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What the Bible says about As it Was in the Days of Noah
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 4:19-24

Lamech was five generations removed from Cain. His sins run from polygamy to murder to boastful pride in his transgressions. Though it cannot be proven, Jewish tradition claims he killed his forefather Cain as well as righteous Enoch (verse 23). Though his children were talented and inventive, the general tone of the passage suggests that they achieved their progress apart from God (see verse 16).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'As It Was In the Days of Noah'

Genesis 6:5-6

At this time in the world, we have not reached the specific level of violent conduct before the Flood, but we are moving toward it. This increasingly perilous condition stands as an indictment against all of us because we have all contributed to this menacing situation. How? It is partly motivated by our collective lack of knowledge, understanding, desire, and/or will to seek God's righteousness and pursue it as the Bible commands us to do.

Many secular-minded people severely question even God's very existence, but God counters those challenges with a stern judgment of His own. Romans 1:18-20 declares that humanity is without excuse because God has made His existence known to mankind. As it is impossible for God to lie, it is a statement of fact: The proofs of His existence and overall governance are available in the observation of creation. Yet, we see no groundswell of people searching for those spiritual truths.

Can today's humanity change and practice a culture of morality superior to what we see in the world? Probably, because even this nation's history shows an America with a much higher level of moral conduct among the general population. Within its histories of the Israelite peoples, the Bible shows a few instances of such a thing occurring.

However, the overall chances of reformation are slim because the Bible pointedly shows us that as long as man's self-centered, anti-God nature remains driven by its resident carnality, nothing will ever change! Romans 8:7 dogmatically states that man's carnal mind, the mind he develops from birth, is antagonistic to God. It is not subject to God by nature.

It has been this way since Adam and Eve. They sinned, bringing the sentence of death upon themselves almost immediately after spending time in the presence of their Creator and being instructed by Him personally. This reality is evidence of how persuasive the anti-God nature we take on at birth is. That one of their children murdered the other proves that the same nature passes on to us, their children.

Immorality has almost always been the dominant way of life for mankind. The early chapters of Genesis show violence continued growing until God Himself put a stop to it by bringing the Flood on humanity. He wiped humanity out entirely except for one family of eight.

With the reality of the conditions we are living through and the availability of the Bible as a resource, we are challenged to choose. God took this same approach toward ancient Israel, and His challenge remains in His Word to this day—to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).

Since Jesus Christ walked the earth, history shows that no nation has had such full and easy access to the Word of God as America. Who then do we choose to believe, God or men? Even though God is not challenging the entire nation to choose now as He did Israel at that time in their history, the challenge remains for the individual citizen. If an individual sincerely desires to better his conduct before God and not follow the crowds eagerly throwing themselves into the pit reserved for those who do not want to please Him, he or she can choose life.

The potential violent destruction because of America's immoral conduct deserves serious consideration and positive response. Does our conduct follow the American pattern, or does it reflect Jesus Christ's teaching? Those two ways of life are not similar in character. The choices are obvious. We have little excuse not to choose life.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Six)

Genesis 7:17-23

Amid the prevailing violence of the pre-Flood world, God singled out Noah, called him, and began giving him the grace he needed to complete what likely seemed like an impossible assignment. He spent one hundred and twenty years preaching, undertaking the hard labor to build the ark, and enduring the mockery of his neighbors. When the Flood came, he faced torrential rains combined with earthquakes that produced frighteningly huge waves on an endless sea, making him fear for his family's survival. While never knowing a period of absolute calm, he cared for the animals, including the birds sent out to reconnoiter conditions outside. When one did not return, and the ark settled into the soft but stable soil, the lifesaving voyage ended, and the reestablishment of life on earth began in a world of absolute calm dominated by silence.

From beginning to end, Noah's story has the sense and appeal of a fantastic fictional tale. Within it are events that may remind us of a superhero conquering every challenge devised by a mysterious villain to keep him from accomplishing his mission, and saving his family despite the sacrifices. Since God Himself reports Noah's work through Moses, his story is not fiction; one man lived the entire experience. Moreover, every person born on earth since descends from this one man and his wife.

We do not have to search long to find the cause for God's judgment: man's unending determination to fill his life with every vile form of sin he could imagine. Humanity needed to be saved from itself before millions of minds became so set on sinful ways of living that they could not repent. The step God took—sentencing almost all of mankind to death—was, in reality, an act of divine mercy before humanity reached that point of no return.

This current generation of humanity is living in an atmosphere of widespread violence, which Jesus warned in His Olivet Prophecy would be similar to the state the world was in as Noah was finalizing the housing of the animals God brought to him. The beginning of the Flood was only days away.

How much time do we have before God gives the signal for Jesus to return to earth to establish the Kingdom of God? Before His crucifixion, even Jesus did not know the time of His departure from heaven, so we do not know either. He admonishes us to be ready at all times.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Leadership and Covenants (Part Eleven): Signs

Luke 17:28-31

In Luke 17:20, the Pharisees asked Christ when the Kingdom of God would come. He gives them a short answer, then in verse 22, He begins a longer answer to the disciples. In verse 26, He mentions “as it was in the days of Noah” as an example. In verses 28-31, He provides another one. In verse 31, the King James Version uses “stuff” instead of “goods.” If we are outside our homes, and it is time to go, we are not to worry about our stuff.

There will come a time in each of our lives when we will have to choose between the comfort of our current existence and following God into the unknown, just as so many in the Bible were required to do. The list is long: Noah, Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, etc. Each of these men, and often their wives and families as well, had settled lives, with homes full of stuff. Yet, God motivated them to leave it behind.

Mike Ford
Stuff


 




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