The Days of Peleg
(Story of how God separated the continents – Plate Tectonics – and divided the lands between the new tribes that resulted from the creation of different languages)
“Two sons were born to Eber:
One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided…” Genesis 10:25
Noah, his wife Emzara and what was left of the followers of Creator God continued slogging through the marsh bordering the river. Not far behind them the chariots of Nimrod and his army. Noah felt it somewhat of an indication of Nimrod’s fear of his grandfather that caused him to use such overwhelming force to destroy him. Nimrod’s army had already killed most of Noah’s followers. Those who listened and believed the stories of how Creator had saved mankind in the ark.
Emzara told Noah every chance she could get that Noah’s trip to see the tower Nimrod was building – had led to the confrontation between Grandfather and Grandson and their current dilemma. Noah knew she was right. It was just the constant reminding that tended to get under his skin.
Thankfully, two angels appeared at Noah’s door with a warning to flee. This had saved them. Or, perhaps had just bought them a little more time here on earth. Because, now the remnants of his band of followers were trapped against a river with no way to cross. The trees and bushes of the marsh hid Noah from Nimrod’s men. But, it also kept Noah from seeing how close Nimrod was. He knew it was only a matter of time before Nimrod’s men followed them into the marsh and killed them one by one. Noah remembered the hatred his grandson had for him. Earlier that spring, there in Nimrod’s throne room in the middle of a building those people called a palace. In that ugly, filthy place they were calling a great city. He had gone there to confront the wayward grandson about his reckless and wanton killing of animals for nothing but the joy of killing. He saw it as a symptom of a disease deep in Nimrod’s soul. Noah mistakenly assumed that he could rationalize with the youngster. Instead Nimrod had exploded in a frightening unhuman rage that reminded Noah of the days before the flood. He recognized the presence of the evil spirits Father God had told him about during the long days of constructing the boat. Oh, for those days to return. If only The Creator were with him now, in this stinking muck filled place. He would protect them.
Emzara wouldn’t let him forget how God had abandoned them. How God’s favor no longer rested upon Noah. That Noah’s God must be on the other side of the world. And, the tedious chore of working through the waist deep water, and fighting through brush, vines, and roots, invited Noah to give grudging acknowledgement to the dicey situation But, Noah knew The Creator was watching. He knew that Creator had something planned.
Life – up until now – had been peaceful. God’s blessings were evident in every aspect of life. Noah’s son’s and daughter in law’s had grown huge families. Indeed they occupied small nations now. Everything Noah grew came up from the ground with abundance. Noah knew he was favored by The Creator. The picture of the blessing of his latest grandson’s dedication to the Creator sprang up into his mind. Just a month before – after the visit to the palace of evil – Noah and Emzara presided over young Peleg’s birth and dedication. Oh how they had celebrated. He knew they were celebrating more than just Peleg’s birth. They celebrated the goodness an favor of Creator to bless their land. The goodness of Creator to walk with them and show them how to best talk the crops out of the dirt. Those were the good and peaceful times when The God of All Things walked with men. Somehow Noah could tell that men were again trying His patience. He sensed He might not be patient much longer.
Life began changing when the stories started reaching Noah from the plains below his home in the high mountain meadows. The animals streaming into the meadow for refuge alarmed Noah. They told Noah of the slaughters. Men driving whole herds of antelope over cliffs to their destruction. Only taking trophies and the choicest parts of the animal, then leaving the rest to rot. Where Noah would give thanks for the sacrifices the animals would make for Noah’s family, this man – this monster – would pretend he was a conqueror. He behaved badly.
Now Noah, Emzara, and those of his grandchildren that understood the Love of the Creator. Those that believed the stories of the Creation and the Flood. The few that remained now desperately found themselves waist deep in a marsh. Emzara’s look of panic communicated exactly how Noah felt, but couldn’t express. His children – that is how he saw his followers – needed a leader, needed someone strong at this moment. Panic and fear would only lead to a quicker death. But, he knew something was coming. God had never failed him in the past and wouldn’t do so now. But, how?
Nimrod’s soldiers were in the marsh now and it was only a matter of time.
Noah felt a tug on his leg. Was it a snake? That moment of apprehension rose up. But, then Noah looked down and there floated a young otter floating on it’s back.
