SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1 (EGW)


Chapter 6

2. Co-operation With God Avoids Cain-worship—Had man co-operated with God, there would have been no Cain-worshipers. Abel's example of obedience would have been followed. Men might have worked out the will of God. They might have obeyed His law, and in obedience they would have found salvation. God and the heavenly universe would have helped them to retain the divine likeness. Longevity would have been preserved; and God would have delighted in the work of His hands (The Review and Herald, December 27, 1898). 1BC 1088.3

3 (1 Peter 3:18-21). God Preached Through Methuselah, Noah, and Others—God granted them one hundred and twenty years of probation, and during that time preached to them through Methuselah, Noah, and many others of His servants. Had they listened to the testimony of these faithful witnesses, had they repented and returned to their loyalty, God would not have destroyed them (The Review and Herald, April 23, 1901). 1BC 1088.4

Enoch Bore Testimony Unflinchingly—Before the destruction of the antediluvian world, Enoch bore his testimony unflinchingly (The Review and Herald, November 1, 1906). 1BC 1088.5

Voices of Noah and Methuselah Heard—God determined to purify the world by a flood; but in mercy and love He gave the antediluvians a probation of one hundred and twenty years. During this time, while the ark was building, the voices of Noah, Methuselah, and many others were heard in warning and entreaty, and every blow struck on the ark was a warning message (The Review and Herald, September 19, 1907). 1BC 1088.6

Some Believed; Some Backslid—For one hundred and twenty years Noah proclaimed the message of warning to the antediluvian world; but only a few repented. Some of the carpenters he employed in building the ark believed the message, but died before the Flood; others of Noah's converts backslid (Manuscript 65, 1906). 1BC 1088.7

Many of the believing ones kept the faith, and died triumphant (Manuscript 35, 1906). 1BC 1088.8

Enoch's Experience a Convincing Sermon—[Jude 14, 15 quoted.] The sermon preached by Enoch, and his translation to heaven was a convincing argument to all living in Enoch's time. It was an argument that Methuselah and Noah could use with power to show that the righteous could be translated (Manuscript 46, 1895). 1BC 1088.9

Association With Unbelievers Caused Loss—Those who believed when Noah began to build the ark, lost their faith through association with unbelievers who aroused all the old passion for amusement and display (The Review and Herald, September 15, 1904). 1BC 1088.10

(1 John 3:8). Christ in Warfare in Noah's Day—“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” Christ was engaged in this warfare in Noah's day. It was His voice that spoke to the inhabitants of the old world in messages of warning, reproof, and invitation. He gave the people a probation of one hundred and twenty years, in which they might have repented. But they chose the deceptions of Satan, and perished in the waters of the Flood (The Review and Herald, March 12, 1901). 1BC 1088.11

4. Great Art and Inventions Perished—There perished in the Flood greater inventions of art and human skill than the world knows of today. The arts destroyed were more than the boasted arts of today (Letter 65, 1898). 1BC 1089.1

How did man gain his knowledge of how to devise?—From the Lord, by studying the formation and habits of different animals. Every animal is a lesson book, and from the use they make of their bodies and the weapons provided them, men have learned to make apparatus for every kind of work. If men could only know how many arts have been lost to our world, they would not talk so fluently of the dark ages. Could they have seen how God once worked through His human subjects, they would speak with less confidence of the arts of the antediluvian world. More was lost in the Flood, in many ways, than men today know. Looking upon the world, God saw that the intellect He had given man was perverted, that the imagination of his heart was evil and that continually. God had given these men knowledge. He had given them valuable ideas, that they might carry out His plan. But the Lord saw that those whom He designed should possess wisdom, tact, and judgment, were using every quality of the mind to glorify self. By the waters of the Flood, He blotted this long-lived race from the earth, and with them perished the knowledge they had used only for evil. When the earth was repeopled, the Lord trusted His wisdom more sparingly to men, giving them only the ability they would need in carrying out His great plan (Letter 175, 1896). 1BC 1089.2

Delusions of Progress—True knowledge has decreased with every successive generation. God is infinite, and the first people upon the earth received their instructions from that infinite God who created the world. Those who received their knowledge direct from infinite wisdom were not deficient in knowledge. 1BC 1089.3

God instructed Noah how to make that immense ark, for the saving of himself and his family. He also instructed Moses how to make the tabernacle, and the embroidery, and skillful work which was to adorn the sanctuary. The women wrought, with great ingenuity the embroidery of silver and gold. Skillful men were not wanting to accomplish the work of making the ark, the tabernacle, and the vessels of solid gold. 1BC 1089.4

God gave David a pattern of the temple which Solomon built. None but the most skillful men of design and art were allowed to have anything to do with the work. Every stone for the temple was prepared to exactly fill its place, before being brought to the temple. And the temple came together without the sound of an axe or hammer. There is no such building to be found in the world for beauty, richness and splendor. 1BC 1089.5

