During the life of Noah the spiritual wall between God’s people and the wicked world had broken down. There formed an unholy alliance between the daughters of men and the sons of God. Little difference could be found between the children of the covenant line and those of the wicked world. The sons of God were attracted to the wicked ways of the world. The culture, the entertainment, the industry, and the trends of the wicked world appealed to them, and they were drawn to the world as iron is drawn to a magnet. It was because of this that the children of the covenant line, being attracted by the outward beauty and sex-appeal of the wicked, took them wives of, and gave themselves as wives to, whomever they pleased. These unequally yoked marriages then produced offspring which became great men and women of the world, steeped in the wisdom and ways of this world.
Now, the point we established in our last installment was this: the days of Noah are a type of the days in which we find ourselves at present. We called our attention to that all-important passage in Matthew 24:37-39. There Jesus tells us, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the clays 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.”
In light of what Jesus says in this passage we concluded the last article with the question, “What is happening today?” Are the events of Noah’s day unfolding also in our day? Is there today too a breakdown of that spiritual separation between those who confess to be the church and those of the wicked world?
To answer this in the negative would not only deny the word of Christ in Matthew 24, but would also clearly reveal that we ourselves have become spiritually insensitive, in fact spiritually blind, to what is developing all around us today! Certainly there is widespread amalgamation between many who wish to cling tenaciously to the name “Christian” and yet indulge in and enjoy to the fullest the pleasures of this wicked world. No doubt Satan is laboring very diligently in this respect. How clearly Paul points this out to Timothy in II Timothy 3. In verses one through five of this chapter Paul describes what will characterize in the last days those who call themselves Christians but who remain so only in name. They will be “lovers of their own selves. . . lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” How true all this is! There are many today—and we need not look very far to find them—that, although they are covered with an outward sugar-coating of godliness, nevertheless have desires which are earthly, sensual, and devilish! They go through the outward motions of faith yet no longer live out of the longing for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting! That is exactly what had happened in Noah’s day!
How true the apostle Paul’s words ring in our ears: men shall be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” Today too—and again we need not look too far—we find a mad dash after the entertainment and pleasures this world has to offer. Oh, perhaps one may avoid the most shockingly evil places of entertainment, but nevertheless the “fun” of this world has taken its hold. Many have begun to live for pleasure, for having a good time. If something is not entertaining then it is not worth one’s while. Certainly such a craze has found deep inroads into the church of Jesus Christ. A life in the service of God has been replaced by a life in the service of pleasure. Can we deny that? This is the most successful method devised by Satan to lure into his clutches all the world, including those who call themselves “sons of God.” It is little wonder that the apostle Peter warns us with these words; “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (I Peter 4:7). How easy it can be to become swallowed up in the riches and pleasures, the artistry and industry, the fashions and trends of this wicked world! Do we not experience from day to day the powerful pull that all these things have upon our own sinful natures? Surely the child of God can be thankful and filled with joy that the work of grace in his life inspires him to do battle with sin and Satan. By that grace he remains faithful and continues to desire fellowship with God rather than fellowship with the workers of iniquity. But as time progresses, remember, these true “sons of God” become fewer and fewer. The church world, slowly at first, and more rapidly as time goes on, becomes infiltrated with those possessing a form of godliness but who deny the power of it.
Because these so-called Christians now seek and enjoy the same pleasures as the ungodly world they also begin more and more to have pleasure in them that do them. In other words, they begin to desire the outward beauty, the sex-appeal, of the wicked men and women of this world. As a result, because there is no essential difference between them and the wicked they take them wives of, and give themselves as wives to, all which they choose. Oh yes, intermarriage between those in the church and those of the world is a phenomenon which is becoming common in our day. And of a truth this becomes the very groundwork for the development of the Antichrist. The offspring of such marriages will become men of renown. They will appeal both to the world and to nominal Christendom and will become the stabilizing force which unites them into one kingdom.
