The days of Noah - The last days
The days of Noah - The last days
Temptation in Genesis 3 has multiplied into physical death by the time we read Genesis 4. Cain has murdered his brother and sin has multiplied.
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. NKJV
Lamech is a descendant of Cain. He becomes the first man to take two wives - Genesis 4:16 - 17. This is a direct contradiction of God?s command in Genesis 2: 24-25.
Lamech himself later goes on to commit murder - Genesis 4: 23-24.
By the time Noah comes into the picture in Genesis 6, sin is running rampage. Every conceivable divine moral law of God written into the heart of mankind is being broken. The following verse summarises the state of things.
9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
14 "Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. NKJV
The last days
The times and activities of the days of Noah have great significance for in this generation. Read the whole of Luke 17 to get the whole story.
26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. NKJV
What happened in the days of Noah prior to the flood and Lot prior to the destruction of the City with fire is a picture of what will happen in our days. Jesus predicted this Himself.
Noah and Lot did not live during the same time. It is interesting that Jesus should pick these two historical figures out to illustrate the last days. There must be something in their lives and history that are particularly relevant to us in these days.
Consider the following events and activities that happened during Noah?s time and see if you can see similarities in our day.
1. Violence was on the earth. Sin and wickedness was rampage - Genesis 6:5, 12-13
2. God patience and longsuffering. The clue lies in the generation of Seth. Enoch was a descendant of Seth. He pleased God so much that God took him away. But this was not before he had a child called Methuselah which means - ?he dies and it is sent? - Faussets Bible dictionary. Or - ?he dies and there is a sending forth? - Matthew Henry?s commentary. Methuselah is the oldest person ever to live - 969 years. After his death the flood came. It took this long for God to wait before sending His judgement.
3. People were living as normal despite the impending judgement of God - Matthew 24:38. Noah preached the gospel to them but none heeded his call - 2 Peter 2:5. When people embrace sin even the most vivid cries of God?s mercy go unheeded.
4. When God?s judgement fell, those faithful to God were aware of its coming and were safe - Genesis 7:1. The unrighteous perished.
5. God knows how to protect those committed to Him. He kept Noah safe in the Ark - Genesis 7:1 and delivered Lot from the City - Genesis 19: 12 - 22
Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:35 - 37
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
No One Knows the Day or Hour
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Lot lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. The people in these cities lived filthy lifestyles. They embraced everything from homosexuality, vile languages and all other manner of sinful lifestyles. Even Lot?s heart was grieved by observing they conduct - 2 Peter 2:6-8.
The main difference between Noah and Lot was that Noah saved his family but Lot lost his. Even Lot?s wife turned back and the last moment and became a pillar of salt.
They will be a great attack on the family in these last days. The only protection from it is a commitment to God and a desire to do his will. Lot never involved God in his decision to live in Sodom and Gomorrah - Genesis 13: 7-18. He paid the price dearly.
Being committed to God and having a desire to do His will in all things is vital if we are to survive the last days without sustaining the scares of war.
The fact that Noah was right before God demonstrates that the rest of mankind needed not live in sin.
God has not called us to do the impossible. His judgement comes when we knowingly and continuously disobey His will.
God is a righteous Judge. His judgement falls on those who are disobedient to His will.
Examine some other cases in scriptures where the judgement of God was executed.
God?s judgement on individuals
1. Cain - Genesis 4
Failure to heed God?s warning
Notice verse 6 -7 of the above chapter. God warns Cain against the anger that is to become murder. He rejects the warning and kills his brother. His judgement comes in verses 11 - 15. His error was a failure to heed the clear warning of God. This opened him up to sin.
2. Nadab and Abihu- Leviticus 10: 1-3, Numbers 3: 3-4, Numbers 26: 60-61
A disregard for the things of God - profane attitude
Read this account in the Amplified version.
You will notice that Leviticus 3:3 says God wants His will and not theirs to be done. It seems Aaron?s sons had their own motives for offering this sacrifice. Maybe they wanted to ?show off? their newly given power. They had only recently been appointed priests with their father Aaron. God judges the motives. Strive and arrogance can easily settle into our hearts when we take the privilege of God?s work for own our advantage. Pride can make a saint a stranger to the throne of grace. Let us be careful not to bring strange or profane fire to the throne of God.
