Noah’s Boat, Part 2: The Earth was Corrupt and Filled with Violence
by Pastor Gene
Introduction & Text
Luke 17:26-30[Jesus said to the disciples:] “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed …”
Last week we began looking at what the earth was like in the days of Noah because Jesus promised that even as “it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27).
My prayer for these messages is threefold: first, that they’ll equip us for the work of the ministry; second, that they’ll convict us as to the urgency of the current hour, and; third, that they’ll move us to serve Jesus with unprecedented single-mindedness and an undistracted heart.
These sermons will consider the corruption of the world in which we live and set it against God’s promises – promises of deliverance to the believer, but promises of judgment for those who reject His Son. They are designed to follow after our recent messages from The Stranger on the Road series. In these messages we’ll take the lofty principles we learned in that series and contextualize them to May of 2020 year of our Lord in the United States of America.
These are not easy messages to hear, I know that – but they are important messages to hear.
In John 12:26, Jesus said, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also.”
In John 15:15, Jesus told His disciples, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his Master is doing.”
And in John 16:13, Jesus promised, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth … and He will declare to you the things that are coming.”
Last time we saw that “in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, they were doing all of these things right up “until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27).
The routines of life were in full operation – people were eating and drinking. It was a time of prosperity. Life was normal. People were buying and selling, others were planting, and harvesting – normal business was being conducted. The celebration of the important miles stones of life were taking place as usual – people were marrying and being given in marriage. In fact, you might say that people were living as though they had a thousand tomorrows. But they didn’t.
We already seen a few things about what the “days of Noah” were like.
We saw that the “days of Noah” were days of heightened supernatural activity. Just as then, Satan is working overtime today to blind “the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
We also saw that at that time evil reigned in the hearts of all. At the time of Noah’s flood, not only was evil present, but “the wickedness of man was great on the earth” and “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). As today, virtually every moral evil that God has warned us to condemn and denounce has become normalized and is practiced without impunity or censure.
We also saw that the days of Noah were days of corruption on every level. “The earth was corrupt in the sight of God …” (Genesis 6:11). Of course, our news today is filled with reports of every imaginable act of wickedness and depravity. Last week we looked at the spiritual and moral corruption of our nation today in three areas: (1) the corruption of reverence for God and al things sacred, (2) the corruption of God’s intention for marriage and the family, and (3) the corruption of human sexuality.
Genesis 6:11 says that, in the days of Noah, “The earth was corrupt in the sight of God …”
Jesus said, “Just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man.”
Genesis 13:13 tells us that “the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the Lord.”
Jesus said, “Just as it was in the days of Lot … so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”
God is exceedingly patient and full of mercy, but there does come a point of no return – as we’ll see as this series unfolds. In Genesis 6:3, the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless, his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” This meant that God’s grace would abide with these wicked people for another 120 years before He brought the judgment of the flood. During that time, Noah – God’s man – would be preaching and warning and building a boat. So, as a result of this space for grace, there was plenty of time for Noah’s neighbors and other curious individuals to question him about why he was doing all this ‘ark building.’
And that is what the Church is supposed to be doing with this generation. Noah had one message: ‘There’s a flood coming; get right with God!’ Only a few people – eight in all – were saved from that flood. O, but God’s Word was true nonetheless!
And this is a time when, as never before, this generation of believers need to be Noahs. These are ark-building days! We’re in a short space for grace. We need to remember that we’re surrounded by people who won’t go up in the Ark when the hard rains of judgment begin to fall! Because things continued on as normal, until they were no longer normal.
Things changed and they changed fast. And this is going to give those of us with ears to hear some lucid perspective upon where we are in America today, and what’s next for us.
Now, let me dig deeper into the “corruption” which makes our own day like the days before Noah’s flood. Remember that the days of Noah were days of corruption on every level. “The earth was corrupt in the sight of God,” Genesis 6:11 tells us.
