Friday, October 26, 2007

A Theology of Genesis 10

Hello Peeps. I’ve been gone a while, but I seem to have found the time to come back. I no longer have internet service at home, which is a huge drawback. And my conscience prevents me from spending too much personal time on the computer at work. But now I have a memory stick, so I can do some file sharing that way. I can write at home, and upload at work, which is what I would call a blessing because I really need the intellectual stimulation in my life right now. I suppose if little things like this make me happy I must not be clinically depressed. (snort) Gotta look on the bright side.
So yes, my personal life… I’m going through a divorce. Very un-Catholic of me, I know. But the fact that I’ve tried for eighteen years to maintain my marriage despite the obvious pathologies going on is indicative of my commitment to the institution and sacrament, if not the man. And that’s all I have to say about it here.
What I really want to get down to is Genesis 10—a short little account of the generations of Noah. The Catholic perspective is that this is pre-history. This is a story. The Bible is expounding the fact that the whole human race is of the same stock. This is the most complete ethnographic map to come from the ancient world, and again, if we all come from the same stock, if we are all really members of one family shouldn’t we live together in peace? According to the Navarre commentary, “These genealogies we’re worked out by reference to the geographical positions of the various nations, similarity of names, and popular traditions about certain heroes. However, the main thing about this list is that it is a way of showing how God’s blessing on Noah has come true: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth’ (9:1).”
And so the theme of Covenant is woven once again into the Bible’s narrative. We see it over and over again, from Adam and Eve up to the everlasting Covenant of Jesus. God keeps trying to cut a deal with us: I will be your God and you will be my people and our souls will reside in beautiful Communion. The original sin was disobedience, and the original punishment was being banished from the presence of God, from the everlasting communion with God that our souls crave. But God keeps trying; He wants to be with us. The legend of Noah is another example of this Covenant—people are bad—can’t deny that. God keeps up His end of the deal, it’s us—we people, who keep letting Him down; doesn’t stop Him from trying again and again. Genesis 10 is a way of showing how God kept up His end of the deal once again. God was faithful to Noah, faithful to His promise and blessing.