3. Miriam- Numbers 12: 1- 16
A disrespect for the authority of God
Miriam was the clear leader on the attack on Moses. Hence her name is mentioned first in verse 1. They were both called and used by God. Miriam herself was a prophetess (Exodus 15:20-21) and Aaron was a High priest.
Their grievances against Moses were two fold: both personal and ministry wise.
They saw his choice of an Ethiopian wife as questionable and his leadership as too authoritative. Verses 1 - 2.
They overlooked the position God had placed Moses in - verses 7 - 8. God gifts us all. However God places some people in places of authority. We need to show God respect by respecting them. How often have churches torn themselves apart because they refuse to accept those God has placed in authority. Others deny themselves a blessing because they cannot bring themselves to respect those God has placed in authority. They question everything they do because they consider themselves equal (or even higher) than them.
God?s judgement on Miriam was a result of her disrespect for Him - God.
4. Abimelech- Genesis 20:1-18
Ignorance is no excuse for touching God?s people
You have to pity Abimelech. Here is a pagan king who takes a pretty woman as a wife because he thinks she is single. What Abimelech faces - verse 17, is not really judgement but God?s protective hand over Abraham. God brings his hand of judgement on the unrighteous when they touch his children. It is a privilege all saints of God have.
5. Eli?s Household- 1 Samuel 2:27-36, 1 Samuel 4:10-22
He honoured man above God
Eli was the High Priest. He was a godly man. However, his sons brought his work into disrepute. They neither feared God or man. They made a complete mockery of the sacrifices of God. They took the sacrifices for their own personal gain and slept with the women who came to worship God.
Any minister who takes advantage of the people of God is heading for the anger and judgement of the Almighty. It is a fearful thing to fall into the wrath of God.
Eli was too weak to offer his sons a rebuke weighty enough of the offence they committed. He feared them more than he feared God - 1 Samuel 2:29. He did confront their evil ways - 1 Samuel 2:22-25, but not with the vigour such a rebuke should have held. Indeed he should have relieved them of their duties until there was a total change of heart on their part. He would have then no longer been a party to their crime.
6. The prophet of Judah- 1 Kings 12:25-33, 1 Kings 13:1-34
Deceived by the old guard
Here is a sad story. A man of God full of zeal and the word of the Lord is deceived and led astray by an old prophet. There is nothing more destructive than a lukewarm Christian. The believer who has lost all zeal and passion for God. A heart hardened to the promptings of God?s Spirit. They sap the life out of young converts and quench the fire in those hungry for God. They know all the Christian language and can even make up ?God sounding like prophecies?. In the book of Jude they are described as follows
12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. Jude 12-13 NKJV
The prophet of Judah is a clear warning to us believers. Don?t let anyone lead you astray. Do what is right and keep to it. Honour God. Respect those He has placed in authority. Be diligent to obey His Word. Those of you leaders in the Church - fear God, never ever take advantage of His people. Do not be lead astray.
7. Gehazi - 2 Kings 5: 1-27
Greedy for earthly reward - Covetousness
The story of Gehazi is a complicated one. We first see him in 2 Kings 4: 8-17. Here he serves his master faithfully during the incident of the raising of the Shunammite?s son from the dead. There is no hint of an evil or greedy heart
However, in 2 kings 5: 1-27 he becomes greedy. Having served God for so long he considers himself worthy of some earthly gain. He lies to receive it and lies again to cover it up. He sins find him out and he is hit with leprosy. The story does not end here. Gehazi makes a recovery in his heart and again we see him in 2 kings 8: 1-6 making a good testimony before the King. Covetousness is a sin that can be cured. We need to treat it with a dose of godly contentment.
In these days many a Christian are being led astray by the lure of riches. There is nothing wrong with being rich. Nor do receiving gifts make us a sinner. But when Ministers of the Gospel and God?s redeemed people allow the rewards of wealth to become the focus of their ministry, they will lose their heart for God and start serving another master. You have been warned.
God?s judgement on nations
1. The Egyptians - Exodus 1-12
The Egyptians faced the wrath of God and the destruction of their land because of their reluctance to let god?s people go.
2. The Israelites - Exodus 32:1-35
The Israelites were sent a plague because of their neglecting God and worshipping an idol - verse 35.
