He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.”Genesis 5:29 (NIV)
This year, I’m reading through the Bible. I don’t know how many times I’ve read the story of Noah and the Flood. But I don’t remember ever reading this verse. Maybe it’s because naming my son was so very important to me, and that’s why this verse has suddenly bubbled up to the surface.
Names are important. Sometimes they represent the legacy of a family name. Sometimes they mean something special to the parents. Maybe the meaning represents their hopes and dreams for the child.
The above verse is towards the end of a chapter detailing the genealogy from Adam to Noah. Noah’s father, Lamech, knew of the curse Adam received in the garden. Life was hard. They had to labor. And Noah was to be his comfort in the pain.
Some observations I had were 1) Lamech doesn’t seem like a big fan of farming, 2) he seems a little mad at God for cursing it since he doesn’t seem to recognize that Adam’s choice was what brought the curse in the first place, and 3) Noah was a wanted and celebrated child.
Lamech had no idea that Noah and his family would be the only ones left after a massive flood wipes out the rest of their friends and neighbors. But he did have hopes and dreams for Noah. And that little footnote was pretty cool.