We call it “Noah’s Flood,” but it wasn’t Noah’s at all; it was the judgment of the Almighty God on other sinners. It was, without question, the most astounding, mind-boggling event in the annals of time. It was the most creation-changing, the most negatively staggering incident to have taken place from the first day of the universe until today. But I must warn you: there is a much more terrible global event coming up.
Consider how many centuries had passed from the day of Adam’s creation to the time of the flood. Some preachers say that they know exactly how many years it was, but I’m not that smart. I know that Enoch was in the seventh generation from Adam, and Noah came three generations later. A conservative estimate would put the number of years close to the same number since Columbus set sail from Spain to the year 2023. If a generation then was sixty years, this would be about 600 years. Some experts say that it was more like two and a half times as long – 1,600 years.
Using the smaller number, how has the world changed since the days of Columbus? For example, how has the world’s population increased? Since mankind, in the early days, were living up to ten times as long as they are today, I tend to think the changes in that society were twice as great, or perhaps ten times, as great as in the last 600 years. For instance, there may have been as many people in the world then as there are today. There could have been eight billion people alive in Noah’s day, and hundreds of them could have been several hundred years old – old enough to have heard the preaching of Enoch. Doing the population math, with the details we are given in the scriptures, there could have been millions of people alive whose great grandparents had been alive when Adam was still living. And ALL those people were swept into eternity by the flood – possibly billions of people.
Today we hear of huge natural disasters, like the fires in Maui, tsunamis or horrendous hurricanes, and our jaws drop and grief fills our hearts. But not one recent disaster is more than one tenth of one percent of the human loss during the first flood. In a very short period of time, hundreds of millions of bodies, began to be tossed on the unrestrained waves, amid the carcases of dead animals – before they all slowly sank to the bottom of the sea. If the ark had been one of today’s boats with portholes running along the sides, Noah’s sons wives would have hung curtains over them to keep from seeing all the ashen faces of the rotting, bloating corpses. The beauty of God’s original creation was gone – whipped out with the violence of the deluge. The Noahic flood was the most catastrophic event ever to deface the earth, and that includes any asteroid which may, or may not, have struck the earth.
And that flood has made more of an impression on the psyche of humanity than anything else ever has. Eight people were saved by water, and when those four families emerged from that ark, everything they had known was gone. Their world had been entirely changed. As they brought to life children and grandchildren, they shared with them what they knew of the original creation, and what they knew of God – of sin and of righteousness and of judgment. And as their grandchildren and great grandchildren spread across the new earth, they carried with them what they heard about the flood. Even today, those stories and histories are heard in hundreds of languages and dialects in every corner of the globe. Humanity’s first few generations could not shake the impact the flood had upon their mothers and fathers. There has never been an impression made by any “unnatural disaster” more impactful than the flood. It has taken nearly two hundred years of so-called “scientific” attack to rid us of thoughts of the flood, but they still remain. And well they should, because they are based on truth, and they point to an even worse disaster coming up.
I have been reading a book of sermons by the Baptist preacher B. C. Carroll. In one of them, dealing with the “spirits in prison” to whom Christ preached, as Peter taught us in I Peter 3, Carroll made some comments about flood which flooded my mind with this theme. I have to say that I was delighted to read that Carroll wisely agreed with my interpretation of Peter’s words about Christ: He “went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah…” That was part of a message I preached just a few weeks ago. He also agreed with my interpretation of Genesis 6:4: The verse just before our text reads: “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. “ I will come back to this in a few minutes.
This morning I’d like to take the introduction to Carroll’s sermon and develop it into a message of my own. He said, “I now want very briefly to point out clearly the causes which led to that stupendous catastrophe.” What brought about Noah’s flood, and what does that teach us today?
Of Adam’s first three sons, one died, and one chose to leave the presence and blessing of the Lord.
The first baby boy born into this world was Cain, the second was Abel, and the third was Seth. We need to remind ourselves that all three were born equally – spiritually dead. Every child born into this world entered life as thoroughly corrupt and depraved. None of them were righteous by nature in the sight of God. They were all sinners, including martyred Abel and obedient Seth.
I hope you are familiar with the history between Cain and Abel, which culminated in Abel’s murder. The thing I’d like to highlight is that Cain chose to disregard the instructions about the worship of God. I am sure that Adam had properly served the Lord after his explusion from Eden, and he taught his children how to properly worship their Creator. Because all the children of Adam are a bunch of sinners, God requires that we worship him through blood. You don’t have to like that fact – Cain certainly didn’t – but it is true nevertheless. “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission” of sin. Abel understood and obeyed God. Cain should have known, but he refused to obey. Then a confrontation began, growing out of Cain’s wicked anger, and his brother was murdered.
