If Noah Were Here... Part 1
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
If Noah Were Here...
Nearly 6000 years ago there was a great man of faith called Noah. Noah lived in a time of great turmoil and much confusion. It had all began so beautifully as God had created man and placed him in the paradise known as the Garden of Eden.
But, oh how quickly the beauty and peacefulness began to disappear as sin entered into the picture. From the lives of Adam and Eve, who knew the untouched innocence and beauty of God’s perfect creation, mankind had quickly fallen to the corrupted world of immorality that Noah lived in. In fact, things had become so bad that God was sorry that He had ever created man.
Genesis 6:5-6 says, "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."
Genesis 6:2 tells us what happened to bring about this fall into absolute corruption when we read the words, "… the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose." The term “Sons of God” refer to those who, for a time, had chosen to have a form of religion where they would still recognize the Lord God, Jehovah. Over a period of time man began to multiply and to fill the land. As the number of people grew and each successive generation began to get farther and farther into sin, there was soon a large majority of the population who had totally forsaken God. They had gone so far from God that there was no reaching them any longer. They had no thought of God. Their heart was only growing more corrupt with each passing day.
Living in a world of corruption took its toll upon those who considered themselves religious also. Little by little, day by day, their religious beliefs were compromised, their faithfulness to serve God became weaker and weaker, their love for God was replaced by a love of the things of this world. Reading Genesis 6:2 gives us a picture of absolute immorality in the hearts of men. Prostitution became the norm as Satan did his best to destroy the very design of God for one man to have one woman for life and create a family that would serve the Lord.
The depths of corruption, sin, and immorality that man can ever reach down into are without limits. Satan’s purpose is to drag every man, woman, and child into those great depths of sin so that they will no longer have any thoughts of our Holy God and the great Creator. Satan’s ultimate goal is always to destroy all of God’s creation. But his greatest hatred and absolutely worst attacks are designed to come against all of mankind that is created in the image of the God that Satan hates. His plan seemed to be working all too well.
At the rate that man was becoming more corrupt, it would not be long until Satan would realize his dream of stealing from God the one thing in all of creation that God loved. You see, God created all things and called them good, but it was only man that God really loved for man was the only part of God’s creation that had the power of choice to love God in return and that possessed an eternal soul. But God always has a plan of redemption and a remnant of those who will serve Him faithfully!
Into this sin blighted world of immorality was born a man who would be faithful to God in the midst of it all. That man was Noah. Noah came from a godly family. His family is recorded in the Book of Genesis: Enoch was his great-grandfather! At the age of 65, Enoch had a son and named him Methuselah. Enoch was translated into the very presence of God without ever having to die when he was 356 years old.
Methuselah, when he was 187 years old, had a son named Lamech. Methuselah lived longer on this earth than any other man in the Bible, leaving this world at the ripe old age of 969. Lamech, at the age of 182, had a son and named him Noah. Then Lamech lived to the age 777.
Noah was a patient man and a godly man, staying faithful to the God of his fathers. And did not have children until he was 500 years old. That’s when he had 3 sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.The problem was that the longer that man lived, the greater their moral corruption became. God finally put a limit on the life of men when he stated in Genesis 6:3, "… My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
God had built this body to live forever and never die. His design was so perfect that it took the power of sin to destroy God’s creation. Even so, the body’s design would allow it to live for centuries if God would not have placed a limit on man’s lifespan. As you know, the average lifespan in our time is about 70 years. God has had to continually place limitations upon the lifespan of mankind because the heart of man is still set upon every evil imagination and the world only grows more immoral and corrupt with each passing day. The sin in the heart of man had finally reached a place that God would not tolerate it any longer. So God determined in his heart to utterly destroy man from the face of the earth for fear that all flesh would destroy itself. God loved man too much to allow man to destroy himself in such fashion. In the midst of this great cauldron of sin, immorality, and corruption, there was only one man who still placed his faith in God and made an attempt to serve God.
Genesis 6:8, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."
Noah – the man of faith – heard from God and began to build an ark. Using crude tools, wooden hammers, crude saws and forming every part of the ark from wood that had to be cut, hewn and hauled from miles around, Noah built an ark, a ship, that measured 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and approximately the same height as a 6 story building of our day. (1½-football fields long – it wasn’t until the 20th century when we began to build large metal ships that a ship could be built this large again.) While he built this ship, God also instructed Noah to begin to preach to those around him that the flood was coming. God was going to make one final plea to the people He loved so much. God knew that they wouldn’t hear Noah.
Noah found grace in God’s sight but not one person would give him the time of day. They were too busy having their “good times” and living their lives of self-indulgence. They had no time for a “crazy old prophet”. After all, it has never rained before. There has never been a flood before. All things have been like they are for many centuries. Why would we believe this old gray-haired preacher now? Noah just kept on working and preaching – being faithful to the call of God upon his life. He withstood all of the taunts of the crowd, as they would gather to watch Noah and his family building this monstrosity of a building that would be the salvation of mankind and God’s plan for starting all over again.
People could not and would not accept God’s plan and, as a result, not one of them, except for those 8 people in Noah’s family who obeyed God and built the ark survived the judgment of God. Every living thing that walked the face of the earth drowned as a result of their sin and stubbornness. Every one of those people is in hell today and will be in the Lake of Fire forever. I wonder if they would have helped Noah built that ark if they could do it all over again? But that chance will never come – their eternal fate is sealed and there is no coming back and no second chance.
What do you think that Noah would be doing right now, if he were living in our time? He would be doing just what he did 6000 years ago. He would be doing what you and I had better be doing also.
Matthew 24:37-39, "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
These words are given in response to the Disciples asking Jesus the question found in Matthew 24:3, "… what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" After giving a list of things to come, Jesus warned us that the heart of man would still be immoral, corrupt and sinful and that not many would hear the message of the gospel. The same condition would exist and the ears of those who are wholly sold out to sin would still be deaf to the call of God and preaching of His Word of warning to repent.
What kind of things did Jesus say were coming that would give us warning of His soon return to judge the world again?
1)"For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
2)“… Wars and rumors of wars”
3)“ For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom”
4)“… Famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places."
5)“…Ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”
6)“…Many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”
7)“…Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”
8)“…Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
9)“…This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."