As in the Days of Noah
April 15, 2018
Early on in Genesis, of course, God told Adam and Eve to multiply, fill the earth, to subdue it. As we were reading, people lived much longer lives and had many sons and daughters. At this point, when we get the Genesis Chapter six, there's actually like a population explosion that's going on. Jesus then made a direct connection between the days of Noah and the latter days. Because, what we see as we go through the book of Genesis is that, as the population is increasing, there is a dramatic increase in the immorality of man and so much so. Which is what we're going to see as we go through this.
That God, of course, is going to bring a destruction through, of course, the flood. Jesus made a direct connection and He said that the last days, the latter days will be like the days of Noah. I'm convinced that we're living in the last days. When you look at Mathew 24 and 25 where He gives us these signs of the times. He said, "Watch for these signs like when you watch for the budding of the tree." We're at the time of year now where we can see the budding of the tree and so when you see the budding on the tree, you know then that the summer is on its way. Summer is near, because you see that. He said, "In the same way you watch for these signs and then you will know that the end is near. Right at the door."
I. These are the Days of Noah
He referenced then that it would be in those days like the days of Noah and it says an interesting thing. They were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, and giving in marriage. Now, that's an interesting thing. It could mean a couple of different things. It could mean that they were just going about their lives without any concern at all about what God thought or it can mean what is described in Genesis six. Which we're going to see, it’s very, very interesting. It can mean a very similar thing and that they were going through life as everything was fine, everything was good, but everything was not fine, everything was not good. Because, there was something desperately wrong.
Immorality had increased to the point where it was beyond repair. Humanity had become so immoral that there was no return in other words. God, therefore, determined to bring that judgment on the earth which we have been studying about during our Wednesday study. In the future, during the tribulation period, there is the latter days of the wrath of God poured out in a similar way that God brought up judgment on the earth in the days of Noah. There is a coming similarly. This is a very important thing. We are living perhaps in days very much like the days of Noah. That should cause us to look very carefully at these verses.
Let's begin in Chapter six, Verse one. It says, "There came about that when man began to multiply on the face of the land, daughters were born to them and the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and they took wives for themselves whomever they chose." Then the Lord said, "My Spirit will not strive with man forever because his flesh everlasting days will be 120 years." Because it was a lot longer than that before and so now much reduced. Verse four is an interesting verse.
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days and afterward also. When the sons of God came into the daughters of men and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men of were of old, men of renown. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intent-- This is important verse here. That every intent of the thoughts of his heart were evil continually and the Lord regretted, it says He was repented in some versions, that He had made man on the earth and He was grieved in His Heart.
The Lord said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land. From man, to animals, to creeping things, to the birds of the sky for I regret it aggrieved that I made them." But, Noah, what a contrast, but Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time, he stood in contrast to his time, the generation in which he lived and then, I love this phrase, oh do I love this phrase, Noah walked with God. What a great picture it is of God's Heart that He desires to see in us.
Noah became the father of three sons. Shem, Ham, and Japheth. By the way on a side note, which of those three then do the Gentiles come? They come from Shem and that's something important to remember because, they are they are the Semites. When someone is anti-Semitic then they-- it's a reference to their Semite or comes from Shem. Now, the earth was corrupt in the sight of God and the earth was filled with violence. Not only was there great immorality but tremendous violence on the earth and God looked on the earth and behold it was corrupt and all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.
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'm about to destroy them with the earth." These are the verses I want us to look at. We've been looking at some of the other verses on Wednesday. Join us as we go through verse by verse, but I want us to look at these because, these are the days of Noah, we are living in days very much similar to the days of Noah.
The population had exploded exponentially. It says an interesting thing. It says the sons of God were taking many women into themselves. The theme of the day was wanting immorality. That was the idea. Now, you may or may not be aware that there's actually a debate about what is meant by the sons of God in this verse. I'll give you some of the theories that you might have heard or know about. Some have suggested that the sons of God there are fallen angels who had relations with the daughters of men and had children thus creating the Nephilim. A race of giants.
I do not believe that myself. I'm not adhered to that theory. Here's my primary reason. Because, Jesus said that Angels do not marry or given in marriage. Which suggests that they're not sexual beings and that's the main reason I reject the theory, there's other reasons but that's a good one. Others suggest that the sons of God are descendants of Seth while the daughters of man are the daughters from the line of Cain. Perhaps so, but I think that's also a bit of a reach. I believe my theory-- You don't have to adhere to my theory. Your salvation is not based on whether you agree with my perspective.
