2. NOAH – PREPARATIONS (ONE)
It is quite an experience to visit a place like Armenia. There are so many historical sites that speak volumes. When you visit the museum you discover that the Armenian translation of the Bible is one of the oldest.
Ararat is the ancient name of Armenia and this is where Noah and his family began a new life.
According to the Armenian scholar Heruni all the languages had its origin in the ancient Armenian language. We can expect more interesting discoveries in this land with its ancient origin. Yes. Just go through the ancients cuneiform clay tablets and you will find it.
The list in Genesis 5 records ten long-lived generations before the Flood. Similarly the ancient Mesopotamian traditions also point to precisely ten generations before the Flood and to the longevity of the race during that era.
The Babylonian list opens with the remark that “sovereignty descended from heaven,” and gives Alulim, meaning “man,” as the progenitor of the human race (Hebrew ’adam, “man”).
There are no other similarities between the two lists, however, either in the names or in time periods.
The Wickedness and Judgment of Man
In many instances crime can be connected to a certain cause. What do you think is one of the causes for the wickedness in the time of Noah?
Genesis 6:1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,
Moses is pointing to the state of society in the days of Noah, when ten generations of increasing corruption reached a climax.
Men began to multiply.
The human race increased rapidly not only in wickedness but in numbers as well.
Among the manifold dangers for pious Sethites were the beautiful daughters of unbelievers. Wives were taken not because of their virtue but for beauty’s sake, with the result that godlessness and wickedness made heavy inroads among Seth’s descendants.
Seldom does a wicked partner inspire a godly partner to purity. It is usually the other way round. This was the downfall of generations before the flood; it was the downfall of Israel in Canaan and maybe you know of good people who became bad people through a bad spouse.
Verse 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
Who do you think are the sons of God? This phrase has been interpreted in various ways.
Ancient Jewish commentators, the early church Fathers, and many modern expositors have thought these “sons” to be angels, comparing them with the “sons of God” of Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7.
This view must be rejected, because punishment soon to be meted out was for the sins of human beings (see 3), and not of angels.
Further, angels do not marry (Matt. 22:30). The “sons of God” were none other than the descendants of Seth, and the “daughters of men,” of the godless Cainites.
God later spoke of Israel as His “firstborn son” (Ex. 4:22), and Moses called the people of Israel “children of the Lord your God” (Deut. 14:1).
They took wives.
These unholy alliances between Sethites and Cainites were responsible for the rapid increase of wickedness among the former.
God has ever warned His followers not to marry unbelievers, because of the great danger to which the believer is thus exposed and to which he usually succumbs (Deut. 7:3, 4; Joshua 23:12, 13; Ezra 9:2; Neh. 13:25; 2 Cor. 6:14, 15).
But the Sethites did not heed the warnings they surely must have received.
Guided by sense attractions, they were not content with the beautiful daughters of the godly race, and often preferred Cainite brides. Moreover, the prevalence of polygamy seems to be suggested by the plural expression used, they took “wives.”
Verse 3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
My spirit shall not always strive.
The fact that this statement follows immediately after the reference to these unsanctified marriages would suggest that God’s displeasure was most particularly displayed toward this evil practice.
Captive to their passions, they were no longer subject to God’s Spirit. The word “strive” in the Hebrew means “to rule,” and “to judge,” as corollary to ruling.
These words indicate that the Holy Spirit could continue working but a little longer, and would then be withdrawn from the unregenerate and unrepentant of the human race.
Even God’s long-suffering must end. Peter refers to the work of the Spirit on the hearts of the antediluvians, saying that the Spirit of Christ preached to these prisoners of Satan (1 Peter 3:18–20).
For he is indeed flesh
This expression may also be translated, “in their going astray man is flesh,” from shagag, “to wander,” “to go astray.”
By following after the lusts of the flesh, says God, men have surrendered themselves to its desires to the extent that they are no longer responsive to the control of the Holy Spirit.
This is so very serious. May God help us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. Insensibility to divine influence is complete; hence, the Spirit of God is to be withdrawn. There is no further use in “striving” to restrain or improve them.
This divine prediction cannot mean that man’s life span would henceforth be restricted to 120 years. (Compare ages of men after the Flood.)
They predict, rather, that God’s patience would come to an end and probation close within the period of time here specified. In the meantime, divine mercy lingered.
Christ compared God’s dealings with the antediluvians to His work for the human race at the end of time (Matt. 24:37–39). Under similar circumstances God may be expected to work in similar ways.
