The story of Noah’s ark is one of the most known Biblical accounts, similar to the familiarity of the story of Adam and Eve. I wonder how many of us missed the symbolism within this story that points to another coming destruction? While the story of the Great Flood shows the destruction of physical man for his wickedness on the earth, the story also has an underlying parallel for the coming destruction of spiritual man for his wickedness in the end times.
In the account of Noah, we see that Noah was 500 years old when he began the ark and 600 years old when he completed it. That means that God allowed one hundred years to pass before he pronounced judgement. That gave one hundred years for man and woman to come and witness “the crazy man who was building a ship in the desert.” One hundred years to ask questions to Noah and to seek God and inquire as to why this was going on. One hundred years to look upon themselves and their moral condition. But not one of them realized that during that one hundred years there was a patient God waiting for them to repent. One hundred long years – in which none, not even one of them changed from their wicked ways. And we all know the outcome – they drowned and perished for their wickedness that had, for a long time, brought God grief and caused Him to bring about this worldwide flood. Those people are remembered no more, and they were eternally separated from God.
But I have stop to think about how this scene could have occurred. The waters had to rise quickly from the ground as well as pour out heavily from the skies. It would have had to be a quick destruction because Noah wasn’t the only one with a boat. After all, there were fishermen. They would have had boats. There were carpenters. They could have made a boat or a raft or even a ladder to climb up on Noah’s boat. No, this wasn’t a slow flood. This was a quick and immediate destruction. So quick that there was no time for them to do anything to save themselves. Their time for salvation had passed. They had one hundred years to change their destiny. They used those hundred years to scorn and laugh at Noah. But they were not laughing when the flood came – the flood he had been telling them about for one hundred years. No, they weren’t laughing.
Can you imagine the panic and the terror? People running around, crying and screaming. Mother’s grabbing their babies and small children in an attempt to protect them – maybe by running to a higher ground. People running to the area where Noah had been faithfully building the ark. And those cries and screams would have certainly carried in the air to the ears of Noah. I can almost imagine him and his family inside the ark as it is being lifted off the ground, listening to what was happening on the outside of the ark. But the Bible tells us that “God shut the door” to the ark. It was not to be opened until the time in which God directed Noah to do so. And for those people who were perishing in a watery grave, it was a punishment that didn’t have to be. They had time – one hundred years to be exact – time to turn away from their wickedness. Time to turn and beg a holy God for forgiveness. But they didn’t, and so God fulfilled his decree of wiping them from the face of the earth.
And that is how I think it will be in the end times. I think that God has been giving us time – Time since the creation of the world – Time since the garden of Eden when he pronounced the judgement on the serpent and also foreshadowed the coming Savior within that very punishment. Centuries and centuries of time have been given. I think the story of Noah is a foreshadowing of how the end will be. God will make his final judgement quick and without any more warning. The screaming and crying will waft upward, but that will not change the situation. Man will be destroyed for his wickedness. Man will suffer the ultimate punishment, which is the eternal separation from a Holy God. And I believe this is what is overlooked in the story of Noah. It wasn’t just about a physical destruction of man. It was also about a spiritual destruction and a foreshadowing of the ultimate coming destruction.
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