"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Hebrews 9:27-28.
"The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. (Gen 6:5-8) "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." (Heb. 11:7) "The time of God's patience and forbearance towards provoking sinners is sometimes long, but always limited: reprieves are not pardons." (Matthew Henry) 1 Peter 3 and 2 Peter 2 both refer to Noah and how he was a preacher of righteousness for 120 years as he built the ark. God gave the people a lot of time but no one repented. Only Noah and his family were saved. Is your family in the ark (in Christ)? Remember judgment comes suddenly. (Heb. 9:27; Matt. 24:36-39)
This was a time of lawlessness like the Wild West and men took revenge in their own hands. We find it hard to believe that mankind was so evil yet Paul reminds us that apart from Christ and His grace in us, "There is no one righteous, not even one; There is no fear of God before their eyes." (See Rom. 3:10-18; also see Mark 7:20-23) Contrary to popular psychology, "I'm o.k. – You're o.k." is simply not true. God's Word says we are born sinners and choose to sin. Man's laws might keep us in check to some degree but only God's love (the gospel) and law (the fear of the Lord – accountability to Him) can truly change us. The only hope for transformation is seeing our true condition and asking Jesus to save us and change us. (Eph. 2:1-9; Phil. 2:12-13) Our sin still grieves the heart of God. (Eph. 4:30)
So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people.., so make yourself an ark."(See Gen 6: 13-21) God told Noah what He was going to do and what He wanted Noah to do. He confides in those who walk closely with Him and guides them through this perilous life. "The secret of the Lord is with those that fear him." (Psalm 25:14) "Noah did everything just as God commanded him," (Gen. 6:22) and it saved his life and his family's life. Jesus speaks to us today as we quiet our hearts to listen and obey: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."(John 10:27)
"All the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. Then the LORD shut him in." (Gen.7:11, 16) The shut door was a symbol of closure, safety, and God's deliverance. (Eternal security) Yet the door of salvation will be shut against those that now make light of it. "He (God) who opens and no one shuts, and ï»¿shuts and no one opens." (Rev. 3:7) "I have called and you refused."(Prov. 1:24) Noah may have felt this way about those outside the ark and now it was not in his power to help. God had shut the door, and he couldn't open it. Man might say, "How could a loving God destroy all these people?" Man wants God to give an account of Himself but Scripture makes it clear that we will give an account to God. "For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God." (See Rom. 14:10-12) Jesus affirmed the historicity of the "days of Noah" when he compared them to the end days (Matt. 24:37, 38; Luke 17:26, 27). Peter similarly used the story of Noah and the Flood as a pattern for the final judgment. (1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5; 3:5, 6). "The causes of the flood suggest a world-engirdling catastrophe, not a local flood." (Unger's Bible Handbook) "Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, "What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created." They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed." (2 Peter 3:3-7) Get in the ark (Christ) a flood is coming! "God restores man's dependence on Him by making people aware of their impotence." (Alan P. Ross – Creation and Blessing – A Study of Genesis) "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word." (Psalm 119: 67)
"But God remembered Noah."(Gen. 8:1) God faithfully loves the people with whom He is in covenant and keeps his Word to deliver and restore us. He remembered mercy in wrath. (Hab. 3:2; also see Exodus 2:24-25) "Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it." (Gen 8:20)"By his sacrifice Noah expressed his submission to the gracious government of God in his life and the world and by it he confessed the evil in himself and his fellow man which had brought ruin upon the world." (Alan P. Ross)
"In the end God will judge those who reject Jesus Christ with severe catastrophic judgment in order to start life over with a holy people who worship Him." (Alan P. Ross) The flood is a picture of end-time judgment (Hell) and the ark is a picture of salvation in Jesus Christ (Heaven) for all who trust Him. "Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don't believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don't believe what God has testified about his Son. And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God's Son does not have life. I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life." (1 John 5:9-13 NLT)
"Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him." (2 Peter 3:11-14)
Questions for reflection/application.
"I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life." (1 John 5:9-13) Do you have assurance of salvation in Jesus Christ and feel secure in the ark of His love?
Reflect on how alone Noah must have felt living and speaking out for the Lord (2 Peter 2:3-5) in the midst of a very wicked world. Where are you alone as the Lord's witness – at home, work, friendships, golf course, and are you speaking up for the Lord?
"Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word." (Psalm 119:67) What personal trials has the Lord allowed in your life to make you aware of your impotence, i.e., that you are not in control and are dependent on Him? How has that changed your relationship with Him?
"The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." (Revelation 22:17)
Until He comes,
Len and Kristen