However, you would be wrong if you didn't. Okay, I'm just kidding there but, the sons of God can also mean-- you look at the scripture in its usage, it can mean men of power and stature, men of nobility, men of renown. It says, what happened was-- It says, that they took wives for themselves whomever they chose. In other words, they chose that one, and then that one, and I'll take that one, and that one, and that one, and that one, and those three, and that one. You see the idea? When God made man He said, "A man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife and the two shall be one flesh."
A. Don’t strive with God
He's defining marriage there. What's happening now is this immorality as men of nobility, high positions of stature are now building like harams. Immorality is. I'll take that one, that one, that one, and all of them. The immorality is beginning to exponentially increase. Along with it the violence of these clans clashing, and this became the norm and God is very displeased. It says, "I will not strive," Verse three, "My Spirit will not strive with man forever." Thus, we see an insight into the Heart of the Lord and an application for us. Don't strive with God is a good insight for us. Because He does strive. He says, "My Spirit will not strive."
Here He is, in the time of immorality, it says that His Spirit was striving with them. That's an interesting phrase. What does it mean? It means His Spirit was trying to win them, trying to direct them, trying to bring them back into a relationship to Himself. The Holy Spirit does strive with men today. Don't strive with God is an insight for all of us. He strives by His Holy Spirit and He brings to bear into our lives the conviction of The Spirit in our lives. Have you ever felt that? Ever felt the Holy Spirit just wrestling with you, striving with you, directing you, "Don't go down that way. Don't do that thing." That's the Holy Spirit of God striving with men, striving against the lies in our lives. So many people are bound up with lies. He's bringing truth to bear. You can see some of this contending, striving like with Cain. Remember how God favored Abel's offering and had no regard for Cain or his offer? Cain is angry, so God confronts him.
When He speaks to him, He's like-- You can see He's striving with him. He's like trying to bring him to truth. "Why are you angry? Why is your countenance falling? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?" This is Genesis 4:7, right? He said, "Sin is crouching at the door if you do not do well. Its desire is for you, but you must master it." There's a conflict rising as so He's showing by His words, "Stand. God is contending," that God is contending and striving. There does came a point where God gives people over to the consequences of their actions. See, at first, we strive with the Spirit within us and then we'll find that we're striving with consequences.
There was an example of this. In Corinth, I remember reading in the letters that Paul wrote to the church in Corinth? There was a young man there in the church that was in immorality. He actually was having a relationship with his stepmother. Okay, this is just like, no, no that's wrong. The church wasn't striving with it, wasn't contending with it. They were just accepting it.
Paul says, "No, that's not what we do. We're going to contend with this because it's not right." Paul had a very different response. 1 Corinthians 5:5, "I have decided," he says, "to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." He's going to contend with the consequences of this until he can come back. That's the point in striving. That's why God strives with men to bring them back. See?
Of course, as we know, there does come a point where God gives a person over it if they absolutely insist on having their way. God does say, then you can have it and then that's when it gets bad, that's when it gets really bad. Romans 1:21-22, "Even though they knew God," it says, "they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools."
"Therefore," it says, "God gave them over to what they still wanted. God gave them over to the lust of their hearts, to impurities so that they're bodies would be dishonored among them." It's like God said, "I've been resisting you and resisting you and resisting you and you just keep insisting on having your own way, then you can have it." Now, the day that God says that is the day that a person is in pretty big trouble, would you not agree?
See, don't contend with God. God is no one to trifle with. God is stronger. God's going to win. That's something important when we see-- When I think about striving, it reminds me of when I was younger in eighth grade, actually quite a bit younger. I was on the wrestling team. At the end of the year of the wrestling year, I got promoted to varsity at the end. At the end of the year, I was in JV all year. I got promoted to varsity so that I can wrestle on the last tournament. Yes.
Because here's the deal, because the opposite team had the best wrestler in the state. He won state for several years and-- Standing there, he could not hold his arms to his side. This is his natural state of being. Whenever he walked, he had to be careful. He's just so muscular. He later went into the NFL and played for the Buccaneers. His name is Fred, Fred Nordgren. Some of you might know Fred. You tell him I said hi. My coach is trying to figure out who is going to wrestle Fred Nordgren. We need Rich Jones.
