Both the prophet Isaiah and the Lord Jesus Christ referred back to the days of Noah and the flood to illustrate key spiritual concepts about the shortcomings of human behavior versus the eternal grace and holiness of God.
Noah lived in a time when evil dominated the entire earth. We have seen events in our history where this type of evil has been in control in certain geographic areas. In our times, God has used other people to defeat and eliminate it, at least for a season.
Mankind has demonstrated a lot of good and love for others throughout history. But without true faith and a connection to God, evil can get a foothold, spread out and eventually take over. Without divine protection, people can fall prey to doctrines of demonic thinking and follow these up with evil actions. When the whole world threatens to becomes like this, God must take action to deal with it.
Things got so bad in Noah’s time that God’s heart was grieved. He even regretted creating man and placing him on this good earth. But through all of this, there was one man, Noah, who pleased God. The Lord decided to preserve and bless His highest creation, mankind, through Noah and his line.
Though it broke God’s heart, pervasive evil was judged using a global flood. Afterwards, God promised to never judge the earth in this way again. The next time, He would bear all the punishment Himself on a cross to provide atonement for the wicked deeds of the world.
The prophet Isaiah told Judah that, just as the Lord had promised no more global floods, He would also withhold further acts of judgement against them once they returned from exile in Babylon. They would of course face further severe trials and hardships, but those would not originate with God.
Isaiah prophesied these words of the Lord regarding His coming “moment of wrath” against them. It was the only way to cure them of persistent idolatry and unfaithfulness, yet preserve their line. Their defeat by Nebuchadnezzar and seventy-year exile in Babylon would come, but it did succeed in ending their idolatry for good. Once Judah was chastised, the Lord promised to end His judgement and to extend His love to them forever.
9 “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me;
For as I have sworn
That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,
So have I sworn
That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
10 For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you. Isaiah 54:9-10 NKJV
Later, Jesus used a Noah analogy to describe the condition of the earth at the time of His return, Christ’s Second Coming. Just as in Noah’s time, Jesus’ return will come at a time when wickedness prevails over the earth, and few are ready or interested in receiving Him.
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Matthew 24:36-39 NKJV
Genesis chapter six tells us that the earth in Noah’s time was corrupt and filled with violence, and Jesus warned His disciples that the hearts of people would be similarly wicked at the time of His return.
12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:12 NKJV
Jesus even wondered if He would find any faith left at all on the earth when the Father decides the time is right to send Jesus back for His elect.
8 Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8b NKJV
We pray that we will all be ready and about the work of the Father when Jesus returns to bring in His kingdom and to put down suffering, death and evil forever.
What is God telling us through these two prophecies referencing Noah’s experience? Here are a few possibilities:
One, God cannot coexist with evil. When wickedness becomes too great in the hearts, minds, and intentions of people, God has to do something about it to put an end to it.
Two, God has a tender heart. It grieves Him when things go this far. His love for us is so great that He ultimately took the burden of punishment Himself on the cross at Calvary, offering forgiveness and salvation to all women and men who would humble themselves to receive Him. Once God has extended His love, He promises to never take it away from us.
Three, the days of Noah show that evil has gained traction over the whole earth before, and Jesus tells us that it will happen again before His return. We pray today for the restraining power of the Holy Spirit to keep the spread of evil in check, granting blessing and protection to all who seek it.
Lord, we reach out to You for blessing and protection today. Keep the spread of evil from taking hold in our own hearts and minds and help us to better reflect Your loving heart to those around us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.