Talk 2

BO SANCHEZ: The Word I want to share with you today consists of three words. These powerful words: Your God Weeps.

Three words. Three words that I hope will be a dagger that will pierce through subconscious pictures of God in your mind.

Maybe not everybody, but some of you– you have embedded subconscious images of a God that is aloof, that is sitting on a throne in the distance.

Maybe with a permanent skull on the face—a displeasure, a repulsion. God is someone who is displeased.

And yet we have here three words that we dug from a story in Genesis —a story that we all know. How many of you have heard of, know of, read about, listened to the story of Noah’s Ark? Most of you.

A Parenting Story

Let me begin with a story.

Year 2007. I met a man who would change my life forever. He is today my financial mentor. His name: Edward Lee.

One of the most, if not the best, stock market trader-investors this country has ever known—a very, very successful business owner.

He called me up, asked me to have lunch with him.

He changed my financial life. But what surprised me in our first lunch, I learned something very important– about parenting.

We were eating in this really expensive restaurant – he was paying.

And then he began by saying, “Bro. Bo, I was born not in a rich family.

My mother is a schoolteacher, my father, he’s a door-to-door salesman. And that’s why I believe that every Filipino can be rich.”

And so he began with that statement and I loved it. I really did.

Then he said, “By the way, I was a very bad student. I was failing in school all my life. Do you know, Bro. Bo, that I was so bad in school, I never finished college. I got kicked out.”

At that moment, a waiter comes along while we were eating. I figured– you know, this was an expensive restaurant– that this waiter had a college degree. And here, in front of me, was someone who did not, and he’s a billionaire.

So, I was curious. I wanted to know how did that happen…

And he went on, saying, “You know, I was such a bad student. I was in grade school, I was this overweight kid, always sweating. Every day at class, I would sit at the back – to sleep. There were two doors in the classroom—one at the back— and my mother, being a teacher in that same school, every day, she would go to the back, through the back door, go to me, see me sleeping, pull me out. Then, because I was, you know, soaking wet with sweat, she would wipe the sweat off my back, and she would put powder on my back, and then send we back to the classroom. And I would sleep again.”

His Mother Weeps

I was wondering, like, how would his parents react to Edward?

So, I said, “You really gave your parents a difficult time.”

And he said, “I gave them hell.

It’s like I was lazy. I didn’t like to go to school. I just didn’t. I was failing in most of my subjects.”

I said, “Did they get angry at you?

Did they scold you? Did they shout at you?” His answer stunned me.

He said, “My mother cried. My mother never shouted, never screamed, never scolded. I just saw her tears. And she would tell me, ‘Anak, hindi ka bobo. Son, you’re not dumb. Anak, magaling ka. You are sharp.

Anak, mahal kita. I love you.’” You know, just that.

And he said, “It would happen so often that when my report card comes,

and it’s filled with red failing marks, you know my mother would just sit down in front of me and start crying, saying ‘Anak, hindi ka bobo. You are not dumb. Anak, magaling ka. You are sharp. I believe in you.’”

The father would say the same thing over and over again.

And then, my mentor told me, “I am who I am because of the unconditional love of my parents. This was the one ingredient that made me successful in life.”

Wow. As you listen to my story today, you might be saying to yourself, “Bro. Bo, hindi ganyan ang magulang ko. My parents are not like that.

Total opposite. They were the ones who told me, ‘Stupid.’ They were the ones who told me ‘Bobo.’ ‘Dumb.’ They were the ones who told me, ‘Walang kuwenta ang buhay mo.’ ‘Your life is useless.’”

I know Fr. Paolo was talking about that a while ago. We live in a broken, wounded, wounding world. And yet I am here to tell you the news that there is a God who weeps for you. There is a God who believes in you.

That when you fail, He weeps.

Human Progress

Today, we will be talking about

Noah’s Ark. But before we do, just to pick up from where we came from: Cain kills Abel. Cain is banished—the way Adam and Eve are banished from Eden. And then what happens, according to the Bible, is that Cain founds a city – builds a city.

Now, I want you to know that when Cain built the city, the Bible also says that there was human progress.

For example, for the first time, they were able to raise livestock. They were no longer hunters and gatherers.

They were able to play musical instruments.

They were able to live in tents – no longer made of stones and wood but now iron and brass.