3. Israel in the hands of the Assyrians - 2 kings 17: 1-18
Israel?s continuous disobedience caused them to be carried away into slavery.
Events in the last days
The Bible talks about many things that are to happen in these last days. Many of them are to do with the judgement of God on the world. They need not terrify us. God does not punish the righteous with the unrighteous.
There are some things that we will go through, like Noah went through the flood, and there are other things that we shall escape from, Like Lot escaped Sodom and Gomorrah. Our confidence lives in the mercy of God. Listen to the following scripture.
2 Peter 2:9-10
9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the Day of Judgment, NKJV
Lets look at some of the events the Bible says will happen in these last days.
- Trouble on earth - Matthew 24: 1-4, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 2 Peter 2: 1-9
Wars, lawlessness, the love of Christians growing cold for God, false doctrines.
It is true that we are already in these days. We have had major wars, lawlessness abides and in many so-called civilised societies the fear of God is almost absent with many denying His very existence.
- A time of tribulation on earth - Daniel 9: 20 - 27, Daniel 12:1-13, Matthew 24: 15-31, Mark 13: 14-37
The Bible talks about a seven year period of great tribulation on earth. This is when the spirit of the antichrist is rampage and finally cumulates in the physical presence of one man called the antichrist. He rules the world with his demonic power and introduces a 666 mark. It is a time when National governments all subscribe to a global rule that denies the existence of Christ yet embraces an antichrist as their leader.
- Jesus comes for the saints - John 14: 1-3, Acts 1:9-11, 1 Corinthians 11:26,
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Revelations
Sometimes during or after the time of tribulation on earth Jesus comes for his saints. This is commonly called the rapture. The word rapture does not occur in the Bible. The Lord Jesus will gather His saints to Himself by the sound of a trumpet. Those alive and all the saints that have already died will all meet up with the Lord. - 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18
- The 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth with the saints - Revelation 20: 1-20
Sometimes after the rapture Christ will set up a one thousand year reign on earth. The saints will rule with Christ on this earth - Revelation 20 speaks clearly on this. The battle of Armageddon - Revelation 16:16 occurs either before or after this - Revelation 19 and 20.
The battle of Armageddon is when all the nations inspired by satan attempt to attack and over thrown Christ and his saints. The Bible speaks in coded language about the exact order of these events and we have to be careful not to place an ordered sequence on them either. - Revelation 20:7-10
- Judgement of the Gentiles - Great white throne - Revelation 20: 11-15, Hebrews 9:27, Revelations 19:20
All those who die without Christ go to hell. At the great white throne judgement of God hell will deliver all these dead to the throne of God for judgement. They are then judged and thrown into the lake of fire. This is known as the second death and is the final destination of the unsaved. All those whose names are not in the book of life (born-again) are thrown into the lake of fire - Revelation 20:11-14.
Satan and his host are the first to be thrown into the lake of fire for indeed it was made for him - Revelations 19:20.
- The judgement seat of Christ - Bema, - 1 Corinthians 3: 11-15, Romans 14:10-12, 2 Corinthians 5:9-11, Revelation 1: 14-15
The saints of God are also judged. However our judgement is not to condemnation but for reward. We are judged according to the work we do for Christ when we lived on earth. Our motives, obedience to Christ and how we used the gifts and talents God gave to us are ascertained - 1 Corinthians 3: 11-15. We are rewarded accordingly. Some Christians will find that their work for Christ does not stand up to the test of God?s love. Start checking your motives and obedience to Christ now. You will not be able to deceive God on the day of judgement.
Christ may have called you to do something, which seems small and insignificant in his kingdom. The Lord does not reward quantity but quality. Quality is measured by our obedience and motives. Stop running after the crowd or being influenced by your peers. There is a lot of activity in the church today, which looks good but has nothing to do with God. They are all empty works. Stay with your calling.
- Judgement of the nations - Matthew 25: 31-46, Joel 3:1-2
The bible says God will judge the nations. God will judge governments. This is one of the reasons God asks us to pray for those in government - 1 Timothy 2: 1-3. The nations will be judged according to how they used the power that was available to them. Those of you in places of authority had better take note - Matthew 25: 31-46.