Saturday, April 02, 2011

Chapter Two: What Went Wrong?

        Picture the party. Noah and his family have loaded a weird assortment of animals onto the huge wooden thing he’s built, called it an ark. Now the big door was closed. The townspeople had walked out to the site and gawked. Would something really bad happen now? Was there some sort of judgment really going to come all across the land?
        How long did they stand there in silence before riotous laughter broke out? Back-slapping punctuated with profanities emerged, and the jubilant men and women, boys and girls headed back into town for the biggest celebration ever.

        That man had spent the last 120 years working on the immense construction, but he also took time to go into town and preach at them. Righteousness, clean living, worshipping one true God, good morals, etc. were the themes of his talks. To some people it seemed as Noah was personally scolding them for their wild living. Others just used him as an object of scorn. At the local bars his name brought eruptions of laughter and sarcasm.
        People warned the kids to stay away from that crazy man. Obviously he had stayed in the sun too long. He didn’t fit in with the rest of the town. Was the town named, “Perversion”?
        “I can do what I want to do,” was the prevailing attitude. “Live and let live,” could have been another slogan. “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” might have been the motto.
        It wasn’t just this town, every city and town across the countryside had a party-time attitude. “So what?” was the reply if anyone dared to question or comment about the reckless living. Travelers had to be cautious unless traveling in groups, but a braggadocio attitude permeated every group of people across the globe. Noah called it “sin,” but no one else seemed to care.
        The party began, probably with loud music that maybe could be heard inside that ark.
        Seven days of feasting and drinking accompanied their wild behavior. The civilized mind can hardly imagine the ribald humor and lewd activities. It was a crescendo of corruption and violence. The party was indeed indecent, but who would tell them otherwise.
        Noah, his wife, their three sons and three daughters-in-law were sitting in that big wooden boat on dry land. For them it was seven days of prayer, resting, quietly talking and remembering. . . and waiting.
        Our world, too, has gradually accepted immorality and ignored the warnings given by the believers in one holy God. Our obedience in doing His will brings us to a comfortable enclosure. Will there be a rapture before the seven years of tribulation? Will we be spared that time of severe circumstances? Will any of the careless and wicked and unbelieving people repent and cry out to God to be saved in the tribulation?
        Some who read the Bible see the prophecies one way, others interpret God’s word slightly different. The Book of Revelation does not give dates and details. But its warnings cannot be disputed.
        Can we take the safe way and respond to God’s mercy now? Can we trust and obey Him without knowing all the particulars?
        Judgment is coming, of this we can agree. Will you be asking yourself, “What went wrong?” when God sends punishment upon those who have ignored His invitation to salvation?
        See for yourself the historical account of Noah and the people. Read Genesis 6 to 9; consider what it means to us today. Read Hebrews 11:7. Ponder God’s mercy and His holiness.
        Look at the TV news tonight; check out the latest Internet information and consider the judgments of God coming on disobedient, sinful people, even those who were just careless and ignored the warning signs of impending trouble.
        What is your response to the LORD?
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by Elaine Hardt ©2010