Understanding the Days of Noah: An End Times Biblical Parallel
• Genesis chapters 6-10
• Matthew 24
• 2 Thessalonians chapters 1-3
• 2 Peter chapters 1-3
One of the most sobering acts of God’s judgment is the Flood, otherwise known as the Deluge. The flood event is recorded not only by the Jews, but by many other ancient civilizations. Accounts vary in details. However, they are similar in their overarching narrative and commensurate story. The flood occurred in the ‘days of Noah’; an era of time recorded in Genesis chapters 6-10.
The story of Noah is well documented in the scriptures (which we strongly encourage you to read), and is referenced thereafter on multiple occasions by Jesus Christ and His apostles as an example of the judgment to come. Herein we find multiple parallels worthy of our attention.
When the disciples asked Christ about the signs of His coming, He gave one of the greatest oral dissertations on the topic in Matthew 24, in which He says:
The days of Noah are unlike any other the world has ever known. In this post we’re going to unpack their full weight. By the time you’re done reading you should have a firm grasp on the following key points and their application to the end times in which we’re living.
Defining the Days of Noah
So what were the days of Noah really like? What makes them so significant? Being able to define them gives us a platform from which to spring when looking at what’s to come.
The days of Noah were inherently evil. This particular account of mankind is equally as sobering as God’s requisite judgment upon them.
When defining the days of Noah
the inherent evil is by far the most notable point of any,
underscoring all subsequent points.
As if the story of Cain and Abel was not brutal enough, the days of Noah exacerbate evil in a way many find unfathomable and furthermore, unconscionable. From Adam to Noah twelve generations transpired in approximately 1651 years, respectively. Within that relatively short amount of time mankind as a whole had slid into a gross and perverse existence entirely contrary to what God had intended or designed for His creation — which bore His holy and sacred image. In just six short chapters since the creation account we are already reading about the grotesquely altered procreation of man which had been corrupted by the ‘sons of God’ through lust, fornication, and what could be construed as rape and its subsequent defilement. These beings are widely known and accepted as fallen angels who had been cast to earth out of heaven. These fallen angels took on fleshly bodies according to their liking, as the serpent did in the garden of Eden. In taking on human flesh, their intention was to permanently alter the seed of man, being able to procreate through woman. They even took the women as wives. If one should question the validity of this story, let it be known that even today a similar evil is practiced with what is termed “shape-shifting” whereby a demon alters matter at the most base atomic structures. When Jesus Christ references “the depths of Satan” in Revelation 2:24, we can safely attribute such acts to His terms. Unto these ‘sons of God’ were born the Nephilim, who became giants in the earth. The Nephilim were upon the earth both pre and post flood. For example, Goliath was a Philistine Nephilim, an enemy of God and archenemy of Israel, who was miraculously slain by David — see 1 Samuel 17.
Thus the seed of man was permanently altered, mankind was defiled, and the earth was consequently subdued by evil. The human race was now of mixed seed, and the image of God became corrupt through demonic sexual conquest. This vile breeding was entirely contrary to God’s plan when He blessed Adam and Eve, commanding them to be fruitful and multiply; to subdue the earth and fill it (see Genesis 1:26-28). Let us remember when the serpent immediately came, it was ultimately for the seed of the woman (see Genesis 3:1), which God addressed in Genesis 3:14-16.
The enemy has always targeted the seed in his conquest for mankind.
