THE DAYS OF NOAH.
NOAH was a preacher of righteousness, God's chosen servant to warn the world of its approaching destruction.
"My Spirit shall not always strive with men," saith the Lord, "for that he is also flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." Gen.vi,3. Noah was a just man, and walked with God, and found grace in his sight, He was directed to make an ark to save himself and family from the threatened deluge. And as he warned the people, he showed his faith in the coming flood, by his works, in building the ark on dry ground.
Says Paul: "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world." Heb.xi,7.
The antediluvians then had the means of knowing that the flood was coming, or Noah's preaching, and corresponding works, would not have condemned them. Yet they knew not till the flood came and took them all away.
"But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
Matt.xxiv,27. In connection with this text, our Saviour mentions the special signs of his coming, in the sun, moon and stars, and adds. "Now learn a parable of the fig-tree; when his branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." It is evident, then, from these words of our Lord, that it was the design of Heaven, that the period of the coming of the Son of man should be understood, and published to the world, as the period of the flood was understood, and proclaimed by Noah.
But in what respect will the coming of the Son of man be like the days of Noah? Will it be like it in all respects? - Or will it be like the days of Noah in some one particular? - It is important that this should
be understood. Peter shows that the world, once being overflowed by water, perished, and that the heavens and the earth, which are now, are reserved unto fire; that as the unbelieving world once perished by the flood,
they will be destroyed from the presence of the Lord when he is revealed from heaven in flaming fire. But this is not the similarity of the two periods of time referred to by our Lord.
We will now let him point out in what respect the two periods are alike.
Verses 28,29. "For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the
day that Noe 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."
As the Saviour has stated in what respects the two periods would be
alike, we will only make a few remarks upon his words. He has plainly shown: 1. That as Noah knew the period of the flood, and warned the world, so, by the special signs, (with a mass of other evidence from the
prophecies,) the period of the coming of the Son of man would be understood by the faithful servant, and the world warned of the judgment at hand.
2. That as the antediluvians disbelieved the preaching of Noah, and perished by the flood, so the proclamation of the coming of Christ will be rejected by the mass of mankind, and the day of the Lord will come on them as a snare. As the antediluvians, who rejected the evidence of the coming flood, knew not till the flood came and took them all away, so those who reject the evidence of the Lord's coming, will not KNOW that the storm of God's wrath is coming, till it bursts upon them, "For when they shall say, peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them," "and they shall not escape." 1Thess.v,3. 3. As Noah believed God, prepared the ark, and, with his family, was saved, so a few will believe God's word, and prepare, wait, and watch for the coming Saviour, be sheltered in the day of wrath, and will be able to say, "Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us." "But ye, brethren," continues Paul, "are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." - Verse 4. If we could see salvation for any, in the day of the Lord, while remaining in unbelief, we would proclaim it; but as we see that the salvation of souls depends on faith in the warning designed to be given, and corresponding works, and a full preparation, our whole soul cries, Believe, and prepare! For, "behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it." Isa.xiii,9.
The preaching of Noah should have been believed; and if any had believed the flood was coming, a decided change would have taken place in their course.
They would have acted out that faith, and, like Noah, prepared, instead of "eating and drinking, [feasting and mirth,] marrying and giving in marriage," as though they were to enjoy long life. We say that saving faith then would have produced an entire change. Their lives would have been marked by humiliation and abstinence. So will saving faith in the coming of the Lord, produce an entire change in the believer. "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting [eating] and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." Luke xxi,34. - To eat to sustain nature is necessary; but feasting was a sin in the days of Noah, and it is no less a sin now. Hear the wise man: "Feed me with food convenient for me, lest I be full and deny thee, and say, who is the Lord?" Prov.xxx,8,9.
The marriage covenant was holy in the days of Noah, and it has not, since that time, lost a whit of its sacredness. But if the antediluvians had believed the preaching of Noah, they would not have been marrying
till the day that he entered the ark. Those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord should beware of taking a course that would prevent them from being wholly the Lord's. Read 1Cor.vii,32-34.
condemned the world. This he did, by his works being in accordance with his profession. Therefore the antediluvians will not in the Judgment rise up and condemn Noah.
And will not unbelievers rise up in the Judgment, and condemn those who profess to believe that the last message of mercy is now being given, unless they show, by carrying out all the holy principles of their faith, that they really believe what they profess? How is it possible for those who believe that the period has come for the third and last message to be given, and that the vials of the wrath of Almighty God are soon to be poured out, to eat and drink, buy and sell, plant and build, &c., as they did in the days of Lot and Noah? We say, they will not. True faith will have corresponding works.
We would not drop a word here to encourage any mortal in idleness; but we desire that those who are all buried up in the cares and spirit of this world should feel the force of this subject.
Many, when they are first aroused by the evidences that the last message of mercy is being given, feel that they must consecrate themselves to God, and what they possess to the advancement of his truth. But soon the cares of this life, and the love of the world, overcome them, and they fall into a stupid state of mind. O, may God have mercy upon us as a people, and give us to feel the importance of showing by our works, that we really believe what we profess.
Brethren and Sisters: - Are you imitating Lot, who fled from the place which was the scene of destruction?
Or are you all buried up in the cares of the world, unnecessary eating, drinking, [tea,] buying, selling, planting and building, as was the case with those on whom God rained fire and brimstone? Are you imitating Noah, who prepared the ark on dry ground, in which he invested his earthly treasures - what an act of faith! - or are you imitating those who knew not, till the flood came, and took them all away?
There was an hour when Noah's warning ceased, when he entered the ark, and God shut him in. Then the rain descended and the period of anguish of the hitherto careless world came.
Worlds would then have been given for a place in the ark; but God had shut the door.
Soon the warning of the third angel will cease. Christ will leave his priestly work in the Sanctuary, and the way now open to
find salvation from sin through his blood will be for ever closed.
O, dreadful hour! Worlds then would be given to be placed back in the period of Christ's merciful intercession; but as time never rolls back, hope is gone for ever. O, what anguish will then seize the soul that has slighted mercy's hour. It will then be said, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Rev.xxii,11. Careless soul, remember that "as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
- Author Unknown