The Days of Noah And Us

by:  Lonnie Lane

Yeshua told his disciples that whatever went on in the “days of Noah” would have influence on the end of days. Could our days be those days? If so, I thought it would be important that we get a grasp on what He meant. Here’s what He said to the disciples: “As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, [men] marrying and [women] being given in marriage, until the [very] day when Noah went into the ark, and they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away--so will be the coming of the Son of Man. At that time two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken and one will be left. Watch therefore [give strict attention, be cautious and active], for you do not know in what kind of a day [whether a near or remote one] your Lord is coming” (Matthew 25:37-42 Amplified version).

These verses are often used to prove that those who are “taken” is evidence of a pre-tribulation rapture, that the righteous would be “taken” to heaven, but the verse seems to  indicate that it was everyone on the earth that was “taken” or “swept away” while only Noah and his family were “left.”  But that’s not the focus of my story.

Noah was born only 126 years after the death of Adam. It is now about 1800 years since the Cain and Abel incident. The spirit of violence that Cain loosed in the earth has apparently increased greatly and devastation and carnage seems to have spread as men began to spread over the earth. By the time we get to Noah things have deteriorated greatly. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). There seems to be no possible redemptive heart among them.

There seems to be no possible redemptive heart among them.

We are told that “the Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward” (:4). Nephilim does not necessarily mean someone large in stature, or a giant. Size has really little to do with the word’s meaning. The Hebrew word Nephilim is plural for N’phil which can mean bully or tyrant. These were reckless men, possessing great energy and powerful personalities, ruthless in nature, bold and wicked. Think Nazis, or Jihadis (lit. religious warriors) – you don’t have to be tall to be evil. Perhaps this gives some insight into why the ten Israeli spies who returned from scoping out the Promised Land came back with this report:  “There also we saw the Nephilim… and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:33). Grasshoppers here is the word chagab which means locusts. While grasshoppers are kinda cute, locusts – not so much.

Seeing the impious, tyrannical and aggressive ways of the Nephilim, the Israeli were greatly intimidated and frightened by the behavior they observed. That they said, “so we were in their sight” indicates that they had some interaction with them and were regarded by the Nephilim as no more than bugs they could, and would, easily crush, a view which the Israeli’s seem to have adopted of themselves. If these Nephilim were demonically driven, as we expect they were, it’s easy to see how, unless you had a revelation of the Lord as being greater and more powerful as Joshua and Caleb obviously did, you could easily be undone by being in the presence of such evil.

This was evil enough that the Lord was sorry He had ever created mankind. “And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved at heart” (:6).  It seems as if man was in a state of total degradation.  As we’ve said before, the Bible is primarily God’s self-disclosure of Himself to those who have ears to hear, so to speak. So what do we learn about God at this juncture?  To begin with, He is never passive about man’s spiritual condition. He is deeply involved. As for the theory of those who think that God created the earth and then stepped away and left us on our own, the Flood is proof of God’s involvement in both His hatred for sin and violence (which is always injustice, which is entirely antithetic to God’s nature) and His commitment and intention to bringing redemption to the earth. Even if it means starting all over again.

That God would be “grieved at heart” makes me wince. I wish God didn’t ever have to be grieved or sorrowful about us, don’t you? I just want to bless Him and make Him pleased and gratified like a good father should be from his children. But not so here. God is the righteous judge when He must judge sin, but He also suffers in the judging. He does not do it unfeelingly or emotionally detached. There seems to be an element of agony for God in all this. After all, this is the creation that He loved and declared “tov maod” (tove-mah-ohd), which is to say, good, very good, altogether good. Now it is longer good at all and must now be destroyed.  And out of all the population of the earth, only one man “found favor in the eyes of the Lord…Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.”(:8, 9). The word for blameless is tamiym (t’meem) meaning complete or perfect, or having integrity. But it doesn’t only mean morally, it has the sense of being bodily pure. So evidently Noah kept himself from anything that would have been considered impure by God.