Another thing that’s been corrupted in our day is human compassion and our sense of responsibility for our fellow man – both of which should flow from the imago dei. Many people who are blessed enough to live in the developed nations of North America and Europe think nothing of lavishing upon themselves every possible luxury, while millions of God’s children – created in His very image – are literally starving to death.
It is a shocking statistic that (as of April 2018) Americans throw out about 150,000 tons of edible food every single day. As I speak to you this morning in May of 2020, an estimated 821 million people are suffering chronically from hunger around the world.
Thankfully, this is significantly fewer people than a decade ago, but even with that, an estimated 21,000 people around the globe will die today from hunger or malnutrition – and tomorrow too, and every day this week, and month, and year. 21,000 people starving to death every single day, something that might be good to remember as we approach World Hunger Day on the 28th of this month.
Many Americans are very generous – perhaps the most generous people on earth. And Christian Americans are the most generous of all, driven as they are by the Bible’s teaching on sharing and love for one’s fellow man. But even we can be so oblivious to the needs of people in other parts of the planet that it never even becomes a point of prayer for us. And believers too, of course, are not immune to the greed of more than we need.
But God has made His will known to all! In Isaiah 58, the people were busy about their religious fasts. But the Lord made clear through His prophet the kinds of fasts He truly desires:
6 “Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him …
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday
(Isaiah 58:6-7, 10).
The people of Israel were commanded by God to provide for all the poor of the land: “Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land’” (Deuteronomy 15:11b).
Now, Jesus promised that there would be poor in the world until He returned (Matthew 26:11), but that’s not because it had to be that way – that’s because of sin – the sin of sloth in some cases, and greed in others. In Deuteronomy 15:4-5, the Lord said, “There need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.” The problem is, no nation ever has.
Jesus promised that, just before He returned, love and concern for one’s fellow man would be hard to come by. He said, “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).
I’m saying that we should do all we can to meet the needs of the hungry and homeless within the communities in which the Lord has placed us.
But, let’s be honest, and I’m asking this of myself too:
‘When is the last time I thought about the suffering of people around the world?’
‘When is the last time I considered and prayed for the unimaginable 21,000 people who die every day from starvation?’
‘When’s the last time I’ve considered how my actions and habits might be impacting others?’
I don’t believe the Lord wants us to move through life without awareness of such things, do you? And if Christians can have a tendency to be blind to these things, unbelievers certainly more so!
In the days of Noah, the whole “earth was corrupt in the sight of God.” Jesus promised that before He returned “the love of many” would “grow cold.” I think it has today: human compassion and our sense of responsibility for our fellow man has suffered serious decay.
So, what can we do? Well, every one of us can be aware, and every one of us can pray, and some of us can do more. It begins with awareness: we can Google these things as easily as we can Google about the latest movie or political controversy or latest cute cat video, right? We can read, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ronald Sider, revised in 2010 – one of the books that has most profoundly challenged me in my understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus in this age.
Neither the lowest cost, nor even the quality of a thing, should be the bottom line in determining what we purchase. In the Christian worldview the ends never justify the means and other people must never be seen as a means to an end.
We’re warned over and over again in Scripture not to take advantage of the desperation of others. The heart of the Torah and the Nevi’im are summed up in Jesus’ Golden Rule, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
God desires that “justice” would “roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).
“Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,” God promises, “will only come to poverty” (Proverbs 22:16).
“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him” (Proverbs 14:31).
But, “whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He [the Lord] will repay him for his deed” (Proverbs 19:17, brackets mine).
Besides it’s rampant sexual perversion, Sodom was guilty of another great sin: she “had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49).
But Jesus made clear His expectation that those who follow Him should also be concerned about those around them. In Luke 12, He said to His disciples:
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:32-34, italics mine).
If you’re ever having a hard time finding your heart, just look at what you truly treasure. Your heart will be beside it every time. Jesus was saying, ‘Be aware! There are many things that you have that you really don’t need – and they could really help someone who does.’ So, “sell your possessions,” Jesus said, “and give to the needy.” And, in so valuing our brothers and sisters, we’re amassing for ourselves “a treasure in the heavens that” will “not fail,” and that can never be stolen from us (Luke 12:32b-33). Jesus isn’t denouncing possessions here; He’s advocating compassion and single-minded, undistracted discipleship.
