Are These the Days of Noah? (Lane)
Are We in the Days of Noah?
by Lonnie Lane
It’s Labor Day, 2008, as I write. Hurricane Gustav has just made landfall and they’re already calling it the “Storm of the Century.” Gustav means “Staff of (the) God(s).” This is not a staff that comforts, as David viewed God’s staff in the all-familiar Psalms 23. Gustav also has follower-storms. There are six other storm systems being watched presently. Six is the number for flesh (like 666 says “flesh, flesh, flesh” as in the worst of flesh, that is, the soul and body of man without God.) But the first of the six storms has been named Hannah which means gracious. May God be gracious to us and heed our prayers to have these six storms die at sea as we rebuke the winds and the storms in Yeshua’s name and say, “Peace. Be still!” (See Mark 4:39).
In the midst of all these storms, it seemed appropriate to go to Noah in my Bible (Genesis 5-9). Yeshua did make mention of Noah related to end times. In response to His disciples asking, “What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matt 24:3) Yeshua answered, ‘…But as the days of Noah were so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 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’ ” (Matt 24:37-40). Storms aren’t the same as His coming. So how does this relate to the storms and subsequent floods we’re seeing? Maybe they don’t. But on the other hand, it would seem wise to be like Noah “in God’s eyes” (Genesis 6:8) and not like those who “did not know” (Matthew 24:40) until disaster struck.
(If you haven’t read my related article, Do We Sink or Swim?, you may wish to do so. It came from a dream I had. Several others have emailed with their own prophetic dreams about storms, flooding and ships, a few of which are included below.)
It’s ‘comforting’ to learn that the name Noah means comfort. It also means: resting place, to stay, to remain, or to set down. Hmmmm. Interesting. When all others were “taken” out, Noah and his family were the only ones “left” on earth (:40). For those of you who are pretrib-rapturists, this may give you some cause to rethink your position. There is the law of first mention in studying Scripture: What is mentioned in Scripture first sets the stage for all regarding that same thing or issue that comes after it. So what’s the premise here? It would seem that the righteous is left while the unrighteous are taken out. This is not the only place in Scripture to support this. But that’s another article perhaps for another time. I offer it here as some food for thought.
Genealogies are always important to God. He keeps tabs on them for a reason. Righteousness is hereditary! (If you’re the first one saved in your family, not to worry. You are the one to begin a long line of righteous progeny to come. I was the first in my family to be saved and I can attest to this being true.) Geologies also show how God works in families and how God keeps His promises. Enoch, if you recall, was in fact “raptured” “Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:23). Evidently Enoch’s walk with God was unique among men and God removed him from the earth. Enoch was Noah’s great-grandfather. Enoch’s son, Methuselah, lived 969 years. His son was Lamech who at age 182 had a son. “And he called his name, Noah, saying, ‘This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed” (:29).
The curse that Adam would have to sweat and toil in the ground to provide food for his family was a great hardship, especially for those who still had family members alive who could retell the story of what life was like for Grandfather Adam and Grandmother Eve in the garden, having heard it from them. Imagine that! Their expectation was that such toil would one day be alleviated when God would send a man who would lift the curse from mankind as per his promise in Genesis 3:15 when He spoke of One who would bruise the head of the serpent. So here’s the first mention of people with a Messianic expectation and the expectation is that there would be one who would bring comfort and release from the curse and the “toil of our hands because of the ground which the Lord has cursed” (:29. Also see Genesis 3:17,18). So little Noah was born with the prophetic expectation upon his life of being the savior, the comforter. But I don’t think things worked out quite the way Grandfather Enoch or Noah’s father Lamech may have been praying for righteousness to be restored. Lamech, incidentally, lived to be 777 years old. Seven is God’s perfect number, the number for completion. It would appear that with Lamech there was a completion, a coming to an end of a time on earth in which God would now institute a new “time,” a new era on the earth. God timed the flood to begin after Noah’s Grandfather and father were no longer alive, because they would not have been deserving of the judgment of the flood.
In Genesis 6:3 the Lord, having had enough of the evil on the earth, says, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” Contrary to what we might have expected, it seems that God’s Spirit did not leave Adam and Eve or their progeny after the Fall. Even Cain hears the voice of God quite clearly after murdering his brother, as if he’s used to hearing it. But evil was now so rampant on the earth, that God would remove His Spirit from man and destroy all life, except for the representative few on the Ark. Another thing we see is that man’s life span is now reduced to 120 years following the flood. That’s like almost 1/10th of the years Adam or Methuselah lived. Later David said, “As for the days of our life, they contain 70 years, or if due to strength, 80 years” (Ps 90:10). I wonder what happened to the other 40-50 years of life expectancy. Well, “the wages of sin are death” (Rom 6:23). Selah.
