In the Days of Noah
Item # 0890512051
Excerpt from Book:
God loves you. He doesn't want anyone to perish," Noah shouted, trying to be heard above those who jeered him.The crowd had grown increasingly restless. Perhaps it's because we're so near the new temple, thought Noah. Be quiet, Preacher Man, and go away," a woman yelled. "You're going to make the temple priests and guards-and the sea gods-angry!" "Are you afraid they will see you listening to me? You have nothing to fear from the golden idols of the so-called gods of the sea," responded Noah, pointing to the temple behind him. "They were made by the hands of man and have no power. You should fear neither idols nor giants nor any man. Rather, fear the Lord God of heaven who will someday destroy this wicked world with a cleansing flood."
A man in the back of the crowd snorted, "What makes you think the waters of the sea will rise up and flood the earth in the future? That's never happened before. Things have always been as they are now, and will always be the same."
Noah turned to the man and pleaded, "Please believe me. It isn't what I think, but what God says! He will judge the earth, but you can escape destruction. You have chosen to worship powerless idols, and you have given the priests the power to control you. You allow them to take your money and force your daughters to serve in their temples. Is this really what you want for yourselves and your children? What if it's your daughter they want next year for the sacrifice?" Noah questioned, pointing to a man near him.
"No, no! I don't want my daughter sacrificed, but what can I do? What can we do?" he said.
"You can turn to God," declared Noah. "The Lord God is the one and only true God. Only He, the Creator of this world and everything in it, has the right to be worshiped. Because of His love for you, He has warned you of His coming judgment. He wants you to turn to Him and leave your idols. He is a just God and will honor your repentance."
Several people in the crowd were swayed by the things Noah said. Was it possible there really was only one true God? And if so, perhaps the coming judgment was real. Noah certainly believed it. He had told them there would be room for all of them on the ark he was building.
"Don't listen to him," yelled a man in a red tunic. He shook his fist and screamed at Noah, "We can do whatever we want. What's right for you doesn't mean it's right for anyone else. Leave us alone!"
Those in the crowd who had been touched by what Noah said remained silent. But as they looked at the shouting people all around them, they began to worry. What would my friends and family think if I believed? Would they laugh at me? Would I lose my job? No, there was too much at stake to side with Noah.
In a window overlooking the crowd, a woman watched the scene below. She had sent her slave to alert the temple guards. That man Noah should be locked up. How dare he say those things about her gods. That god of Noah wouldn't let anyone have a good time. Why would anybody want to follow a god like that? Noah should be stopped so he doesn't confuse people, she thought. Looking in the direction of the temple, she saw the priests and temple guards running down the steps.
Shem, at the base of the platform saw them, too. He knew the priests would seek to have the angry mob harm his father. Noah felt a hard tug on his robe and looked down. He saw the look of alarm on Shem's face and knew it was time to leave. Noah leapt down, and they quickly escaped. The two ducked into one side street, then another, and disappeared into the marketplace.
When they were back safely at their home, Noah praised God and thanked Him for protecting them. Preaching God's word was becoming more dangerous with each passing day, but he would never stop doing it. Next week he would go to the distant land of Nod to preach again, and Shem would accompany him.
Prejudice and Hate Noah's wife, Rebecca, accompanied by her bodyguard, stopped at a marketplace stall and greeted the owner's daughter. "Good morning, Rachel. I've heard you have some beautiful new fabrics from Nod. I'd like to see them."
Rachel quickly brought out several brightly colored patterns. And after telling Rebecca about the fabrics, she shyly asked, "How is your son Japheth? I haven't seen him around the marketplace with his brothers lately."
"He's just fine, thank you. Japheth has been working on the ark and hasn't been in the city recently," Rebecca replied. She smiled, realizing her handsome, rusty-haired son had caught Rachel's attention.
As Rebecca looked at the fabrics, two women and their bodyguard stopped on the other side of the street. The women glared at Rebecca, as if offended by her presence. Then one, dressed in yellow, turned to her companion and spoke in a loud voice-for she wanted Rebecca to hear.
"Look, there's mad Noah's wife, Rebecca, buying fabrics. She can well afford them, for her deranged husband refused to pay the new voluntary temple tax that all decent citizens willingly pay. He won't contribute so we can have another beautiful new temple to worship in, but he has money to spare when it comes to building that monstrous ark."