This demonic sexual conquest usurped the authority of mankind in the earth by subduing the godly seed. Consequently, God’s blessing could not go forth. What fast ensued is unparalleled in all of biblical human history — a universal and complete moral, physical, and spiritual breakdown (see Genesis 5:5-12 below). This brought not only a curse, but justly incurred absolute destruction from none other than their Creator.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
The first five books of Genesis are packed with genealogy. We see mankind advancing, subduing and filling the earth. In the days of Noah people were still living hundreds of years in exponential procreation. This lifespan enabled mankind to reproduce prolifically. At the first mention of Noah, he was five-hundred years old and bore three sons (see Genesis 5:32). By this standard he’s a relatively middle-aged man. Men were living nearly twice that age, including some of his predecessors such as Lamech, and Methuselah who was close to one-thousand years old. With that said, we can better understand the initial response from the LORD in which He limits both His presence among men and the lifespan of mankind to a mere 120 years — a fraction of what had been thus far (see Genesis 6:3). To frame His response appropriately in modern terms we understand, God essentially said, “I’m not going to put up with this.” Hence, the word “strive” found in Genesis 6:3 in which He says, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man…” This alone was a just and righteous response. We see His judgment. However, it did not effect the desired change. In this initial judgment we see God’s reticence; His patience; even His long-suffering (see 1 Peter 3:20). We see Him being very measured, even incrementally. Yet in due time we see Him fully repenting of His creation altogether — in totality; grieved to the core of His being (see Genesis 6:6). From this frame of reference (His incredible grief and sorrow) we see His final judgment being enacted: He would destroy all He had made, returning the earth to its original pre-creation state (see Genesis 1:2)wherein it was covered with water, being without form and void.
But… Noah found grace in His eyes. Let us not miss this little interlude. It’s huge. In this one remote detail we clearly see the heart and character of our Father God who desperately seeks to save and redeem. He searches all of His creation in its vast breadth and depth to find but one man upon whom He may so generously bestow His mercy, grace, and lovingkindness. There is redemption in the wings; a silver lining of sorts. From this point forward the entire story shifts.
God instructed Noah to craft an ark of gopher wood, giving him very deliberate and detailed instructions. He foretold of the rain He would send and the destruction that would end all life that had breath. Noah believed God and obeyed Him. It took him roughly one-hundred years to build the ark (see Genesis 7:6 & 11).
We are told that Noah walked with God and bore three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth, who would eventually fill the earth. Noah and his wife, and his three sons with their wives, all of whom were eight people, represent the remnant — God’s chosen elect who will ultimately be saved in these last days.
The days of Noah were the most evil mankind has ever known,
requiring a judgment God was hesitant to enact,
yet finally commenced very deliberately with incredible grief and sorrow.
The days of Noah reveal the grossly manipulative conquest upon God’s creation by Satan (namely mankind), and God’s decisive judgments to both save and destroy. It reveals the just and righteous judgment of God and its finality. It also reveals His lavish mercy and desire to redeem, and how He exercises that desire so fantastically, albeit for the few. In the elaborate crafting of the ark, the salvation of Noah’s family with the animals, and even in the flood, we see His extravagance.
The days of Noah directly correlate with what is known as the Tribulation period, wherein Christ gives the days of Noah as an example in Matthew 24:21-39.
Point #1 — There Will Be Gross Sin and Unbelief
Again, this is the most prominent point of any. Sin had reached its pinnacle. Mankind was spiraling fast toward utter destruction, for which there was no recovery. That same pattern, we are told, will be repeated in the end times (last days), yet to an even greater degree, which finally gives rise to the Antichrist and the corresponding Tribulation period.
We are told there will be a great falling away accompanied by a strong delusion which God will send upon those who did not love the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. This is something chosen; not forced. People will shun the salvation Christ offers and will not adhere to sound doctrine (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17) and (2 Timothy 4:3,4). Even so-called ‘believers’ will have a form of godliness, yet with no power, from whom we are told to abstain (see 2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Sin and unbelief will grow more perverse in nature and become more widespread and readily accepted. Today we can see that in every level of society at large, from the laws made, to the lifestyles chosen. The fear of God is all but gone and moral decline is rapidly accelerating. God has warned and continues to warn His people. He never stops seeking the lost. Even as He warned in Noah’s day of the coming destruction by a flood, He has also warned us today of the coming destruction by fire and His wrath and judgment to come.