Verse 4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
These “giants,” nephilim, were not the product of mixed marriages, as some have suggested. The Septuagint translated nephilim by gigantes, from which the English “giant” is derived.
In Numbers 13:33 the Israelites reported that they felt like mere grasshoppers in the sight of the nephilim, which the King James Version translates “giants.”
There is reason to believe that this Hebrew word may come from the root naphal, and that the nephilim were “violent” ones, or terrorists, rather than physical “giants.”
Since in those days the entire human race was of great stature, it must be that character rather than height is designated.
The antediluvians generally possessed great physical and mental strength. These individuals, renowned for wisdom and skill, persistently devoted their intellectual and physical powers to the gratification of their own pride and passions and to the oppression of their fellow men.
Verse 5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Human language could hardly provide a more forceful picture of human depravity.
There was no more good left in man; he was “rotten to the core.” His “every imagination” was evil.
The word “imagination,” from yeser, means “device” or “formation,” and is derived from the verb “to fashion,” “to form,” yaṣar.
Therefore “intent” refers to evil thoughts as the product of an evil heart. Christ said, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,” and observed that they in turn produce “murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19).
The heart was popularly considered the center of the higher powers of the mind — the conscience and the will. A contaminated “heart” sooner or later infects the entire life.
Literally “every day” or “all day long.” This brings the sorry description of antediluvian wickedness to a climax. If this is not total depravity, how could human language express it?
Here we find evil supreme in the heart, in the “imaginations,” or thoughts, and in the actions. With very few exceptions, there was nothing but evil, not temporarily but always, not in the case of merely a few individuals but in society as a whole.
This came about because men “willfully forget” God’s word 2 Peter 3:5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water
Verse 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
What does this verse tell us of God’s love? The mention of divine grief at man’s depraved state is a touching indication that God did not hate man. Human sin fills the divine heart with deep-felt grief and pity.
It excites all the fathomless ocean of sympathy for sinning men of which infinite love is capable. Nonetheless, it moves Him also to judicial retribution Have you ever punished your child after your anger has settled?
For us as parents it is the most painful exercise with a child that is so dear to us. Can you imagine God’s pain when He has to punish us?
Verse 7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
The Hebrew expression here translated “I will destroy” means literally “I will wipe off” or “blot out” or “erase” (see Ex. 32:32, 33; Isa. 43:25). Its use in this passage, describing the extinction of the human race in general, by a devastating flood, is most appropriate.
Verse 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
In these words mercy is seen in the midst of wrath. By them God pledged the preservation and restoration of humanity.
The word “grace” occurs here for the first time in Scripture, and clearly has the same meaning as in the New Testament references, where the merciful, unmerited favor of God exercised toward undeserving sinners is described.
How deeply God loved man even in his fallen state can be observed from a number of factors. He gave them a gospel of mercy, in the promise of the woman’s seed; a ministry of mercy, by raising up and maintaining a succession of pious men to preach the gospel and warn them against the ways of sin; a spirit of mercy to strive and plead with them; a providence of mercy, by measuring out to them a long probationary period of time; an additional grant of mercy, a reprieve of 120 years; and finally an example of mercy, by saving the righteous when all others were destroyed.
This ancient example of grace and mercy is a source of assurance and hope for believers who live at the end of time, a time that Christ Himself compared to Noah’s age (see Matt. 24:37–39).
His loyal followers can rest assured that God will accept them as He accepted Noah, will likewise preserve them amid the evil of this day, and provide for their safety in the coming judgment.
My dear friend, we are living in the time of the end. The wickedness of mankind is fast reaching the limits of God’s grace. If God did not destroy the antediluvians they would have exterminated themselves.
God will not allow Satan and the wicked of our day to exterminate them. God the Righteous Judge will do it Himself.
He hates sin, but loves the sinner. If you cling to willful sin, you will perish with your willful sin. If God will have to destroy you, it would cause Him tremendous pain. Please don’t do it to Him.
Allow Him to save you from your sin. Allow Him to give you a clean heart.
O for a heart to praise my God,
a heart from sin set free,
a heart that always feels thy blood
so freely shed for me.
2. A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
my great Redeemer’s throne,
where only Christ is heard to speak,
where Jesus reigns alone.
3. A humble, lowly, contrite heart,
believing, true, and clean,
which neither life nor death can part
from Christ who dwells within.
4. A heart in every thought renewed
and full of love divine,
perfect and right and pure and good,
a copy, Lord, of thine.
5. Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart;
come quickly from above;
write thy new name upon my heart,
thy new, best name of Love.