And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.(Genesis 7:1-5)
Enoch, Lamech, Methuselah and Noah, and no doubt ,many others over the centuries, had long warned of the day of God’s wrath upon the earth. Perhaps at the beginning they preached to a receptive audience, but by the time of the events of Genesis chapter 7 the warnings fell on deaf ears.
The society of Noah’s day was completely depraved; it was violent, inclined towards evil, hateful of any trace of goodness, constantly developing evil Imaginations, and except for 8 souls whom God had granted grace to, completely God rejecting.
The final progression of human evil was achieved when men openly initiated intimate contact with fallen beings. Thus did Angels and men alike transgress the Divine boundary, bringing upon the Angels that sinned a premature sentence to confinement, and upon the world of men a flood of near total destruction.
As the Apostle Peter warned,
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;(2 Peter 2:4-5)
The Ark had been prepared, the clean and unclean animals were drawn in, and the door of the Ark was opened, as Noah and his family went about their final preparations and warnings.
It is interesting to note that the call to Noah and his family was not to “Go into the ark”, but to “Come into the Ark…”. God was in the Ark, calling from within to Noah. Centuries later, the Messiah of God, who is also a refuge from the coming wrath of God, called out in a similar fashion to whosoever would hear,
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.(Matthew 11:28-30)
God was going to wipe out all human life, except those eight. Indeed the Lord was preparing to extinguish all life of any kind, Fowl, Mammal, reptile, in short everything that He had made that breathes air. Every man, woman and child was soon to experience the utter wrath of the Holy God whom they had long since spurned and ignored.
They had in times past no doubt been exposed to the preaching of judgment, and perhaps in various cases they had been moved by it. Certainly the time span since creation had included two overlapping lives who would have been a profound witness to the reality and judgment of God. For the first 930 years, the world had Adam among them as a witness.
Methuselah also, the son of Enoch was a living witness, whose life overlapped Adams, to span the entire pre flood era. His name itself was a prophecy, “When He dies, it comes”, or “His death shall bring…”. The world that once was, would last as long as Methuselah.The very year he died, the flood came.
The fact that Methuselah lived longer than any other human being is also a witness of another fact. It tells us that “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise(of judgment) as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance”!
The door to the Ark stood open, although daily it seemed less relevant, less compelling and necessary to the world as it rushed towards the precipice of deeper sin , reprobation, and the coming judgment. People became oblivious to the call to repentance, consciences died and hearts hardened, as the pace of life advanced, with its exotic foods, drink, marriages, building projects, entertainments, and the enticing “new spirituality” introduced to the world by the ‘fallen ones’.
It seemed that in spite of the obvious problems (violence), man was progressing in every other way without God!
Jesus warned that the time of his return the same delusion would prevail,
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(Matthew 24:37-39)
As the voice of Enoch, Lamech, Methuselah and even Noah began to fade out of public awareness, the gloomy clouds of Divine vengeance began to form and roil, but the party just went on without notice.