UNOWA nomndeni wakhe baqoqene ndawonye njengoba liyidliva ngaphandle. Babone ngeso lengqondo besebumnyameni kulokoza isibani samafutha, bawavule wonke amehlo njengoba belalele amathonsi emvula ashaya ngamandla ophahleni abese ageleze ngezinhlangothi zomkhumbi. Cishe umsindo ababewuzwa wawubethusa.

Njengoba uNowa ebuka ubuso bamalungu omndeni wakhe awuthandayo—umkakhe namadodana akhe amathathu athembekile nomkawo—akungabazeki ukuthi inhliziyo yakhe iba nokwazisa okukhulu. Ngaleso sikhathi esibucayi, cishe ukubona abantu abathanda kakhulu beseduze naye kwamlethela induduzo. Bonke babephephile. Ngokuqinisekile wahola umndeni wakhe emthandazweni wokubonga, ephakamisa izwi ukuze azwakale kuleyo ndawo enomsindo.

UNowa wayeyindoda enokholo olukhulu. Ukholo lukaNowa lwashukumisa uNkulunkulu wakhe, uJehova, ukuba avikele yena nomndeni wakhe. (Hebheru 11:7) Ingabe isidingo sokuba babe nokholo saphela lapho imvula iqala ukuna? Cha, babezoyidinga kakhulu le mfanelo phakathi nezinsuku ezinzima ezazizolandela. Kungashiwo okufanayo nangathi njengoba siphila kulesi sikhathi seziyaluyalu. Ngakho-ke, ake sibone ukuthi yini esingayifunda okholweni lukaNowa.

“IZINSUKU EZINGAMASHUMI AMANE NOBUSUKU OBUNGAMASHUMI AMANE”

Ngaphandle, imvula yaqhubeka iyidliva “izinsuku ezingamashumi amane nobusuku obungamashumi amane.” (Genesise 7:4, 11, 12) Amanzi ayelokhu eba maningi. Njengoba elokhu ekhuphuka, uNowa wayebona ukuthi uNkulunkulu wakhe, uJehova, wayevikela abalungileyo futhi ejezisa ababi ngesikhathi esifanayo.

UZamcolo waqeda ukuvukela kwezingelosi. Zithonywe isimo sengqondo sikaSathane sobugovu, izingelosi eziningi zashiya “indawo yazo yokuhlala efanele” ezulwini ukuze zihlale nabesifazane futhi zaveza inzalo ebizwa ngokuthi amaNefili. (Jude 6; Genesise 6:4) Akungabazeki ukuthi ukuvukela kwezingelosi kwamthokozisa uSathane, ngoba kwasonakalisa nakakhulu isintu, indalo kaJehova ephakeme kunayo yonke emhlabeni.

Nokho, njengoba amanzi kazamcolo eqhubeka ephakama, izingelosi eziyizihlubuki zaphoqeleka ukuba zishiye imizimba yazo yenyama futhi zibuyele endaweni yomoya, aziphindanga zabuyela emizimbeni yenyama. Zashiya omkazo, izingane zazo, nabo bonke abanye abantu ukuba babulawe uzamcolo.

Kusukela ezinsukwini zika-Enoke, cishe emakhulwini ayisikhombisa ngaphambili, uJehova wayebaxwayisile abantu ukuthi uzobabhubhisa ababi, abangamesabi uNkulunkulu. (Genesise 5:24; Jude 14, 15) Kusukela ngaleso sikhathi, abantu base bebabi kakhulu, bonakalisa umhlaba futhi bewugcwalisa ngobudlova. Manje base bebhekene nembubhiso. Ingabe uNowa nomndeni wakhe bajabula ngokubhujiswa kwalabo bantu?

Cha! Ngisho noNkulunkulu wabo onomusa akajabulanga. (Hezekeli 33:11) UJehova wenza konke angakwenza ukuze asindise abantu abaningi ngangokunokwenzeka. Wathuma u-Enoke ukuba axwayise abantu, wayala noNowa ukuba akhe umkhumbi. Kwase kuphele amashumi eminyaka uNowa nomndeni wakhe benza lo msebenzi omkhulu phambi kwabo bonke abantu. Ngaphezu kwalokho, uJehova wayala uNowa ukuba akhonze ‘njengomshumayeli  wokulunga.’ (2 Petru 2:5) Njengo-Enoke owayemandulele, uNowa waxwayisa abantu ngesahlulelo esasizokwehlela umhlaba. Basabela kanjani? UJesu, owabona lezi zenzakalo esezulwini, kamuva wakhumbula abantu bangosuku lukaNowa: “[Abanakanga] kwaze kwafika uzamcolo, wabakhukhula bonke.”—Mathewu 24:39.

