch (because they were in complete opposition to the actual story), my encouragement to everyone is the same: Read the actual account (link to actual account) and then see the movie, but remember…it’s just a movie. I am fairly certain the director is not a historian and was not set on portraying the story as it actually happened in the first place. (Exhale…it’s going to be okay.)
At the same time, I wouldn’t use the movie to formulate a comprehensive opinion about God – you should probably check out the biblical account first. (And explore the other biblical texts surrounding it.)
Alright…now to my point:
Although there has been much controversy surrounding the film, I think there are several truths that exist within it. And because I know you’re dying to know my opinion (just kidding), I’ll share them with you:
“Noah” is faithful in reminding me that we were all created.
Throughout the movie, a constant theme is creation. The creation story is told and retold several times, and special effects are even used to show how creation may have happened. God is referred to as “the Creator” and it is clear that all He created was created for a purpose. It’s a compelling truth.
None of us were an accident. Out of nothing, God created something. He created the animals, the trees, and you and me. How it happened is secondary (for I think it could have happened in a variety of ways), but it’s obvious that it happened. Out of nothing, came something, so where did things come from? (Even with the Big Bang Theory, the matter had to exist beforehand. Even if we evolved, we had to evolve from something.)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” – Genesis 1:1-2
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.” – Colossians 1:16
“Noah” displays the fact that we are all broken.
The “men” in “Noah” are scary people. They are a society of people bent on pleasing themselves, even if it hurts others. Because of this and a few other elements, the movie is quite dark.
Sometimes the world we live in is, too.
Murder, injustice and manipulation surround us. Just watch the news or read the paper, and you’ll see it clearly. We are prone to want what we want for our own benefit. Perfection within the human race does not exist, for even in the midst of our good deeds, we can hold selfish motives. Noah wasn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. And neither are you.
“For all have sinned (a archery term meaning we’ve “missed the mark”) and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 6:23
We need to be saved from our mess.
“Noah” illustrates the hard-to-face fact that the wages of sin is truly death.
This is a common theme throughout the movie (obviously).
God created us. He didn’t have to, but he did. And just like a painter, he didn’t create us without a purpose. He created us to be something beautiful – a race full of love, joy and peace. He created us to enjoy him and his creation forever.
He told Adam and Eve to continue the human race – to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). At the same time, however, he gave them a choice. They could choose to live the way God intended them to live (in peace, love and harmony) or they could go their own way (a way that made them feel powerful and in control).
He gave them a tree and told them not to eat off of it…but they did.
They chose to cut their own path, make their own rules, and pursue a life of “happiness” apart from God – and we still seek to do this today. We put all of our hope in things that don’t last forever (our bodies, our wardrobe, our friends, our jobs, etc.) and we use these things to feel better about ourselves. We think these things, over a relationship with God, will satisfy.
We get so distracted by making ourselves god that we ignore the fact that a real God truly exists.
God is clear on what we earn for doing this.
“For the wages of sin is death…” – Romans 6:23
There’s hope, though.
At the same time, “Noah” presents the truth that God is a God of grace, redemption, and second chances.
Although the wages of sin is death (just like the wages of mowing somebody’s lawn might be $75), there is hope.
“But the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8&9
When no one else could save us, God sent Jesus to die for our sins. All of our sins were cast on him and he paid the ransom for our lives. He calls us to seek him, to know him, and to follow him.
He’s a God of second chances. If you see the movie or read the book, you’ll hear this anthem ring.
“Noah” reminds us of the power of trusting in God.
In the movie, Noah was continually in danger. This is something the biblical account doesn’t tell us, but I’m guessing it’s true. (Think about it…if a flood comes and only one person has a boat, what’s going to happen?) Noah continually risked his own life to stand up for himself, his family, and the calling of God. He trusted that God would accomplish his purposes if only he was obedient. No risk, no danger, no outcome was too great. He trusted God and kept walking.
When I reflect on my own life, I have to wonder if I’m doing the same thing. Am I standing up for what I believe in and trusting that God will accomplish his purposes in my life, or am I fearful of the ways in which others will perceive me? Am I distracted by fear, or am I joyfully walking through this life knowing that even in death, I will have life?
“Where O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” – 1 Corinthians 15:55
Trusting in God comes with assurance in this life and the next. I can rest confidently in Him.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
“I’m convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, nether the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38 & 39
May we not miss out on the opportunity that comes our way.