Noah was 500 years old when the ordeal began. He has three sons who must have helped him build for 120 years that it took to erect this ship. Meanwhile, the “sons of God and the daughters of men” (Genesis 6:4) were “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (Matt 24:38). (We do a lot of that today ourselves, don’t we? Our children are now reportedly overweight with high cholesterols, and we have an obesity problem in America today. The divorce and remarriage rate is the same in the church as outside the church. Heavy sigh!) There are many speculations as to who these sons of God, or Nephilim (giants who were “mighty” as in very strong) were, one being that they were fallen angels. This was a demon dominated society. Fallen angels, now demons, are always looking for a body to inhabit. They had access there. We tend to think of Noah’s neighborhood or his city, at least I do, as the wicked place. But the flood covered the known world at that time. They must have all been wicked everywhere. And they were bearing children who were just plain evil. “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” (6:5,6, my emphasis). He saw into their hearts and His heart was grieved. To grieve means to mourn, ache, lament, be heartsick, weep.
This tells me something about God that I cherish. Yes, He acted in judgment but He did so in order that evil might not prevail so that people are continually destroyed by it. He isn’t enraged or vindictive that they have turned from Him, though He has a right to be. He is “grieved,” deeply sorrowful and heartsick. How heartsick would God be when He is heartsick? Enough to become a man Himself and suffer again beyond what we can imagine, in order to rescue those who would cry out to Him (in time.) I can’t imagine the pain it must have caused Him to hear the cries of those who cried out too late. Our God is good, no matter what takes place, no matter what happens, He is always good and always just. I know you who read this join me in wanting never to bring any sorrow to the heart of God ever. Amen?
God fully knows the “intents of the thoughts of [our] hearts” (:5). Isn’t that amazing? When we stand before Him, we will be judged by the thoughts and intents of our hearts, not our behavior and our deeds apart from our heart’s intents. We can keep the rules for various reasons, be they God-loving, or self-serving. I actually find it a comfort that God knows my deepest thoughts and intentions, good or bad (even more than I do). I never have to worry about Him finding out something about me and changing His mind about me being His.
He knew Noah’s heart and “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord…Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God” (8,9). Like Enoch before him, he walked with God. God was his constant companion. He knew the voice of God obviously, because when God speaks something so outrageous, such as “Build an ark… a flood is coming,” though it takes him 120 years, he does it. I should say, he continues to do it. He never gave up, lost interest or lost the vision, got too tired, or became too discouraged. No doubt there were challenges to this enormous task.
The Scriptures also say that Noah was a “just man.” Like God, Noah is just. To be just is to be upright, righteous, fair, impartial, even-handed, objective, right. It even can mean non-partisan, but we won’t use that definition just now. If there’s one thing God feels pretty strong about it’s being just, showing justice. He is adamant about showing no partiality, and treating all persons equally without any preferential treatment. The reason God gave for choosing Abraham was, “for I know him, because he will command his household and his children after him and they shall keep the ways of the Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him“ (Genesis 18:19). Receiving the promises of God has a lot to do with how you treat others justly. When Israel crossed into the Promised Land, one of the first things He told them was, “You shall show no partiality in judgment, you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall fear no man for the judgment is God’s” (Deut.1:17). Showing partiality often has fear of man at the root. Fear of being rejected or disliked, or fear of being looked down upon by the “up and in crowd” if you treat the down and out with the same respect, for instance. Israel was set up by God as an egalitarian society, meaning no one was to have any more status than anyone else. Ideally, Israel and therefore the church, is to be an entirely just society.
So it would appear that as we walk justly with our fellow human-beings, God would see Himself in us. It would, I imagine, provide cause for meaningful fellowship with God. Like having something meaningful in common with Him. This is not the same as Him loving us over others. He is, of course, “no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34 KJV). “God is not one to show partiality” (Acts 10:34 NASB). This was made very clear to me on a vacant lot in the most dangerous part of Philadelphia one day. I joined my brother who had taken a year of his life to bring the Gospel to homeless crack addicts in an area of the city the police don’t even go into unless they have to. I saw my part as staying in the suburbs and praying for him. Finally I went with him one day. It was February and bitterly cold. I joined him in giving out egg sandwiches and cookies to people for whom this could be the only meal they get all week. At one point, the weekly prayer circle on the vacant lot took place. We stood and held hands, the workers who came to share the Lord and these homeless crack addicts. I held hands that had not been washed in only God knows how long, as they shivered in the cold (I gave my gloves to one woman who received them as great treasure). How did they get there? These were people, many of whom were raised in the church but who made a few bad decisions, or maybe even just one, and were hooked and it slid downhill rapidly from there. They knew their only hope was Jesus. We may sing, “Lord, I’m desperate for You,” but most of us don’t know what being desperate really is. These people had nothing, except their addictions. They were most pathetic, dominated by a chemical substance and the demons that drove them there.
