It’s a story that’s been passed down through generations in nearly every culture of the world in India, North America, Egypt, Greece, South America, America, Asia and Babylon. And it isn’t just found in the Bible. What story is it? Stay tuned.
Noah, the son of Lamech, grandson of Methuselah and great grandson of Enoch, was ordained to the priesthood by his grandfather when he was just ten. Eventually, Noah became a great Prophet who literally walked and talked with God and had three righteous sons, Ham, Shem and Jacob, who were called the sons of God. Now, when Noah becomes Prophet, the people of the Earth are about as rotten as they’ve ever been. In fact, the wickedness of men is so great that they hate their own children and families. Their thoughts are of evil continually, and the Earth is filled with violence. So the Lord tells Noah, if men do not repent, I will send in the floods upon them. Fearing for his people, Noah boldly declares the gospel, calling everyone to repentance. He preaches God’s words and warnings to the people for over 100 years, but they don’t listen and mock him, instead, knowing the thoughts of their hearts and that they won’t repent or change their evil and abusive ways. God’s choice to remove most of the people from Earth and start over shows both his justice and great mercy. The Lord then instructs Noah, make thee an Ark of Gopher wood, and thou shalt bring into the Ark two of every living thing and seven of every clean beast, male and female.
And Noah obediently starts to build an Ark on dry ground with no rain in sight. Now the people really laugh at him. Do you think he ever went to bed some nights wondering if he had misunderstood what the Lord had asked him to do? Was he really supposed to build an Ark or was it a park? Well, he knew God had spoken to him, and although the task seemed pretty impossible, he ignored the critics and got to work. Have you ever tried catching lizards, rabbits, polar bears, and Kangaroos? The Lord must have really helped with the entire process of building the Ark and motivating the animals to move to it. As the rain starts to pour, only eight people are allowed into the Ark. Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their son’s wives imagine their feelings, leaving everyone else behind, knowing they’d be destroyed. After 40 days of colossal rain, Noah’s family is stuck on a big, smelly boat with lots of pungent, noisy animals for a year and ten days. But they trust in God and never lose hope. When Noah and his family finally leave the Ark and are back on dry ground, they build an altar unto the Lord and give thanks.
Now let’s compare the people of Noah to the people of Enos. Both had prophets that spoke for God and told the people to repent. Both groups were living wicked lifestyles and didn’t listen to the Prophet and both had hardened their hearts against the truth. The difference was that the people of Enoch eventually softened their hearts and began to listen and obey. Whereas the people of Noah never changed or listened. Big mistake. Now, listening is a powerful skill, but it isn’t always easy, especially in a world full of angry headlines and social media craziness. We need to slow down and listen. This means respecting others and being kind, even if their opinions and choices are different from ours. Listening is an amazing way to learn and show others we love them. And of course, we can stand for the truth and listen at the same time. You know, it must have made Noah very sad that his people just would not listen. God has promised that he won’t flood the Earth again. But because evil is raining down upon us continually, we still need to do all we can to stay safe by creating our own personal arcs to keep the good in and the bad out.
In other words, stand in Holy places as we do. We’ll have opportunities to help others. All the water in the world can’t sink us unless we let the water in. Over a century after the flood, sadly, the people were once again wicked. They even built a ginormous false temple in Babylon that reached into the sky. This tower of Babel was their attempted selfish shortcut to reach God and immortality on their own without repenting or using his help. And as we know, these people were confounded and scattered across the world because of their wickedness. Interestingly, most ancient temples were civilization’s attempts to commune with their gods and gain eternal life in their own way while ignoring the real God of the universe. Fortunately, God’s chosen prophets clearly show us that the only path home is by following Jesus Christ and making covenants with him in his Holy temples.
Next time a new dispensation starts with Abraham.
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