Cabanga nje ukuthi kwakunjani kuNowa nomndeni wakhe phakathi nalezo zinsuku ezingu-40 ngemva kokuba uJehova evale umnyango womkhumbi. Njengoba laliyidliva usuku nosuku, kumelwe ukuba laba abangu-8 bathola okuthile abangakwenza nsuku zonke—ukunakekelana, ukunakekela ikhaya labo nokunakekela izidingo zezilwane ezindaweni zazo. Nokho, kukhona isikhathi lapho bezwa umkhumbi unyakaza. Umkhumbi wawuntanta! Uphakanyiswa amanzi andayo, umkhumbi wakhuphuka kancane kancane, kwaze kwaba yilapho ‘usuntanta phezulu ngaphezu komhlaba.’ (Genesise 7:17) Yeka ukubonakaliswa okumangazayo kwamandla kaNkulunkulu uMninimandla onke, uJehova!

Kumelwe ukuba uNowa wabonga—hhayi-nje ngenxa yokuphepha kwakhe nomndeni wakhe, kodwa nangenxa yesihe sikaJehova sokuba abasebenzise ekuxwayiseni abantu abashabalala ngaphandle komkhumbi. Leyo minyaka yokusebenza kanzima kungenzeka yabonakala ingazuzisi ngaleso sikhathi. Abantu babengalaleli! Cabanga ngalokhu—kumelwe ukuba uNowa wayenabafowabo, odadewabo nabashana ababesaphila ngaphambi kukaZamcolo; nokho, akekho noyedwa kubo owalalela ngaphandle komndeni wakhe ayehlala nawo. (Genesise 5:30) Manje, njengoba laba abangu-8 babevikelekile ngaphakathi emkhunjini, kumelwe ukuba kwabaduduza ukucabanga ngaso sonke isikhathi abasichitha benika abantu ithuba lokusinda.

UJehova akakashintshi kusukela osukwini lukaNowa. (Malaki 3:6) UJesu Kristu wachaza ukuthi isikhathi esiphila kuso sifana ‘nezinsuku zikaNowa.’ (Mathewu 24:37) Siphila esikhathini esabikezelwa, isikhathi sezinkathazo ezinkulu esiyophela lapho kubhujiswa lesi simiso sezinto somhlaba owonakele. Ngendlela efanayo, abantu bakaNkulunkulu namuhla bamemezela umyalezo oyisixwayiso kubo bonke abalalelayo. Ingabe uzowulalela lowo myalezo? Uma usulamukele kakade iqiniso lalo myalezo osindisa ukuphila, ingabe uzolihlanganyela nabanye? UNowa nomndeni wakhe basibekela isibonelo.

 “BATHWALWA NGOKUPHEPHA EMANZINI”

Njengoba umkhumbi wawulokhu uyiswa ngapha nangapha ulwandle olugubhayo, kumelwe ukuba ababengaphakathi babezwa imisindo ehlabayo yokugudlana kwezigxobo. Ingabe uNowa wayekhathazeke ngobukhulu bamagagasi noma ukuthi umkhumbi wawungase uphahlazeke? Cha. Abagxeki abaningi namuhla bangase bafikelwe ukungabaza okunjalo, kodwa uNowa wayengangabazi. IBhayibheli lithi: “Ngokholo uNowa . . . wakha umkhumbi.” (Hebheru 11:7) Ukholo lwani? UJehova wayenze isivumelwano sokuvikela uNowa kanye nabo bonke ayenabo kuZamcolo. (Genesise 6:18, 19) Wayengahluleka yini Lowo owadala konke okusezulwini nasemhlabeni, nazo zonke izinto eziphilayo ukugcina umkhumbi uqinile? Lutho neze! UNowa wathemba kufanele ukuthi uJehova wayezosigcina isithembiso saKhe. Nangempela, yena nomndeni wakhe “bathwalwa ngokuphepha emanzini.”—1 Petru 3:20.

