But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 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, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
- Matthew 24:37 (New King James Version) (For the actual story of Noah, read Genesis 6-9)
In our scripture above, the Lord outlines the trap awaiting the unprepared right now, as it did in Noah's time. Verse 37 doesn't tell much of a story, so we need to read Genesis). What it does tell us is that two groups of people, one in Genesis and one now, were and will be unprepared for God's judgment on the world in their respective times.
Noah had preached the Word of God to them for years as he built his vessel, but they laughed and dismissed him as another religious nutter and maintained their current lifestyles. We all think our lifestyles are okay, but they are measured, not according to how we see them, but how God sees them. Every life on earth is under the watchful eye of the Lord every day, as He measures our lives against His Word.
In the days of Noah, corruption, brutality, oppression, deception, and sexual deviance peaked. God was closing down their world, but they still wouldn't listen to the warnings. They created an ending to their lives entirely of their own design.
Today, many preachers are calling people to repentance, as the days of this earth are coming to an end. But, like the people in Noah's time, most now are not listening. We are complacent, thinking it won't happen in our time. We go about our lives as if God isn't there at all.
Much of humankind today don't consider the Lord. They neither give thought to the creation or creator. Like Noah's neighbours, they simply exist in a world of continually degrading wickedness which they misinterpret as normal.
In Noah's time, the stench arising from their way of life filled the Lord's cup of wrath, and he took measures never seen before. As odd as it seems, nobody had seen or heard of rain until it arrived. Dew watered the earth. They dismissed Noah until the day it rained. It was only then they found his prophecies accurate, after all.
Genesis chapters 6-9 outlines the story of the great flood and Noah's Ark, which kept safe the inhabitants during the earth's most trying event to date.
At 500 years old, God called Noah to build an Ark. For those 500 years, his life pleased the Lord. The things he said, how he thought and acted, treated his wife, raised his children, and conducted his business affairs were all pleasing sacrifices of a sweet-smelling savour. Noah loved and lived righteousness. He loved his Lord and is a true example of how to live a life of promise.
Noah built the Ark for one purpose only. To sail through a prolonged monumental event never seen before or since. This begs the question, is your spiritual Ark capable of doing that for you?
There are many illustrations in the Ark story, but I'll focus on only two: the Ark's impenetrability and the food storage.
After many years in building, the Ark was watertight, despite the rain hammering continuously for forty days and nights. Could your faith in Jesus Christ be strong enough to withstand continual hammering without cracks appearing?
Once the constant rain produced enough water to float the Ark, its direction was then at the mercy of God for the next few months. Is your faith strong enough that you could leave your direction up to God for a prolonged period, without fear or apprehension? With the same relaxed peace that Daniel had in the lion's den?
Noah loaded sufficient provisions for a long journey, the end of which he never knew. Is your knowledge of scripture and understanding of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit strong enough to withstand prolonged journeys? If your Bible was removed from you now, do you have enough knowledge to sustain yourself?
How do we build strong faith to get through big trials? How did our heroes of faith do it?
David and Goliath? David was small in comparison, but his faith was bigger than Goliath's size. David decided that God was omnipotent and the only ruler of life. On that conviction and the confidence that came from that, he not only challenged Goliath to a battle but ran at him.
The Apostle Paul made a similar decision of faith at the beginning of his ministry, that whatever happened, his Lord was in charge. This great belief sustained him through years of brutal adversity and affliction.
Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego made the same decision long before being thrown into the fire. They basically laughed at Nebuchadnezzar's thought that he held the power over their lives.
Wait! What about Peter when he stepped out of the boat and walked on water but then sank?
Peter stepped out in faith on the spur of the moment, which was amazing, but I don't think he had made a decision he could stand on, one that would carry him through. Therefore, he feared and fell at the same juncture that Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego stood—at the point where continued faith was required.
In Ephesians 6:13, Paul wrote of his experiences, "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."
Noah didn't fear because he built the Ark to God's blueprint and had faith in that. As he was putting the Ark together, his faith got stronger. Our faith should also develop like that. When we read scripture, we cannot afford to doubt God Word, even if we don't understand it at times. Doubt brings shaky faith, like Peter sinking on the water, the same as an Ark with a big hole in it.
Noah had no test runs for the flood nor his building of the Ark, and many of our trials haven't allowed test runs either. But isn't that what faith is? Isn't this what it's all about?
When we make that one great decision that God is in charge, faith doesn't need test runs. It's right the first time. We simply need to stand on it and ride the trial through.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you again for the reminder that I need to decide that you are my God through all my trials as well as good times. Thank you for the power given me when I stand on my decision of faith, and use faith properly.
Photo by Simon Hurry