“Grandfather Noah, follow me. I will show you how to avoid the noisy ones.” With that the otter began to paddle backwards through the water beckoning Noah to follow. “Come, quickly, there is a way across the river! You don’t have time to hesitate. Follow me!”
Noah looked at Emzara, and then down the line of the children and motioned for everyone to follow. Still the going was slow and the crashing noise of the soldiers, and Nimrod’s raging voice pressed in on the desperation rising up in the hearts of the children. It would only be a matter of minutes before they were upon them. Could they make it to the river in time?
Desperation can be a good thing. Especially, in life and death decisions. Desperation brings decisiveness to decision making, that decision that determines where you place your hope. Where does your hope lie in times like this. As life is weighed in the balance, tipping either towards life or death, desperation brings certainty to the process. Do you choose life or do you choose hopelessness and death? In this case Noah silently cried out with a fervent desperation for the Creator’s presence to once again intervene in life. Noah desperately chose life.
There flowed the river.
The otter turned and kicked powerfully into the fast flowing current motioning for Noah to follow. There running effortlessly in the middle of the river came a number of the largest bears Noah had seen since the Flood. Their fur a light brown almost cinnamon color glistened in the water. Their size and surprising speed combined with the freezing cold water of the fast flowing river, caused Noah to catch his breath. Creator had heard Noah’s prayer and sent help. An army of the most magnificent bears of every species pushed past Noah. The largest of the Cinnamon Bears looked down at Noah with a grim look of determination and said, “He has heard you Grandfather Noah! Our black brothers will carry you to the other side of the river. We will take care of the arrogant ones!” Then the bear crashed into the brush of the marsh with his brothers. An irresistible force of nature, an avalanche of bear crashing down on Nimrod and his soldiers. They were followed by smaller, but still impressive black bears. They were moving towards Noah and the children. The current flowing around their powerful bodies, did not scare the bears. This was normal for them. Fishing for salmon in the river was a daily exercise and now they could repay the savior of their species.
The first of the black bears pushed through the current to Noah and said, “Get on my back quickly!” And, no sooner had Noah clambered aboard than the bear began swimming for the opposite shore.
The water chilled the bones and washed over the top of the bear’s back and over Noah’s head making it difficult to breathe as the bear’s powerful swimming propelled them forward. Noah looked around him to see a line of bears with the children and Emzara making their way across the river. Noah found himself chuckling at the look on his wife’s face. Her eyes were tightly shut as if to shut out the outrageousness of the situation. “She may be a pain at times, but she has the courage of 10 men! Thank you Lord for the gift of my wife and companion! Lord bless her. She has followed me into every adventure you lead me into!” Noah felt like singing! The adventure of life with Creator had returned! He didn’t know where Creator was taking them. But, he knew the days of sitting watching the plants grow were gone for now. Now there would be an adventure. For surely Nimrod would find a way across the river and would not stop until they were trophies on the wall of his palace. So Noah knew this was only the beginning.
That was when Noah noticed that there were other animals in the river. Hundreds of antelope, deer, raccoons, mice, snakes, rabbits, skunks, in fact every animal that walked and had been with him on the ark – or at least their descendants – were swimming to the other side along with them! What was going on? Were they fleeing the evil of Nimrod, just as he was?
Another glance backwards, there were so many animals in the river it looked like a great Salmon Run, thousands of dark bodies churning the water into a frothy maelstrom. There on the other side Noah saw Nimrod and his men, now out of the swamp, were attempting to run from the army of bears. The only ones making good an escape were on horses or chariots. The speed with which the bears were capable of brought a thrill into his heart.
But, as Noah watched Nimrod and his men escaping he realized that the far bank seemed to be receding faster than possible. They should have made it to the other side by now.
Turning and looking forward there was the shore. The bear was walking now. Rising out of the freezing water with great lumbering strides. He was panting heavily from the exertion of crossing the strong current with someone on his back. But, when Noah looked at the bear, he saw a look of great satisfaction. This was an accomplishment a great victory for the animals! They had repaid a debt! They had saved the one human that they could trust and loved with a legendary love.
Noah stepped up to the bear and placed his hands on the great giant soaking wet head. “Thank you my friend. May Creator bless you and your kind forever. May you remain strong and free where ever you go! I and my kind hopefully will never forget the kindness you have shown us today.”
