Matthew 24:36-39 – “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” NKJV
I personally believe that this identifies how UNSUSPECTING the generation will be in which the Lord Jesus returns. I know it means more than just the lack of awareness but it certainly speaks to that. What were the conditions of mankind in the days of Noah? What are some things we can identify that might suggest we are or are not living in days comparable to those of Noah?
We find in Genesis 6 a declaration that because of man’s wickedness God allotted a time in which mankind could repent and avert judgment. In Genesis 6:5 we read, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil CONTINUALLY.” [Emphasis added]. Here is a description of a society in which the mantra was SELFISHNESS and lacking RESTRAINT. Mankind constantly allowed evil thoughts and actions dominate his life.
Before the flood, people lived to be centuries old. Adam lived 930 years and living hundreds of years was not uncommon. Knowledge and technology expanded incredibly during the 1600 plus years from Creation to the Flood. We know man built cities (4:17), had livestock ranches (4:20), composed and played music (4:21), discovered things such as metallurgy using allows like brass (4:22) and more. Imagine what it would be like to have 800-900 years to hone and develop a skill or a craft. Imagine how effectively one could perfect those skills and talents. The positive side is astounding but lest we forget Genesis 6:5, so is developing evil habits, sinister plans, and devious schemes. This became so vile and corrupt that God made a most incredible statement in Genesis 6:6, “And the LORD was sorry He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” The longsuffering God of all creation was grieved in His heart at the highly developed wickedness and evil of men’s hearts, lives, and actions.
Because of the incredible depravity and wickedness of mankind God determined to destroy man from the face of the Earth. However, the Bible reveals that Noah PLEASED or FOUND GRACE in the eyes of the LORD. He walked in integrity or in the Lord’s ways and God came to him with the instructions for the Ark and the revelation of His intent. Noah, one can assume, was perplexed and as he tried to persuade people to turn from their wickedness he endured ridicule and scorn. The heart of man was deceitfully wicked and filled with self. How that sounds like today where it is ALL ABOUT ME. My rights, my wants, what I deserve.
In our text verses, the Lord Jesus described the Last Days and the Days of Noah as parallel in the character of mankind. Luke 17 echoes those conditions and warnings. Daniel 12:4 reveals a condition that we sometimes overlook as he tells us that at, “the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Noah’s days were “perilous” with people self-absorbed in their pursuit of pleasure, material things, convenience, immorality was rampant, violence a norm, and rejection of the things of God. Is that not what Paul said to Timothy regarding the Last Days in 2 Timothy 3:1-5?
In Noah’s day there they had an exploding population (Genesis 6:1), rampant sexual perversion (6:2), demonic activity (6:2), constant evil in the hearts of men (6:5), and widespread violence and corruption (6:11). There was little concern with the spiritual with the focus on themselves. They were a SELF-CENTERED SOCIETY. How is that different from today? They, Jesus said, were busy pursuing their own purposes going about their daily lives with self the center and living as though the fulfillment of their desires was the prime objective. They were oblivious to the conditions, the attitude of God and unsympathetic to the pleas of Noah to repent and as Jesus urged in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”
We live in a self-centered society where the individual sees his desires, wants needs, hopes, dreams, and ambitions central. Even in many churches, we no longer hear the call to repentance, separation from the world, holiness, and the Cross. What we hear is self-help, self-fulfillment, and motivational speeches. That is not universal but happens too frequently to be spiritually healthy. I have long heard the demand that I not offend, not frighten, not upset the status quo, and preach only the positive and rosy. I am positive and believe that God wants us to enjoy the best of the best this life has to offer, but I also believe that He demands that we remain pure, and be conscious of the times. We are His voices in the Earth and if we become so like the world they see no difference how will they hear our warnings?
Yes, I believe we are living in a day in which the judgment of God could fall and Jesus could return and the vast majority would be taken completely by surprise. God help us to recognize the fatality and flaw of self-centeredness and realize that the elevation of self and selfish desire are what cost Adam and Eve their relationship with God in the Garden and plunged man into the darkness of sin. Jesus came and brought us light. The world is living in darkness and the value of life is becoming more and more diminished so it is important that you and I become intercessors and stand in the gap to make up the hedge.
God bless you as you go through this day!