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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Days of Noah

Jesus said, "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah." (Matt 24:37) What did He mean? What were "the days of Noah" like? I mean, it could be a hint of when He will return.

Well, it might be helpful, in answering the question, to give the rest of His explanation. You know ... what did Jesus mean when He said "like the days of Noah"?
For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying 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 will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matt 24:38-39)
That's the rest of the story. Jesus describes the "days of Noah" as ... well ... regular days. People eat, people drink, people marry. Just like all the time. Is that what Jesus meant? Did He mean, "The days of Noah were like any day, so I could come any time"? Probably not. I think Jesus assumed that His listeners knew a little bit more than that.

The Bible gives us more information on "the days of Noah". There was the "sons of God" taking the "daughters of men" (as in "marrying and giving in marriage") (Gen 6:2) that offended God. After that He promised 120 years until He would judge the world (Gen 6:3). But there is also this key observation.
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen 6:5)
The implication here is that the key feature of "the days of Noah" was "the wickedness of man". How wicked? "Great." How great? "Every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Oh, that great.

Jesus said, then, that His return would occur when it was just like Noah's day. Scripture gives us one aspect of Noah's day. People are characterized as having nothing but evil intent. Jesus highlighted another. They didn't know judgment was coming. They just went on about their daily lives without guilt, without repentance, without a care. They didn't concern themselves with what God wanted. They were defined as only evil continually.

Since my original question was in regards to using Jesus's statement as a measuring rod, an indicator of when He would return (not a date, of course, but a time frame of sorts), how close do you suppose we are? We are certainly sinking deeper into a world that doesn't have the slightest concern for what God wants of them. It's harder and harder to find anyone who cares. And I think we are getting closer and closer to an "only evil continually" society as well. I would only wish to suggest here that, given Jesus's statement, you might want to keep one eye on your relationship with Christ -- living to please Him -- and the other on the sky -- anticipating His soon return.
He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 22:20)


Alec said...

It may not mean anything at all, but I find it interesting that the second main point Jesus brings out to identify the last days are "marrying and giving in marriage".

Isn't the redefinition of marriage and the resulting "celebration" one of the key marks of our time?

Stan said...

Well, on one hand our society no longer concerns itself with "giving in marriage" much. Getting permission to marry is rare. On the other hand, I think Jesus was describing a world where everything was going along "like it always had" even though it was characterized by "only evil continually". That is, it looked like "normal operation" while it was completely decayed. In this light, the celebration of "marriage" redefined would fit perfectly with that kind of thinking. "Yeah, yeah, we're still doing marriage." No ... no, you're not. (In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not sure that what 21st century "marriage" has become before this redefinition to include "same sex" is what marriage was or was intended to be. We've stripped off all the particulars -- "for life", complementarity, children -- already. It was but a small step to get to this new one definition which, in reality, was a new definition of a new definition.)