Simply put, there was no fellowship between Cain and the Lord. And God said to him, “Now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand.” Do you remember the murderer’s response? He blamed God for his punishment. “Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid…” Brother, that was the result of your choice. Don’t blame God or His righteousness. But still, the Lord was gracious toward the man. Genesis 4:15 – “And the Lord said unto him, therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold, and the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him…” “And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord,” (verse 16), never to return. That was the first step toward the Noahic flood.
What are some of the lessons coming out of this? Here is one: the depravity of man operates independently of circumstances and family relationships. One brother may choose to rebel against God, while one or two others may listen and obey. And the wickedness of society doesn’t create evil people; it is evil people who create wicked societies.
The second step toward the flood wasn’t as dramatic, but the family of Cain gradually DETERIORATED.
Genesis 4:16-24 describes how Adam’s grandchildren, on Cain’s side, became less and less interested in the things of God. They began to focus on commerce and community, science and technology, rather than on the Lord. I believe Bro. Fulton brought a lesson on some of this not too long ago, referring to cities. The descendants of Cain became craftsmen and artisans, creating everything from musical instruments to instruments of murder and mayhem.
There may be nothing wrong with designing a brass trumpet or even in a sharp knife for kitchen use. But the atmosphere of those verses suggests that the things they were doing was without thought of God. And whatsoever is not of faith is sin; whatsoever is not for God’s glory boils down to man’s glory. I experience an illustration of this all the time. Every day I get a couple dozen pictures on my computer of beautiful scenes of Canada and North Idaho. Many are gorgeous, even breath-takingly beautiful, but not until my rare comment does anyone ever point his, or her, finger toward the God who created the subject of the picture. Primarily, it is about the subject, or the photographer’s skill and the camera he used.
I see a very secular, unspiritual atmosphere in Genesis 4. Especially in the light of the last two verses: Adam and Eve had a third son, and called his name Seth. Seth grew up and eventually had a son. “He called his name Enos; THEN began men to call upon the name of the Lord.” Generally speaking society had become godless. Sometimes godlessness can be relatively neuter, but it rarely stays that way, becoming more wicked and violent.
What are the lessons coming out of this second point? One of them is that without the intervention of the grace of God, society always deteriorates, even when that deterioration is not evil. Despite the growth of knowledge, science and technology, such things in themselves don’t lift society towards the Lord. And the more we get caught up in these things, the less and less we will worship the Creator. The internet is not bringing us all closer to Jehovah.
The third step toward the flood was the INTERMARRIAGE of God’s people with the children of Satan.
Genesis 6:1 – “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 of all which they chose.” In regard to this verse, please don’t get enamored by the mysticism of some theologians. The “sons of God” in those days were the same as the “sons of God” today. They were not angels, cohabiting with the daughters of Adam. That is an impossibility. The Bible says so. I don’t have time to multiply them but there are several New Testament passages like Romans 8:14-17 – “For as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the SONS of GOD. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have receive the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry (to the Lord), Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ…” Paul told the brethren in Galatia, “ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” – Galatians 3:26.
There is a principle taught throughout the Word of God, but which is spot-lighted in the New Testament. II Corinthians 6:14 says, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” When someone as wise as Solomon marries an unbeliever, even his marriage is headed toward disaster. And when someone as unwise as King Ahab marries wicked Jezebel, it was another step toward the destruction of the nation of Israel. It is unbiblical and it is unwise for Christians to marry non-Christians, no matter how wonderful that unsaved heart appears to be.
Yes, the daughters of men – the daughters of secular, earthly men – may be beautiful. In fact, they may make themselves appear more beautiful than they really are by wearing provocative clothing and visiting body-altering doctors and artists. But that person’s physical beauty, along with her sense of humor, her joyful spirit and her willingness to please, mask a demon in development. Unless that young man or that woman are born again, their pleasant nature will decay over time. Don’t be lead by your emotions. Listen to the instruction of the Lord when it comes to marriage. Look at the facts and the histories which are repeated over and over again. Christians should not marry unbelievers.
The fourth step toward the flood was the result of the NATURAL DIGRESSION of those intermarriages.
A young couple, madly in love, got married, and into that union children were born. Father was a worshiper of Jehovah, but mother was not. Or perhaps it was the other way around. Which of those parents would the children – all born with an evil nature – more likely to follow? In this instance they followed their secular mothers, drinking up the spirit of rebellion which she possessed.
