The reading today in every synagogue is the story of Noah. The reading starts in Genesis 6:9 and ends in Genesis 11:24. Probably this is one of the hardest texts to understand in the whole bible, and one of the saddest tests. What makes is one of the saddest texts in the Bible is the fact that it says:
Gen. 6:6 “And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” (NKJV) The English translations don’t want to use the word “Saddened.” So, they use the word “grieved” in stead. In this verse we also read that the Lord repented that He made man: “And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. “ (ASV) – The ASV has translated right the word “NiCham” – which really means “Repented” as the ASV has translated it. The NKJV translated it: “The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the Earth.” “Sorry” or “Repented” or “Saddened” or “grieved” – it is a sad text that speaks volumes about God and His creation. This is especially true when you consider that God does not make mistakes, and that God is in full control of His creation and that God knows all things before they happen. How could it be that God repented or was sorry that He created man on the Earth? These chapters in Genesis hold some of the most important concepts that direct our lives and give us a better understanding of God and how He functions.
This portion of the reading starts with this verses that speak of how bad humanity has become and it ends with the tower of Babel and again even after the flood. Even Noah himself has committed a grievous sin after the salvation that the LORD saved him and his family from the sure death by water with the other members of humanity. If you look at the story of Noah and the flood in this dark and morose light it would be easy to become very pessimistic, even depressed. However, the truth is that in all the statements about the sinfulness of man and God’s role as the responsible adult. God could have designed everything different from the Garden to the Flood to keep from creating a situation that would condemn man for his bad choices. The spot of light and demonstration of God taking responsibility for His actions is seen in the decision and one sided covenant that He makes with humanity not to destroy the world again with water. The similarity between the beginning of chapter 6 and the text in 8:21 is shocking. The very same reason why God decided to do the flood and wipe-out humanity except the 8 souls of Noah’s family is the reason why he decided not to do destroy the world again. Here is the wonderful reality of the God who created the world and all of us human beings. Remember dear reader that when God created the world he said “behold it is good” six times only, but on Tuesday he said it twice. When he created man and woman God did not say, “it is good.” The grace of God is seen in the flood in both the harshness of the flood that exercising justice and payment for sin and saving Noah and his family because Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Even in the punishment for the horrible sins of that generation God showed His character full of Grace and Truth, loving kindness and mercy. This a prayer list and a major theological discussion, but I write these ideas so that you can think about it and pray to God for revelation and enlightenment by the Holy Spirit.
The work on the foundations of our building is finished and the first floor was already poured.From now the building will proceed quicker. We need your prayers and your support.
Please don’t forget to pray for all the sick list. There is nothing new in the sick list except that I understand that there is a little progress in the situation of our dear sister Chana Segal.Please keep praying for her and for Udi, and for all the other brothers and sisters in Israel, Japan, Korea, Japan, Brazil, and Finland.
Pray for our soldiers and for the Middle East situation. In Syria thousands are being killed every week, and the opposition to Bashar El Assad is growing weaker and weaker and the slaughter is growing in number and the world is doing little if anything to stop the killing of civilians in Syria. The situation with Iran is no less serious. According to Israel’s best sources Rouhani is doing the classy Muslim deception. He is telling the Westerners what they want to hear and in the same time doing what he wants to do. This is absolutely classical act in that culture. Israel is sure that all is done to gain time and opportunity to soften the West with words about peace and compromise and just continue to create the nukes. This situation needs prayer and intercession before the throne of God for divine intervention and revelation of the real intent and design of the Iranian government.
We need your prayers for our staff and schedule this week. We have recording session for teaching for Television in Russia and in Israel. We have a congregational barbeque on Wednesday and a annual general assembly for Netivyah on Thursday evening and we have guests from Brazil, Holland, and England visiting us this week. To get all of this done and keep up with our regular schedule also it will take a small miracle. So, please pray for us and for our staff, and especially for Yuda and Lydia. It is time for Lydia to give birth this week to their baby. Keep them in your prayers.
God bless you all for your care and support for us personally and for Netivyah Bible Istruction Ministry.