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. 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.(Genesis 6:1-3)
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.(Luke 17:26-27)
Jesus said that the time of his coming would be “as in the days of Noah”. The way it was at the end of the family lines of Cain and of Seth, ie the last days of the generations immediately following Adam, will be duplicated in the last days of our present dispensation. Genesis 4-6 are eschatological, because the conditions will be repeated.
What happened in the Days of Noah? What were the conditions that led up to the flood? There were several signal factors that led up to the cataclysmic execution of the wrath of God upon the earth upon all but 8 souls. I will list them as best as possible, using only the biblical text;
1) A population explosion … men began to multiply on the face of the earth. Physical conditions on the earth were optimal for growth and long life. People in the post flood world wonder about anyone living for 700, 800 or even 900 years, but remember that a canopy covered the earth, shielding men from direct sunlight, ensuring maximum growing conditions. People would have been quite healthy and fertile for a long time.
But with the growth of population, would come intensification of sin. Cities tend to compound the human resistance to God, people influence each other, bolstering one another in evil habits, acts of daring, cutting edged defiance.
Age also would be a factor, imagine a life of hundreds of years of accumulated wickedness, and long practiced God resistance. How hard the heart would become after a point! How toxic an influence an evildoer would be, should he be allowed to continue unto the hundreds of years!
2) Breakthroughs in the Sciences, Technology, and the arts.- We have already discussed the sons of Cain, and their innovations in mitigating the effects of the curse, rendering life easier, affording leisure, and most important of all, tending to give the impression that life can be lived without the acknowledgement of God.
3) The Willful disregard for Marriage- Marriage was designed and ordained of God, to be between one man and one woman for life. It is one of the primal laws, the “everlasting covenant” Isaiah laments about,
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.(Isaiah 24:5)
In a debate with his theological enemies, about marriage and divorce, Jesus takes us back, not to the provisional laws of marriage and divorce in the law of Moses, but to the very beginning, defining marriage ;
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.(Matthew 19:3-6)
But today, as in the days of Noah, as seen in the example of Lamech, we see that the very concept of marriage has been perverted and even forsaken.
So too had the roles of men and women as assigned by God. Lamech’s two wives and daughter are known by name. Lamech’s wives, Ada, “Ornament, or beauty””, Zillah,”the Shady”, ( on account of her tresses?) and also his daughter Naama,”loveliness” were renown, as their names indicate, for their outward beauty and sensual attractiveness.
But in the godly line, before the flood, women took no prominent place. No woman was known by name of Seth’s line, nor do we know the names of the wives of Noah, Methuselah, Enoch. Perhaps this was a reflexion of the “meek and quite spirit” the Apostle Peter told us, that is so precious to God.
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:( I Peter 3:1-5)
4) Another sign of the days of Noah, is the overall rejection of the call to repentance and faith in God- Centuries had passed, in which men Enos led the congregation to call upon the name of the LORD redeemer, and those fiery preachers such as Enoch, Lamech, Methselah, called men to repentance in view of the coming judgment. But by the time of the days of Noah, what do we find? Only a congregation of eight people were aware of what was coming.
There could have been millions or perhaps even a billion on the earth, but by the time of the flood, there were only eight who believed. This is because the fifth sign of the days of Noah is,
5) The obliteration of separation between the line of Cain and the line of Seth- We see no distinction, the centuries saw the diminishment of the line of Seth, which succumbed to the licentious, unbelieving spirit of its own age. Gradually the “congregation” became just another worldly institution, making no apparent difference in the people, calling upon the LORD descended into ritual, and perhaps imperceptibly the light flickered, sputtered and all but died out.
Cainite and Sethite alike had more and more in common, as they commenced with ‘business as usual, they married, gave in marriage, built houses, invested in the future business, had children, ate at restaraunts, went to theaters, and lived as though there was no God to fear.
The “church” had become the world; There were perhaps services or functions, but there would be no messages of judgment, no fear of God, no confrontation with the increasingly evil practices which abounded around them, perhaps a few moral lessons here and there, but nothing too radical… (wouldn’t want to be identified with that crazy Noah), …until the end came…
To be continued…