Updated: Apr 2, 2021
The cities of the Euphrates valley had been at peace for quite a while. The people were prosperous and happy. Oh, they had their usual gripes about politics, the new rulers and taxes but most had money to spend in the marketplace and some were even investing in land to expand their businesses. It was Spring and planting season was in full swing. The city fathers had just finished an ambitious irrigation system the year before to bring waters from the Euphrates to the newly cultivated wheat fields on the north side of the city. It was warming up and many were planning new weddings to coincide with the Summer Solstice celebrations. The wine would be flowing. There would be music and singing and people dancing in the streets. Times were good. It had business as usual for a long time now and things had been humming along just like always. Hard times were forgotten, happy days were here again and many were proclaiming a new era of “Peace & Safety.” - And that’s when the rain began to fall.
While everyone else was going about their business planting, buying, building and selling a local citizen by the name of “Noah” was still claiming that God’s judgement was coming but nobody bothered to listen to that crazy old man anymore. Everyone considered him to be just another religious crackpot. There was a time many years before when Noah and his family had been front-page news. The fact that he had sold everything so he could build a big boat in the middle of the desert was the talk of the town.
For a several years, it had been a public attraction. People came from far and wide to see this big wooden ark taking shape in the desert. People even packed picnic lunches and took family vacations to see the weird family building their wooden monstrosity. It had all seemed like spending a day at the amusement park. Enterprising vendors had set up stalls selling souvenirs, T‑shirts, fast foods and cool drinks to the visitors. At first there had been huge crowds of sightseers in a festive spirit; after all, this was the biggest thing since Enock was supposedly translated to heaven. Then, as the years ticked by, the excitement evaporated, the novelty worn thin and the crowds dwindled down to a trickle. I’m sure that Noah’s “project” eventually became a standing joke and even took on the status of an “urban legend” after a few years. After a while, the locals just shook their heads at the kooky family, chuckled a little and went on about their business. Now, 120 years had come and gone - And That’s when the rain began to fall.
Jesus tells us that the days leading up to the Second Coming would be just as they were in the days Noah; “For as in the days before the flood, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, they married and were given in in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37‑39) Until that fateful moment of finality when the door of the ark closed the people of the Euphrates valley were consumed with the pleasures and cares of this life.
So are the days we now live in. God’s people are busy building the ark (His church} as the world goes about its business. No, they haven’t been building buildings or big churches but an invisible ark made of believers called out of a sinful world just like Noah’s family. The church He has been building is still being mocked and ridiculed as the laughingstock of an unbelieving world. There are many who pity us for our ignorance and stupidity. But most “worldlings” have simply come to a place where they could care less. Yet, God’s remnant really doesn’t care what the world thinks either. They are not distracted by the cares of this life or pleasures of this world. They will keep building while the world around them continues its never-ending pursuit of pleasure until that day when the fire begins to fall.