"And the Lord saw that the sin of man was great on the earth and the thoughts of his heart was evil. And the Lord had sorrow because He had made man on the earth, and His heart was grieved. And the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have made. . .for I am sorry that I made him.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of God." Genesis 6:5-8
As God looked down upon all that He had created He saw violence and wickedness everywhere. The world had become dark and void all over again and the Lord’s heart was grieved. But in the midst of all the darkness He saw a single light - one man who felt His pain and who sought to please Him.
Noah walked with God and obtained a testimony that he was righteous. The Lord declared that Noah was perfect in his generations. The Hebrew word here is tamiym meaning upright, truthful, pure, unblemished and complete. Noah was alone in his sincere devotion to the Lord and in a world that made God sad, Noah made Him happy.
We should feel a deep sense of gratitude for Noah’s faithfulness too, because if he had followed the world around him, we would have never been born. When God spared Noah He also spared us. God had decided to destroy the world with a great flood. It would rain for 40 days and the underground rivers and streams would burst forth causing the earth to flood quickly.
This is when God gave Noah a difficult mission - build a giant ship, gather animals into it to repopulate the earth after the deluge, and preach a message of repentance and salvation for 120 years. Noah worked on the Ark and pleaded for people to turn from their sins.
Anyone could repent and punch their ticket to board the Ark but no one did. No one believed the message. No one believed that the wrath of God was coming. Everyone was convinced that things would go on as usual. Day after day Noah pleaded but his words fell on dull ears. The people just didn’t believe that they were in any danger.
The Scriptures do not tell us, but sometimes I wonder if some initially believed and repented only to later rejoin the world in rebellion against God. That is usually what we see happening today. In the parable of the sower Jesus explained that some who have the Word of life sown to them initially receive it to only later lay it down. Did some repent and join in the building of the Ark - join in helping preach the message of repentance and salvation, only to later fall back in sin?
I would imagine that it became more difficult to believe the message of a coming wrath as each year passed by. People surely entertained the same thoughts that people do today, Peter wrote that in the last days people would mock the message of God’s coming wrath saying, -"Where is the promise of His coming, for ever since our ancestors died things have continued just as from the beginning?" (2 Pet.3)
Jesus prophesied that in the last days before the great and terrible Day of the Lord, that the world would be like it was during Noah’s time in that people would be oblivious to the coming judgment. Sometimes I feel that I can really relate to Noah.
In this world where even Christianity has laid down the firm standard of the Lord and is more comfortable living in the land of shifting shadows I too sometimes feel alone.