The Patriarch Noah
Bible Facts Newspaper Article (Ian C. Kurylyk)
“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (II Peter 2:5). Noah is an important figure in the Biblical record. He had a very crucial role to play in a critical point of world history, the Great Flood. He has continued to be important down through the years because of the testimony we receive through Him of God’s dealings with men. The events of his lifetime are a lesson of the consequences of persisting in sin.
As most know, Noah was chosen by God to build a great boat for the preservation of animal and human life through the worldwide judgment of the flood. The occurrence of this flood has been confirmed also by good science. We can still observe today the many evidences that were left upon the earth by the flood water’s action. God intended that this event would be considered by later generations for what it revealed about God and His hatred of sin.
The historical account of Noah in Genesis reveals in more detail what Peter later referred to as “the world of the ungodly”. Noah lived in a time when all restraint of sin was breaking down and moral standards were crumbling in human society. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). All men are born sinners and sin has been around a long time but there are occasions when God is provoked by the extent of human wickedness and unbelief. The ancient world at this point in history was on a roller coaster ride down into evil and depravity. They were making it clear that they were intent upon forgetting God and never coming back. The continual preoccupation of mankind was of sin and corruption.
This worldwide provocation of God brought down His wrath in the Great Flood. Only Noah and his family escaped the waters of judgment because he believed God’s warnings and obeyed God’s instructions to prepare. “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). Noah is an example of God’s plan of safety through believing. God tells us too of a coming judgment day. He also instructs us to be prepared against that time of wrath. Our way of safety is not a boat but a person, the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Noah was a preacher of righteousness so others too apparently heard the way of escape, but perished because they didn’t obey the call to flee to the ark. When the flood came it was too late. Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross and rose again proclaiming forgiveness of sin. But our opportunity to secure safety in Him is right now. This is the time of opportunity, the day of salvation.
The Bible teaches another great lesson from Noah and his time. We are told that the world will repeat the same ungodly ways of Noah’s generation in the time before Christ’s second coming. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37). This rebellion against God (which we see in current attitudes against God’s laws) will be dealt with directly by God Himself in the return of His Son as King of Kings. We are soberly commanded to be prepared for that coming by the prophets of God. “... prepare to meet thy God...” (Amos 4:12)