Reader D. sent in a thought that I found intriguing in relation to my message on angels. I asked permission to include the quote here.
I find it fascinating that the angels whose names we know about each contain references to Elohim, our God YHVH [El is the signifier for “God.”]:
Michael (Micha’El) “Who is like God?”
Gabriel (Gabri’El) “God is my strength”
Raphael (Rapa’El) “God has healed”
Even those angels who are only found in the Apocryphal books are still glorifying God:
Uriel “God is my light”
Chamuel “Raised by God”
Zophiel “Watchman of God”
Zadkiel “Righteousness of God”
Following is an English transcript of the message from a few weeks ago.
Today I want to look at the story of Noah. The story of Noah and the worldwide Flood is well-known over the whole world. But many of the details of the story have been changed to become more of a fairytale. We will look to the Bible to see what actually happened, and we will see if we can learn any lessons for today.
“And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Then 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. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
Genesis 6:1-8 NKJV
By the time Noah was called by God to prepare for the Flood, over two thousand years had passed since Adam and Eve had been put out of the Garden of Eden. The Bible gives us a history of the line of men that led up to Noah. We know that Adam lived until he was nine hundred thirty years old, meaning Adam would have died over seven hundred years before the Flood.
Noah was five hundred years old when God called him to build the ark. Therefore, Noah would never have met Adam. We do not know how many people were on earth. But we do know a few things about what the earth and the population was like.
Before the Flood, the earth looked very different. It had never rained before the Flood, according to the Bible. There was a dew that rose each morning and watered the earth. From this we can understand that the earth was more moderate temperatures, more like a paradise in a greenhouse. There would have been less disease and deformities, so people would have been much healthier than today.
We also know that people lived for hundreds and hundreds of years. Because of their health and their long lifespans, they could have had countless children. Mathematicians have used today’s birthrate and applied it to the long lifespans we see in the Bible, and they have determined the population could have been as large as it is today. At the very least, there were surely many millions of people on earth during Noah’s life.
Of all those people, Noah was the only one who found grace in God’s sight. Everyone everywhere was evil all the time, the Bible says. They had completely forgotten God and were living sensuous lives of debauchery. Can you imagine what our world would be like today if there were only one good man in the whole world? The wickedness and sensuality would be overwhelmingly. Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, murder, robbery–all these things were rampant everywhere and all the time.
Actually, if you consider the world around us, maybe Noah’s time wasn’t so very different from what we see in our time. More and more, people are rejecting the truth of God’s Word and feel safe in their sin. Even when they are told the truth and shown the Bible, they continue every day in their sin, as if nothing will ever change. That’s how it was for everyone except Noah.
So, God said it was enough. He told Noah that He planned to destroy the whole world as punishment for their sin. For over fifteen hundred years, men had been growing more and more sinful, completely rebelling against God. Yet we see He was still patient. Noah preached for one hundred more years! How incredible!
We know from the rest of history that God always allowed room for people to repent. The same was true this time. Tragically, even with one hundred years of preaching, Noah could convince only three of his sons to join him in obeying God.
People are quick to point out how cruel God must be to kill so many people. These people are fools to think they can talk this way about God. Their pride makes them think they will be able to declare God unjust and so escape His power today. But God is completely holy and infinitely loving. These two things cause Him to work patiently with man, but He will always hold the standard of holiness. And any who rebel against Him will be destroyed.
Read Genesis 7:1-24.
And so the earth was destroyed by water. And all the wickedness of man was wiped away. Only eight people remained alive, along with all the animals. Noah and his family floated in the ark for just over one year.
Read Genesis 8:1-19.
The world was completely changed. Ever after the great Flood, we have had rains and seasons. No longer would men live for hundreds and hundreds of years. God cut their life to one hundred twenty years at that point. A bit later, He further reduced it to eighty years on average. This was to save humans from developing into such great wickedness as they did before the Flood. It was a part of God’s mercy.
Read Genesis 8:20–9:17.
God did not want man to turn away from Him into sin. He did not want to punish them. The Bible says in numerous places that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to eternal life in Him.
But God always keeps His promises, both His promises of blessing and His promises of judgment. Each of us will face His judgment one day, just as surely as the world was flooded and destroyed in Noah’s time.
God gave Noah numerous promises after the Flood. The rainbow is our reminder of those promises. Every time we see the rainbow, we can remember God’s promises of blessing and warning of judgment to come. As long as the earth remains, God will not destroy all humans by water. And as long as the earth remains, we will have seasons and rains and rainbows.
But God later promises that the earth will end, and it will end not in a flood, but in fire. The final judgment of the earth will be by fire. All of the earth and all its inhabitants will be consumed by fire. And after that, the Judgment.
Jesus said that as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the end of times. The wickedness of men will grow worse and worse until there is hardly anyone righteous left. When these things come, we know time is short.
There are numerous signs the Bible gives us to know the end is nearing. In the end, there will be many wars in many places. But there will also be a globalization in which the many countries of the world will begin working together. There will also be increased natural disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, floods, and hurricanes. The Bible also says there will be global pandemics, like Covid.
Besides these natural things, the Bible says that men will leave God’s way more and more and will pursue science and passion. There will be more loose sexuality, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and more. Stealing, murdering, cheating, lying, hating, and so on will increase. We easily see these things on every hand.
Jesus told us that when these things happen, we should look up, because our redemption is drawing nigh. The end is coming.
It was roughly two thousand years after Noah that Jesus came to earth. It is now roughly two thousand years since Jesus left earth. It was a bit less than two thousand years from the Fall of man until the Flood. No one knows the exact day the end will come, but the signs are all pointing to the fact that end is nearing.
Knowing all these things, what sort of people should we be? We must be like Noah who was righteous and obedient even when everyone else around him was wicked. We can have that sort of loyalty and obedience to God, and the Lord will surely bless us as a result of our obedience to Him.
“No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8 NLT
The prophet Micah tells us what sort of people we need to be. We should do what is right, which is to carefully obey what we know from God’s Word. We should love mercy, which is to show love and compassion to those around us. We should walk humbly with God, which is to avoid the arrogance of pride and selfishness and to pursue service and love to God.
Jesus was the perfect example of this. Jesus said in various places that He did only those things that pleased the Father. He never chose His own way. He never exalted Himself. Rather, He was always concerned with magnifying the Father and showing God’s love to others. We should follow Jesus in this way.
That is what the Apostles and other believers in the early church did. They were careful to obey and to love. They recognized the danger of those without God, and they worked hard to share the gospel of Jesus with them. Love was the force that drove them in every area of life. That and the realization of how short the time was.
We are currently in that time where Noah was preaching to the people that judgment was coming. I see how easy it is for people to ignore the warning. They continue in sin despite many warnings. People do not fear the Lord or the judgment for sin.
But we can be safe in the ark of Jesus. God made a way of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Through believing and obeying, we can have power over sin and death. We can live in peace and love today, safe and secure from whatever judgment may come on those who do not know God.
Let us not be found outside the ark when the door is shut this time.