In an immoral society sin is cushioned; meaning it is given a soft place to fall. It’s watered down. It’s sugar-coated. Sin is not seen as the danger and destruction it truly is. Sin is no longer understood by the biblical definition as something that separates us from God, or that which God must judge. Nor is it viewed as something deserving of death. Sin is viewed as optional. Subsequently, the Sprit of grace is insulted and the blood of Christ is trampled. That is a dangerous spiritual reality for which many will give account (see Hebrews 10:29). If we are going to live holy lives unto God and repent of our sin, we must have an accurate understanding of sin and the wages it brings. To understand how hated sin is, and how intolerant God is of sin (in short, how God views it), we need look no further than the brutal death of His one and only beloved Son, Jesus Christ. This is precisely why the gift of repentance is a lovingkindness offered by God. The opportunity to repent is to receive His mercy, forgiveness, and grace. Repentance is a lavish gift which only Jesus Christ can grant. Without repentance, we die in our sin.
Let us understand that sin hardens hearts and blinds the eyes. It creates a seared conscience in those who refuse to turn and repent, making it very difficult to find their way back to God or live a life by faith in Him and His word. The subsequent error of unbelief will always manifest in sinful decisions, lifestyles, and a heart that does not fear God, which can eventually culminate in difficulty hearing Him when He does speak.
In contrast to the gross sin and unbelief surrounding Noah, who was declared righteous before God, we see his response to God’s word. He demonstrated faith and obedience — all motivated by an appropriate fear of God.
7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith, (Hebrews 11:7, KJV).
Sin is the fruit of an unbelieving heart. As it says in Hebrews:
When we believe in God, and have an appropriate fear of Him, sin is thwarted in the heart and life of a believer. The sin in the days of Noah was outrageous. It dominated mankind, brining defilement, corruption, and ruin. It’s the worst we’ve seen to date. We are sure to see the same patterns of sin and unbelief in the days ahead. We are already seeing the applause of full-term abortion, and many other sins. However, the LORD said the sins of the tribulation would be worse than ever before.
In tying together these parallels, we need to understand that the days approaching will be even worse than those in the days of Noah — and that is a very weighty statement. The judgment enacted by God will be one of absolution. This time it will be by fire instead of water.
Point #2 – The Remnant Will Be Few
When we consider that only eight individuals among thousands were saved, it echoes the reality we need to bear in mind when Christ says this:
With respect to “the few”, this biblical pattern of judgment has been seen before, namely in the judgment and destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 18:23 – 19:25). Sodom and Gomorrah have long been examples of the judgment rendered upon the ungodly with references to its destruction throughout the Bible. God references it many times as a reminder to His people with the most notable passages found in Genesis, Isaiah, the four gospels, Romans, Jude, 2 Peter, and Revelation. It’s entirely appropriate that we reference it again here. Let us understand its significance:
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire,” (Jude 7, KJV).
Abraham’s nephew Lot lived in Sodom. In intercession Abraham asked God that if there be but ten righteous, would He spare the city? God said He would spare the city if there was only ten. But there were not ten. Lot, his wife, and his sons and daughters fled the city. Their total number was four. Note the mercy of God in this story. Lot, his wife, and two daughters were all that escaped. However, the angels asked Lot if there were others. Both of Lot’s daughters were betrothed, and had the opportunity to go and tell of the coming destruction. However, when their husband’s were given word they did not believe. (Note: Because betrothal is considered a part of the marriage covenant, these men were considered sons-in-law, and were granted mercy by God as members of Lot’s immediate family).
With respect to the few, let us be well-reminded of what Christ said:
He also told us, if the days had not been shortened for the elect’s sake, no flesh would be saved (see Matthew 24:22, above). Both of these scriptures, in context, reveal the reality of the times in which we are living. Therefore, the fact that there will be few should not surprise us. Just as in Noah’s day and in Lot’s day, there will be a holy remnant. But it will be small; so small in fact that it will not stay the hand of the LORD in His judgment.