So, these were giant leaps of technology during that time—as big as the invention of a car, or the invention of the Internet, or the invention of mobile phone, or the invention of toilet paper.

Flood of Evil

And so, what happened was, there was so much human progress.

But the book of Genesis says there was also the progress of evil and corruption. So much evil, so much corruption, to the point – you know there was this guy, a descendant of Cain, his name was Lamech and he was someone who would sing poems about murder– celebrating murder, saying that he would kill without remorse. He would be proud to say, “I am worse than my ancestor Cain.”

Let’s read Genesis 6:5 where it talks about so much evil in the world:

Meaning to say, before there was a flood of water, there was a flood of evil in the world.

Now, the problem, when you think about Noah and Noah’s Ark, is the same problem that people have with Jonah.

Before Genesis, we talked about Jonah. And we were saying that people saw the story of Jonah as a children’s story. There’s this big fish, Jonah was swallowed by the fish. It’s like a children’s story. We explained in the talk series on Jonah that it’s not.

It’s more complex and profound.

It’s the same with the story of Noah’s Ark. Noah’s Ark seems like a cartoon. I mean, think about it: a boat load of animals – floating zoo.

But I’ve got an announcement: Noah’s Ark was written for adults— not for children.

And it has a very serious message.

Consequence and Influence

One of the major messages of Noah’s Ark is that sin is not a private affair. Because sin affects everyone—through consequence and influence.

What do I mean by consequence?

Let me make it graphic:

Let’s say Brutus steals the ATM card of Popeye, figures out the PIN, and then withdraws P200, 000.00 of the hard-earned money of Popeye, goes to Timbuktu, splurges, and lives like a king for a few days.

The police catches up, catches Brutus, puts him in jail.

Questions: Who did the crime? Brutus. Is he suffering consequences because of the wrongdoing? Yes.

Question: Is he the only one suffering? No.

Popeye, who earned P200,000, all of a sudden has no money. Is he the only one suffering? No.

Wimpy also– because Popeye cannot treat him with hamburgers. Olive Oyl also– Popeye cannot give her flowers because the P200,000 is gone.

So, that’s what you call consequence. There are consequences to a wrongdoing. It does not make only you suffer– because of your sin—it makes other people suffer—because of your sin.

And then there’s the whole idea of influence. For example, Bluto, the brother of Brutus, gets encouraged and inspired by his brother’s misdeed —and follows suit.

My dear friends, when you live in a culture – a bad culture– do you know what happens? Bad becomes the norm.

When there are enough persons doing bad stuff, people will say, “That’s normal… I think that’s the way we should live our life.”

So, this is what you call influence.

Sin is serious. This is the message of Noah’s Ark.

Sin destroys lives.

God’s Response

Let’s read that verse we just read a while ago – but this time we ask the question: How does God respond to the evil around?

Why did it break His heart? Because the people who were supposed to be carriers of blessings have become carriers of curse. And when you think about that, God’s reaction to evil was not anger—but sorrow. Now, that is surprising. Because when you think about Noah’s Ark, it’s almost like, Ah, God got angry, and tadaaah: flood. Destroy the Earth. God is a God with a stick. God is a God with a whip. And He becomes Incredible Hulk. He just can’t take it anymore. There is so much evil in the world, and He just Grrraaah! Bang! Bang!

It’s not like that in the Bible. It’s not in Genesis. God responds not in anger. But His heart is broken.

I’m reminded of my mentor and his story– when he told me about how his parents responded to his wrongdoing.

His parents were just crying, saying,

“Edward, you’re better than this. You’re better than this.”

No screaming, no shouting. His whole life growing up – just parents who would have a broken heart and who would weep.

He was changed not by the anger. Not by the annoyance. Not by the irritation of his parents.

He was changed by their tears.

And my dear friends, that is what will change your life.

Because God, He weeps for you.

God Is Not in a Bad Mood

DIDOY LUBATON: God weeps for you. I couldn’t even imagine—but He does.

Noah’s Ark—beautiful, happy story, with animals. But what we do here at The Feast, we try to dig deep and understand what it means, and how everything is all connected.

And so, this Noah’s Ark story is not the only Great Flood story in the cultures of the world. There were many.

One example is the Epic of Atrahasis.

