As It Was in the Days of Noah…

August 7, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Was reading the Olivet Discourse this morning, along with the book of Jude.  I find it interesting that Jesus specifically mentioned Noah in verses 37 – 41.

For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.”

Many commentators look at these verses and then ask the question, “What were the days of Noah like?” as if Jesus did not answer His own question.  We know that during Noah’s time, there were some extremely strange things going on.  The Nephilim seemed to control the earth, doing whatever they wanted to do and marrying whomever they wanted to marry.

But Jesus’ point here is that regardless of how corrupt, idolatrous, and immoral the world was during the days of Noah, there was a normalcy that highlighted the times as well.  Jesus points this out in verse 38 when He says that people were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage.  In other words, life went on in spite of the fact that Noah was building this huge ark, which would save his family and the animals God sent his way.

So in spite of everything, the people during Noah’s day were totally and deliberately blind to the fact that judgment was coming.  The signs were all around them, but they refused to notice.  When the flood finally did arrive, it took them all away and because of it, judgment had struck, taking their lives.

They could have heeded the warning signs.  Instead of ridiculing Noah for building a huge boat in the middle of nowhere, they could have taken seriously Noah’s claim that judgment was coming and it wasn’t going to be good.  In fact, no one outside the ark he was building was going to survive.

In the gospel of Luke, Jesus also mentions the days of Lot.  “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building,” (Luke 17:28).

What is clear in the above verse is that life went on as if it was going to go on forever.  No one during Lot’s day was thinking about the end of their life, much less the coming judgment from God.  All was normal as far as they were concerned.

From both accounts, we get a picture of people who are fully corrupt, idolatrous, rebellious, and anti-God throughout their societies.  Because of this attitude, they were hostile to God.  God took the time to give them the needed warnings to no avail.

With both Noah and Lot, we see a world that does all the normal things and excludes God from all of it.  Because of that, the world becomes oblivious to the coming judgment.

People today – if they are not authentic Christians – do not like to hear about sin, hell, judgment, or even God for the most part.  They want to live their lives the way they see fit.  They don’t want God to intrude on them.

Many of these people (and unfortunately, even many within Christendom) wind up becoming mockers because they do not believe that God exists, much less that He will rain down judgment on the world.  Those within Christendom have chosen to believe the lie that says that if we simply work to make this a better world, then God is glorified.  They do not believe He is physically coming again and they ridicule those of us who do.

These are the mockers.  There were mockers in Noah’s day and in Lot’s day and there are mockers today.  They were so busy during Noah’s and Lot’s days living their lives as they saw fit, that they had no room for God.  They rejected the idea that God existed.  They laughed at the idea that God would send judgment.  How could a God that does not exist send judgment?!

Today, people laugh at authentic Christians because of the fact that we are trying to warn a world that is in peril.  They continue on with their lives doing all the “normal” things like marriage, buying and selling, enjoying their hobbies, and everything else that goes along with having what this world considers to be a normal life.  They are too busy and too “mature” to believe that there is a God who is going to send judgment.

This mocking that exists throughout the world today will turn to hatred.  We see this beginning to occur now.  More and more liberal judges are ruling against the Bible, against churches, and against Christians.  Yet, these same judges rule in favor of Islam and Muslims.

We are seeing the world turn against Christians.  This is what it was like during Noah’s day.  Noah was the only righteous person alive and the rest of the world thought he was crazy.  They may have started out simply mocking and ridiculing him.  After awhile, that may have turned to nastiness and hatred.  Why does the world react like this?  Because authentic Christians remind people that God exists, or at the very least, causes them to consider the fact of God’s existence.  They don’t like this, so they take their frustration and anger out on Christians because they represent God to the world.  We are God’s emissaries and missionaries to a dying world.  It is a classic case of harming the messenger when you can’t reach the One who sent the message through the messenger.

Lot was hated by those within his town.  When the two angels arrived to whisk Lot and his family away, the men of the town wanted to have their way with the angels.  When Lot stood against them, pleading that they would take his virgin daughters instead, the men promised that they would do worse things to Lot than they were planning on doing to the two visitors.

The men of Lot’s day did not like to be reminded that they were sinners.  They saw Lot as arrogant, trying to be better than they were, but that was only due to their own consciences, which testified against them.

As it was in the days of Noah is now upon us.  People are mocking the very idea that God exists, much less that this non-existent God will one day return in judgment.  What a laugh!  Ha!  Those stupid, asinine, antiquated Christians are morons!

