Saturday, March 29, 2014

Noah - the Movie

What a beautiful sunset God sent as we sailed away from Northern Ireland.  I love the way the water shimmers like molten gold reflecting equally rich colors of the sky glowing above the dark range of mountains along the shore.  A similar view of land, sea and sky might have been seen by Noah and his family when they spotted land from the ark.  Imagine their joy as they realized God's goodness and mercy in saving them and bringing them to begin a new world for His glory.

This is the sort of truth we should be visualizing when we think of Noah and all God did through he and his family.  This is not the visualization put forth in the new movie Noah that just opened today.  I'll warn you with a spoiler alert here.  If you plan to see the movie and want surprises, you might want to wait and read this post after you've seen the film.  Not that we don't know how the story of Noah ends, but there are a number of surprises in the movie that no Biblical scholar has ever read, seen or imagined and are so inaccurate that I am heartily disappointed!

Where to begin??  First of all, I knew there would be some inaccuracies in a depiction of the story they say is "inspired" by Noah.  Hollywood is not known for its sensitivity to truth in holy scripture.  I was ready to overlook a bit here and a bit there, but when 80% of the movie is inaccurate and a portion of it is downright ridiculous - well, that's where I draw the line and feel there is next to no redeeming value in this particular movie.  In fact, contrary to what some Christian film critics are saying about, oh, at least this gets people thinking about the Bible.  I believe this film is so far off track, it makes the story of Noah look like a farce.  I guess you can tell, I'm annoyed.

You might ask, what is redeeming in the film?  Well, there is an accurate telling of the story of creation, which takes perhaps two minutes; the scene of the waters breaking forth and the ark floating up and people clinging to a mountain peak was powerful, perhaps one minute; seeing the wickedness of men of that time, perhaps two minutes -- for a grand total of five minutes of redeeming value in this inaccurate depiction of what is actually a powerful and very true story of Noah as told in the Bible.

About 15 minutes into the film, the most ridiculous part of this film writer's story pops up -- in the form of giant rock formations that walk and talk and often kill people.  They are suppose to be fallen angels who were sent to be Watchers of mankind and were turned into these rock creatures that end up helping Noah and his family.  In fact, these rock creatures end up doing most of the work in building the ark -- as you might imagine, they are very strong!  It reminded me of the giant trees that walked and talked in Lord of the Rings.  In fact, I wondered if their scripts somehow got mixed up.  Not only that, but these rock creatures got the credit for helping and protecting Noah instead of God.  That whole aspect of the film is absolutely absurd and looks ridiculous!

A few other obvious inaccuracies are: 
--one young wife and three very young men getting on the ark with Noah and his wife.  Truth:  We know that not only would these three sons have been around 100 years old when the flood came, but scripture tells us: "...Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark" Genesis 7:13.
--Methuselah was drowned in the flood.  Truth:  Methuselah was 969 years old when he died -- one year before the flood covered the earth.
--Tubal-Cain, a wicked tribe leader, sneaked onboard the ark just before the flood and ... I won't tell you what happens to him - it's fiction anyway.  Truth:  Tubal-Cain, who is mentioned in Genesis 4:22, did not get onboard the ark.  He may or may not have been alive at the time of the flood.
--a seed dropped into a hole in the ground by Noah, sprouted into a tree and within seconds had multiplied and grown into a vast forest.  Truth:  This could never happen.

Another disturbing aspect of this film is the way it portrays Noah himself.  Although I can well imagine that Noah had doubts and times of depression during the long years of building, I don't believe that a man chosen by God would become as unhinged as this movie depicts.  The Bible says of Noah, that he was "a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God" Genesis 6:9.  A man who walks with God, hears from God.  God spoke to Noah, telling him in detail how to build this large boat and then what to do to prepare for the upcoming flood.  When it was time for the rains to come, God said to him, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation."  There is a beauty, a dignity and peace in that statement from God.  There is no dignity in what the movie shows us.

The Bible tells us a beautiful story of Noah, his faithfulness in a horribly difficult situation.  It tells of the labor he and his three sons put forth in building this huge boat -- cutting down trees, transporting them to the building site, and putting them into place.  This was hard, hard work, day after day after day, for year after year.  Yet, this family was faithful to God and praised His name with sacrifice after once again standing on dry ground.  I applaud Noah for his faithfulness to our heavenly Father and the testimony he leaves, and the mercy and love God showed to mankind -- according to scripture -- not according to this erroneous film.

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