It tells of a hero who was saved from a flood by building a boat. Sounds similar? But in this story, one of their gods wiped out humanity not because people were bad– but because people got too many and too noisy.

One of the gods got annoyed, threw a tantrum, and said, “I’ll just wipe out everything and start again.”

That’s not our God. That’s not who He is.

There were many Great Flood stories, and the author of the Genesis story knew the readers were familiar with these stories. Noah’s story is telling us that Yahweh, God, is different from all the other gods in those ancient cultures. God doesn’t destroy just because He wants to. We destroy ourselves. It’s not because God is wrathful and He’s in a bad mood.

Yeah, in Noah’s story, people—we– got so bad… When God sees His children destroying each other, He doesn’t just go on a rampage and just kill everybody.

The fact that there is a number—how many days did the flood last? 40. It means that we have a calculating God. He has a calculated move.

So, let me ask this question: Is God really cruel? Let me go to Genesis 6:7:

This verse is all that it takes to say that God is a mass-murderer and He is a very cruel God. Wait, wait, wait…

We are teaching in The Feast: How could a loving God become that cruel?

Well, He is not. And you got to understand ancient stories, ancient culture, ancient context. Do not just do this out of context.

Two Answers

So, we have that question: Is God cruel? Reading from Genesis, we get two answers.

No. 1: Stop reading this story with modern eyes.

Because this was written in ancient culture. These are ancient texts. So, we cannot apply our modern understanding in the ancient culture and ancient text.

No. 2: Stop reading it literally.

The author never meant this to be read literally, and again, ancient culture, ancient authors, ancient categories, ancient context.

And it must be read from an ancient perspective.

One example: Modern people don’t like the word judgment. If someone passes a judgment, or if you felt you are judged, it’s usually in the negative context— it’s punitive and cruel. But you got to understand, in the ancient culture, judgment is actually good—because they believe that the judge is good. They saw God’s judgment as very good.

So, let’s continue reading: Genesis 6:8-9:

Righteous. I want you to pin that thought of Noah being one of the righteous ones. Because that means a lot as we go to other chapters. Let me push on the story: After Noah goes into the Ark with the animals—two-by-two—how does it happen? It’s not meant to be taken literally. Imagine: how many animals?

If you’re a zoologist, you’d say, can all those animals fit in one ark? It’ not meant to be taken literally.

So, the flood story starts in Chapter 7:

There is rain. Yes. But do you know that there’s another one? Another source of the water. Where is that? Underground. The Genesis author describes it that way—it’s a very weird way—but yes, there were waters below, and there were waters above. And the waters from above and below met and trashed and wiped out everything.

Back to Creation

Do you remember, we discussed that two weeks ago: it’s a strange thing. But the authors were recalling, hyperlinking it to the Creation story.

What Day was that?

In Chapter 1:6 God says:

You know what’s happening in the Noah’s Ark story? In the Creation, the separation of the waters above and below. In Noah’s Ark story, when the Great Flood happened, it was a de-Creation story. Remember, that before God created anything, there was already something. And what was that? The chaotic waters.

Chaos was already there. So, when God created the world, He brought order into the chaos. But then people rebelled – peopled didn’t like that order. Chaos happened. Chaos came rushing back.

Some believe that when we sin, God comes with a big stick and, “Mm, Whip!” That’s not what we’re trying to say. It’s not the picture from Genesis.

When we sin, God steps back and allows chaos to return: “You didn’t like my design? You are going out of the design?” Then the chaos returns.

Going back to the title of our series, you got to remember: God gives us a choice between a curse, or a blessing. God allows us to choose between order or chaos. And this is the absolute scary truth: What do you want? What do you choose: Order? Or Chaos?

The choice will prevail. Reflect on that. What are the fruits of your life now? Order or chaos? Happiness or sadness? Hope or desperation? What choices have you been making?

C.S. Lewis said it so well:


I remember when I was in high school, I failed. Miserably—in Technology and Home Economics. 74 – my first ever and the last ever failing grade. And that was the grading time that I did not pass two out of three projects. I did not do my job or I did not study. I did not pass the projects.

I was playing PlayStation. I was playing with friends. That’s why I got that grade. And it hurt my mom.

That is the natural consequence of not studying.

I am a doctor, and some patients ask me, “Why am I sick? Is God punishing me?”

