VERSE:“God spared not the
angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains
of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved
Noah the eighth person, a preacherof
righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” 2 Peter
HELP: Testimonies,vol. 4, 306–313.
world’s Redeemer had many hearers, but few followers. Noah preached one hundred
and twenty years to the people before the Flood, and yet there were few who
appreciated this precious, probationary time. Save Noah and his family, not one
was numbered with the believers and entered into the ark. Of all the
inhabitants of the earth, only eight souls received the message; but that
message condemned the world. The light was given in order that they might
believe; their rejection of the light proved their ruin. Our message to the
world will be a savor of life unto life to all who accept it, and of
condemnation to all who reject it.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 36.
SPIRIT WILL NOT ALWAYS STRIVE WITH MAN”
1.What was the state of the world before the
Flood? Genesis 6:5.
“How was it in Noah’s day? ‘God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the
earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
continually.’ Genesis 6:5. The inhabitants of the antediluvian world turned
from Jehovah, refusing to do His holy will. They followed their own unholy imagination
and perverted ideas. It was because of their wickedness that they were
destroyed; and today the world is following the same way. It presents no
flattering signs of millennial glory. The transgressors of God’s law are
filling the earth with wickedness.” Desire of Ages, 633.
2.What decision did the Lord make regarding
those who lived before the Flood? Genesis 6:6, 7.
“God became weary of this people whose thoughts were only of sinful pleasure
and indulgence. They sought not the counsel of God who had created them, nor
cared to do His will. The rebuke of God was upon them because they followed the
imagination of their own hearts; and there was violence in the land. ‘And it
repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth . . . and, behold, it was
corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto
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.’” Review and Herald, November
3.What period of probation did the Lord in His
mercy grant to the wicked inhabitants of the earth before the Flood came?
“Before the Flood God sent Noah to warn the world, that the people might be led
to repentance, and thus escape the threatened destruction. As the time of
Christ’s second appearing draws near, the Lord sends His servants with a
warning to the world to prepare for that great event. Multitudes have been
living in transgression of God’s law, and now He in mercy calls them to obey
its sacred precepts. All who will put away their sins by repentance toward God
and faith in Christ are offered pardon. But many feel that it requires too
great a sacrifice to put away sin. Because their life does not harmonize with
the pure principles of God’s moral government, they reject His warnings and
deny the authority of His law. Of the vast population of the earth before the
Flood, only eight souls believed and obeyed God’s word through Noah. For a
hundred and twenty years the preacher of righteousness warned the world of the
coming destruction, but his message was rejected and despised.” Patriarchs and Prophets,
ON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH”
4.What was the extent of the Flood? Genesis
“From the highest peaks men looked abroad upon a shoreless
ocean. The solemn warnings of God’s servant no longer seemed a subject for
ridicule and scorning. How those doomed sinners longed for the opportunities
which they had slighted! How they pleaded for one hour’s probation, one more
privilege of mercy, one call from the lips of Noah! But the sweet voice of
mercy was no more to be heard by them. Love, no less than justice, demanded
that God’s judgments should put a check on sin. The avenging waters swept over
the last retreat, and the despisers of God perished in the black depths. ‘By
the word of God . . . the world that then was, being overflowed with water,
and Prophets, 100, 101.
5.What was the effect of the Flood on life on
earth? Genesis 6:7, 13; 7:4, 21.
“The entire surface of the earth was changed at the Flood. A third dreadful
curse rested upon it in consequence of sin. As the water began to subside, the
hills and mountains were surrounded by a vast, turbid sea, Everywhere
were strewn the dead bodies of men and beasts. The Lord would not permit these
to remain to decompose and pollute the air, therefore He made of the earth a
vast burial ground. A violent wind which was caused to blow for the purpose of
drying up the waters, moved them with great force, in
some instances even carrying away the tops of the mountains and heaping up
trees, rocks, and earth above the bodies of the dead.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 107.
6.How long did the Flood last? Genesis 7:24.
(See Genesis 7:11, 12. Compare with Genesis 8:13, 14.)
“For five long months their boat was tossed about, apparently at the mercy of
wind and wave. It was a trying ordeal; but Noah’s faith did not waver, for he
had the assurance that the divine hand was upon the helm. As the waters began
to subside, the Lord caused the ark to drift into a spot protected by a group
of mountains that had been preserved by His power. These mountains were but a
little distance apart, and the ark moved about in this quiet haven, and was no
longer driven upon the boundless ocean. This gave great relief to the weary,
tempest-tossed voyagers. Noah and his family anxiously waited for the decrease
of the waters, for they longed to go forth again upon the earth. Forty days
after the tops of the mountains became visible, they sent out a raven, a bird
of quick scent, to discover whether the earth had become dry. This bird,
finding nothing but water, continued to fly to and from the ark. Seven days
later a dove was sent forth, which, finding no footing, returned to the ark.
