Lesson 5 - Senior
"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).
I The Days of Noah
1. The marriages of godly men with ungodly women was the principal cause of the moral downfall of the antediluvians, [GEN:6:1-2].
2. The marriage of the godly with the ungodly is emphatically forbidden by Scripture, [GEN:24:3]; [JOS:23:12-13]; [EZR:9:12]; [DEU:7:3-4]; Deuteronomy 22:9; [NEH:13:23-29]; [2CO:6:14-18].
3. God's long-suffering with the wickedness of the antediluvians was destined to end within 120 years, [GEN:6:3]; [1PE:3:20].
4. The men of Noah's day became notorious for their deeds, and their land was filled with wickedness and violence, [GEN:6:4-5]; [ROM:1:20-23], [ROM:1:28-32].
5. These modern times parallel the days of Noah, [MAT:24:37-39]; [2TM:3:13]; [2PE:3:3-4].
II Judgement Decreed
1. God's anger was provoked against the antediluvians, and destruction was promised, [GEN:6:6-7]; [GEN:6:11-13]; [2PE:3:5-12]; [ISA:24:1-6], [ISA:24:17-23], [REV:6:12-17].
2. Only Noah and his family met with God's approval, and they were to be saved from the coming judgement, [GEN:6:8-10]; [ISA:26:20-21]; [EXO:12:23]; [MAT:24:31], [MAT:24:40]; [1TS:4:15-17].
Not Without Cause
Ezekiel a Prophet of the Lord wondered at the judgements of God upon the city of God, Jerusalem. God answered Ezekiel's questions with the statement, "I have not done without cause all that I have done in it" [EZE:14:23]). A similar question to that which Ezekiel pondered might arise in the mind of the one who reads of the judgements of God that came upon the peoples of the earth in the days of Noah.
The answer wherewith Ezekiel was assured of the Lord that He did not do such things without cause is as equally valid when applied to the antediluvians as it was when applied to the Israelites. It was not without cause that God destroyed all the peoples of the earth with a flood, and our lesson teaches us what that cause was.
Beginning of Sin
"When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" [JAM:1:15]). Sin was first begun in the Garden of Eden, and when it was finished it brought forth death to the antediluvian world. The disobedience of Adam and Eve and its result hung over the succeeding generations of Adam as a terrible pall. That first sin soon brought forth much evil fruit. Cain slew his brother Abel in jealous hatred; and God forced him out of the society of the first family on earth. He was driven from men, and bore the mark of sin upon himself, placed there by God. As men multiplied upon the earth, sin grew into a vast stock of evil and culminated in the destruction of man in the days of Noah.
A Redeemer Promised
For a time there was a deterrent against the growth of wickedness, which caused God to be long-suffering with the descendants of Adam. That deterrent was the Spirit of God striving with the hearts of men. Through the striving of the Spirit of God with men, the knowledge of God was retained in the hearts of some believers. In these modern times it is that same great deterrent that holds back the floods of sin. (Read [GEN:6:3]; [2TS:2:7].)
Adam and Eve had enjoyed sweet fellowship with the Lord, but their sin severed their association with Him. They were thrust out of their habitation, the Garden of Eden, and made to dwell in the world cursed by God. They had been made perfect by God, and had been capable of understanding their Creator's will in a perfect manner. But their sin blinded their mental vision, robbed them of understanding, and they henceforth could understand the things of God imperfectly at best.
God did not leave His creatures without hope of any kind, but a promise was given them, a promise that they might regain the inheritance, which they had so recklessly thrown away. The promise was, "I will put enmity between thee [speaking to Satan] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" [GEN:3:15]). Divine justice decreed that the woman, who was the first victim of Satan's attack on the creation of God, would be the progenitor Of Christ, the destroyer of evil.
After Cain had slain his brother Abel, another son was born to Eve, and she named him Seth. "For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." To Seth was also born a son; "then began men to call upon the name of the LORD" [GEN:4:25-26]). So in the third generation from Adam, men were calling upon the name of the Lord. We know that despite the increasing wickedness of the antediluvians, the lamp of truth -- the knowledge of God -- was kept burning, because Enoch the seventh from Adam, had this testimony that he pleased God. But while the worship of God was kept alive in some degree by the descendants of Adam in the house of Seth and Enoch, it was not so with the descendants of Cain.
We read in the divine record that the house of Cain built cities, and grew in numbers; but nowhere is there any record that any of the house of Cain paid honour or obeisance to the Lord. The register of the generations of Adam, which records the lineage of Christ, does not list Cain or any of his descendants.