What starts out as mocking, will soon turn to hatred because no one likes to be reminded that their lives are not right with God.  This is the main thrust of what Jesus is saying in the gospels when He reaches back in time to use as examples the days of Noah and the days of Lot.  It is like Nero playing his fiddle while Rome burned. This is the world today.

My wife and I enjoy watching “House Hunters” and “International House Hunters” because it allows us to see different areas of the world without actually going there.  It’s interesting and certainly educational.

What is also interesting is how many people buy a second home in some faraway place.  They have money to spare so they opt to purchase a vacation home and in some cases, these folks become ex-patriots of their own country, adopting the new one.

These people have no sense that the world is on a collision course with God’s judgment.  None whatsoever.  They go through life ignorantly blissful, thinking that they control their destiny and they answer to no one.

This is what Jesus is talking about here in Matthew 24.  Yes, there is terrible corruption within the world today.  Yes, there are scientists who are attempting to be God by crossbreeding this with that and there are even reports that some of these scientists are taking human DNA and crossing it with animal DNA.

Humanity has always wanted to play God.  Nimrod (Genesis 11) was the first “hunter of men” who tried to capture the imaginations of the people alive then.  He would have succeeded had not God intervened and confused the languages.  From that, people gathered in culture groups according to the language they understood.  This is why nearly every major culture has a record of some great flood that occurred, though the names are changed and a few of the details are different.

Nimrod lived after Noah and everyone alive during Nimrod’s day knew about the flood.  When God confused their languages, they took that knowledge of the flood with them into their new culture group.

The important point of what Jesus is saying here – if we keep things within their original context – is that even though judgment is coming, people remain oblivious or in denial.  For those people, judgment will come like a thief in the night; unexpectedly.  The simplicity and clarity of Jesus’ statement regarding the days of Noah is found in His own explanation of it.

Too many commentators go off on a variety of trails and in doing so, they are ignoring the real import of Christ’s teaching here.  He is not directing our attention to the specifics of Noah’s day or Lot’s day, like the Nephilim, or what they tried to do with any type of cross-breeding (now called transhumanism).

In Matthew 24, Jesus is pointing out that life in both cases – Noah’s and Lot’s – seemed to move along normally, with people doing normal things that every generation does, and judgment came and took them all by complete surprise.  They were surprised because they were not willing to heed the warnings.  In spite of all the excesses, the rebellion, the corruption of the flesh, the desire to be a god, and the desire to never think of God again, life moved along with the normal things that occur within every generation.

In our day, there is a good deal of talk of transhumanism, cross-breeding of animals with humans, and even the things that scientists are now able to accomplish using technology that’s been developed to understand and even mimic the human brain.  In a nutshell, all of it can be summed up in the idea that man has – since the fall – been trying to become God.  Many believe we are gods and that we merely need to unlock our own inner potential to see this come into focus.  Once that happens, nothing will be beyond our ability.

Yes, transhumanism in some form likely exists now, as difficult as that may be to believe and comprehend.  However, studying it, discussing it, even promoting it does not necessarily save anyone because it doesn’t generally direct anyone to God.  Sure, we can use those as examples of how corrupt and godless society has become, but the reality is that people still need the gospel, whether they know about transhumanism or not.  They need to be informed that because of their rejection of Jesus, they are on the fast-track to hell.

Too many people today are interested in transhumanism simply because it’s science fiction that has become real.  We want to see the absurdities that scientists in the UK for instance, are said to have created.  It’s like the living sideshow exhibit without the fakery.

How many of us would like to see Bigfoot, if it really existed?  How about Loch Ness Monster?  Who would not want to stand next to a living Moa (the largest bird without flight that ever lived)?  How about the Tasmanian Dog?  These are oddities that draw our attention because they are not known to exist in our day.  Because of that, we want to see them all the more.

People are interested in transhumanism and everything that goes along with it because it is weird.  I wonder how many of these same people are just as interested in God’s Word?  How many of them are as stalwart in their research of transhumanism, as they are in spreading the gospel?  It’s kind of like discussing the End Times (Eschatology) for the sole purpose of discussing the End Times.  Knowledge of the Bible with respect to the End Times should be used to purify our lives and bring us closer to the realization that judgment is around the corner.  It’s time to get rid of those things that bind us to this earth and focus on our Savior and His appearing.

Jesus is clearly pointing out that the excesses of Noah’s and Lot’s day aside, judgment came to those people and it took them by complete surprise.  That is His point.  The same is going to happen with this, the last generation.

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