Little Comforts Genesis 5:29

He called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us. - Genesis 5:29.

There was once a very little girl, so little as to be almost a baby, and she had a hot little temper which blazed out suddenly every now and then. One day when she had flown into a passion her father exclaimed, “Little spitfire!” Baby stopped and solemnly looked at him, but said nothing. The same day her mother received news which made her very sad, so sad that she could not help crying. Baby, who had a warm little heart as well as a warm little temper, was distressed too. She climbed on her mother’s knee, put her arms round her mother’s neck, and lisped, “Poo’ Mommy, don’t ky, don’t ky!”

And mother dried her tears at the touch of those clinging arms and hugged the tiny comforter and whispered, “Mother’s little comfort.” When Baby was dropping over to sleep that night she was heard repeating softly to herself, “Daddy’s ’itta ’pitfire, Mommy’s ’itta tumfort.” And for many days after if you asked her name she promptly replied, “Daddy’s ’itta ’pitfire and Mommy’s ’itta tumfort.”
Today I want to tell you of someone in the Bible who was both his father’s and his mother’s “little comfort.” In fact his name just means “comfort,” though the Hebrews pronounced it “Noah.” The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly why Lamech, Noah’s father, called his little son “Comfort,” but it gives us several hints, and we guess the rest.

Noah’s father and mother had been having a hard struggle to make a living. They had worked early and late and their hard work had not had great results. Perhaps the soil was at fault, perhaps a blight had fallen on the crops. Perhaps a flight of locusts had alighted on the fields and eaten up every green thing. We are not told. All we know is that they were feeling that they had struggled hard and had failed. And then, when they were feeling specially down-hearted, God sent them their little son, and Lamech and his wife took new heart and fresh courage from God’s gift to them. They felt that here was something that more than made up for all their disappointments, so they called him Noah—“Little Comfort.”

Can’t you imagine Lamech talking to his wife and saying, “We shall try again for the sake of the boy. And this time we shall succeed”? And they would both go forward hopefully, looking to the time when baby Noah would be a big boy and ready to work along with them.

But it was not only to his parents that Noah was a comfort. He was a comfort to God. Noah was born at a time when the people around were very wicked.

They loved evil. They loved it to such an extent that they intentionally forgot God. They put Him out of their lives as if He did not exist, and they went their wicked way rejoicing in it, and trying hard just how wicked they could be. Among them all there was only one who remembered God and listened to His voice, and it was Noah. God’s heart was nearly broken with the wickedness of the men whom He had created. Noah was His one comfort. Later God saw that the only way to stop the terrible wickedness was to destroy the doers of it. And so, as you know, He sent the flood and drowned the determined evildoers. But Noah and his family He saved alive in the ark.

We too can be Noahs, boys and girls. We can comfort our fellow-men and we can comfort God.
(1) How can we comfort our fellow-men? In thousands of ways—big ways, and little ways, and middle-sized ways. We can begin with the little ways. We can begin to be Noahs at home. We can notice when father is tired or mother needs a helping hand. We can slip in and do our little bit to help. That will be acting Noah. We can take the little ones and amuse them for half an hour till mother gets a rest. We can run an errand for father or offer to post his letters. We can show little brother how to do that sum which he has already wiped out half a dozen times on his slate. We can fix little sister’s doll and dry the tears which she has been shedding because its arm has come off. We can begin, I say, with the little ways; but we shall not end with them. If we begin with the little ways, we shall go on without knowing it to the big ways, and shall end, God helping us, by being a comfort to our day and generation.

(2) And we can comfort God. “That sounds strange,” you say. “I always understood that God comforted His children. I didn’t think He needed to be comforted Himself.” That is just where you and many others make a mistake. God needs comfort. He needs it terribly. For after all, “comfort” is just another name for “love,” and God hungers more than we can say, or think, or imagine for the love of His children on earth. He longs for it with a longing unspeakable. And the pity of it is that some people think God can get along quite nicely without them. Are you going to be God’s “comforts” too, dear children? God hopes you are.

Read more:
Genesis - Children's Great Texts Of The Bible by James Hastings