The point is, we shouldn’t move through life unmoved by such things. Each of us can be aware, and each of us can pray, and some of us can do more.
For example, we know that Apple, has used what amounts to exploitative sweatshops in China to make some of their most high-tech and state of the art electronics more inexpensively. You might recall that this was brought to global attention about 5 years ago when they had to install safety nets around the perimeter of their factory at the Foxconn City plant in Shenzhen, China when 18 of its employees, who were being paid as little as $1.40 an hour, jumped to their deaths.
ABC’s Nightline was able to document the conditions at the factory. Well, if you could get your iPhone 12 for $200 cheaper because it was made at the expense of exploiting another human being, would it be worth the trade? I’m sure all true followers of Jesus would say, ‘No.’ But, sadly, many, many Americans would buy the cheaper phone regardless of the human suffering it took to produce it.
Why? Because Jesus promised that, just before He returns, love and concern for one’s fellow man would be hard to come by.
Suicide nets: This netting was installed at the Chinese factory which makes Apple products after a spate of suicides
He said, “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).
Well, as the Day draws nearer, selflessness and caring will more and more be the exception rather than the rule. During this current crisis we’ve all heard about or even seen people who’ve stockpiled more necessities than they needed with little concern for the neighbors they were keeping from those very things. This is nothing more than the external expression of the greed of more than we need. But it’s all a part of the growing spirit of the age.
“Understand this,” the Apostle Paul wrote, “in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive … ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless … without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 … lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
Don’t get me wrong, there are still many caring and generous people, and many of these are disciples who’ve taken up their cross to follow Jesus and have learned the meaning of the word enough. But this is getting rare and will become rarer still as the Day approaches.
Throughout the New Testament, the overarching responsibility of believers is to love: to love God, to love our friends and neighbors, and even our enemies. As Paul bluntly put it, “[If I] have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). Jesus promised that, just before He returned, love and concern for one’s fellow man would be a rare commodity: “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).
I think that in our day – and it will get worse as we draw closer to the Day – but even in our day, human compassion and our sense of responsibility for our fellow man – have been corrupted. One has to look no further than what I call ‘the new incivility’ in political discourse to witness this brutality, this abusiveness and heartlessness, on full display – with folks on both sides of the isle callously destroying reputations, lobbing accusations of racism and practicing selective justice.
Which leads me to a final great area of corruption in our day that I think I should point out: the divine institution of nationalism (and human government) has been perversely corrupted. Remember: it was God who created the nations. After the flood we have a record of the Table of Nations in Genesis 10. And in Genesis 11, when “the whole earth had one language and the same words” and decided it did not want to “be dispersed over the face of the whole earth,” the “Lord came down to see” what they were up to (Genesis 11:1-9).
You remember the story: God was displeased; He confused their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech, and “dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth.” Never forget that it was God who established the individual nations with their independent human governments.
That’s why, by the way, that the Book of Revelation tells us that globalism, internationalism – that is, the very lack of national distinctions – will characterize human government in the last days. Because each of the divine institutions which the Lord established at the very beginning of human history, will be corrupted before Jesus returns.
Human government is corrupt. That’s clear enough, right?
Within our own government warring political factions violate every form of brother-to-brother human decency in trying to discredit their politician colleagues on the opposite side of the isle – and the country grows weaker and weaker day by day because of it.
We’ve witnessed example after example of a politician declaring some moral high ground in order to condemn his or her opponent, only to say the exact opposite thing when defending someone of his or her own party. Such shifting ethics are no longer the exception; they’re the rule.
Why? Because today in politics the ends always justify the means. Because the divine institution of human government has been irreparably corrupted by godless men and women.
Genesis 6:11 says that, in the days of Noah, “The earth was corrupt in the sight of God …”
Jesus said, “Just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man.”
So then, the “days of Noah” were days of heightened supernatural activity, days when evil reigned in the hearts of all, and days that witnessed corruption on every level.