Let me just take a moment to interject a question we should all ask ourselves: Are we keeping ourselves from anything that would be considered impure or spiritually unprofitable by God? Having been forewarned by Yeshua about the end days being like the days of Noah, it would seem wise to know that Noah was able to cling to God in the midst of all that evil and raise what must have been godly sons, who somehow found godly wives. At this point, I’d like to give a round of applause to Mrs. Noah. Noah could never have raised such obedient sons if she had been out with the ladies, or whoever, cavorting in the local goings on, and rebellious against Noah who thinks he heard from God. His boys evidently were in compliance or they never would have helped Noah with the building project (we assume they did) or entered the ark at all, or had wives that went along with this too. There would have been ridicule and opting out of what Noah was doing. But they all went along with it. There seems to be order in Noah’s family. They all must have believed Noah had integrity with God and had heard from Him and so they were, along with Noah, committed to obedience to God. To me, considering what they lived in the midst of, that says a lot about Mrs. Noah as well as Noah, and of course, their sons and their wives. Talk about taking a stand for righteousness in the midst of unrighteousness, they get high rewards from God, I would think.

Meanwhile, in the neighborhood, no one seemed to pay much attention to the message in Noah’s building project, despite the fact that it was the size of a football stadium. By the way, it could not have taken Noah 120 years as is often thought to build the ark because “Shem was one hundred years old, and became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood” (11:10) so Shem was 97 when he entered the ark with his wife and according to Genesis 6:10, Noah’s three sons were already born when the story opens. 

Well, what can we deduce from the goings on in the days of Noah? There certainly was no well regulated government at that time and probably no one thought of government at all.  We’re familiar with the verse that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:17 KVJ). It actually says, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained” (NASB). Well, unrestrained sounds like the people in Noah’s day, for sure.  The verse goes on to say, “But happy is he who keeps the law,” the law being the word of God. The vision spoken of, which can mean to gaze at, perceive, behold, see, or prophesy, could only be referring to vision from Lord, which those people clearly did not have. Conclusion: When a population of people do not have the word of God they are without vision or perception, or understanding from God. That would mean no perception of: God’s plan of salvation, of righteousness, of eternal life or eternal judgment, of God’s rewards and blessings or the requirement of accountability to Him, or for that matter, of the value of human life, or of dignity and honor, justice or freedom, or of equality for all... the list could go on. Without a vision, a mentality that looks toward righteousness, or an awareness of eternity with or without God, you are left only with doing what seems right in your own eyes and yielding to any and every impulse or lust of the flesh. Makes me shiver to think of it.

Can you see why the governments of mankind are based then on their concept of God or religion? Even if their concepts are far from Biblical thinking, for there to be order and hope, there must be some kind of God. He made us to need Him. Even atheistic governments make gods of their “state” and all live to obey and further the “state” of the nation. Are you aware that the American Constitution and the governments of “western” nations are based on the Biblical commandments, starting with the basic Ten? Are you also aware that the further we get from holding the Bible or the Ten Commandments as sacrosanct (sacred, holy, divine, untouchable, inviolable, hallowed), the less we hold to our Constitution? If you wonder why the Constitution today is being disregarded or altered in interpretation, it is because we have done the same thing to the values in the Bible. Note: Bible history reveals that it only takes one generation to forget God.  

So now God is about to reveal Himself as a God of judgment in Noah’s day. Did many people then even think He existed? Surely the demons did and satan was no doubt pleased with the evil abounding. But then God declared what He would do. God announced, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them” (:7). God always tells his prophets what He is about to do, making Noah a prophet. And He always declares it, says it, speaks it out, like “Let there be light” (lit. “Light, be!”). He doesn’t just do it. And whatever He says comes to pass! Even if it hasn’t already, if He said it, it will come to pass. When we say, “Promises, promises” regarding God’s promises, we can count on them happening.

