On Self-Control and not Emulating Sinners who Make an Excuse of the Times; and On Noah

De continentia ac de non aemulandis peccatoribus qui se temporis praetextu excusant; et in Noe (CPG 4022)*

By not attending to the Scriptures or seeking the illumination that comes from knowing them, some are being taken captive and deceived by the crafty Dragon. For the Lord said, Ye are deceived, not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God (Mt 22:29).

We know that Noah was well-pleasing to God at a particular time. As it is written, The Lord God saw that the evils of men were filled up upon the earth and every man meditates carefully on wicked things in his heart day after day (Gen. 6:5), and then after a while, But Noah found favor before the Lord God (Gen 6:8), and again, Noah was well-pleasing to God (Gen. 6:9).

All of this means that Noah was well-pleasing to God at a particular time. The earth was corrupt, it says, before God, and the earth was full of unrighteousness. And the Lord God saw the earth, and it was corrupted, for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth (Gen. 6:12). Thus, when the righteous one saw these things, he was grieved for the sinners, but he established himself firmly in the will of the Creator. And for this reason he is praised by the divine Scripture, which says, But Noah was a righteous man, being perfect in his generation. Noah was well-pleasing to God (Gen. 6:0). For which reason, when the flood came, the righteous man was saved, but the impious were destroyed.

Περὶ ἐγκρατείας, καὶ τοῦ μὴ ζηλοῦν ἁμαρτωλούς, τὸν καιρὸν προφασιζομένους· καὶ εἰς τὸν Νῶε. Ed. K.G. Phrantzolas, Ὁσίου Ἐφραίμ τοῦ Σύρου ἔργα 6 (Thessaloniki: Garden of the Panaghia, 1995), 47-48.

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