At the time Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, the condition of the earth was thusly described, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence”. (Genesis 6:11). I have highlighted these last few words because this month I want to talk about the violence on earth today. In doing so, I refer first to our blessed Lord’s Words in Matthew 24:37 that our conditions would be “as in the days of Noah”.
And conditions sure are violent! It’s happening right before our eyes. All we have to do is sit back and take a mental trip and walk right around just parts of the world to be utterly staggered by the depth of the corruption, the debauchery. Certainly by the time your trip is over, you will understand why the Good Lord God must bring some sort of retribution our way.
Let’s begin the trip in the once peaceful land of Canada, where over the past couple of decades, because of the drug craze and declining Christian values, frequent violent incidences take place, the most recent being the shooting and killing spree in northern Saskatchewan. Dipping down to the USA, it is almost impossible to look at that nation in comparison to fifty years ago. In Chicago alone, nearly 500 murders took place in 2015, not to count the huge numbers of shootings. New York experienced a 20% increase in murders and policemen across the nation have increasingly become targets. Then just recently, we have witnessed incidences like the terrorist mass killing attack in San Bernardino, the senseless mass killing in the South Carolina church, and other mass killings throughout the nation. And how about the destructive riots in places like Ferguson, Chicago and New York. With the exception of pockets throughout the country, the nation’s people have lost sight of God Almighty and His Laws and are paying the penalty for doing so.
Drop down to America’s southern neighbour, Mexico, it has become a crime-ridden nation and many of its worst have made their way to America, where they have added to that country’s violence. A little further south in the capital city of Venezuela, Caracas, violence has almost taken over, perhaps only outdone by the thirty-year civil war in Columbia where thousands have died.
Go to the far-east you will reach Indonesia, a land of much terrorist action, gun battles and strife; the Philippines, where ongoing guerilla warfare exists; then to Afghanistan, where conflict has been raging since President Bush dispatched troops to that nation, the numbers dead from bombings, shootings and war are frightening. You’ve got Aden, Yemen and Saudi Arabia where very high civilian populations are constantly in danger. There is the Saudi-Yemen war creating havoc. Saudi-Arabia itself is fraught with bombings at Mosques as a result of the Shite-Sunni conflict and lately Iran and Saudi-Arabia are very much at odds. Don’t overlook the thousands dead in Iraq, even after the Americans concluded their war with staggering military and civilian losses.
ISIS has grown very rapidly and its foothold in Iraq and Syria, Libya and elsewhere has created a terrorist enemy seemingly too strong to subdue. The civil war in Syria has caused the deaths of over a quarter-million and the move northward of hundreds of thousands of refugees is almost unbelievable. A quick glace at Turkey highlights the explosions in Ankara and Istanbul, the war with the Kurds and great tensions with Russia. Iran’s intentions are invariably in the mix in the seething anger in the entire Mid-East.
Europe is beginning to feel the negative side of the refugees and other Mid-East peoples, and the Paris, Cologne and other smaller atrocities seem to be the wave for the future. Their economies, as economies the world-over, cannot sustain much more and the breaking point seems near. Topping off all this is the perceived weakness of the Israel nations and its leaders, with nations like Russia moving with impunity, a good example is their moves against the Ukraine and the Baltic States.
I haven’t mentioned the Israeli State and the West Bank Palestinian people but there is growing violence in those areas as well. And remember what the prophet Zechariah warned, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about …” (Zech. 12: 3). Zechariah warned also that God will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle ….” (Zech. 14:1-3)
The question is, “When?”
Well, let’s first look at the days of Noah. In Genesis 6:13 we are told, “And God said unto Noah, … for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth”. And what happened, Noah and his family were saved, the rest of mankind perished in the flood. So, “as in the days of Noah”! Matthew 24:38 makes the identity of the corrupt ones very clear and verse 39 makes it abundantly clear that it is them (the corrupt ones) who are taken away in the flood. And verse 39 makes it clear that this will be the same at the coming of Jesus Christ.
Consequently, when we read Matthew 24:40-41, that “one will be taken and the other left”, it is also abundantly clear that the one left is the Christian, as Noah was, and the one taken is the corrupt, as those who drowned in the flood were. How today’s churches interpret it differently is difficult to fathom.
We have to understand that the flood did not destroy the earth, it changed it when the great firmament surrounding the earth resulted in, as the Apostle said in 2 Peter 3:6, “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished”. So this overflowing led to the second world, or, as Peter wrote in verse 7, “But the heavens and earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men”. It’s important to review the last sentence of verse 10, “and the works therein shall be burned up” or “discovered” as translated by many versions of the Bible. Still, the third world is described in verse 13, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness”. Again, as in Noah’s day, the corrupt have been taken away and the Christians left to enjoy this new world. E.T. Tennyson, in his book “The Three Worlds”, suggests this world will reflect Eden conditions once again.