How much do you know about your grandparents? Great-grandparents? How about your great-great-great-great grandparents? Unless you actively engage in genealogy, you’re probably like me and know little to nothing about the generations that came before you. I think the main reason is that we have very short life spans!
Before the flood, people lived a LOT longer. Here’s a curious fact. Adam lived 930 years. Before he died, he would have met eight generations of his descendants. He died just before Noah was born in 1056 BC.
We feel blessed if we are able to enjoy great-grandchildren. Can you imagine holding your great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchild??
Adam’s life began in a perfect, sinless world. What stories he could tell to those who cared enough to listen! Eight generations had the opportunity to learn from one who had first-hand knowledge of what it was like to speak face to face with God, to walk with Him through the garden in perfect intimacy in the cool of the day! Adam would have told them about the high cost of sin – of what was lost when he and Eve decided to exercise their free will in defiance of God’s commands.
Unfortunately, even having access to someone with such knowledge of God did not prevent the downward spiral of mankind. Just a few years after Adam died, God looked down on the earth and saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5).
Today we often blame the condition of the world on the fact that people do not know any better, that we haven’t done a good job of telling our children and grandchildren about God and His commands. And yes, I agree; each generation has successively pushed God farther and farther out of their lives. But having a lot of knowledge about God, or access to that knowledge, doesn’t guarantee belief. The fact that we are once again living in days very much like the days of Noah testifies to the fallen nature of man and its proclivity to sin.
Jesus said that when we look around and see the state of the world in the same shape as it was in Noah’s day, we can be confident that His coming is just around the corner!
Matthew 24:36-44 – But about that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. At that time there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you must be ready as well; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
The entire chapter of Matthew 24 is straight from Jesus’ own mouth, describing what will be happening around the time He returns. While we don’t know God’s timeline, reading these descriptive passages is pretty much like watching the evening news! There are so many things happening in our world right now; everything is in place for end-time prophecies to be fulfilled. I truly believe we are so close to seeing everything God said would happen, to happen in our lifetime.
I’m thankful that I had grandparents and parents who told me about Jesus. As parents, we did our best to teach our own children to love and obey God, and now they are teaching their little ones the same truths. While I’m hoping His return is soon and very soon, we don’t know for sure if Jesus will come in our generation. Until He does, may we all be faithful to pass on the good news of the gospel. Let us be good stewards of the little time we have left. One thing we know for sure. Unlike Adam, we don’t have 930 years!