Matthew 24:38 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,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
“And knew not until the flood came”…this is a curious statement in light of the fact that Noah was building an ark for 100 years.
During the time, prior to the flood, Noah had been warned of the flood and had been commissioned by God to build an ark.
Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Genesis 6:12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
This was a huge building project.¹
Genesis 6:5 And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.
6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
Prior to this, we know the age of Noah.
Genesis 5:32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The building project was 100 years in the making. There were no cell phones back then. Presumably, news carried by word of mouth. But after 100 years you would think that a lot of people had heard about and learned about Noah’s ark. They should have known that something was happening.
All you have to do is think about today and how hard it is for some people to keep a secret. There are jokes about certain people that if you want your secret to be known, to tell those people who will then tell your secret. Do you think that no one knew that Noah was building an ark? Do you think that they had never heard about it?
Yet Jesus says, “and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away”.
Noah, being righteous, would have been warning them of the coming flood and offering them knowledge of the Lord and of the need to repent and of the need to turn to the Lord and receive the Lord and walk in his ways. Like Jonah, Noah was a preacher of righteousness.
2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
Perhaps they thought Noah was crazy when he preached about a coming flood, because up until this point, there had never been rain, only a mist to water the ground.
Genesis 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
It is after the flood that there was, what we would call today, an earth change, and seasons.
Genesis 8:21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
But again, it says, “they knew not”.
So what kind of “knowing” is this?
There is “mental assent” and then there is the “knowing” that moves a person to action.
There is a knowing from God’s point of view and there is man’s assumption of the situation.
Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
The Biblical kind of knowing moves a person to action along the lines of the will of God and the directives in God’s Word.
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
It is absolutely possible to be totally unaware, or to ignore, messages from the Lord.
Matthew 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
Revelation 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Revelation 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Revelation 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Revelation 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Jesus indicated that there would be those who could look at something and not understand what was before them.
Matthew 16:1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
The Pharisees were religious leaders, looking for the Messiah. As indicated above, and in other verses, they actually dialogued with their Messiah, Jesus, when he was on the earth in the flesh. And yet, they did not recognize him. They could not read the signs of the times. Some of them helped plot his crucifixion.
Luke 23:4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.
6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.
7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.
8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.
9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.
10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.
11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
13 And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
14 Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:
15 No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.
16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
18 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:
19 (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
20 Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.
21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
22 And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.
23 And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.
24 And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.
25 And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
The ability to know is connected to the willingness to obey.
John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?
20 The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?
Because the consequences of not hearing, and not understanding things from God’s viewpoint can be so desperately dire, it is vital to pray.
Ephesians 1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
¹ Here are some additional points that need to be noted. One is that man was created by God and fell. Therefore things that may seem incredulous to some, were entirely possible in the early history of mankind, when mankind was closer to Creation. Adam, created by the Lord God, named the animals so Noah, being the eighth person, only 7 generations removed from Adam, had the ability to call the animals to the ark. Also, in the primeval atmosphere, richer than today’s atmosphere, with clean water, no GMO modified foods or toxic jabs, and only 7 generations removed from the life given to Adam prior to the fall, longer life spans were entirely possible. Man has fallen from the early gifts given by God. It was at the time of the evil that brought about the flood during the days of Noah, that God limited life spans to 120 years.
Genesis 6:3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
Or, due to iniquities and sins, the years could be even less.
Psalm 90:7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
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