Imagine a mother, living only for this world, only for temporal pleasures, only for immediate joys. Around her are three little boys and a girl. Of course that mother remains as close to her extended family as possible. And her brothers and uncles visit from time to time. They are mighty men; men of renown. They are tall and handsome; they may be stronger than the children’s father; they have stories to tell. They have gone to war and killed other men. They are hard drinkers. They are loud, but they are fun. They attract attention wherever they go. And her little boys stand in awe of them. They stare at the colossal form of their uncles and cousins. There were giants in the earth in those days – Genesis 6:4. They were not freaks, they were not half-human half angel or demon. They were simply big, powerful, important men. Giants of industry; military men; powerful politicians. And the little boys said, “Momma, we want to be just like uncle Ahab.” And their sister says that she’d like marry a man just like him.
When the children of a divided marriage, grow up and marry, will they choose a righteousness partner or an exciting giant in the earth? How many generations will it take before the godly line of Seth is swallowed up by the ungodly line of Cain? Probably not even two generations. How quickly will the influence of righteousness dry up under circumstances like that? Verse 4 – “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 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.” By the tenth generation from Adam, the whole world was full of evil and violence. I know that it is probably not a good word, but all this “provoked” the Lord to destroy the earth with the flood.
Finally, the grieved Spirit of God ceased to bless and protect humanity.
Verse 3 – Jehovah said, “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” The Hebrew word “strive” is most often translated “to judge,” but it is also “to contend,” and even “to plead.” This “striving” of the Spirit of God with men could be interpreted to be the Lord’s conviction upon the soul. Remember, during this spiral into sin and disaster there were righteous men standing for God and serving Him. Specifically, we are told that Noah was a preacher of righteousness – II Peter 2:5. And there was Godly Enoch. In the New Testament, Jude (1:14) tells us “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince (or convict) all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds…” But sinful man continued his blind but rapid descent into disaster despite the warnings and prophecies.
And the Lord said, “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” There are good scholars who interpret that statement about an hundred and twenty years, as God’s promise to withhold His judgment for more than another century. I won’t argue with that conclusion, because we see God’s patience and longsuffering like this quite often. Just in the fact that it took Noah such a long time to build the ark was, in effect, God’s grace upon humanity. But humanity abused God’s patience and continued its decline into debauchery and rebellion. “And God saw that every imagination of the thoughts of (man’s) heart was only evil continually.”
By grace there are exceptions, but this, I believe, is God’s conclusion about the world in which we live. The vast majority of Americans rarely attend church, because they have no desire to do so. They have no desire for God. “There is none that seeketh after God” – Romans 3. These people have “better things to do than to waste their Sundays in worship.” And most of those who do go to their cathedrals, churches, stake houses and mosques don’t actually worship Jehovah. To use the Lord’s own words they are filled with their own vain imaginations about God. And the Holy Spirit is grieved, just as Jesus wept over the fallen city of Jerusalem. And the grieved Holy Spirit stopped instructing, convicting, blessing that last generation before the flood.
Generally speaking, drawing our facts from Genesis 4-6, these are the steps leading up to the most astounding “natural disaster” of all time. But of course there was nothing “natural” about it. It was divine, and in a sense miraculous in scope. And I hope you can see that today’s society is running head-long down the same winding road to disaster. The world is still saying, “We will not have this King to reign over us. If we aren’t allowed to worship Him the way Cain did, we will not worship Him at all. We love creation more than the Creator. We certainly love ourselves more than we do the Lord.”
The Noahic flood was the worst natural disaster this creation has ever experienced. But if you’ll remember back just a few minutes I said, “there is an even worse global disaster coming.” In his Second Epistle, speaking of the scoffers of these last days, Peter said, “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with eater, perished: But the heavens and the 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.” God promised us all that there will never be a universal flood, but there will be some thing much worse. I can’t get into the details at this time but the Bible teaches there is coming a massive firestorm that will equal Noah’s flood in its depth and extent.
Peter goes on in II Peter 3:10 – “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”
There is only one way to prepare for this upcoming disaster. It was the same message that Noah and Enoch preached to their generations. It is the same message as John the Baptist and Paul the Apostle. “Repent.” There is an escape. It is in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice He made at Calvary. You need a Saviour. We all need a deliverer, and there is only One. “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Neither is there salvation in any other” – Acts 4:12. I implore you once again to repent before God and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Confess your sinfulness to the Lord; call upon Him to save you. Granted you may not be alive and upon this earth when the final global firestorm begins, but the firestorm of hell will fall on all unrepenting sinners. So you need to be delivered from your sins. “Save yourselves from this untoward generation,” by humbly and completely bowing before the Saviour.