And one more thing about the “days of Noah,” they were days of widespread violence. Genesis 6:11 & 13 tell us that “the earth was filled with violence.” So, God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.”
The world as we know it today is wracked by violence – it’s a part of the very air we breathe. We’re threatened by terrorism. We hear of mothers killing their own children and children killing their parents – and shooting down their teachers and fellow classmates in school. And while we decry violence when we see it in the news, we celebrate it in our movies and video games. But what does God say about this?
Psalms 11:5b: “The one who loves violence His soul hates.”
Do you remember what was said of Israel in the days of the Judges? “In those days … everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
But, most egregiously I think with respect to violence, is that since 1973 almost 62 million beautiful little babies have been legally murdered in this country – and since 1980 more than 1½ billion have been legally murdered worldwide.
We shouldn’t ask if God’s judgement is coming, Church. We should wonder why He’s waited so long! And abortion is such a ubiquitous part of our culture that even many Christians are tired of hearing about it – and shame on us for that. It is the greatest evil of our day.
The womb, that nurturing place that should be the safest place on the planet, has become one of the most dangerous places on earth – with the vast majority of abortions performed for the sake of sheer convenience.
The very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible tells us that “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
Psalm 139:13-16 describes how God formed our inward parts and knitted us together in our mother’s womb. How He made us with such care; that we’re “fearfully and wonderfully made.” How He knew our “frame” while He was making us in secret, “intricately woven,” as the Psalmist puts it. And how the Creator’s eyes gazed upon our “unformed substance” as He recorded “everyone” of the “days that were formed” for us, when as yet there were none of them. For us to so carelessly and casually dispose of God’s precious gift of life is an evil beyond imagining.
The truth is that, in this year of 2020, abortion is a leisurely activity in our country – and in much of the world. Today and every day – averaging the number out to seven days per week – 1500 babies (BABIES!) will be murdered in our country! Our nation should be ashamed to even have the temerity to ask God to bless and protect us!
Back in 2012, Billy Graham was working on a book which described the “terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex.” He explains how his wife, Ruth, shocked him. After reading a draft of one of the chapters, she looked at him and said: “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
Well, that got me thinking. If God were to decide to bless our nation, I wonder if the voices of the 62 million human beings killed as babies under the full protection of the law would protest!
Don’t get me wrong: I love this nation and want it to be blessed. But I’ve read the Bible through enough times to know that God doesn’t bless sin, ever, and His soul abhors evil. Isn’t that what Psalm 11 says?
4 The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord’s throne is in heaven;
his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man …
5b His soul hates the wicked
and the one who loves violence.
Doesn’t Proverbs 6:16-19 say that there are “six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers”?
We love to exalt the love and mercy of God, and we should, but we must never forget that He is also holy – that’s why Jesus had do die so brutally! So, what hope is there for a man or woman that rejects Jesus sacrifice? And what hope is there for a nation who demands it’s right to kill its own children in the womb?
This one area alone checks all seven boxes of the things God hates!
“Haughty eyes” – imagine the arrogance of thinking you have a RIGHT to kill a baby!
“A lying tongue” – they falsely claim that these are not babies until they’re born.
“Hands that shed innocent blood” – who is more innocent than an unborn child?
“A heart that devises wicked PLANS” – isn’t it interesting the largest abortion mill in the history of the world is called PLANNED Parenthood?
“Feet that make haste to run to evil” – oh, you bet! They are eager to expand the limits of this great evil at every turn.
“A false witness who breathes out lies” – they’ve lied about everything including their business of selling fetal body parts – even after they were caught on tape admitting it.
And “one who sows discord among brothers” – show me a more contentious issue in America today?
And here’s the thing: Jesus loves children and warned us to protect them. In Matthew 18:11, He said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
Here the “disciples” were reminded of the high value the Lord places on these little ones (τῶν μικρῶν τούτων). Children are immensely important to God. So much so that He has entrusted their care to a specific group of angelic beings – whom Jesus simply calls “their angels” (οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτῶν) – who are in constant communication with the heavenly Father. Then, after saying this, Jesus intensified the point with a parable:
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and ONE of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the ONE that went astray? … So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that ONE of these little ones (τῶν μικρῶν τούτων) should perish” (Matthew 18:12, 14).
