The Faith of Noah (Part 3)
“It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.” ~Abraham Lincoln
Then, “the fountains of the great deep” were “broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” Water appeared to come from the clouds in mighty cataracts. Rivers broke away from their boundaries, and overflowed the valleys. Jets of water burst from the earth with indescribable force, throwing massive rocks hundreds of feet into the air, and these, in falling, buried themselves deep in the ground.
The people first beheld the destruction of the works of their own hands. Their splendid buildings, and the beautiful gardens and groves where they had placed their idols, were destroyed by lightning from heaven, and the ruins were scattered far and wide.
The altars on which human sacrifices had been offered were torn down. The worshipers were made to tremble at the power of the living God, and to know that it was their corruption and idolatry which had called down their destruction.
As the violence of the storm increased, trees, buildings, rocks, and earth were hurled in every direction. The terror of man and beast was beyond description. Above the roar of the tempest was heard the wailing of a people that had despised the authority of God.
Satan himself, who was compelled to remain in the mist of the warring elements, feared for his own existence. He had delighted to control so powerful a race, and desired them to live to practice their abominations and continue their rebellion against the Ruler of heaven.
He now uttered imprecations against God, charging Him with injustice and cruelty.
Many of the people, like Satan, blasphemed God.
Others were frantic with fear, stretching their hands toward the ark and pleading for admittance. But their entreaties were in vain. Conscience was at last aroused to know that there is a God who ruleth in the heavens. They called upon Him earnestly, but His ear was not open to their cry.
In that terrible hour they saw that the transgression of God’s law had caused their ruin. When God’s judgments shall fall upon the earth before its deluge by fire, the impenitent will know just where and what their sin is – the despising of His Holy Law.
The massive ark trembled in every fiber as it was beaten by the merciless winds and flung from billow to billow. But amid the warring elements it continued to ride safely. Angels that excel in strength were commissioned to preserve it.
As the waters rose higher and higher, the people fled for refuge to the loftiest mountains. Often man and beast would struggle together for a foothold, until both were swept away.
From the highest peaks men looked abroad upon a shoreless ocean.
The solemn warning of God’s servant no longer seemed a subject for ridicule and scorning. How those doomed sinners longed for the opportunities which they had slighted! How they pleaded for one hour’s probation, one more privilege of mercy, one call from the lips of Noah!
But the sweet voice of mercy was no more to be heard by them. Love, no less than justice, demanded that God’s judgments should put a check on sin. The avenging waters swept over the last retreat.
The despisers of God perished in the black depths.
“By the Word of God . . . the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but, the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3:5-7)
Another storm is coming.
The earth will again be swept by the desolating wrath of God, and sin and sinners will be destroyed. Read Peter’s last letter in 2 Peter Chapter 3. He concludes this brief letter as he began, urging his readers to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; that is, they were to get to know Him better and better.
This is the best way to discern false teaching.
“No matter where we are in our spiritual journey, no matter how mature we are in our faith, the sinful world will always challenge our faith. We still have much room for growth. Every day we need to draw closer to Christ so that we will be prepared to stand for truth in any and all circumstances.” Life Application Study Bible, NLT., p. 2142 (Emphases mine)
The sins that called for vengeance upon the antediluvian world exist today. The fear of God is banished from the hearts of men, and His law is treated with indifference and contempt.
The intense worldliness of that generation
is equaled by that of the generation now living. Said Christ, “As in the days that were before the Flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah 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.”(Matthew 4:38,39)
God did not condemn the antediluvians for eating and drinking; He had given them the fruits of the earth to supply their physical wants. Their sin consisted in taking these gifts without gratitude to the Giver and debasing themselves by indulging appetite without restraint.
It was lawful for them to marry. Marriage was in God’s order which He established at Creation. He gave special directions concerning this ordinance, but marriage was perverted and made to minister to passion.
A similar condition of things exists now.
That which is lawful in itself is carried to excess. Professed followers of Christ are today eating and drinking with the drunken, while their names stand in honored church records. Even now, there are crimes daily perpetrated as terrible as those for which the old-world sinners were destroyed.
To be continued . . . Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 99-102
Lincoln watched the approaching Confederate troops as he looked through his field glasses from the front parapet of Fort Stevens, just outside of Washington D.C. He made a very conspicuous figure.
Then, a bullet struck a nearby soldier, forcing Lincoln to relinquish his post. He proceeded directly to the wharf to greet the arriving troops of the Sixth Corps. There was no fear or timidity in Mr. Lincoln’s makeup, reported Captain David Derickson. He not only placed himself in harm’s way as Commander in Chief overseeing the war effort, he faced every public appearance as well as private audience with the knowledge that growing numbers of assassins were plotting to kill him.
Letters threatening his life poured into the White House by the thousands. Daily Lincoln read the grave intentions of adversaries who wanted him dead. “I cannot discharge my duties [in order to] withdraw myself entirely from danger of an assault,” he told his secretary John Nicolay.
In July, 1864, the Confederate army advanced on Fort Stevens, with Lincoln insisting on watching the battle on the fort’s parapet – in full view of rebel snipers. Perhaps this was one of those critical times he was referring to when he remarked, “I, who am not a specially brave man, have had to sustain the sinking courage of those professional fighters in critical times.”
Throughout his presidency, under the shadow of war and the threat of assassination, Lincoln stood tall and walked boldly through the many dangerous situations he faced. His actions reflected his moral resolve.
He understood that he had to model the beliefs he unflinchingly proclaimed: “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.”
Like Lincoln, we can walk boldly in God’s presence through our own trials and tribulations – even against the enemy.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)
Walking with Lincoln, pp. 84-87