I tell you not a lie. We need Rich Jones. Bring Rich Jones up from JV [laughs] so that he can wrestle Fred Nordgren. Never mind that he weighed 145 and I weighed 127. Never mind this. You say, "Why would they bring Rich Jones up from JV to wrestle Fred Nordgren you say?" That's a very good question. I ask myself that very thing.
Until I realized the answer. Nobody could beat Fred Nordgren, so why waste somebody good? I know. I got my call, I'm going to wrestle Fred Nordgren.
A hundred and forty-five beef cake. I'm going to-- that Fred. I'm over there on the side and I'm practicing my take downs [blowing sound]. "This is my moment, this my moment" I'm just [blowing sound]. Finally, my time came up to wrestle Fred Nordgren. I'm in there and I'm like really serious about this right. They said, "Go." I swooped in. I swooped in and I did a take down on Fred Nordgren and the crowd went wild.
Then he flipped me over and pinned me.
See, that's like wrestling God. I mean you don't have a chance. When I think about this, it's such an important thing. Here's God, The Spirit is contending, striving with man.
B. God always makes a way of salvation
What we're going to see in the story, of course, is that He comes to the point where He says, "It's irretrievable," but, here's the thing that you have to see. God always makes a way of salvation. God always makes a way of salvation.
Yes, God came to the point where He decided to bring judgment but at the same time, He made a provision for their salvation. God directed Noah to build this ark, at the same time then, He tells us that God used Noah as a prophet to proclaim the Good News. In fact, it says in the 2 Peter that Noah was a preacher of righteousness. It's interesting. Of course, the name Noah, when he was born he was given the name rest.
This is Genesis 5:29, "His father called his name Noah saying, 'This one will give us rest from our work, from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the Lord has cursed. “That’s an interesting thing. Noah, in many ways, is a picture of the position of Christ because there is a judgment that is coming on the earth but God offers rest. God offers a provision. God always has a way.
As we see in the book of Revelation, we were just recently studying Revelation. Here, we're talking about, of course, the wrath of God being poured out, the destruction, of course, that's coming upon the earth because of condition of immorality, the condition of men's hearts but even during those last days, God gives the opportunity to receive the grace and the mercy of the Lord. God always has a way.
This is Revelation 14:6-7, "I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven having an eternal Gospel to preach to those who live on the earth." This is during the tribulation. "I saw an angel flying in mid-heaven, having an eternal Gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue and people.
He said with a loud voice, 'Fear God, men, and give Him glory because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and the springs of waters.' God always has a way. God always has a way. I say to you also this that God always has a remnant. Even in the times of great immorality, God always has a remnant. There are always some.
In the latter days, we're living in days of Noah. What we're going to see is that, the direction of the world is very much against God but always God has a remnant. I don't know about you, I want to be in that remnant. I want to be in those who stand with God. In this generation, it says Noah is a picture of that rest that's founded in Christ. No one can earn His way or work his way. Nobody is worthy of salvation by his own striving. Our hope is resting in the work that Christ has done for us. Even in the days before the flood, right. God gave them Noah as a prophet. This is an interesting verse, let me give you 1 Peter chapter 3, fascinating verses. Look at the whole context when you have time, fascinating verses. 1 Peter 3:20-21, "The patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah." That's a good verse, shows us God's heart. "The patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah during the construction of the ark."
II. Go Against the Flow
The ark itself was like a testimony before their eyes of what God was going to do. The construction of the ark now took, probably estimates are anywhere from 50, 70, 75 years to build the ark. That's a long testament of what God is going to do. It says, "During the construction of the ark in which a few, that is eight persons we're brought safely through the water," and then it adds this, corresponding to that analogy is made. Baptism now saves you. Not the removal of dirt of the flesh. Not the physical baptism but an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's a picture of Christ. All of it. It's a picture of Christ.