Noah waited seven days longer, and again sent forth the dove. When she returned
at evening with an olive leaf in her mouth, there was great rejoicing. Later
‘Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the
ground was dry.’ Still he waited patiently within the ark. As he had entered at
God’s command, he waited for special directions to depart.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 105.
OLIVE LEAF PLUCKED OFF”
7.What sign was given to Noah that vegetation
had begun to grow once more? Genesis 8:11.
“The beautiful trees and flowering shrubbery were destroyed, but Noah preserved
seed and took it with him into the ark, and God by His miraculous power
preserved a few of the different kinds of trees and shrubs alive for future
generations. Soon after the flood, trees and plants seemed to spring out of the
very rocks. In God’s providence, seeds had been scattered and driven into the
crevices of the rocks, and there securely hidden for the future use of man.” Signs of the Times, March
8.What change in man’s diet did God sanction
after the Flood? Genesis 9:3, 4.
“Remember that when you eat flesh meat, you are but eating grains and
vegetables second-hand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition
that makes it grow and prepares it for market. The life that was in the grains
and vegetables passes into the animal, and becomes part of its life, and then
human beings eat the animal. Why are they so willing to eat their food second-hand?
In the beginning, fruit was pronounced by God as ‘good for food.’ The
permission to eat flesh meat was a consequence of the fall. Not till after the
flood was man given permission to eat the flesh of animals. Why then need we
eat flesh meat? Few who eat this know how full it is of disease. Flesh meat
never was the best food, and now it is cursed by disease. The thought of
killing animals to be eaten is in itself revolting. If man’s natural sense had
not been perverted by the indulgence of appetite, human beings would not think
of eating the flesh of animals.”Notebook Leaflets, 114.
9.What was one consequence of this change in
man’s diet? Compare Genesis with Genesis , 25.
“The flesh of dead animals was not the original food for man. Man was permitted
to eat it after the flood because all vegetation had been destroyed. But the
curse pronounced upon man and the earth and every living thing has made strange
and wonderful changes. Since the flood the human race has been shortening its period
of existence.” Paulson
“The patriarchs from Adam to Noah, with but few
exceptions, lived nearly a thousand years. Since the days of Noah, the length
of life has been tapering.” Christian Education, 10.
WALKING AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS”
10.What attitude to the Bible’s account of early
history did Peter warn against? 2 Peter 3:3, 4.
“Apart from Bible history, geology can prove nothing. Those who reason so
confidently upon its discoveries, have no adequate conception of the size of
men, animals and trees before the flood, or of the great changes which then
took place. . . . In the history of the flood, inspiration has explained that
which geology alone could never fathom. In the days of Noah, men, animals, and
trees, many times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an
evidence to later generations that the antediluvians perished by a flood. God
designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired
history; but men, with their vain reasoning, fall into the same error as did
the people before the flood, the things which God gave them as a benefit, they turn into a curse by making a wrong use of them.” Christian Education, 191,
11.Of what event in particular did Peter prophesy that
men would be “willingly ignorant”? 2 Peter 3:5, 6.
“Before the Flood the development of vegetable and animal life was immeasurably
superior to that which has since been known. At the Flood the surface of the
earth was broken up, marked changes took place, and in the re-formation of the
earth’s crust were preserved many evidences of the life previously existing.
The vast forests buried in the earth at the time of the Flood, and since
changed to coal, form the extensive coal fields, and yield the supplies of oil
that minister to our comfort and convenience today. These things, as they are
brought to light, are so many witnesses mutely testifying to the truth of the
word of God.” Education,
IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH”
12.What comparison did Jesus make between the days
of Noah and the closing days of the world’s history? Luke 17:26, 27.
“The same sins exist in our day which brought the wrath of God upon the world
in the days of Noah. Men and women now carry their eating and
drinking to gluttony and drunkenness. This prevailing sin, the
indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of
Noah and led to general corruption, until their violence and crimes reached to
heaven, and God washed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood.” Testimonies,vol. 3, 163.
13.What promises are given to the godly at times
of widespread moral depravity? 2 Peter 2:4–9.
“God has always given men warning of coming judgments. Those who had faith in
His message for their time, and who acted out their faith, in obedience to His
commandments, escaped the judgments that fell upon the disobedient and
unbelieving. The word came to Noah, ‘Come thou and all thy
house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me.’ Noah obeyed and was
saved. The message came to Lot, ‘Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord
will destroy this city.’ Genesis 7:1; 19:14. . . . So Christ’s disciples were
given warning of the destruction of Jerusalem. Those who watched for
the sign of the coming ruin, and fled from the city, escaped the destruction.
So now we are given warning of Christ’s Second Coming and of the destruction to
fall upon the world. Those who heed the warning will be saved.” Desire of Ages, 634.