Then God said to Noah, The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth” (:13). What?! Destroy the people with the earth?! What a terrifying statement. This wasn’t a Bible study for Noah. This was reality. Destroy everything? Everyone? Did Noah fear He mean Noah too? No, He went on to tell him how to build the ark, which in the Hebrew is actually a box, not a boat. The only other time the word is used is for Aaron’s ark or “chest” which is also a box in which the tablets, Aaron’s rod which budded and the jar of manna was to be kept. So Noah is making a floating box.

God tells Noah the configurations of the box and how to build it. “Make yourself an ark (a box) of gopher or cypress wood; make in it rooms (stalls, pens, coops, nests, cages, and compartments) and cover it inside and out with pitch (bitumen). And this is the way you are to make it: the length of the ark shall be 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits [that is, 450 ft. x 75 ft. x 45 ft.]”  (:14, 15 Amplified). FYI, based on these calculations it has been estimated that the ark would have held 90,000,000 pounds of weight, equal to that of 600 freight cars, or a four mile long train. Up until 1932 of all the world’s steamships only 1% were as large, only 7 wider, only 8 higher and only 6 could hold greater tonnage than the ark. Quite an astounding accomplishment on Noah’s part, don’t you think.  Another round of applause for Noah on his project management abilities. I wonder if he had angelic help.

Now here is the sweetest part of this whole story. I love, love, love how God hides Yeshua in places you can only find by the Spirit’s leading, I suspect, or you wouldn’t notice it nor would it delight you to find such places. Noah was told by God to “pitch it,” to “cover” the box inside and outside with pitch. The word to pitch is kapar. It means to cover. This is the only word used in the Bible for – are you ready for this? For atonement. It is used in the Tenach (O.T.) 69 times to mean atonement. When sins are covered they must be atoned for. It has to do with a redemptive price, a ransom, to cleanse, forgive, be merciful or pardon, to pitch, purge away or reconcile.

When sins are covered they must be atoned for.

The stuff with which Noah was to “cover” the box was a kind of bitumen which is a black oily viscous material that is a by-produce of decomposed organic material, which when mixed with other materials makes it a sealant. It was also used as building mortar or adhesive. Research says it was used by Neanderthal men to waterproof canoes 40,000 years ago. Who knew? The stuff is also used in part of the mummification process. But what’s important here is not about the stuff, but about the matter of it being a covering which is where the revelation is.

If Noah had just built the boat and not “covered” it, the boat, or box, would have made those on the ark just as vulnerable as those who perished, because it was the “covering” that kept the water from overtaking them. Said another way, it was the covering or the atonement that kept them from perishing, not the box. Do you see, that without the covering of the blood of Yeshua, without His atonement on our behalf, we would be just as vulnerable to the wrath of God against sin as those who were “swept away”?! Consider that the word of God is the box, the ark. But without the atonement, the word is just a box and will not keep us from the wrath of God. It is the covering of the blood of Yeshua that preserves us from judgment and being “swept away” from His presence.

If there is a message in the story of Noah, it is this: That we must keep ourselves from the ungodliness that may go on in our day, that we must believe God’s Word even when all around us disregard it, and that God has covered us with His mercy, by the atoning blood of Yeshua if we are truly His, and that we are exempt from the wrath of God even if it’s happening right in front of us. How can we but bow before Him with reverent and grateful hearts of worship?

Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2012. 

 

Lonnie Lane

For Lonnie's other articles, check out our Exclusive Articles and Resources, especially the section on One New Man.

Lonnie Lane comes from a family of four generations of Jewish believers, being the first one saved in 1975. Lonnie has been in church leadership for many years, and has planted two “one new man” house fellowships, one in Philadelphia suburbs and the other in Jacksonville, Florida, where she now lives near 6 of her 8 grandchildren. Lonnie is the author of “Because They Never Asked” and numerous articles on this website. She has been the Producer of Messianic Vision's radio and TV shows and the International Prayer Co-Coordinator for Messianic Vision's intercessors. Click Here to order Lonnie's book, "Because They Never Asked."

Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif.  All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

 

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