“For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark” Matthew 24:38.
This one verse describes the people living in the days of God’s judgement flood on the earth. They were busy with life, and there’s no word here about being evil or sinful, just busy. Busy is the answer we give to people who ask, “What have you been up to?” I have decided that if you want a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you must really want it and be more intentional about it than all the other things that are crowding Him out. Stop taking so much pride in a jam-packed schedule that only leaves 5 minutes a day for your Savior. We are all guilty of giving into life’s relentless demands and giving God our leftovers, but we don’t have to continue that way. Those who were wiped out by the flood judgement never noticed the dark clouds rolling in. They never heard the distant sounds of thunder. They never took much interest in what Noah was doing. They never noticed because they were stretched so thin with their busy lives even back then. They never noticed the change in the atmosphere because they were so concerned about keeping up with their neighbors.
Let me ask you, when was the last time you took time to really stop and take notice of what is going on in the world? Does anything seem odd or strange enough to slow you down so you would seek the Lord? Please know this, there is no way you can be ready for what is coming upon the earth unless you take notice of what is happening and then become intentional in growing in your relationship with Him. There were those that lived during the days of Noah that were so busy they didn’t even know where the Ark was when the flood came, but Noah and his family were working on the Ark everyday. I don’t know when the Lord is going to return, but I do know people will not be ready because they are so busy. Know this and be sure of it, just as the Ark was Noah’s only hope, so Jesus is our only hope. Take time to spend with Him!
We all have secrets, but no one has as many secrets as God, and God’s secrets concern you and me. When you share a secret or private message with someone you trust, you expect that person to keep it private. There are many things in our lives that do not need to be publicized or posted on Facebook. You may share a secret with someone you trust, but usually you share that secret for a few different reasons. The secret may be a burden you need to share with someone so they can pray for you. You may share a secret because it is a matter of accountability you want help with. You may share a secret because whatever it is directly effects the person you are sharing with. And then some share secrets because they can’t keep things to themselves.
But who does God share His secrets with and why?
“The secret of the LORD [is] with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” Psalms 25:14
God shares His secrets with those who fear Him not because it’s a burden He can’t bear, nor a matter of accountability. God shares His secrets with us to move us to action.
“Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, “since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” Genesis 18:16-18
The secret God shared with Abraham had to do with the judgment that was about to rain down on Sodom and Gomorrah. When this secret was revealed to Abraham, Abraham immediately began to plead with God to spare the cities. Abraham pleaded with God for mercy because Lot and his family lived in Sodom. When God shares a secret with you it is not to inform you of His future plans, but He shares with you to hear the Christ-like intercession Jesus made from the cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Do you want to know a secret of God? Be the one who fears the Lord and He will share with you.
My children were not allowed to say certain words as they were raised. They were not allowed to tell each other “shut-up” or “stupid” or “dumb.” When unexpected devastating events come against a nation, or specific regions of a nation, there is a word no one wants to hear or say and that is “judgment.” When a global pandemic comes and claims lives, removes our freedom, takes our jobs, and threatens our future, still no one wants to hear about the judgment of God. For some reason when anyone calls a pandemic the judgment of God, they are labeled as a doomsayer. But if we view Gods Word as more than a historical antiquated document and actually see it as a relevant living document, then suggesting the pandemic might actually be judgment of God would be logical.
Many of the prophets of the Old Testament were called to preach a message of judgment. Their message was, “repent and get right or God is going to get you right.” Jonah was the rebellious passenger in a ship with other men headed to Tarshish. He had received the command of God to preach a warning message of judgment to the Ninevites, but decided he didn’t want that assignment, so he set sail in another direction. As a result of that rebellion and disobedience, the Amber Alert was sounded and God rocked the sea and gave a whale an assignment. Many times when judgment comes, we think it is because of the wickedness of men, and in some cases it is, but most of the time it is because of the rebellion and disobedience of God’s people. Think about what this means.
“For the time [has come] for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if [it begins] with us first, what will [be] the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17
You will never find an article on preaching on the judgment of God in any of the new church growth books, and seldom will you ever hear of a series focused on the judgment of God. But you will find the subject of judgment as a consistent theme throughout God’s Word. In fact, the last book in the Bible is filled with the details of the future unthinkable judgments that are still to come. This coronavirus may be or may not be the judgment of God, but because God is such a good Father and the church in many cases has set sail in another direction rejecting the holy commands of God, there are strong indicators that it is.
When God’s judgment falls, respond with repentance, that’s what the Ninevites did. We also know that God gave Jonah another chance. Our God is so full of grace, love, and mercy, but He is also a good, good Father who will always respond when His children disobey.