Ngemva kwezinsuku ezingu-40 nobusuku obungu-40 imvula yagcina inqamukile. Ngokwekhalenda lethu, kwakuphakathi kuka-December 2370 B.C.E. Nokho, babesazohlala isikhathi eside emkhunjini. Umkhumbi owawugcwele izidalwa eziphilayo wawuntanta wodwa olwandle olusembulungeni yonke, ngaphezu kwazo zonke izintaba ezinde. (Genesise 7:19, 20) Singambona ngamehlo engqondo uNowa ehlela umsebenzi onzima ukuze yena namadodana akhe—uShemi, uHamu noJafete— bagcine zonke izilwane zondlekile, zihlanzekile futhi ziphilile. UNkulunkulu owakwazi ukwenza izilwane zasendle ukuba zingene emkhunjini, wakwazi nokuzigcina zikuleso simo emkhunjini phakathi noZamcolo. *

Kuyacaca ukuthi uNowa wayigcina kahle imininingwane yezinto ezenzeka. Leyo mininingwane isitshela ukuthi imvula yaqala nini futhi yanqamuka nini. Iphinde yembule ukuthi amanzi emboza umhlaba izinsuku ezingu-150. Ekugcineni, amanzi aqala ukubohla. Usuku olubaluleke kakhulu kwaba yilapho umkhumbi ‘uhlala ezintabeni zase-Ararati,’ eTurkey yanamuhla. Lokho kumelwe ukuba kwenzeka ngo-April 2369 B.C.E. Iziqongo zezintaba zaqala ukubonakala ngo-June ngemva kwezinsuku ezingu-73. Ngemva kwezinyanga ezintathu ngo-September, uNowa wanquma ukususa ingxenye yophahla lomkhumbi. Ngokuqinisekile izinzuzo zalowo msebenzi onzima kwaba ukungena kokukhanya nomoya omnandi. Ngaphambi kwalokho, uNowa wayeqale wahlola umhlaba ukuze abone ukuthi kuphephile nokuthi kungahlaleka yini kuwo. Wathumela igwababa, elalilokhu lihamba libuya izikhathi ezimbalwa, mhlawumbe liphumula emkhunjini njengoba lindiza; wabe esethumela ijuba, nalo elalilokhu libuyela kuNowa kwaze yilapho lithola indawo yokuhlala.—Genesise 7:24–8:13.

Akungabazeki ukuthi uNowa wahola ekukhulekeleni komndeni wakhe ngisho nasezikhathini ezinzima

Akungabazeki ukuthi okwakubaluleke kakhulu ekuphileni kukaNowa kwansuku zonke kwakuwukujabulisa uNkulunkulu. Singawubona ngeso lengqondo lo mndeni uhlangana ndawonye njalo ukuze uthandaze futhi ukhulume ngoBaba wawo osezulwini oyisivikelo sawo. UNowa wancika kuJehova kuzo zonke izinqumo ezibalulekile. Ngisho noma uNowa ayebona ukuthi umhlaba ekugcineni “wase womile”—ngemva kwesikhathi esingaphezu konyaka besemkhunjini—akazange awuvule umnyango futhi aphume emkhunjini nakho konke okwakuphakathi. (Genesise 8:14) Cha, walindela izwi likaJehova!

Izinhloko zemindeni namuhla zingafunda lukhulu kuleyo ndoda ethembekile. Wayehlelekile, ekhuthele, enesineke futhi evikela bonke ayebanakekela. Nokho, ngaphezu kwakho konke, wayebheka intando kaNkulunkulu njengebalulekile kunazo zonke izinto. Uma silingisa ukholo lukaNowa kulezi zici, siyolethela bonke esibathandayo izibusiso.

“PHUMA EMKHUNJINI”

Ekugcineni, isiqondiso sikaJehova safika. Wathi kuNowa: “Phuma emkhunjini, wena nomkakho namadodana akho nabafazi bamadodana akho kanye nawe.” Umndeni walalela waphuma kuqala futhi zonke izilwane zalandela. Kanjani? Ngendlela engahlelekile? Lutho neze! Ukulandisa kuthi, “ngemikhaya yazo zaphuma emkhunjini.” (Genesise 8:15-19) Kwathi lapho sebengaphandle, behogela umoya omnandi ovela ezintabeni futhi bebuka isifunda sezintaba zase-Ararati, uNowa nomndeni wakhe babona umhlaba ohlanziwe. Ayengasekho amaNefili, ubudlova, izingelosi ezivukelayo nomphakathi omubi! * Isintu sathola ithuba lokuqala kabusha.

 UNowa wayazi ukuthi kumelwe enzeni. Waqala ngokukhulekela uNkulunkulu. Wakha i-altare wasebenzisa ezinye zezilwane uNkulunkulu ayezibheka njengezihlanzekile—ababezingenise “ngasikhombisa” emkhunjini—wanikela umnikelo wokushiswa kuJehova. (Genesise 7:2; 8:20) Ingabe lokho kukhulekela kwamjabulisa uJehova?

