I spent a lot of time studying Noah a few years ago. Not studying in any great academic sense. Simply looking at it a lot until I could see it better. The original Hebrew text was written (I think I recall the word correctly) as a palistrophe - a pattern of verse that rises and falls like rising and falling flood waters.
The Noah saga grew up in a region between the Tigris and the Euphrates where floods were a part of the human story. Of course God didn't actually flood the earth - bugger of a job keeping the woodworm somewhere on the ark for starters. And unlike some who say it doesn't matter whether you believe it actually happened or not I say it does. It matters immensely. As an occasional story writer I offer respect to this author. A great story packed full of truth with a realistic setting. But fiction. You betcha.
I passed the Leamington high water mark yesterday, from the floods of 1997 - the year All Saints Church became an island. I remember watching a caravan fold up as it was crushed under the bridge, a woman was rescued from our main shopping street by helicopter because the water had cut her off and Pizza Express's basement, amongst many others, became a fish tank. My friend's painstaking renovation work on his old Morgan was sent back down a very long snake to square 3.
All human life has been on display in New Orleans post hurricane. Those whose first thought was to loot before they were desperate - every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil all the time, as the writer of Noah put it. And those who put the needs of their own suffering families on one side because they couldn't reach them in order to help the families of other folks. Well they modelled the behaviour of the one who Noah's creator didn't know was to come - one for whom every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only good all the time.
We all have choices to make all the time. Forget God for the moment. He only confuses us. Do something good. What to do will be very obvious most of the time.
Love and respect to those whose lives are under water. From one, once-flooded place to another, we have a very vague and thin idea of what has happened to you.
After Noah had been though his fictional ordeal - he the only one the author claimed God found righteous in any way at all - he got pissed and fell asleep naked. My sort of guy. Holy.
When one day they build the New New Orleans there will be good people and bad people, drunk people and sober people, happy people and sad people but the holy people will be found in all categories.