"And look at her," said the woman in red pointing in Rebecca's direction. "She hangs on to the old ways and looks down on us because we do not. She thinks she's too good to attend the plays and lectures. Well, better to be open to new ideas than to have a closed mind like her. Even the judge's wife attends meetings to contact the spirit beings and the dead. Noah says they are demons and will harm us. What does he know?"
Rebecca's guard turned his back to the women so he could pretend he didn't hear them. If Noah didn't pay so well, he wouldn't be seen with the wife of a crazy man.
The woman in yellow continued the verbal assault. "Noah's family refused to come to the new temple festival for the sacrifice of the maiden. Don't they care if we have good fortune next year? Something should be done about them."
Rachel, embarrassed for Rebecca, stepped nearer and whispered, "I'm sure your God will protect you and your family." Being so close to her, Rebecca noticed marks on Rachel's arms.
"Thank you, Rachel. He will. But how did you get all those terrible bruises?" Rebecca softly asked. Rachel looked down and turned away in an effort to hide her arms. She shrank from Rebecca's gentle touch on her shoulder.
When Rachel finally turned around to face Rebecca, there were tears in her eyes. "One day last week very few shoppers came to the marketplace, and I only sold one piece of cloth. My father was very angry and said if I had tried harder I could have sold much more. He said I deserved to be punished. He doesn't try to hurt my brother, who's older, anymore, but he often beats me if I do not sell enough to suit him."
"Rachel, would you want to come to work for me and live in my home?" asked Rebecca. "I promise you would never be beaten again. If you want to come with me, please go tell your father I wish to speak to him."
Rachel was gone in an instant, and returned with her father. Rebecca spoke to him of her need for a new handmaid. And when Rebecca told him of the generous sum of money he would receive from Noah each month for
Rachel's work, he readily agreed to her employment. Rachel could not believe her good fortune. She had never dared dream of anything this wonderful. No one had ever been so kind to her before. Ham Is Tempted Noah and Jabez stood in the midday sun at the shipyard, looking at the fishing vessel under construction. "Ham has not come back to the shipyard after lunch," Jabez told Noah. "This is the third time this week. I do not know where he has gone, but when he is not here the men on his crew do not work as hard."
Noah went to the shipyard office and asked Shem and Japheth to find Ham and bring him back with them. As soon as they were outside, Japheth told Shem he thought he knew where their younger brother was. One of the workmen had told
Japheth he had seen Ham going in the drinking house on the south side of the docks. And he hadn't known whether or not to tell Noah. The two brothers walked quickly to the drinking house. When they entered it, Japheth was the first to see Ham in the dim light. "There he is, Shem. He's sitting with his back turned to us." Shem looked to where Japheth pointed, saw Ham, and then saw the two Nephilim. One was busy threatening a man and demanding his money. The other seemed lost in his drink and the woman by his side. Shem hoped the trouble-making giants wouldn't notice them.
Japheth and Shem went over to Ham and stood next to him. Ham, unhappy to see them, said in annoyance. "Hello, brothers. Are you here to tell me how to live my life again?" Japheth turned to the woman sitting next to Ham and said coldly, "Please leave!" She glared at Japheth as she stood up and went to another table.
"Ham, what are you doing in a place like this?" Shem said in a low voice.
"I work hard for my money and I'll spend it anyway I please! If I want to have some fun and spend a little time with a pretty girl, what's wrong with that?" snarled Ham. He was tired of everyone telling him what to do.
"The women here don't care about you, just the money you bring. Are you blinded to the danger here? Even the music in this place is against God," Japheth observed.
Then Shem continued, "This is known to be a Nephilim hangout. I've heard rumors that men come in here and have drugs slipped in their drinks-and they are never seen again. Perhaps they end up as slaves, beaten and worked to death in some remote, hidden Nephilim gold mine." Ham looked uncomfortable. He lowered his head and mumbled, "I can take care of myself." Japheth shook his head and pleaded, "God has picked you to go on the ark. Do you still want to? You have to make a choice, Ham. You either walk with the Lord God or the evil one."
Ham knew the truth of what Japheth was saying. Even though Ham knew he was in the wrong, he wasn't sure he wanted to give up his friends. Shem saw the indecision in Ham's face. "Please, come with us! Look around you. Are these the people you want to be identified with? Ham stood to leave with his brothers, and suddenly felt dizzy. He realized he had been drugged. Shem and Japheth each grabbed an arm to steady him, and the three brothers quickly left.
One of the Nephilim watched them leave, an angry scowl on his face. The strong young man would have brought him a good price from the slave traders at the next port.