He said this to indicate the care and concern He has for every single ONE of these μικρῶν τούτων, these little ones. Despite the devil’s lies, we need to dummy up and realize that these children are not ours to kill! As the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 100:3: “Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are His!”
Genesis 6:11 says that, in the days of Noah, “The earth was filled with violence.”
Jesus said, “Just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man.”
1) Now, I have said all that I’ve said in these past two messages to prepare us for next week. I’ve been making a case that the days in which we are living are already like the times of Noah which Jesus warned us about – and are growing more so day by day. And we need to understand this if we’re to make sense of why our nation is going through what it is going through and what’s waiting for us just around the corner. God’s Word is not vague about these things – things that we must understand clearly.
There are two kinds of believers in every generation: those who are “in the know” and those who are not. According to 1 Chronicles 12:32, the sons of Issachar were “men who understood the times” and therefore had “knowledge of what” their nation should do.
2) John 16:13-14 records that, on the night of His betrayal, Jesus told His disciples that He was going away but that He was going to send the Holy Spirit. And “when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth … and He will declare to you the things that are to come.”
Literally, “He will disclose to you the things that ARE COMING!” “Come” is the present middle or passive participle of ἔρχομαι. Participles are “ing” words. The Holy Spirit will disclose to us the things that keep on receiving the action of coming. This truth is available to believers – but not to all believers.
Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32). The only believers who “continue” in [Jesus’] Word” are true [‘truly’ = the adverb ἀληθῶς – ‘in truth’ or ‘actually’]. Only they – those who are actually disciples – “know the truth” and are set free by it. (We have the third-class condition with ἐαν and a first aorist [constative] active subjunctive.)
It is my prayer that each one within the hearing of my voice will be modern-day sons of Issachar. Believers who are not surprised by the the things ahead – things which I’ll explain with great specificity in the weeks ahead. Believers who know what their Lord is doing. Believers who are where their Lord is. Believers who are on point, on mission – who are “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God,” as 2 Peter 3:12.
May it be so of us.
 Hamilton, Victor P., The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17: The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990) p.269.
 The Guardian, April 18, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/18/americans-waste-food-fruit-vegetables-study.
 Besides this, there’s the issue of energy which never goes away. Our TVs and cell phones and tablets and cars etc. need to be powered and we will not be denied. I get it. We’re a rich country – the richest in the world – and we can pay for it and we do. However, the numbers are embarrassing. According to an independent study by the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan last year (2019), although the United States comprises less than 5% of the world’s population, we consume a minimum of 17% of the entire world’s energy. That’s less than 5% of the earth’s population consuming almost a 5th of its total energy. China uses more than us – 24%, 7% more than we do, but its population is nearly 4 times our size – 18.5% of the world’s population. Do you see anything wrong with this picture? Am I saying we should cut the cord on our electric supply and go off the grid? No. I’m only saying that we should purpose to be aware of the world around us – of how our habits effect our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. See http://css.umich.edu/factsheets/us-energy-system-factsheet.
 Sider, Ronald, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, Revised Edition, 2010).
 As David Logan Shirres writes: “From his holy heavens He surveys all the earth, with such minuteness that nothing escapes His observation, or eludes his glance … Because God himself is supremely good, His soul abhors evil; and evil is not an abstraction, it is inseparable from those that do it. The wicked who forget God, who love violence, who delight in mischief, who, in heart, hate their neighbors, and would see evil come upon them without grief – all such are utterly opposed to the nature of God, which is love; and His soul hateth them …” (David Logan Shirres, An Exposition of the Psalms, Considered As Being Exclusively Applicable to Messiah, Aberdeen: A. Brown & Co., 1895, pp.89-90.)
 Robertson, A.T., Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933) on John 8:31.
May 31, 2020
May 24, 2020