“They were unaware” (Matthew 24:39)
In Matthew we find Jesus speaking about the end of the age. He is speaking about the return of the Son of Man in which no one knows the time besides the Father. The warning is clear that we are all to be ready for the day when he does return. Jesus uses the story of Noah as an illustration. As the warning was in Noah’s day so it is the same now. They knew of the coming flood yet when it arrived they Bible says, “They were unaware.”
We know from the account of the flood in Genesis that “they” refers to everyone besides Noah and his family. “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, ‘I have determined to make an end of all flesh…make yourself an ark of gopher wood” (Gen. 6:11-14). Noah obeyed God’s command to build the ark. Jesus here is warning the people not to be like those in the time of Noah. Noah and his family had time to warn the people of the coming destruction. They were faithful to God so by faith they built the ark all the while letting others know of the coming judgment by flood.
We can clearly see Noah’s faithfulness to God. Like Noah we have the Word of God to guide us in our lives. God spoke audibly to Noah but he speaks to us as well through his written Word. He has given us his Word as a guide for our lives. The Word of God is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). As Christians we ought to find it our great joy to read God’s Word in order to know what he wants for us in this life and how to be best prepared for our eternity with him. Noah listened to God but not only listened to him, he also obeyed. While the world around us is doing things according to their own knowledge and wisdom we are called to walk according to the wisdom of God. Nothing much has changed since the time of Noah in this matter. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark.” The time had come and all of humanity besides Noah and his family were faithfully following their own desires rather than listening to God. They were not prepared for the coming flood.
A great flood, as in the days of Noah, is not going to come our way but this is an illustration of the Day of Judgment. It is promised that Christ is coming back. For the Christian this should bring great joy and urgency to our lives. The joy comes from knowing our King is coming back to take us with him to his kingdom for all eternity. The urgency comes in knowing there are those, as in the days of Noah, who are going on with normal life with no acknowledgement of Christ’s return. “And they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away.” This is a grievous way to find out about the truth of Christ’s return. As the flood came so will the coming of Christ. The flood cannot compare to the reality of an eternity spent in punishment and torment separated from God. The hope comes in the Gospel where Christ came to die at Calvary for the sins of those who would repent and trust in him. As Noah was rescued in the ark so those who trust in Christ are rescued from the coming wrath. About the others is says, “They were unaware” so I’m pleading that you would be prepared and repent, trusting in Christ.
Grace upon grace,