Was Noah a Drunk? : An Exposition of Galatians 5:21 — The first recorded instance of excessive drinking was by that of a man that “walked with God” who was “just and perfect in his generations” and had found “grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Gen. 6:8-9). That man was Noah! How can this be? Now if that were the case, then Noah, being “a just man and perfect in his generations”, would be incapable of the sin of
drunkenness either in intent or action – he planted a vineyard to make wine to drink, but not to excess – as recorded in Genesis 9:20-21. It is commonly taught that the qualities of perfection and awareness of God just mentioned were inherent in Noah and that is why God picked him to save, so to speak, mankind from total annihilation by the Flood. This interpretation, however, would bring glory to Noah and not to God. Perhaps there is another reason. Maybe, just maybe, Noah, though not as obvious in actions as a reflection of the thoughts of his heart like his contemporaries, still presented himself with an Adamic sin nature like anyone else. For we know that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:10-11). So we have Noah, a sinner, whose heart initially “was deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9), like anyone else. Out of it “proceeded evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness [see also Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Ps. 51:5; Prov. 12:20]”, and possibly a tendency, on occasion, to have too much to drink. Yet, the Scriptures, the written Word of God, declare him “just and perfect” – not “relatively just and relatively perfect” as most would say. Only the elective grace of God could provide a suitable answer to this dilemma. Noah was, like all believers, irrespective of his behavior, “chosen from the foundation of the world” in Christ and had these godly virtues imputed to him from his mother’s womb – much like Paul’s description of himself (Gal. 1:15-16). Noah “found grace in the eyes of the LORD” only because the LORD, for His own purposes and to bring glory to Himself, chose to reveal a part of Himself to him. It was not Noah’s supposed goodness. No, it was the goodness of God that led Noah to repent, that is, to change his mind concerning the character and nature of God in the face of his Adamic propensities, to perceive the disastrous event that was to come upon the whole world, and “move with fear” (Heb. 11:7). Noah lived 950 years and we see only one snippet from his life which was relevant to the LORD’s plan for His Messiah. That “snippet” was sufficient to qualify him for a place in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 11, hall of the faithful. Could Noah, by his own “ free will” refuse to obey and choose to party with the rest of the reprobates? The authors’ answer is a categorical “No!” As God is true and every man be a liar, there was no way that the entire human race would hang in the balance conditional on the “ free will” choice of a mere man and conceivably perish. If all men were eradicated off the face of the earth, God would have lied concerning his promise of the “Seed of the woman” (Gen. 3:15). It would not have found its fulfillment if there was no human upon the face of the earth to propagate the Messianic line.
To answer the question: Noah might or might not have had a problem with alcohol. But, most important, he was a child of the living God chosen in Christ before the creation of the material universe to bring glory to God and not to himself.
Copyright © September, 2017, All Rights Reserved – Including “Broken Cross” image with verse.
(Note: Don’t let our “Broken Cross” image fool you into thinking this particular cross is pagan in its origin. Actually, designed by the authors, it is intended to depict what legalism and lies has attempted to do to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike other “crosses” you may see which carry a negative connotation, ours is a sign of victory for those “in Christ”.)