Noach/נֹחַ/Noah in Hebrew means “comfort.” His father Lamech beheld his son and said, “This same shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, which cometh from the ground which the Lord hath cursed” (Gen. 5:29).
Noah found grace in the eyes of God (Gen. 6:8). This grace wasn’t deserved, otherwise it wouldn’t be grace. Noah believed God, in a generation bereft of faith; God showed grace to Noah, and as the Torah says, “Noah was in his generations a man righteous and whole-hearted; Noah walked with God” (Gen. 6:9).
Righteousness, according to the Torah, is the result of faith (Gen. 15:6). How did Noah show that wholehearted, righteous faith? He responded by building the Ark.
How did Noah know how to build it? Did he have the skills necessary to take on such a project? Well, God called him, and he did it.
Noah brought forth the internal witness of his faith, by the external building of the Ark, work prepared beforehand for him to do (Eph. 2:8-10).
Faith did not remain alone. It was coupled with action, and that action became a comfort to those who listened to his work; yet it also became a judgment.
Noah lived his name by comforting those around him by an action of faith. He trusted the Lord, and that trust brought humanity to a new beginning.
The message of his labor was simple: come into the Ark. Another way, come into the תֵּבָה/box/word. We find in this a picture of entering Messiah, the Word made flesh, for safety for the judgment, deliverance, comfort: because He, Yeshua/Jesus, gives us rest.
Noah continues to comfort us by his faithfulness to fulfill what the Father called him to, and equipped him for. May we do the same, to the glory of the Messiah. When we think, or believe we can’t, the calling of God says yes (II Cor. 1:20).