Before I begin to comment on this week's TORAH Portion I want to state that normally the HafTorah would be from Isaiah 54:1-55:5, but since this weekend starts Rosh Hodesh Cheshvan, we read from Isaiah 66.
Noach was a righteous man, in his own generation; all others perverted the ways of GOD. GOD instructs him to build and outfit the ark.
Noach is told to enter the ark, along with his family and all the animals. Then the flood began. For forty days and nights the waters increased, destroying all living things, and the waters raged upon the surface of the earth for 150 days. They then receded for the next 150 days. Finally the ark rested on Mount Ararat. Noach sent out the raven and then the dove. Around one year after the rains began, the earth was dry.
Noach and his family exit the ark and built an altar to offer sacrifices to GOD. GOD accepted the offering and declared a covenant with Noach, his sons, mankind and all creatures. They were instructed to keep GOD's commandments and He promised to never again destroy the world by waters. The rainbow is designated as a symbol of that covenant (Genesis 8:20-9:17).
The story then continues with the recounting of the vineyard, and the subsequent blessings and curses are related. The descendants of his children are listed and then Noach died.
The story of the Tower of Babel tells of Nimrod's kingdom. This showed the rebellion against GOD. We know that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft as stated in 1 Samuel 15:23. The ten generations of Shem are listed. The introduction of Abraham and Sarah are recorded.
The ark served an alternative purpose. It was a vehicle of rescue to serve a select group of humans, animals and fowl from certain destruction. The ark was a structure without which humanity would have been decimated.
GOD will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6). Remember, GOD keeps His promises (1 Kings 8:56). We need to be faithful to Him by being a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to Him (Romans 12:1-2). GOD judges us on the basis of faithfulness, not popularity (1 Corinthians 4:2-5). Be courageous, be faithful. GOD desires faithfulness!