If you will allow me to, I would like to take some time and read between the lines, as it were, in regards to the life of Noah, (Gen. 6-9) specifically from the time that God called him to the task that He had prepared him for, up until the door of the ark was shut. One of the most important verses in association with this account in the Scriptures is in Gen 6:13 where our Lord, the God of all creation says to Noah “The end of all flesh is come before me.”
It was one thing for Noah to listen to Gods instructions as to the construction of the great vessel that would be a refuge for those eight souls and the animals He would choose, but it must have been quite another thing for Noah to go back to his house and say to his wife that the Lord God had spoken to him, and that the first words that He had said was, “The end of all flesh is come before me.” I can’t be sure, but if Noah was a polite and loving husband, he probably said something like “You might want to sit down,” and Mrs. Noah, if I may, most likely experienced something like dread.
That statement, the end of all flesh is come before me, doesn’t quite fit in with small children in a Sunday school class singing “The Lord told Noah to build Him an arky, arky; build it out of gopher barky, barky,” does it. Now granted, these are very small, and if you will, innocent children, and to speak the incidents to them as they happened with the full effects of the truth could be devastating at that age, but as adults, firmly planted in the truth of the Word of God, these words should bring sorrow, fear and reverence to the majestic power of Almighty God, for the end of all flesh came before Him.
The effects of sin are devastating, from the iguana I witnessed today, already limping very badly, unaware of the oncoming vehicle that ended its life just moments later, to the young child on the street corner waiting for his mother to obtain her next daily handful of drugs, to the blatant disregard of a loving and glorious Savior by many in these fallen times, sin is extensively and exhaustively across the globe. Some choose not to see these things, only desiring to continuously look at the ‘bright side’ of life, turning a blind eye to the sinfulness of a fallen world and all the consequences of it, perhaps placing a little more in the offering plate occasionally. For others, myself included, we have learned to hate sin, for the fear of the Lord is reverence to His holy name and the hatred of sin in all of its forms, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matt. 5:6)
One of the attributes of a mature Christian is the knowledge that the fear of the Lord means in part to hate evil, and one does not need to look very far to see it anymore. This may be one of the reasons that our Lord chose Noah for the task that He had prepared, for in Genesis 6:8 it says that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Do not envision a frail, old man you may have seen in some of the movies of the past of Noah, for age and physical size means very little when God enables a man, or woman, to accomplish a task for Him. Think instead on the heart of Noah, for here was a man that hated sin and all the effects of it, whose heart felt both great pity and sorrow for those he knew would soon die. Think on the 120 years that these eight toiled in the building of the ark, the constant heckling and deriding from all who came to see the great sight, the constant sorrow, and yes even an occasional diversion by Noah towards them, the knowledge of the inevitable always in their minds, that the end of all flesh was coming, and all these who came nearly daily would soon die.
How many years were left before the arks completion was it that Noah looked up one day and saw animals grazing in the distance that were not there the day before, how long before the Lord shut the door, (Gen. 7:16) were the nearly countless varieties of animals meandering around the perimeter of the giant ship, waiting for a signal that only they could hear and understand from the Lord our God to begin entering into the place of refuge, heading directly to the exact stall prepared for them. For those animals whose lifespans were relatively short, did God extend these times of life, or were their grandparents, as it were, the ones to hear the first call, and begin a journey that their descendants would ultimately complete. Our God is an awesome God, and all creation serves His will.
This man and his family carried an incomprehensible burden for 120 years, the truth of the knowledge that every living creature, man and beast, was going to die. The torrents of the pounding rain, the incredible lightnings and thunders, the openings of the great deep, (Gen. 7:11) could not completely drowned out the screams of human and animal sorrow, and though great sadness must have been felt for many days by those eight chosen souls long after the last wail was heard, Noah knew two things for a fact, God is sovereign and every human being had been warned.
This is not a happy story for children to sing, this is an account of the extreme depravity of man, and his hopelessness without God, and this my friends, is the world and times that we are living in today. The vast majority of mankind has turned their backs on the Living God, has despised the name of His only Son, and turns the other way when sin is witnessed. The effects of sin are too difficult to see, to distressing to contemplate, and nearly impossible to comprehend at times. Many tend to shutter themselves inside their own houses and minds, while those that battle against spiritual darkness know no end to their endeavors. The secular world has mostly caved into the desires of the wicked, yet they still in part fight a war that deep inside they realize they are losing.
“As in the days of Noah…” (Matt. 24:37) No regard for the Word and will of God, only self-interest, selfish desires, and only the moral constructs invented by man are applied, and then only loosely and in regard to status and position. As Noah was then, trying to warn against these great sins, these continuous evil corruptions before God, we are to be now. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.” (Matt. 24:22) The end of nearly all flesh is again come before our righteous and Holy God my friends, and there is an ark being prepared for those who desire not to go through the terrible tribulation to come. The shelter is not an ark this time, but a cross, an empty tomb, a strong right hand of protection. The signs are sure and easily identifiable to all who hear and obey His voice. The preaching of the cross has become much more that foolishness to the lost, (1st Cor. 1:18) it has become a bitter seed, and tribulation and death to those who profess the Name of Jesus as Lord has become their battle cry. Mocking is the least of the trials that many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are facing today.
Do you have the courage to warn the unsaved, can you step past your embarrassment, can you take a stand against sin, in love, for the Glory of God and for the sake of the lost and warn them that time is short, and inevitable.
As I stated in the beginning of this letter to you, I would be attempting to read between the lines of the account of Noah, and in so doing I find very little happiness in this mans life, but instead much sorrow and anguish, everything that was in the earth that had breath was going to die, nothing would survive. The heart of man had become evil continuously, (Gen. 6:5) and all, even the animals, would suffer because of that, save those He had chosen to rest in the ark of His salvation.
We are upon the end my friends, if Noah could witness of the truth for 120 years surely we can spend a few moments of time to warn those that we know and meet. Become a watchman on the wall, (Isa. 62:6) tell all of the tribulation to come, of the free gift of salvation, and of the only one who can save them from the storm that is coming.