And sometimes, my role is just telling them, “That is the natural consequence of you not taking care of yourself—of dishonoring your body. So, can you choose better now?”

Some people come to me, asking me, “Why am I depressed?”

Sometimes, it is also because of a natural consequence of our decisions – or even indecisions. There is some toxicity or deficiency that we caused ourselves. Of course, there are those that we did not cause. But ultimately, our life is greatly influenced by our choices. Are we choosing order? Are we choosing chaos?

In conclusion to this Noah story, we see that there is a rainbow, a promise of God. But actually, if you dig deep, the conclusion, it’s different. It was nice, yes. But there’s something that we’d like to discuss here.

After the flood waters receded, Noah steps off the boat. And Noah offers a sacrifice and God promises that He won’t curse the ground again. And He tells Noah and his family to be fruitful and multiply—to become the new carriers of His blessing to the world.

When was the last time that there was sacrifice in the Genesis story? It was during the time of Cain and Abel. And God did not accept Cain’s sacrifice. But here, we see God accepted the sacrifice of Noah—like He accepted Abel’s sacrifice. Whooo, that’s so cool. But what happens next?


Further into the text, it’s very disappointing.

And many preachers wouldn’t preach

this part of the story because it’s so disturbing.

Let’s read:

Sometimes, it’s so hard to understand this passage until you understand how Biblical authors use the hyperlinks. The Genesis writer was hyperlinking Noah’s fall to the fall of Adam and Eve.

Just like Adam and Eve, Noah consumed the fruit of his garden— and too much. He became drunk. Something happened– what exactly, we’re not very sure. In the ancient context, it means a lot—which we do not have time to discuss here.

But here’s what we’re trying to say: The Genesis author was saying Noah was just like Adam. You know, he’s not the promised victor who will crush the Serpent’s head.

New Creation, New Life

As Jesus followers, we believe that Jesus, like Noah, was a righteous man. Jesus was sent by the Father to save mankind. But Jesus was not exactly like Noah.

Let me explain:

Noah was a righteous one. He was saved. And the rest of the guilty received judgment. Yes?

Jesus is the righteous one. He received the judgment – so that the guilty can be saved. Wow.

Noah was riding on a tree—a wooden boat—above the chaotic waters. Like the new Eden. And he and his family were saved. Yeah?

But Jesus was crucified on a tree.

And that is the fulfillment of our faith. That ushers in the New Creation reality that we are in. That Jesus offers us New Creation, New Life, New Choices.

Andy Patson, the theologian, says it so beautifully:

We appreciate our Bible more, the context, and we’re just starting. It’s beautiful that we get to discuss this in The Feast. It’s a dream, actually, that we get to understand some more, and we will grow together in our faith. Amen.

God Gets Hurt, too

As we end, I want you to look at the heart of God in this story. He is all powerful, immovable, immutable. He created everything. And in the story of the incarnation of Jesus, He relates to us, and He allows Himself to be moved. He willingly enters into our world. He is not a God high above the Heave\ns, just waiting for you to scramble, to suffer, to drown in your sin, and shame, and guilt.


Our God offers you a New Life. And He got crucified on a tree so that we may live. And how are we appreciating that life?

How are we living that life now? Are we honoring God?

I know some of us, as we worship, we

have a very hard time picturing that God weeps for us. When we are so far away from Him, God weeps for us.

Maybe because of our experience with our parents or people in authority, we always thought of punishment. We always thought of shouting, berating, condemning.

But as we worship now, remember that your God is different. He weeps with us when we make stupid choices. He gets hurt too. He weeps with you when there is destruction happening in your life. Or you have caused destruction to others too. When we take matters into our hands and we suffer because of those decisions, He weeps with us. I just realized how far we are from the Lord.

Today, God weeps for you. And He’s welcoming you back home.

Welcome home. God loves you still. So, return. Come back to Him with all your heart.

So, don’t let fear or anything keep you apart from Him. And that is the New Creation reality that we are in. Return to Him. God weeps for you.

And you know what that means?

He is with you—in your suffering, in your pain, in your hurting. But also God is with you in your rejoicing, in your striving, in your hoping. So now, come and relate to your God. If you will it, go to a posture of worship This is that time to connect with your God. Give your heart to God. Trust in Him. Cooperate with His grace. Believe, trust, hope!


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