Cain was driven out from the face of God, and his descendants are those whom the Bible speaks of as being reprobate. (Read [ROM:1:29-32]; [JUD:1:11].) Cain's descendants finally perished in the flood, which God sent upon the earth, but the world is still plagued with many of a similar disposition.
Even though the light of God's truth and worship, was kept by some members of the house of Seth notably Enoch and Noah, right on down to the time of the flood, generally there was a disastrous departure from the faith. The sons of God (meaning those who were justified by God by their faith in Him) began to marry with those who knew not God. The result was most calamitous. In the days of Noah, who was the tenth from Adam, mankind had become so wicked that, the Bible states, '"it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." How different had been God's feelings toward His handiwork when He first made man. Then He had said when looking upon the first man that "it was very good" [GEN:1:31]). Of all the many peoples on the earth at the time of the flood, only Noah and his family found favour in the eyes of the Lord.
Harvest of Sin
The sons of men should have learned, from the example set before them in Adam and Eve, that God does not tolerate sin. A further example was Cain who experienced the displeasure of God upon his sin. The men of Noah's day were of that number of whom it was written many centuries later, "The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it" [HEB:4:2]). They profited not by the example of those before them, and so perished in their sins.
There is no provision made by God for the tolerance of sin. It must be destroyed. God has provided a remedy for sin, and that remedy is the Blood of Christ, which, when applied to the heart by faith, eradicates sin.
The antediluvians had become giants in stature; but physical strength and beauty have no redeeming merit with God. (Read
I Samuel 16:7.) The antediluvians became renowned for their deeds, but they were such deeds of great evil and violence that God promised destruction upon them all.
So long as a portion of the people of the earth had followed God in righteousness, the world was spared. However, when the godly intermarried with the ungodly, the tide of righteousness ebbed so low that destruction became certain. The Bible is most emphatic in its teaching that there cannot be a mixing of righteousness with unrighteousness, because righteousness is a true ingredient whose purity can stand no mixing with impurity. This truth was first taught to the antediluvian world in a most emphatic manner, but it was a lesson learned too late to profit them.
God does not have fellowship with the unrighteous. It is only through the Blood of Jesus Christ that an unrighteous person can ever hope to have communion or fellowship with God. "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" ([1JN:1:5-7]).
The Scripture plainly teaches that Christians are not to marry those who are not Christians; the righteous are not to marry the unrighteous: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship bath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" [2CO:6:14]).
Marriage of the godly with the ungodly is forbidden of God; even though the intention and hope is to influence the unrighteous for good. In such marriages the Word of God has been disobeyed. God cannot bless that which has been done in defiance of His Word.
This is not to be misconstrued to mean that those people who are converted after their marriage should leave a companion simply because he or she is not saved. Marriage can be dissolved only by death; and the conversion of one person often brings about the conversion of the partner in marriage. It is when one who is a believer joins with an unbeliever that he or she disobeys God.
Coming of the Son of Man
"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" [MAT:24:37-39]). From this passage of Scripture it is apparent that the world has not learned from the dreadful example set before them by the men of Noah's day. The very same sins with which the antediluvians provoked the anger of God upon themselves are committed in this twentieth century. As the men of Noah's day were indifferent to God's warnings against sin, so also are the people of this modern age indifferent to all God's warnings regarding sin.
Much of the religious world no longer preaches that divorce and remarriage is a transgression of God's law, as the Bible plainly states that it is. They do not teach that Christian living is a separation from the lusts and sins of the world. "Thy silver is become dross" was Isaiah's lament to Israel [ISA:1:22]), and is applicable to the so-called Christian world today.
The cocktail bar has replaced the family altar in many homes. Instead of Bible reading and prayer night and morning with the children that they might be taught the ways of righteousness, television teaches the children the maxims and immorality of the world.
Holiness is almost a forgotten virtue, but the nations that forget God will forget Him at the price of eternal damnation. The sins which God was angered with in the days of Noah are the same as the sins of this modern age; and God is no less angry with the people of today. The souls of men are no different now than they were in the days of Noah; and sin is sin, in whatever time it is found, in whomsoever it is found, and there is no respect of persons with God. "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" [MAT:24:42]).
1. Who were the antediluvians?
2. Who were the descendants of Cain? Describe their spiritual standing before God.
3. Why are not the descendants of Cain listed in the generations of Adam?
4. How do we know that God is not pleased with the marriage of believers with unbelievers?
5. What caused God's anger to be provoked against the people of Noah's day?
6. What similarity is there between the days of Noah and today?
7. What was the difference between the sins in the days of Noah and the sins of today