What amazing thing He's showing us. He says, "But, the patience of God was waiting during the construction of the ark." It's like here's this testimony, can you imagine the people coming to Noah, "What are you doing? Why are you building a ship? That is an ocean going vessel there, that’s 450 feet long, 75 feet beam. I mean that is an ocean going vessel there. Noah we're not even close to the ocean. What are you doing?" To put it in the vernacular of the south, "What the same hell you think you're doing?" What do you think Noah would say?
God is bringing a judgment on the Earth and He's calling people to come. He's calling to people to repent. He's calling people to come back to him so he's a preacher of righteousness and the construction, the patience of God kept waiting. During the construction as the preacher of righteousness gave them, it was right before their eyes. The lesson out of the story to be applied to our lives could be this, go against the flow. Go against the flow. The direction of the world was very much against God. Jesus said, in the latter days will need much like the days of Noah.
I suggest to you that we're living in days where the direction, the flow of our culture and our time is away from God. Further and further and further people are going away from God, there's an increase, there's a dramatic increase in mocking of God's things and God's people, have you noticed this? As they're drawing further and further away. Noah is like a contrast. It is normal for people to take many wives, as many as they want, whomever they chose, it says.
Noah had one wife and his sons had one wife as God had said to Adam. See, he refused to walk as everyone else was walking. Go against the flow. We should go against the flow because we should stand, take our stand with God, see it's easy. Many people justify their actions. Somebody's alarm is going off there, try to ignore that, which I just brought your attention to it.
Some people justify their actions by saying to themselves, "Everybody else is doing it." Isn't that true? Some people justify their actions by saying, "Well everybody else is doing it."
I remember back in the early '90s, the church was just young and I was working as a server in a restaurant. I was in the back area and another server, we used to have all kinds of conversations in the back. Another server came up to me, he knew that I was a pastor, we had started the church. The church was small but he knew i was a pastor and I think he wanted my reaction.
He was telling me that he had just moved in with his girlfriend, he's looking for my reaction. He was telling me this and so I didn't know what to say but all I could think of to say was, "Does your mother know about this?"
He said, "My mother? Of course, my mother knows about this." Then he said, "Welcome to the '90s." Because, it was a while ago. Welcome to the '90s, he said. To which I said, "You know God hasn't changed in 2000 years." It was wrong when he said it and still wrong today. He said, "Oh why do you have to be so serious?" I said, "Hey you're the one who brought it up."
A. Walk with God
Go against the flow. Let's do something different. Walk with God like Noah walked with God. Let's do something different, let's walk with God. That's what Noah did. In verse nine, it's very clear that Noah's different. He's blameless in his time. He was righteous, he walked with God. Doesn't mean he's perfect, in fact, later you see his imperfection. Walking with God, such an important key to this, such an important key to our lives. Doesn't mean being religious, doesn't mean doing religious things. You can be very religious but your heart be very far from the Lord, if you're doing religious things for the sake of religion the end is no fruit. There's no fruit from that. That's death actually.
Inf act, Isaiah 29:15 speaks to it this way, "Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from The Lord." That is an interesting phrase, don't you think? Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from The Lord and whose deeds are done in the dark place. They say, "Who's Jesus?" Then he says, "You turn things around." Don't you just love the way God's speaking right there? You turn things around. I can just hear the heart of a father because I raised five and I can just hear myself saying that. You turn this around.
Any good thing that we get in our lives, I want God to give it. Amen? Any good thing you get in your life, don't you want God to give it to you? Let God give it to you. Let God be the blesser. Walk with God, He's the blesser of your life. If you're walking with God, then you're going to see the fruit of it because His life is power and His power is at work in your life.
Galatians 5:22-23, speaks to those who have a relationship to God by which the Holy spirit is actually on the move in their life. Galatians chapter 5, the fruit of the Spirit, that is the result of the Spirit of the Living God. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
This is the transformation God on the move, the Holy Spirit getting a hold of your life because you're walking with God. Enoch was such a man, we read about him in the Scriptures. Enoch was unique. He and Noah, it says both of them, they walked with God. Genesis 5:24, Enoch walked with God and then it says, "And, he was not for God took him."
What amazing verse is that. Enoch stood out from his time, his generation. He walked with God and God and he was so close, I just imagine one day they just walked and they walked and they walked and they just kept on walking and walked right at home. He walked with God. There's a relationship that we can have. God has made a relationship to Him possible because of Jesus Christ. Because God has made a way, through Jesus Christ, if you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, God has now opened a way for you to have a relationship with the Living God.