There are many inventions and improvements, and labor-saving machines now that the ancients did not have. They did not need them.... 1BC 1089.6

The greater the length of time the earth has lain under the curse, the more difficult has it been for man to cultivate it, and make it productive. As the soil has become more barren, and double labor has had to be expended upon it, God has raised up men with inventive faculties to construct implements to lighten labor on the land groaning under the curse. But God has not been in all man's inventions. Satan has controlled the minds of men to a great extent, and has hurried men to new inventions which has led them to forget God. 1BC 1089.7

In strength of intellect, men who now live can bear no comparison to the ancients. There have been more ancient arts lost than the present generation now possess. For skill and art those living in this degenerate age will not compare with the knowledge possessed by strong men who lived near one thousand years. 1BC 1089.8

Men before the Flood lived many hundreds of years, and when one hundred years old they were considered but youths. Those long-lived men had sound minds in sound bodies. Their mental and physical strength was so great that the present feeble generation can bear no comparison to them. Those ancients had nearly one thousand years in which to acquire knowledge. They came upon the stage of action from the ages of sixty to one hundred years, about the time those who now live the longest have acted their part in their little short life time, and have passed off the stage. Those who are deceived, and flattered on in the delusion that the present is an age of real progress, and that the human race has been in ages past progressing in true knowledge, are under the influence of the father of lies, whose work has ever been to turn the truth of God into a lie (Spiritual Gifts 4a:154-156). 1BC 1089.9

Giants Before the Flood—At the first resurrection all come forth in immortal bloom, but at the second, the marks of the curse are visible upon all. All come up as they went down into their graves. Those who lived before the Flood, come forth with their giant-like stature, more than twice as tall as men now living upon the earth, and well proportioned. The generations after the Flood were less in stature (Spiritual Gifts 3:84). 1BC 1090.1

5. Degenerated From Lightness to Debasing Sins—We have the history of the antediluvians, and of the cities of the plain, whose course of conduct degenerated from lightness and frivolity to debasing sins that called down the wrath of God in a most dreadful destruction, in order to rid the earth of the curse of their contaminating influence. Inclination and passion bore sway over reason. Self was their god, and the knowledge of the Most High was nearly obliterated through the selfish indulgence of corrupt passions (Letter 74, 1896). 1BC 1090.2

Perverted What Was Lawful—The sin of the antediluvians was in perverting that which in itself was lawful. They corrupted God's gifts by using them to minister to their selfish desires. The indulgence of appetite and base passion made their imaginations altogether corrupt. The antediluvians were slaves of Satan, led and controlled by him (Manuscript 24, 1891). 1BC 1090.3

Corrupted Through Perverted Appetite—The inhabitants of the Noachian world were destroyed, because they were corrupted through the indulgence of perverted appetite (The Signs of the Times, September 2, 1875, reprinted from Testimonies for the Church 3:162). 1BC 1090.4

11. Worshiped Self-indulgence; Fostered Crime—They worshipped selfish indulgence,—eating, drinking, merry-making,—and resorted to acts of violence and crime if their desires and passions were interfered with. 1BC 1090.5

In the days of Noah the overwhelming majority was opposed to the truth, and enamored with a tissue of falsehoods. The land was filled with violence. War, crime, murder, was the order of the day. Just so will it be before Christ's second coming (Manuscript 24, 1891). 1BC 1090.6

12, 13. Noah Ridiculed—Before the destruction of the old world by a flood, there were talented men, men who possessed skill and knowledge. But they became corrupt in their imagination, because they left God out of their plans and councils. They were wise to do what God had never told them to do, wise to do evil. The Lord saw that this example would be deleterious to those who should afterwards be born, and He took the matter in hand. For one hundred twenty years He sent them warnings through His servant Noah. But they used the probation so graciously granted them in ridiculing Noah. They caricatured him and criticized him. They laughed at him for his peculiar earnestness and intense feeling in regard to the judgments which he declared God would surely fulfill. They talked of science and of the laws controlling nature. Then they held a carnival over the words of Noah, calling him a crazy fanatic. God's patience was exhausted. He said to 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 from the earth” (Manuscript 29, 1890). 1BC 1090.7

17 (2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 14:10). Coal and Oil Agencies in Final Destruction—Those majestic trees which God had caused to grow upon the earth, for the benefit of the inhabitants of the old world, and which they had used to form into idols, and to corrupt themselves with, God has reserved in the earth, in the shape of coal and oil to use as agencies in their final destruction. As He called forth the waters in the earth at the time of the Flood, as weapons from His arsenal to accomplish the destruction of the antediluvian race, so at the end of the one thousand years He will call forth the fires in the earth as His weapons which He has reserved for the final destruction, not only of successive generations since the Flood, but the antediluvian race who perished by the Flood (Spiritual Gifts 3:87). 1BC 1090.8