The prayers were, “Lord, forgive. Lord, help.” These people knew their only hope, their ONLY hope was Jesus. We sang a hymn. I don’t remember which one now but I do know that I heard it as I’d never heard it before. We were having church. This was real church! And I knew at that moment that I was just as in need of the atoning blood of Yeshua as these people, I’m just a bit more socially acceptable. I’m just as needy, only better provided for. Essentially, we are all poor and destitute before Him and only He can save us. We’re all sinners. God did eventually rescue a number of them only He could have. Standing in that circle on a vacant lot holding hands with a man who knew his great need for the Lord justice became a heart issue for me. It was no longer a matter of circumstances. God imparted to me that day His heart for showing no partiality.
When Noah’s ark was constructed, in the fullness of God’s time, He told Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation” (Gen 7:1) In the midst of a wicked generation Noah showed no partiality and no fear of man but held his ground and taught his family in the ways of righteousness. He managed to avoid partaking of or being intimidated by anything unclean and ungodly. He was able to stay uncontaminated by the spiritual environment around him, and as a result he experienced the salvation of God for himself and his family.
Our choices in the midst of our own generation will have long range effects in our own lives and upon our family and even for generations yet to come. As was said, righteousness is hereditary! There is a lot in our generation to keep ourselves free of and clean from. In light of the present storms and flooding upon us, if God is trying to tell us something, it behooves us to listen up and to set our values in line with His, to repent where necessary of showing unjust partiality or favoritism, or even the fear of man. Yes, these are things to be repented of and to turn away from. These are “the foxes that are ruining the vineyards” (Song of Sol 2:15) Impartiality, by the way, doesn’t mean you don’t have close friends. Even Yeshua was closer with Peter, James and John. But we don’t see them as more valuable individuals and certainly not more deserving before God. None of us is deserving to begin with.
Righteousness always is the main issue with God. And faith is the foundation of righteousness. “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3 my emphasis). Trusting God above trusting in anything else will credit more to our account with God than anything in the natural possibly could. Accordingly I received several emails in response to my article, Sink or Swim, of people telling me of their own similar dreams. If you haven’t read it, the following dreams will make more sense if you do. They address trusting in Yeshua and not in any “wealth” of the world in times of crises. Here are three to ponder:
#1 It was a daylight scene. I saw a large, gray passenger liner resembling the Titanic. It was beginning to sink. Its stern was raising up as the bow was going beneath the waves. The name of the liner was WORLD. Surrounding the sinking boat were many lifeboats filled with escaping passengers. The lifeboats all had the same name painted on their sides. The name was FAITH. As the ship raised up more steeply on its stern before its death plunge, it split slightly. From the crack a sudden flood of paper money began to cover and float on the sea. Many in the lifeboats dove out of the lifeboats and began to clutch at the money. They filled their pockets and wherever else they could stash the waterlogged paper before they could sink.
While they were busy accumulating this unexpected “wealth” a beautiful and glistening white passenger liner had come on the scene for rescue before a rapidly approaching storm was preparing to hit the scene. Those in the FAITH lifeboats called to those who had left. Some heeded the call and returned to the lifeboats which were now drawing next to the white liner and going up a beautiful ramp of steps onto the safety of the deck of His Majesty’s Ship GLORY. Once all were aboard, the GLORY steamed away from the rapidly approaching blackening sky with its vicious storm.
Those treading water now became aware of the impending storm and saw the white ship going over the horizon. They had been totally preoccupied with gathering worthless paper and now panic stricken realizing their horrible mistake. The WORLD liner plunged beneath the waves. The storm struck with deadly force.
#2 I recently dreamed that I was on a huge ocean liner. We were awakened in the night; we had our night gowns on and our robes. We were on the top of the ship (up very high) and we were being instructed to jump off into the water one by one. We were told “Keep your robes on.” I thought this was odd because it seemed to me that they would be very heavy when we landed in the water and they got wet. I jumped in with my robe on and woke up at this point. I was not afraid in the dream.
I later asked the Lord what this could mean. I do think it ties into the “suddenlies” you referenced because it was the middle of the night and very dark. I wondered if jumping off represented “reckless abandon” to the Lord. And I thought maybe the robes were representative of our “Robes of Righteousness” which may be heavy to wear in this day because of persecution that may be coming for Christians. I do believe these are warnings from the Lord and I am praying that I will be prepared and help others to be prepared.
#3 It certainly reminds me of a dream I had recently about a storm, and in this storm the oceans were raging, and knocking violently against a huge ark I was in; and there were many other people in there with me, but I remember a lot of people outside the ark and awaiting some type of judgment. We were allowed to get into the ark, but others were not. Then I heard screaming and banging against the door…. I was in the ark and heard their screams, the doors were shut tight, and no one in the ark could move, let alone open the doors. Suddenly I looked up in the ark and a huge cross went horizontally and vertically along the arks roof. I awoke not clearly knowing what had just happened, all I knew was Yeshua is the Ark! I knew that I and many others were safe.
It is urgent that we all know Yeshua for ourselves in a personal way . Now more than ever, for whatever storms we face in life. Yeshua said “I am the way, the Truth and the Life.” Amen.