My suggestion, what I'm saying here is, take full advantage of the opportunity. Take full advantage of the opportunity that He has opened a way now for a relationship to the living God. Because, you could not have had that way before. You could not have had a relationship to the living God outside of Jesus Christ. He's opened the door. Take full advantage of the opportunity, walking with God. Walking with God is a great picture because it means like one step and then another step, and then another step, and then another step. That's walking. It's a great picture. In contrast, you're like a mountaintop experience once in a while.
Walking step by step, by step. You get up in the morning with God, It's like, you eat breakfast and God's there, and you drive to work and God's in the car. Wouldn't that change how we drive? Wouldn't change how they drive but it could change how we respond to how they drive. The way you go about your business. With God, you go about your business, with God come home, with God. If you watch TV, then with God. Change the channels when God's there.
Isn't that true? How you talk to your family with God, how you talk to your husband or your wife with God, what you look at on the internet with God, changes the whole perspective. Doesn't it? Even when you go to sleep, you can go to sleep under the care of God. Can I give you a great verse? This is an amazing verse. Psalm 127:1-2, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. There are laborers or the workers building the house, but God's building the house. Because, you're with God. You're doing this with God. God is actually the one who is superintending over your life.
The laborer is building the house but God id superintending. Therefore, it says, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." If you don't have God, if you're doing that without God, you're doing in vain. Then, it says it this way, "Unless the Lord guards the City, the watchmen keeps awake in vain." Though the watchman is watching but unless God is watching, he's watching in vain. You see is God is watching. Then, it adds this phrase, I love this phrase, " It's vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors because, it is He who gives to His beloved, even while he sleeps." That's walking with God right there. That's walking with God.
B. The key is the desire of the heart
Then, it tells us this, "The key is the desire of the heart." Verse five. Verse five, the problem is very clearly seen.
It says, "The wickedness was great and the reason is deeper," God saw that the intent of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually. The passions and the desires. He's speaking to that. Isn't He? The intent, the desires, and the intents of their hearts. See, passions and desires that we have define who we are. They're so critical. They define who we are because, passions and desires are transforming powers. Passions and desires are transforming powers. A.W tells was a very famous writer in Christianity, he wrote in this regard something very, very powerful. He said it this way, "We are becoming what we love because love is a transforming power."
Therefore what you love is prophetic, what you love, what you're passionate about is prophetic of your future. See, and the problem is that many people when they were in the world, when they were in the world, they were very passionate about living in the world and then when they're in Christ, they're bored. You know why? Because they're not passionate about their heart after God. The very intent, and thought, the passions, and the desires of our hearts. That's what he's talking about. Walking with God there's a relationship where the heart is engaged in it. When you are walking and you have a relationship, the heart is engaged and in contrast, when we were in the book of Revelation and it was talking about Babylon.
Babylon which represents the world. By the way, next week we'll look at the history of that. It's very fascinating but He's saying, essentially, don't be part of Babylon. Don't be part of that. Put your passions on the things of the Lord. Walk with God. The intent of God's Heart is that we be filled with life and filled to the full with life. Psalm 16: 11,"You will make known to me God, You will make known to me the path of life. For in Your presence, there is fullness of joy and at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore."
Some people say, "Well, it's not working for me. This Christian thing is not working for me." Can I suggest why? Because, God wants us to walk with Him with our hearts. He's made a way for us to have a relationship and when you engage your heart, then you see the power of God on the move in your life. See, Isiah 29:13-14 the Lord said, "Because these people, they draw me only with their words, and they only honor Me with their lip service but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me, it consists of tradition learned by ropes. Therefore behold," He says, "I will once again deal marvelously with these people. Wonderfully, marvelously and the wisdom of their wise men will perish in the discernment and their discerning men will be concealed."
That's a warning right there but He even-- He gives a greater word, a greater hope. In Joel 2:12-13 where He says it this way. He says, "Yet even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all of your heart and the fasting and weeping and mourning and rend your heart and not your garments. Now return, return to the Lord your God for He is gracious and He is compassionate, and He always makes a way to come home. He always makes a way to come home. For every prodigal son that's been walking far from the Lord must know that when you turn your heart toward home your father will come running down the road.