Some of the stories we find in the Bible are incredible. Without faith in God and believing that God does the impossible, these stories become merely fables. We then lose sight of a God who does the impossible. We reduce God to someone who is a lot like us; we lose the Infinite, and He becomes human, like me.
One of these incredible stories is found in Genesis 6. It is the story of Noah. One of the things that makes this story more significant is that Jesus uses this same story in His teaching, thus giving further proof of its validity.

The story opens with an incredible event. “Now, it came about when men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they took wives for themselves, whomsoever they chose. Then the Lord said my Spirit shall not strive with man forever…the Nephilim were on the earth in those days…when the sons of God came into the daughters of men who were of old, men of great renown”.

We can identify the “daughters of men”, but who were the “sons of God”? I have at least six books on Genesis, and all of them agree that “the sons of God” were part of Lucifer’s fallen angels. We must remember that when Lucifer decided that he would challenge God for His position, God removed him from his position. Not only did Lucifer fall, but one third of the angels fell with him. Those “fallen angels” are now evil spirits that prey upon all of humanity. Their goal is still the same, to make Lucifer king  rather than God. The incident here in Genesis is part of the decadent world in which we live. Some of these evil spirits intermingled with the “daughters of men” and the offspring were “men of renown”. The Nephilim were a mixture of the fallen world and the human world. In the Book of Jude, it is indicated that some of those fallen angels are so evil that God locked them up to keep them from preying on humanity.

God’s reaction to this is recorded on verse 3 where He says, “My spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh…”. In other words, God is saying two things; “man’s time on this earth is limited”, and secondly, “I only allow evil to go so far and then I will step in”. So, I ask, how far will God allow evil to go? I think I get my answer in Genesis 6:5; “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent and thought of his heart was only evil continually”… and the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals and creeping things…”. Thus, the flood came and everything that had breath died, and Noah spent 371 days in the ark, along with two of every species on earth.

I could say, “well, that’s an interesting story, unbelievable, but interesting”. Then, I continue reading in my Bible and I come to the Gospels and the story of Jesus. And lo and behold, I find in Matthew 24 that Jesus is using this same story to illustrate the future. Listen to Jesus; “For the coming of the Son of man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days, which were before the flood, they were eating and drinking and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of man be”.

Now the story of the flood gains meaning. Jesus reaches back to this incident and tells us that He will return, and the signs of His return will be the same as the signs of Noah’s flood. Humankind will continue on their evil ways just as in Noah’s day, not believing the preaching of Noah. It shall be the same with the coming of Jesus. Evil will reign and people will mock, until suddenly what they thought of as impossible, happens. The coming of the Son of God back to this earth is far from most people’s minds, just as the coming of a flood in Noah’s day was the last thought that generation had in their minds. After all, it had never rained on the earth. This was a foreign and ridiculous message to these people.

I continue to read in my study of the Bible and I come to the letter that the Apostle Peter wrote and I find these words; “Christ died for the sins of all…He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is 8 persons were brought to safety through the water”.[1 Peter 3:18]

Again in second Peter, I find more about Noah; “For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgement; and He did not spare the ancient world but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly…then the Lord knows how to rescue the Godly from temptation…”. [2 Peter 2:4-11]

Now the story of Genesis 6 takes on further meaning. It is not just a myth. Jesus and Peter use it as an illustration of His return. Here we have buried in the Old Testament, a perfect story of a future event that is yet to come. As the generation of Noah did not believe him, the generation around us does not believe Jesus’ promise to return. However, what people may think does not hinder the plan of God that He has had from the beginning of time.

I ask of you as a reader, what do you think of the story of Noah? When that  generation saw him building the ark, did they ridicule? Were they non-committal? Do you believe that Noah built the ark? Did a flood really come, that rose 40 feet above the highest mountain? We must come to a conclusion; is this true or not?
The reason I ask the question is because of what Jesus said in Matthew 24. Throughout the entire chapter, Jesus is talking about the condition of culture prior to His return. He is responding to a question the disciple asked regarding the future of the world. The entire chapter is in answer to their question. It is in that setting that Jesus uses Noah as an example. “As it was in Noah’s day, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of God”.

In our busy world, it is easy to dismiss this and take it off our mental agenda. I have too many other things to think about. However, that does not alter the plan of God. So, I must ask myself, will I be of those outside the ark, ridiculing the foolishness of this, or will I be of those in the ark, safe from destruction?

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