“As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of man.”
There are many things of intense interest suggested by these words of warning uttered by Jesus as he told his disciples of his final return to the earth.
This reference to the days of Noah should attract the attention of all who believe in the final coming of Christ, for it is a message of instruction intended for the guidance of his followers in these times of world-wide confusion and fear.
If the believer will familiarize himself with the history of the days of Noah, making a careful study of the events with which Noah was associated, he will discover a strange similarity between those days and the days in which we live. A knowledge of the conditions existing in that distant past may help him to a clearer understanding of some of the perplexing problems of the present times, and prepare him for the world changes of the near future.
As we journey together Along Life’s Highway, let us pause for a brief period, and look backward over five thousand years of human history in an effort to see this man Noah, and get something of an idea of the world in which he lived.
Noah was born 2948 years B.C., and died 1998 B.C., aged 950 years. He was the son of Lamech, grandson of Methuselah, and great grand son of Enoch, who was translated, that he knew not death. Noah was the tenth man from Adam, and of the righteous line of Seth. He lived for fifty years after the birth of our father Abraham. He was a man of great learning, and known in many lands. He is mentioned by historians of various nations, but by other names. The Babylonians called him Xisuthrus, the Chinese as Yao, or Fo-Hi, and throughout many centuries he has been known as Prometheus, Atlas, Theuth, Osiris, Dagon and other names, and all esteemed him a holy man, or one of the gods.
Noah reached the age of five hundred years before any mention of his family is made in the Scriptures. The word says, “And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham and Japheth.”
Human society, or at least that part of it with which the Scriptures deal, was divided into two separate classes. These may be distinguished as Cainites, and Sethites, or, if you will, as the righteous, and the evil, or unrighteous.
If you will, call them the seed of the Serpent, and the seed of woman, between whom God said there should always be enmity. But in the days of Noah, sentimentality caused the people to disobey God’s command, until, through the intermarriage between the two classes, the distinct line disappeared, and there were none of the righteous left, with the exception of Noah and his family. I think that a close study of this intermarriage will explain many of the social evils of today.
Immediately following the record of the birth of Noah’s sons, we read: “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair, and they took them wives as many as they chose.” There has been much controversy as to who these “daughters of men” and “Sons of God” were, but if we will follow the Scriptural history of the descendants of Seth, Noah, Shem and Abraham, we will find that they have ever been called, “The children of God,” and “The sons of God.”
The daughters of men were of the descendents of Cain. Marriage between these two classes was forbidden, just as Christ and the Apostles taught that it was a sin for the believer to be yoked together with the unbeliever. The result is the same today that it was in the days of Noah, the increase of wickedness throughout the world.
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually . . . But Noah found grace in the sight of the LORD … The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.”
SIMILAR CONDITIONS EXIST TODAY
If any reader of this article doubts the statement that conditions similar to the days of Noah exist in our own times, let him glance over his daily paper, any day in the week, and note the record of murders, robberies, sex crimes, cruelties to children, and crimes committed by children, and the general low standards of morality prevailing in national, institutional and individual circles, and he will surely see a strange similarity between the corrupt conditions existing in these days, to the wickedness as it was in the days of Noah.
In a meeting of editors of four daily newspapers published in four Northwestern States, a discussion was held on the existing conditions of vice, crime and general corruption throughout the nation. A strong protest was made against the obscene and filthy language used by the national news agencies in sending out news reports to subscribers in all parts of the country.
In a great daily paper before me, under glaring headlines, on the front page, is published the news of three sex crimes, two of which resulted in the death of little children. The murderer of one, a youth in high school, said he was seeking a thrill from seeing someone die.
One magazine recently published a series of articles on crime in our major cities. The first article was entitled, “TERROR IN OUR CITIES.” In introducing the series, the editor says, “It is a tragic disgrace that in the great, proud, prosperous cities of our country many people should have to live in terror, dreading to walk the streets after dark, sitting fearfully in their own homes. It is a tragic disgrace that the carefully tended parks of these great cities should become the haunts of perverted depravity where children are not safe to play.” The words in which the Holy Spirit describes the days of Noah might well be used, without any change, to describe the general conditions existing in our own times. “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”
THE PENALTY, THEN, AND NOW.
“And God said unto 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.”
For a hundred and twenty years Noah was a preacher of righteousness, but, very similar to the preaching of the present, it had little or no effect in turning the mind and way of the ungodly people.
At God’s command, the righteous Noah prepared an ark, and, with his family consisting of wife, three sons and their three wives, the little company rode to safety through the storm-tossed waters that God had used to cleanse the earth of its violence and uncleanness.
The flood of waters brought destruction and death to all that was vile and unclean, and contrary to the will of God; and it brought a more abundant life, in a new, better world, to Noah and all entrusted to his care, because Noah believed in God, and obeyed him in all things.
The utter destruction of the present world system, and all things which are contrary to the plan, and purposes of Almighty God were plainly foretold by the prophets, and taught by our Lord and his apostles; there is no good reason why any man of fair intelligence should not know these plans of God.
Isaiah thus describes the terror of wicked men in the coming day of the LORD: “They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”
In speaking of the conditions that would exist on earth in the days just prior to his final return, Jesus said, “Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: But, for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
That tribulation is even now sweeping the earth, becoming more intense from day to day. Jesus foretold the effect that such times would have upon men, saying, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things that are coming upon the earth.”
The leaders of our own, and other countries, are looking forward with fear filled hearts to a near conflict of nations that, to many minds, threatens the destruction of civilization: they are expecting, and preparing for a conflict with Russia, and publish their opinions concerning the possible destruction of all life from off the earth. A former secretary of the Navy said “The danger of annihilation is not inconceivable: in fact it is perilously close.”
The present is a time of growing anxiety and fear for multitudes in our own and other countries, but there should be no fear in the mind of the follower of Christ. The future holds nothing but that which is most desirable to every loyal heart. He has been taught to pray, “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” His prayer will be answered, and the kingdom will come to earth, bringing joy and peace to those who know him now, and, ultimately, will bring joy and peace to all the nations of the world. Hear the Prophet as he joyously proclaims this wondrous truth: “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”