The Signs of the Times

April 10, 1901

The Days of Noah


As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all way; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” ST April 10, 1901, par. 1

Instead of showing gratitude to God for His blessings, the antediluvians used His blessings as a means of separation from Him. They did not seek to honor and glorify their Creator. The gold and silver which He entrusted to them they used for self-gratification. Violence filled the land. Appetite and passion bore sway. Men spent their time in dissipation and amusement and in enriching themselves. The earth was polluted under the inhabitants thereof, and God said, “The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence thru them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” He declared that by a flood He would cleanse the earth from its pollution. ST April 10, 1901, par. 2

To Noah was given the work of warning the people of the coming flood. For one hundred and twenty years the faithful preacher of righteousness sounded the warning. In obedience to God's command he built an ark, that in the day of destruction those who believed his message might find a refuge. By his works as well as by his words, he warned the world. Every blow struck on the ark was a note of warning. ST April 10, 1901, par. 3

At that time the world showed scarcely the first signs of decay. Everything in nature was beautiful and lovely. The lofty trees, the towering mountains, the signs that God had hung in the heavens, appeared so great and grand to the people that they refused to believe that the earth was to be destroyed. ST April 10, 1901, par. 4

The antediluvians had abundant opportunity to learn in regard to the flood, but they would not learn. The warning was given; but they closed their eyes that they should not see, and their ears that they should not hear, the evidence of coming doom. Deception, violence, pride, and iniquity prevailed. The people went on as before, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. These things are not in themselves unlawful, but they were carried to excess. The minds of the people were so engrossed by them that they forgot their God. ST April 10, 1901, par. 5

Does not a similar state of things exist today? Are not our daily papers filled with records of crime, murder, and iniquity of every kind? Do they not testify that as it was in the days of Noah, so it is today? ST April 10, 1901, par. 6

The antediluvians were warned, but the record states that they knew not until the flood came and took them all away. “We can not believe your message,” they said to Noah. “Everything about us is so firm, so enduring. Look at the beautiful earth. It knows nothing of decay, neither will it for thousands of years.” ST April 10, 1901, par. 7

To the people Noah's course seemed inconsistent. Together they talked about the foolishness of building an ark on dry ground, and the unbelief of one was strengthened by the unbelief of another. ST April 10, 1901, par. 8

But Noah believed that God would do as He had said, and he acted in accordance with his belief. While the people laughed and mocked and jeered, he kept steadily on with his work, teaching and building. He did not stop to listen to the false reports, to contradict the slander thrown at him. To him had been committed the work of warning the world and preparing a refuge for those who would receive his word, and he allowed nothing to turn him from this work. ST April 10, 1901, par. 9

The time came for the Word of God to be fulfilled. Still the people went on in their own way, irrespective of the warning. Still they allowed their minds to be engrossed by the things of the world. ST April 10, 1901, par. 10

The ark is finished, and the people see animals coming from the forest, and of their own accord entering the ark. Soon they see that the heavens are black with birds, and the inquiry is made, “Where can they be going?” Lo, they are flying toward the ark, and two by two they pass into it. With curious interest the people watch the strange sight. They can not understand what it means. They are alarmed; but they try to find some reason for the occurrence, and soon make light of it. ST April 10, 1901, par. 11

Could not the people see from this that the building of the ark was the work of God? Did they not know that animals and birds would not enter the ark in perfect order and of their own accord without the guidance of a divine hand? They might have known; but for a hundred and twenty years they had been hardening their hearts. For a hundred and twenty years they had been training themselves to reject the message of truth. Now, when unmistakable evidence was given them, their hearts were so hard that they laughed it away. ST April 10, 1901, par. 12

Presently they saw Noah and his wife and their sons and their wives passing into the ark; and the door was closed upon them. Only eight persons entered that refuge from the storm, and for a week they waited for the rain to come. Can we imagine the trial that this waiting brought to Noah's faith? During this time the enemy suggested doubts, while outside the people laughed at the crazy old man who with his family had shut himself in an ark. Daily the sun rose and set in a clear sky, and daily there came to Noah the temptation to doubt. But the Lord had said that the flood was coming, and Noah rested in this word. ST April 10, 1901, par. 13

At the end of seven days clouds began to gather. This was a new sight; for the people had never seen clouds. Previous to this time no rain had fallen; the earth had been watered by a mist. Thicker and thicker gathered the clouds, and soon rain began to fall. Still the people tried to think that this was nothing very alarming. But soon it seemed as if the windows of heaven had been opened; for the rain poured down in torrents. For a time the ground drank up the rain; but soon the water began to rise, and day by day it rose higher and higher. Each morning as the people found the rain still falling they looked at one another in despair, and each night they repeated the words, “Raining still!” Thus it was, morning and evening. ST April 10, 1901, par. 14

For forty days and forty nights the rain poured down. The water entered the houses and drove the people to the temples which they had erected for their idolatrous worship. But the temples were swept away. The crust of the earth was broken, and the water that had been concealed in its bowels burst forth. Large stones were thrown into the air. ST April 10, 1901, par. 15

Everywhere could be seen human beings fleeing in search of a refuge. The time had come when they would have been only too glad to accept an invitation to enter the ark. Filled with anguish they cried, “O for a place of safety!” Some shrieked to Noah, pleading for admission into the ark. But amid the furious blast of the tempest their voices were unheard. Some clung to the ark till they were washed away by the dashing waves. God had shut in those who believed His word, and no others could enter. ST April 10, 1901, par. 16

Parents with their children sought the highest branches of the trees yet standing; but no sooner had they reached this refuge than the wind flung tree and people into the foaming, seething water. Terrified animals and terrified human beings climbed the highest mountains, only to be swept together into the angry flood. ST April 10, 1901, par. 17

Where was now the ark and those at whom the people had jeered and mocked?—Preserved by the power of God, the immense boat was riding safely upon the waters, and Noah and his family were safe inside. ST April 10, 1901, par. 18

Mrs. E. G. White