And what is happening to the true Church of Jesus Christ? It grows smaller and smaller. It is there, no doubt; it will always be there. But now God gathers His people from all nations, tongues, and tribes, only in small numbers. How tiny the church of Christ is today! And if we were able to separate the true Christian from those who only call themselves Christian, how much smaller it truly would prove to be. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall the coming of the Son of man be.” Surely that reveals itself in the synthesis between the church and the world today.
There is also another way the days of Noah are a type of the days in which we live. Again in our last installment we considered that the children of these “mixed marriages” became the mighty and the noble of this world, men who developed this creation in the service of sin and Satan. We consider this now in more detail. In the days prior to the Flood the world had developed greatly in her technology and industry. It had reached the zenith of its glory and power, the very height of its development. That this took place in Noah’s day is revealed in the Scripture account of Lamech and his three sons. In Genesis 4:19-22 we read, “And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron.” Now, perhaps at first glance these words of Scripture do not really seem to tell us much about the world of Noah’s day. Remember, however, that all that is included in Scripture is of significance and God Himself included this account in Sacred Writ to speak to us who live in the last days.
Let us take note, therefore, of the teaching of this passage.
In the first place, we notice that these three sons of the evil Lamech represented all those whose ambition in life was to develop this good creation of God in such a way that it would serve their own interests rather than God’s. It was their aim and goal to make this world useful for themselves, to make it as pleasant as possible for themselves, and to use it to fulfill their own passions and lusts. We cannot fail to notice that these three men of renown were born in the reprobate line of Cain. Therefore, all their work was done in the service of sin and Satan. These men were the mighty and noble of this world who were not (as were God’s children) interested in a heavenly kingdom and fellowship with the Most High. These men and all the worldly wise that followed them were intent on developing an earthly kingdom in which man was king, a kingdom which had no room for God.
In the second place, this passage clearly indicates that the days before the Flood were days of great development in riches and industry. Often we are under the impression that the men and women that lived prior to the Flood were uncivilized cave men who walked about with clubs and long, unkempt hair. Not so! The world at that time was highly civilized! It had to be! Just think of the age of many of these men prior to the Flood. They lived to be well over 500 years old. If we were to consider, for a moment, the amount of knowledge we acquire in 70 years of life, how much more the knowledge prediluvian man must have acquired in his life. Was the world as developed then as it is today? Probably not. But that does not mean man was uncivilized. The world at that time had reached the very peak of civilization.
Jabal was but the father of those that dwelt in tents and had much cattle. That means that those who followed him became rich and famous landholders. They possessed the riches of this world and were powerful and influential men whose aim was to gain this world. Jubal was but the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. That means that his descendants developed many musical instruments, as well as the song. And since this was done in the service of sin we can be sure that all these instruments and these songs were used to reveal the inner lusts and evil desires of their hearts. The world had become highly developed in its wicked music. Finally, Tubalcain was but the instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. That means that those who were taught by him became the geniuses of industry and technology. Once again, although we cannot become speculative as to just how developed prediluvian man was in this respect, we can be sure that society had become highly civilized.
In the third place, we take note that these men of renown were not men of the church. We directed our attention to this earlier. But it is important to emphasize this. God’s people are, according to the standards of this world, the base, weak, and beggarly elements of this world. They never are those who are wise in the ways of this world. That was true of Noah also. When it comes to industry, riches, and fame the descendants of Seth are not even mentioned at this point in Scripture.
When we put all these facts together we can but conclude that in the days prior to the Flood the wicked world had almost reached its Utopia, or, so it seemed in the eyes of the wicked. The church of God was about gone, and, with that, all mention of God had disappeared. It seemed to the wicked, that they had succeeded in disposing of God Himself. Besides this, they had all the industry, entertainment, and riches they needed to live life to its fullest. They were able to fulfill all the desires of their flesh as they lived in luxury. And all of this without God. Then the Flood came. . . .
Next installment, the Lord willing, we will again consider the last days in which we live in light of these days of Noah.