A Few Thoughts On The Days of Noah
How sad it is mankind generally does not read the Bible, and if they do, much is discarded as myth or legend. The account of Noah in particular, seems to be the subject of much ridicule, often in childrens’ story books. But the Bible, which is God’s Word, is true from the beginning, and even speaks of these very people who ridicule this particular account.
The Apostle Peter tells us: “For this they willingly are ignorant of…” that, “…the world that then was,” (that is, in the days of Noah), “being overflowed with water, perished.” (2nd Peter 3:5-6)
What can they now say, when we hear that the ark itself may recently have been discovered, just where the Bible tells us it landed, on Mount Ararat, and its size and design is just as described in the Scriptures?
It is very clear from the Scriptures that Noah was a real man (Jesus Himself spoke of him and surely we cannot doubt His Word) and he had a wife and a family of three sons. It is also clear that in his days, a most dreadful catastrophe came upon the earth, not just a local flood as some would tell us, but one of such immense proportions, that all the millions of people, men, women and children who inhabited the earth, and all creatures, were swept away. The world that then was, perished. Only Noah and his family and those creatures which God had commanded him to take into the ark, through God’s great mercy, were spared. Was this an accident or some unusual combination of weather patterns, or perhaps a collision with a meteorite? No, this was God’s awful judgement against the sin of those people who lived in the days of Noah. We too are sinners and must remember that He is a God of judgement as well as of mercy.
When Jesus was here upon the earth He said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man.” (when He comes again). What a solemn thought!
But what were the days of Noah like – that is before the flood?
Well, in many ways they were very different from ours. Men lived to very great ages – Noah himself was over 500 years old when God told him to make the ark, which took him many years to build. He eventually lived to be 950 years old. We read also that there were giants in those days, and it is clear that before the flood no rain fell but a midst went up to water the earth. It would seem therefore that the whole environment, as we would call it, was conductive to strong and healthy growth and immense age, and was no doubt the time when the great creatures men call dinosaurs or dragons inhabited the earth – not ‘millions’ of years ago! It is also probable that before the flood (during which the fountains of the great deep were broken up), the earth may well have been one great land mass which became divided into the continents and islands which we know today (“the world that now is”), to fulfil God’s great purposes in the following ages.
But, in many ways, the days of Noah were very much like our own. Although people were, “marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark”, we also read that, “…they took to then wives of all which they chose” – a sin against God; also “…the earth was filled with violence” and furthermore that “…every imagination of the thoughts of the thoughts of (man’s) heart was only evil continually.” Well, sadly, we do not have to look far, do we? to see similarity with our own day. The earth is indeed filled with violence, immorality is rampant, and truth and honesty have largely been cast aside.
How those wicked people in Noah’s day must have laughed and mocked him as he set about building the great ark and continued in the work for a hundred years. They undoubtedly looked upon him as strange and foolish. The Scriptures tell us that Noah was also a, “preacher of righteousness” and he, no doubt, spoke much to those around him of those things which God had told him were coming upon the world, and warned them of the consequences of their sins. Yet, not one of that vast multitude took heed to his words.
God, in His infinite mercy, still provides us in these evil days, with faithful preachers of righteousness. Do we heed their words? Although God has promised us that He would no more destroy the earth with a flood, His Word tells us that one day it will be destroyed with fire; and we must all depart from time into eternity when He calls us.
We may often feel, in these days, very much ‘on our own’. We may think that Noah, in his day, was on his own and, when the flood came, only his wife, his three sons and their wives, beside himself, were preserved in the ark. Well, yes, that was so, but it is interesting, and hopefully encouraging, to note from the chronology given in Genesis chapter 5, that due to the length to which men lived, we discover Seth, the son of Adam, died only 12 years before Noah was born, and that apart from Enoch, whom God took to get with Himself without natural death, Noah would have known all the rest of his forebears as recorded in that chapter. What a long line of witnesses! We also find that his own father, Lamech, lived until five years before the flood, and his grandfather, Methuselah, who lived longer than any other man recorded in Scripture, actually died the year the flood came. We can imagine that they would have been greatly encouraged Noah in his work and perhaps they, and no doubt his sons, would have given practical help.
How we also need to encourage one another in this dark and evil day, and seek, by faith, to flee to that one and only Refuge for sinners which God Himself has provided in the righteousness of His only Sin, Jesus, and the blood He shed at Calvary. We read that Noah was “moved with fear” when he built the ark. May we be given that same tender fear in our hearts, and all that we feel to be within, make us desire a Hiding Place from the wrath to come.
“A prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Proverbs 22:3)
Noah was a prudent man in his day; he listened to God’s Word; he believed God’s Word and, by faith, he obeyed His Word. May we each seek for grace and wisdom to do likewise.