But, the bear was not looking – not paying attention – to Noah. His attention had settled on the river. It was growing wider. As the last of the animals pulled themselves up on the shore, exhausted from the river crossing, Emzara and the children stood next to their saviors watching as the river began to widen. As it widened the water began to become shallower and shallower. Where it once was deeper than could be safely crossed. It now looked to be only knee deep! What was happening here?
The ground began to shake. It became difficult to stand. Noah grabbed Emzara and the tree they were standing next to to keep from falling. The ground moved in ways that tricked their feet that normally supported them. The very earth they depended upon to be there, the foundation of everything solid, was proving to be anything but. Noah looked out into the river. The larger bears that had fought Nimrod and his men were trying to return, but were floundering in the shallow water, trying to stand and slipping on the slick river stones.
Then they heard it. Coming from downstream a roaring, rumbling noice caught Noah’s attention. Looking downstream Noah saw a wall of water coming up the river!
Turning to Emzara and the children Noah shouted, “Run!”
And they did! Sprinting as best they could with the the ground shifting under their feet, they stumbled and staggered from tree to tree to the higher ground ahead.
The roaring grew louder and louder as the wall of water moved up the river bed. Noah looked over his shoulder as he urged his seven hundred and thirty-year-old legs to move faster. Emzara and the children were outdistancing him! And, the water was there, off to the right moving through the trees and the grass. It was moving faster that his legs could carry him.
But, make it they did. Noah got wet, but made it to where the water could not reach. Then he tasted the water. It was not fresh water! It was salty water! This water came from the ocean that surrounded the land. The water left over from the flood. He had heard that it surrounded the land men lived on. Something unthinkable before the rains came. Of course no one had ever seen rain before the floods either. So now this was another part of the creation that The Lord had not shared with him. No matter, now they were safe.
Noah looked to see what had happened to Nimrod, but realized that the other side of the river was now barely discernable, merely a dark line well over a mile away. The two shores of the river were moving apart rapidly. The land was separating! Dividing! The Creator had saved them again by seperating the lands!
Noah, Emzara, the children and a long caravan of animalsof every kind continued moving farther from the water. The land kept moving, though mostly during the day. Night came and the ground seemed to sleep with them, allowing them to get their rest. Then when the sun came, the movement began again in a great caravan of life.
There were forty five of them. There had been thousands in Noah’s camps. But, now these were the only lives left. The evil had returned and now Noah’s thoughts turned to what Creator would do. He had promised that He would never destroy the earth with water again. Ironicly…Noah realized…God had not used water to destroy this time. The water had only filled in a hole Creator had dug. He is a powerful God. Moving mountains and re-routing rivers. He can change a world as fast as Noah could put on his sandals. He is worthy to be worshiped. That is what puzzled Noah. Why couldn’t Nimrod see that? The answer, Noah knew, was obvious. The evil one had lied to Nimrod, just as he had done with the first Grandfather and Grandmother Adam and Eve. Nimrod may have a powerful body, but a weak mind. He remembered the bullies from before the flood. Satan’s minions inciting the weak and fearful minded to violence and unspeakable evil acts. Now he had done it again. And, again Creator saved Himself a remnant!
Noah prayed as they walked across a small meadow under the shadow of what had been a small hill the evening before, but now was rapidly becoming a large mountain as they walked across the meadow. They had grown somewhat used to the rhythmic movement of the land beneath their feet. Still there had been a number of twisted ankles and bruises from awkward falls. There were no complaints from the children though. They understood the unique nature of their journey and the changes in the land. They understood that Creator was forming a new land and that they were not to fear.
Realization rose up in Noah’s mind. The Creator had saved them from evil as He had done before the flood. Some of the children had asked why Creator didn’t just kill Nimrod and the army that pursued them? Noah told them that Creator still loved Nimrod even though he practiced evil things. Creator knew hope still existed for Nimrod. It had to be that way, or hope would only be a fickle thing. Creator loved completely and unconditionally. His Love never falters or changes and is always there for those whose hearts realize the need for – the existence of – a loving, saving Creator. He told them that Creator never changed. The hearts of men are what prove themselves fickle and transient. The Love of the Father is always there waiting for the Human Soul to come home.