By faith Noah . . . condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.Hebrews 11:7
by John MacArthur, Drawing Near: Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith
Key Principle: Your actions and words should rebuke our godless society.
Genesis 6:5 says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Before moving in judgment against the most evil and corrupt society in history, God appointed Noah to build an ark, which became a symbol of life and salvation to all who believed God. For those who disbelieved, it represented impending death and judgment.
Concurrent with constructing the ark, Noah preached about coming judgment. Peter called him “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5), and every board he cut and every nail he drove in was a living illustration of the urgency of his message.
God’s warning was stern and His message horrifying, but His patience and mercy prevailed for 120 years. As Peter said, “The patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark” (1 Peter 3:20). The people had ample warning of judgment, but they chose to disregard Noah’s message.
As sad as the account of Noah’s day is, perhaps the greatest tragedy is that man’s attitude toward God hasn’t changed since then. Jesus said, “The coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:37-39).
Like Noah, you are to proclaim righteousness to an evil and perverse generation by your works and by your life. Be faithful to do so even if people don’t want to listen. After 120 years of diligent work and faithful preaching by Noah, only eight people entered the ark. But God’s purposes were accomplished, and the human race was preserved.
Suggestions for Prayer: Sometimes you’ll encounter people who scoff at God’s judgment and mock your testimony. Don’t be discouraged. Pray for them, and be available to minister to them whenever possible.
For Further Study: Read 2 Peter 3. What effect should the prospect of future judgment have on your present behavior?