IBhayibheli liphendula ngala mazwi aqinisekisayo: “UJehova wahogela iphunga elizolisayo.” Ubuhlungu obabugcwele enhliziyweni kaNkulunkulu ngesikhathi isintu sigcwalise umhlaba ngobudlova bathathelwa indawo umuzwa ojabulisayo wokubona umndeni wabakhulekeli abaqotho emhlabeni owawuzimisele ukwenza intando yaKhe. UJehova wayengalindele ukuba baphelele. Lapho liqhubeka leli vesi lithi: “Ukuthambekela kwenhliziyo yomuntu kubi kusukela ebusheni bakhe kuqhubeke.” (Genesise 8:21) Cabanga ngenye indlela uJehova aye wababonisa ngayo abantu uzwela nesineke.

UNkulunkulu wasusa isiqalekiso ayesenzile emhlabathini. Emuva ngesikhathi u-Adamu no-Eva behlubuka, uNkulunkulu wayeqalekise umhlabathi, wenza kwaba nzima ukuwulima. Ubaba kaNowa, uLameka waqamba indodana yakhe ngokuthi uNowa—cishe okusho “Ukuphumula” noma “Induduzo”—futhi wabikezela ukuthi indodana yakhe iyoholela isintu esikhathini sokuphumula kuleso siqalekiso. Kumelwe ukuba uNowa wathokoza lapho ethola ukuthi manje uzobona ukugcwaliseka kwaleso siprofetho nokuthi umhlaba uzokhiqiza izivuno lapho ulinywa. Akumangazi ukuthi ngokushesha uNowa waqala ukulima!—Genesise 3:17, 18; 5:28, 29; 9:20.

UNowa nomndeni wakhe baphuma emkhunjini, baphumela emhlabeni ohlanzekile

Ngesikhathi esifanayo, uJehova wanika inzalo kaNowa imithetho ecacile nelula ukuze iyiqondise ekuphileni—kuhlanganise ukunqatshelwa kokubulala nokusetshenziswa kabi kwegazi. UNkulunkulu waphinde wamisa isivumelwano nabantu, ebathembisa ukuthi ngeke aphinde abhubhise umhlaba ngozamcolo. Ukuze abonise ukuthi uyoma ezwini lakhe, uJehova wanika abantu uphawu olungokwemvelo—uthingo. Kuze kube namuhla, uthingo ngalunye esilubonayo luyisikhumbuzo esiduduzayo sesithembiso sikaJehova sothando.—Genesise 9:1-17.

Ukube le ndaba kaNowa bekuyinganekwane, beyiyophetha ngalo lolo thingo. Kodwa uNowa wayengumuntu ongokoqobo futhi ukuphila kwakhe kwakungelula. Ngalezo zinsuku lapho abantu babephila isikhathi eside, le ndoda kwadingeka ibekezele eminye iminyaka engu-350 futhi lawo makhulu eminyaka ayilethela ubuhlungu obukhulu. UNowa wenza iphutha elikhulu lapho ngesinye isikhathi ephuza ngokweqile, kodwa lelo phutha laba libi nakakhulu lapho umzukulu wakhe uKhanani enza isono esibi kakhulu—isono esalethela umndeni kaKhanani imiphumela emibi. UNowa waphila isikhathi eside waze wabona inzalo yakhe yenza izono ezinjengobufebe nobudlova ezinsukwini zikaNimrode. Noma kunjalo, uNowa wabona indodana yakhe uShemi ibekela umndeni wayo isibonelo esihle kakhulu sokholo.—Genesise 9:21-28; 10:8-11; 11:1-11.

NjengoNowa, sidinga ukukhuthazela okholweni. Uma abanye abasizungezile bengamnaki uNkulunkulu weqiniso noma beyeka ukumkhonza, kudingeka siqhubeke sibonisa ukholo njengoNowa. UJehova uyakwazisa kakhulu ukukhuthazela ngokwethembeka okunjalo. Kunjengoba uJesu Kristu asho, “lowo oye wakhuthazela kwaze kwaba sekupheleni nguye oyosindiswa.”—Mathewu 24:13.

^ isig. 17 Abanye baye bathi kungenzeka uNkulunkulu wagcina izilwane zisesimweni sokungenzi lutho, njengasenkathini yasebusika, ngaleyo ndlela wanciphisa isidingo sazo sokudla. Kungakhathaliseki ukuthi wakwenza lokho noma cha, ngokuqinisekile wasigcina isithembiso sakhe, waqikelela ukuthi baphephile bonke ababesemkhunjini.

^ isig. 22 INsimu yase-Edene nayo yayingasekho okungenzeka ukuthi yashabalala ngozamcolo. Uma kunjalo, amakherubi akhululwa esabelweni sawo sokuqapha isango lensimu ngemva kweminyaka engu-1 600, abuyela ezulwini.—Genesise 3:22-24.