I was a bit skeptical when I saw the Carolyn Custis James included Noah’s wife in her book, Lost Women of the Bible. There isn’t much to tell, is there? The Bible doesn’t say very much about Mrs. Noah. It doesn’t even tell us her name. But it turns out that the fact that Mrs. Noah is all but left out of the narrative is what stands out about her.
~ “Mrs. Noah got lost in her marriage. Among the lost women of the Bible, she has all but vanished from sight. Her story(which may have been a good one) died with her remains buried to this day because the story that got told was her husband’s. She was one of eight individuals to survive the world’s worst natural disaster, yet every so-called ‘complete’ list of women in the Bible leaves her out.”
Unfortunately, this can be said of countless women throughout history. The accomplishments of women have been overlooked and ignored. For example, has the average person ever heard of these two amazing women? How about this one? I hope everyone has heard of this woman! Many times the female perspective of the story gets overlooked, as it did with Mrs. Noah. Many times we are even taught that overlooking the woman’s story is the “biblical” thing to do, in order to make it possible for the men to attend to their ministries. Mrs. Noah’s story ~
~ “remains a mystery, unknown and unknowable to us, buried with her body underneath the grass. Still, the lack of information doesn’t prevent us from wondering.”
Mrs. Noah’s life brings about a myriad of questions about what her life must have been like.
“Where does she fit into God’s purposes in her specific time and place? How did she contribute to God’s kingdom? How did being God’s image bearer change her outlook on life? What battles was this ezer called to fight?”
Poor Mrs. Noah does seem to get pushed to the side in favor of her famous husband. But what is known about Mrs. Noah?
“Mrs. Noah lived during terrible times. Wickedness and violence weren’t news bites about trouble happening a safe distance from ‘respectable'; neighborhoods. The whole culture was infected.”
“Mrs. Noah could sympathize with women who live in fear of drive-by shootings. Living in a society of violence, she was no stranger to the kinds of anxieties mothers feel when sending their children off to school where the first test they must pass each day is a metal detector.”
James points out that everyone around Noah and his family were oblivious to God’s disapproval of them, and of the impending doom they would soon face. Everyone around her thought her husband was nuts. Noah was in a class all his own(Gen. 6:9). He stood out because he was devoted to God, and was mocked for it. What kinds of struggles did Mrs. Noah have in her heart in the face of her husband’s rejection?
We also know that Mrs. Noah was married and had sons, which granted her the highest status as a woman of her time.
“In ancient times, as in some Third World countries today, the culture gauged a woman’s success and value by the number of sons she bore her husband. Her reproductive successes determined her husband’s stature in the community, not to mention his survival.”
Mrs. Noah was also one of the only human beings to survive this enormous natural disaster. How depressing it must have been to lose nearly everything; most of your possessions, friends, and relatives.
“She had a lot to pass on, for she was God’s image bearer and an ezer. With her husband, she shared the same call to know and walk with God in a dark and evil age. This was her high calling as a woman.”
“Mrs. Noah, along with her husband, was a crucial member of the Blessed Alliance.”
There much that we modern women can relate to in Mrs. Noah. We struggle in our relationships. We doubt God, we doubt his love for us, and whether or not He is going to be faithful to us. We worry about the future and fear the worst. Whether married or single, we are ezers, and therefore members of the Blessed Alliance. James defines the Blessed Alliance as the fact that “At creation, God created his image bearers—male and female—to serve Him together as a Blessed Alliance in every sphere of life. The scope of their mission encompassed ‘all the earth'(Genesis 1:26). Therefore God’s special blessing rests uniquely on this male/female partnership both in marriage and everywhere else (Genesis 1:28). Our world is uncertain and dangerous, and we face many seemingly insurmountable problems in the world and in our lives.”
We(and Mrs. Noah) were not meant to be marginalized; we are an integral part of the Blessed Alliance, called to work alongside men in every sphere of life.
What struggles did Mrs. Noah face? How can we apply those struggles to our own lives? There are many questions we can ask about Mrs. Noah that can directly apply to us now. We can use these questions to explore our own walk with God. We’ll explore these questions in the next post about Mrs. Noah.