Most people would unthinkingly suppose that the people that God likes best, would be those who are subservient to His stated will. But is this really so?
Reading Torah closely, you can often discover a point of view that is different to what is commonly supposed.
Take the case of נח (Noah).
Noah was the first human being to earn the appreciation of God. This is stated clearly in the Torah:
ונח מצא חן בעיני יהוה
|And Noah found favour in the eyes of God.|
The relationship between God and Noah is expressed by these two words in the above verse: נח and חן. The mutual and circular nature of this – and any – relationship is expressed in the transposition of the two letters Het and Nun to compose two different but related words.
Looking more closely at the nature of the relationship between God and Noah, we discover that Noah found favour in the eyes of God precisely by subverting (in a positive and constructive sense) the stated will of God.
God cursed the land because of Adam. The land would not easily yield its fruit. Bread could only be produced by the sweat of Adam’s brow.
And then Noah came along and invented the plough.
The plough not only turned over the clods of the stubborn earth – it also began the process of overturning the curse of God.
God did not like having to curse Adam and the Land. God is always looking for the man who can enable him to lift the curse and change his decree. And this is exactly what Noah began to do.
God likes people like Noah.
It is people, like Noah, who challenge God in positive ways that find favour in God’s eyes.