According to many traditions, on this day the flood of Noah began:
“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened…. On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark.” (Genesis 7:11, 13)
It should be noted that there are some who disagree with this tradition; some believe that the flood came in the springtime of the year during the second month, following the month of Aviv. Regardless of when the flood occurred, it is important to maintain focus on what the Scripture teaches about the flood of Noah.
The first thing is that the death of men means life for mankind. When Adam was expelled from the Garden, it was with the understanding that this had to happen or else he could take hold of the Tree of Life, eat from it and live forever. But to live forever at that time would have been to exist eternally in a fallen, corrupt state. The Creator could not allow to happen.
Can you imagine what the world would be like today if Hitler, Stalin and others could live forever? So consider that Man’s expulsion from the Garden wasn’t as much a punishment as it was giving hope for the redemption of mankind. Likewise, the flood of Noah made it possible for mankind to continue and more importantly, be redeemed. If not for Noah and his family and the grace they were given by the Almighty, mankind would have gone extinct.
The second thing we see in the Flood account is that Noah wasn’t surprised that the flood was coming; he wasn’t surprised even on the day it all started. He had advance warning and knew exactly when it was going to happen. This is very important for us to consider since we are living in the last days, a time Messiah likened to the days of Noah. So are we, as believers, to be taken by surprise when God’s judgment finally comes? Paul had this to say about the issue.
“For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3-5)
According to Paul, this day of destruction should not take God’s people by surprise. We should understand this day of destruction is quickly approaching. According to the Messiah’s words, those who are going to be taken by surprise and swept away, like those in the days of Noah, are the people who are not paying attention to what’s happening all around them. Consequently, it is needful for us to do our very best to make them aware of what is coming. We are here to be a light; a city set upon a hill which cannot be hidden. We must commit ourselves to preach righteousness and the Gospel of the Kingdom and, hopefully, awaken those who sleep. So many are in danger of being swept away by what is most certainly coming upon the earth. Let’s try and make the difference in at least one of those lives today. With His help, we can.