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As It Was In the Days Of Noah

by David Palmer
Photo by Elias Null on Unsplash
 

Looking for signs of the return of Christ to this earth and the induction of God’s Kingdom is not new. The disciples and writers of the New Testament also desired to know the signs that His return would be imminent. “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). The disciples were looking for a specific timetable, but that is not what Jesus gave them. He simply delivered an overview. In fact He made it clear that no one knows the day, or the hour of His return, not even the angels, but the Father only (Matthew 24:36). Even the apostle Paul thought Christ would return during his ministry. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1Corinthians 15:51-52).

For almost 2,000 years, the church of God has anticipated the return of the Saviour, Jesus of Nazareth. Each year in the northern hemisphere we begin the fall festival season observing the Feast of Trumpets, the day that represents not only Christ’s second coming but also the resurrection of the saints – both those who died in Christ and those who are still alive.

But while we recognize that no individual or group of individuals can determine the time frame for the return of Christ, Jesus did give us a sign that was very telling: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 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. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).

So on one hand we cannot know the exact timing of His return, yet we are given a “blueprint.” The end of the age, Christ tells us, will be “as” it was in the days of Noah. Can we discover what the world was like several thousand years ago, at the time when God revealed to Noah that He was about to bring a worldwide flood on the earth, then commissioned him to build an ark? (Genesis 6:4-22).

Future world events will have a dramatic effect on the end of the age and the return of Jesus Christ at the sound of the last trumpet, but Jesus wanted us to recognize that we continually need to watch our spiritual lives as well as comparing the world of our day to the time of Noah’s day.

What was the world like in Noah’s day? In addition, what can we learn from the lesson of the flood as we observe the fall festival known as “the blowing of trumpets”? (Leviticus 23:24). “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 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’” (Genesis 6: 5-8, 11-13).

God saw that wickedness was great, and that man’s thoughts were evil (“worldly”). Today we read the headlines and watch nightly television news. What do we see? We see a world very similar to that described in the book of Genesis.

Notice, Noah was warned! “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7).

We are also warned through biblical teaching and prophecy. Do we heed the warning? Do we have the kind of faith that Noah had? Are we willing to build our spiritual ark in the midst of the wilderness desert of this world? These are questions we need to assimilate in our minds as we observe the Feast of Trumpets, a special holy day that represents the end of a horrifying event on this earth called the great tribulation, a time when Christ returns and cuts short the war that would otherwise destroy the human race (Matthew 24:21-22).

If the end of the world will be as it was in the days of Noah, what do we learn from the story of the flood? We learn that it was not sudden. It did not happen overnight. God through Noah’s preaching gave the pre-flood world 120 years. How long will God allow the gospel to be preached today before this world experiences His wrath?

The prophet Isaiah compares the time of Noah to the time of the end. “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood” (Isaiah 59:19).

The apostle Peter made comparison to the days of Noah and the end time by referring to scoffers in the last day who scorn the idea of the return of Christ, saying these people are ignorant of the fact that the earth was destroyed by a flood (2 Peter 3:3-4). However, Peter also reminds us that God is very patient. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3: 9).

The apostle Paul may have desired to have Christ return during his time. However, he was also inspired to tell the church at Thessalonica “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. The Son of man comes at a time when you think not” (1Thessalonians 5:1-2).

God revealed to Noah what He was going to do. Paul made it clear to those in his day, and the warning message is still relevant for us today. “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all children of light and children of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1Thessalonians 5:4-6). We are to be aware of what is happening around us.

As we observe God’s special holy days, including the Feast of Trumpets, let us recognize the importance of watching, not only world events, but also on our spiritual connection to Jesus Christ and our Father in heaven. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house (the Church Jesus built) and gave authority to his servants, and to each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore: for you do not know not when the master of the house is coming (the owner who bought and paid for it with His own blood) in the evening, at midnight, or at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning. Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. (involved in the day to day routine of this world) And what I say to you I say unto all, Watch” (Mark 13:32-37).

The Feast of Trumpets, the holy day that looks forward to the return of Christ, is also a time for us to reflect and recognize that history is being repeated. “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37). We are living in the “Days of Noah.” When the time of trouble comes, like a flood signaling Christ’s return at the sound of the last trump, let’s hope and pray that we will all be allowed to get aboard the ark!

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