This Week's Focus Passage

In The Days Of Noah

Focus Passage: Luke 17:26

‘As it came to pass in the days of Noah.’

Because the context of a passage is always extremely important for the shedding of light upon a single verse, or line, we would put it before us:

And he said unto the disciples, the days will come, when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, Lo, there! Lo, here! go not away, nor follow after them: for as the lightning, when it lighteneth out of the one part under the heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things and be rejected of this generation. And as it came to pass in the days of Noah, even so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. —Luke 17:22-26

These statements follow upon the question having been asked by the Pharisees, ‘when is the kingdom of God coming?’ Jesus’ response is that the kingdom cometh not in the way of their expectation; not with observation. In verses 22-26;

‘Here the Savior turns to His disciples and prophesies that days will come (especially when they have to pass through dark times) when they will yearn for His immediate coming so that they may be able to view the glory of the Messianic kingdom and thus rejoice in the victory over the powers of darkness.’ (Geldenhuys)

Surely we have each passed through times of personal distress and/or confusion, when we found ourselves crying out—silently or aloud—that the stress would be supplanted by the parousia (the presence of the Lord).

He would warn His followers of these things along with an accompanying danger of being deceived by ‘false prophets’ claiming to know the times. Often, the ‘end times’ have been forecast, even pronouncing a precise date. Jesus has said here to us as well as to those He stood before, ‘don’t follow them.’ He has said in another place, ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.’ (Matthew 24:36). This cometh not by observation, not by looking at supposed signs such as have many done over the many years that have passed since these words were first spoken. Every time there is renewed conflict with Israel in the Middle East—when isn’t there?—someone is certain to suggest that the end is near; Armageddon is approaching. One pastor, a former dispensationalist, admitted in 1970 that even though he thought he had learned better, when the seven-day war broke out in 1967, he gave some thought to getting out all of his old graphs and charts—we trust he was joking. But Christ tells us that it’s not going to be like that at all. Rather, it is going to be as lightning, such a lightning as will light up all under heaven; it will be no secret to anyone.

He goes on to offer a comparison, to give us, not a graph, but a graphic picture from the histories of two patriarchs, Noah and Lot. People are going to be taken by surprise in the days of the Son of man; they are not going to be prepared. Just as it was before the flood, people were eating, drinking, and being married and going on with their lives with no concern about the coming of the Lord. This was just how it was before all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. There was in the days of Noah a great cataclysm. There will, Jesus says, be a cataclysm in the days of the Son of man. The dictionary defines cataclysm, ‘A violent upheaval that causes great destruction or brings about a fundamental change.’ Guess what? There was great destruction in the days of Noah which brought about a fundamental change. Another day is coming in which there will be great destruction and fundamental change. But the point of concern is that even as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in that coming day. Generally, folks will be going about their business; it’s just another day, right? That day will not simply be another day. Peter has pointed us to this reality in his second epistle. He has begun chapter two with these solemn words:

But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. —2 Peter 2:1

These false prophets may well be those of whom the apostle has spoken in the very next chapter when he said;

In the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. —2 Peter 3:3-4

It is as though they were determined to have their behavior fit the model ‘all things continue as they were.’ Christ says that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man. The argument of those mockers is that nothing has changed, so why should we change.

Multitudes are deceived into this complacency. It was precisely the same in the days before the flood. Noah was commissioned by God to build an ark. He was also commissioned to warn the people of impending judgment; he was as Peter refers to him, a preacher of righteousness. By faith Noah, being warned of God concerning things not seen as yet, moved with godly fear. But he was not able to instill that godly fear into any outside of his own household. Multitudes were going to be swept away in the flood. Yet they continued their daily routines as though they expected all things to continue as they were; they surely held that expectation. Until all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened, they hardened their necks against the preaching of Noah. Then the day came. There were likely hundreds or thousands at the door of the ark pressing for admission, but the door was closed. So shall it be in the days of the Son of man; they all slumbered and slept. Behold the Bridegroom! Those that had oil in their lamps went in, and the door was shut. AND THE DOOR WAS SHUT!

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church

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