Noah: Skip the movie and read the book!

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The movie Noah, released earlier today, has generated a lot of publicity with its big-name stars, huge budget and controversy over to what extent it sticks to or strays from the biblical story.

I usually really dislike spoilers about movies. But in the case of this film, how do you spoil something that’s already appallingly rotten?

I’d heard and read a number of reviews over recent weeks and was aware of the controversies—that it was so starkly different from the Bible’s story that it’s being marketed with a special disclaimer that it is “inspired by the story of Noah” and its creators “believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide.”

I wish either story were close to true. Sadly, both statements are far off the mark.

“Inspired by the story of Noah”? Possibly so, if you think Noah was an ancient environmentalist extremist who abhors other human beings, lives as a recluse browbeating his family into accepting his extremist viewpoints, and whose disgust for the human race leads him to hatch a plan for the death of his entire family—the last human beings left alive on the planet—that includes the murder of his own newborn grandchildren. Somehow I never learned from the Genesis account that Noah was a borderline unhinged murderous psychopath (as this movie portrays him).

“True to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide”? It takes an advertising budget of millions of dollars to spread a whopper that big. The only thing this movie has in common with the original story is a boat, a lot of water, and some characters’ names. The vast majority of the movie is an enormous perversion of the biblical record. The negative reviews I’d heard and read about how bad the film was didn’t come close to capturing its utter awfulness.

My three-word movie review? WORST.MOVIE.EVER. I couldn’t believe someone could take a straightforward story and distort it so badly.

God’s Word is packed with some of the most amazing and inspiring stories of all time, and it infuriates me that people pervert them like this. And this movie is a perversion on many levels.

God chose to spare Noah because he was a righteous man of faith who “walked with God” (Genesis 6:9; 7:1). He was a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5). He was the recipient of God’s grace because he was “a just man, perfect in his generations” (Genesis 6:8-9). Being “moved with godly fear” to obey God, Noah “became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7). He may have spent upwards of 120 years in faithful toil while building the ark (Genesis 6:3).

To see this godly man portrayed in such an appalling way borders on the blasphemous and reveals the deep spiritual sickness in the minds of those who conceived and created this movie.

God’s Word tells us why it records stories such as that of Noah: “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11, New International Version).  

Jesus Christ Himself gives us a glimpse of the world as it will be just prior to His return to earth: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all…Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).

What He is saying is that in Noah’s day people had grown so accustomed to their hedonistic, self-centered, violent culture that they had simply lost sight of God and how He viewed the world. And like sheep being led to the slaughter, they remained oblivious to the danger until it was too late.

There’s a powerful lesson here for us today. Have we lost sight of God? Do we recognize the gathering storm?

If you want to use your time wisely, skip this movie and read the book—and pray for God’s wisdom to learn from what He inspired to be written there as a lesson for us so many centuries ago!