A Wicked World Ripe for Judgment
Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 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. 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.” 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. 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. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 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.” (Genesis 6:1-7)
Jesus taught about these days in His famous sermon we now call The Olivet Discourse.
“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, 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 24:38-39)
According to Jesus, it was business as usual for the earth’s inhabitants. They were oblivious to the coming judgment of God, a judgment necessitated by their all-pervasive sin. Every single imagination in their hearts was wicked. The earth was wholly depraved, in every way. Life had become unlivable.
God was sorry and grieved over the matter; it hurt Him deeply. Therefore He made a just—and merciful decision to destroy the world with a flood. It was just because it was deserved; it was merciful because He would start over with Noah and his family. The line leading to Messiah Jesus would remain unbroken.
God’s ways are further revealed to us here: His Spirit would not always strive with man. Even though God is by nature merciful, gracious, and longsuffering (Exodus 34:6), there is a limit to His patience. When all light has been rejected and darkness eclipses the day, God turns on the light again by acting with justice.
We humans often mistake the patience of God for His tolerance of our sins. We think because He has not yet punished that He never will. Such a conclusion was not valid in the days of Noah, and it is not valid today.
For Further Review
1. How is life today business as usual, as it was in Noah’s day? What are some of the comparisons between the two ages?
2. Reflect on the truth that God’s Spirit will not always strive with man forever. What does this mean for non-Christians? Compare John 16:7-11 to help with your answer.
3. How was God been patient with you pre-conversion? How about since you’ve come to Christ? Spend some time giving Him glory and thanks for who He is.