The remnant can be hard to find. They are indeed few. Consequently, if you struggle to find those of like spirit and faith, please do not be discouraged. Continue to follow the LORD according to His Word. Do not let your heart or faith fail you. God is faithful to connect and preserve His remnant body. His will is not that you be isolated or alone. Trust Him to bring you into fellowship with brothers and sisters who are true believers in Christ, and keep praying and seeking Him to that end. In time, He will perform that work in your life with the right people.
Point #3 — Continuity of the Life Cycles
Despite the many signs, people are going to remain very unaware and unprepared. They are going to largely disregard, justify, or explain them away with scientific evidence and other rationale. They will continue living their lives, adapting to the morals of society at large, and the laws which govern them. Like sheep, people are going to move with the spirit of the age unless they are following the Spirit of Christ. With that said, the cycles of life which are summarized by eating and drinking, seedtime and harvest, and the marrying and giving in marriage — these are the fundamental foundations of life and society. They will continue unabated.
The destruction that came by the flood, we are told, came suddenly in torrents of water that were unleashed from the earth, both above and below, which permanently changed the earth geographically. In the same way Christ tells us He will come as a thief. No one knows when He will come — not even the angels. Only the Father knows. However, we do know that this generation (the one encountering these specific signs) will not pass away until the Son of Man comes (see Matthew 24:34).
Jesus Christ makes it very clear that things will continue as they’ve always been. Despite the disruptions, catastrophes, and tribulations — the human race will continue much the same way it always has right up until that time when the Son of Man returns.
When Noah sacrificed to God upon disembarking the ark, the LORD responded.
21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Let us listen carefully to Him: He will not destroy every living thing as He has done. That means He will not destroy it with water. As we have read, the destruction that awaits us is one of fire. Also, as long as the earth remains (until He destroys it by fire) the seasons will continue, and the cycles of life shall continue as ordained from the beginning of creation.
This continuity and consistency will breed doubt in the hearts of mankind with respect to when Christ returns as we have read earlier in 2 Peter 3:3-7 (above), which leads us to our next point.
Point #4 — Sudden Destruction
Paul describes in very colorful language what will be manifest in the coming of the LORD:
Throughout the Bible the coming of the LORD is described as one of great glory, fear, judgment, destruction, and eternal salvation for those who wait for Him, who are eager for His appearing. We can find accounts in Daniel, Isaiah, the Gospels, the various epistles, and finally in Revelation. His return will be the climax of the age in which we live. Jesus Christ makes it clear that the generation in which these things take place will not pass away, but will witness His return.
Even as the waters were suddenly unleashed from above and beneath, Jesus Christ will come like a thief. It will be sudden and without warning, so you must be ready. It’s absolutely imperative that you prepare yourself to see Him face to face.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Conclusion — How to Prepare for Christ’s Coming
What are the lessons we can learn from the days of Noah?
#1. Repent of your sin. That means wholly turning from it and living a holy life pleasing to God.
#2. Believe the Word of God. Put away any unbelief from you. Listen to His voice and obey Him.
#3. Fear the LORD. Seek His face and follow Him. That means taking up your cross, denying yourself, and following Him every single day. You are able to choose whom you serve.
#4. Actively prepare. Do the work of the LORD which He’s called you to do. Fulfill your ministry. Fulfill your purpose. Fulfill your mandate and calling in Him. Be found doing what He’s called you to do when He comes. Be found by Him as a wise, good, and faithful servant — not a hypocrite.
God has been kind in giving us an example of what’s to come. We get a sneak preview of the end by looking at the beginning. The Days of Noah clearly reveal to us both God’s mercy and His just judgment. Christ tells us what to do.
As we prepare for His coming I urge you to find those passages that speak to His return. There are many. Study them. Hold onto His promises, and continue in fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Whatever it is that is separating you from Him, deal with that now until it is completely removed and eradicated from your life. Finally, be found faithful, doing what He has commanded: loving others as He loved us (especially the brethren), making disciples, seeking the lost, and serving others in His name even as He did. Go about doing good.
Cheers & Shalom,
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