Much of life is about choice — what to do, how to do it, when, why, and what becomes of those choices.  Not all of life, of course.  We don’t have much to do with flooding, tornadoes, and falling trees, though we do even have a choice of how to respond to these.

Maybe the biggest choice in life is what we will do with God and his instructions for life?  Will we obey or rebel?  Will we go his way or find a “crooked path” that seems more suitable to us (11:19)?  Will we create a god that is more palatable?  What to do with God?  Since time began this has been humanity’s fundamental question.

Spoken within the context of the idolatrous city of Mecca early in the prophetic work of Muhammad, this surah focuses on the same question.  One choice leads to Paradise, and the other to Fire.  Which will it be?  The choice is yours, because such an important choice cannot be made under compulsion.

In this long section, the work of six prophets are chronicled as examples of those who have laid out this choice before their people: Noah, Hud (for whom this surah is named), Salih, Abraham, Shu`ayb, and Moses.  Three of these are familiar to Christians, though there are a few interesting additions to their lives (like Noah had a son who refused to get on the Ark and drowned).  The other three are entirely foreign.  The point of these stories seems to be that Muhammad is the next such prophet.  His calling in Mecca is the same as these men.  Point to Allah.  Lay out the choice.  Leave it with them to decide.

Who in your life needs to know their choices?  Are we leaving it their choice?  What choice is before us as well?

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