The Hebrew word noach (נֹחַ) means “rest.” In a time of wickedness and turmoil, a child was born, and his parents named him noach, or Noah, because they believed he would bring peace and comfort to a troubled world. (See Genesis 5:28-29, Moses 8:8-9.)
Noah preserved his family and many animals during an enormous flood by following God’s instructions to build a watertight vessel in which they lived for many days. When the water receded, Noah offered a prayer of thanksgiving to God. In response, God promised never to destroy the earth by flood again. (See Genesis 9:8-17.)
Isaiah later referenced this promise as he reassured his people of God’s love for them:
For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.Isaiah 54:9-10; see also 3 Nephi 22:9-10
God loves all of his children and will help us find rest if we, like Noah, reach out to Him in prayer and follow His guidance.
The Hebrew word balal (בָּלַל) means “to confuse or confound.” The author of Genesis says that the place where the descendants of Noah built a tower was called Babel because God confounded (balal) their language there and scattered them across the whole earth (Genesis 11:9).
But one group of people at this place was blessed to retain a common language:
The Lord had compassion upon Jared; therefore he did not confound the language of Jared; and Jared and his brother were not confounded….
And the Lord had compassion upon their friends and their families also, that they were not confounded.Ether 1:35, 37
Just as God helped Jared and his people to not be confounded, He can help us transcend disinformation and deception if we reduce our preoccupation with the world and increase our connection with Him: “Go Ye Forth of Babylon” – 1 Nephi 20:20.
Here are some other insights from this week’s reading, with related blog posts:
- Although God will never flood the earth again with physical water, He will flood the earth with righteousness and truth: “Sweep the Earth as with a Flood”.
- We should reverence life in all of its forms and strive to protect and preserve it: The Sanctity of Life.
- God sometimes provides incremental answers to our prayers: The Lord Had Compassion upon Jared – Ether 1:35, 37, 39-42.
- Effective communication can reduce conflict, facilitate collaboration, and build faith: Their Language Had Become Corrupted – Omni 1:17-18.