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Are You A Fur Coat Wearing Christian?

If you were to name the Biblical characters you would describe as righteous I wonder who you would name?
Abraham - he left everything to go where God told him to go.Moses - the first prophet, led the people out of Egypt.David - a man after God's own heart ....as Scripture says.Ruth - she was faithful to her husband’s mother and of exceptional kindnessPaul - wrote nearly half of the New Testament!
What about Noah?
Genesis 6 says of him he was "a righteous man, perfect in his generations; Noah walked with God."Wow!But Noah doesn't quickly come to our minds!Yet Noah is the only person in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, who is described as tzaddik - righteous!
I think what fascinates me about Noah is - his righteousness didn’t seem to impress others.His influence on the life of his contemporaries was, apparently, non-existent!God says, "you alone have I found righteous in this whole generation" (Gen 7vs1)Only Noah, his family and then a big list of animals were saved in The Ark.
This reality has caused scholars to ask - is God saying only Noah was righteous, praise or criticism?
He might have been righteous but he was not a leader.He was a good man who had no influence.Does this still mean he was good?
Judaism has a phrase about Noah:
"a tzaddik im peltz"
A righteous man in a fur coat.
OUCH!
One Hebrew scholar put it like this:
"There are two ways of keeping warm on a cold night. You can wear a fur coat or light a fire. Wear a fur coat and you warm only yourself. Light a fire and you warm others."
I wonder if after the flood was Noah haunted by guilt?Did he think about the lives he might have saved if he had spoken out?The text doesn’t really answer that question.
But the text does set a high standard for the moral life, for us embracing collective responsibility.
We are supposed to light a fire.Burn bright Crosswalkers!
Gilbert

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