The wickedness of today’s world is such that it ought to evoke comparisons to the ancient world that perished in the flood. Of that time the scripture says, “Then the Lord 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.” (Gen. 6:5). If the world is not to this same point today, it has to be very close.
In that ancient time, God decided to cleanse the earth by means of a world-wide flood that swept away all those who were not in the Ark with Noah and his family. During the time that Noah was preparing the Ark, the only answer to the judgment that was coming was to be in the Ark when the flood came. Noah preached righteousness to those around him as he built the Ark in order to give them an opportunity to be saved from the flood. Unfortunately, no one outside of his immediate family responded to his preaching.
Such a cleansing of the world is not going to happen again, for God promised Noah that He would never again send such a flood upon the earth (Gen. 9:11). Instead, the earth is being reserved for fire that will utterly destroy it at the last day when the world will be judged (2 Pet. 3:7-10). This judgment is just as certain as the flood was in Noah’s day, for our Lord compared His return for judgment to this historical event (Mt. 24:37-39). He also warned, as Noah must have done concerning the flood, that no one knows when He will return again for this judgment (Mt. 24:36, 42).
Knowing that the world is such a wicked place, and that judgment is coming, where do we turn for an answer to this dilemma? In Noah’s time, the Ark was the only answer to impending judgment. Today, as it has been ever since the flood, the only answer to judgment is God’s word. In Psa. 19:7-11 David said of God’s word, “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honey comb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”
In David’s view, the only hope for mankind is to devote itself to God’s word. Everything about God’s word is for our benefit, and if we avail ourselves of its power, we will live well here in life and we will live with God in eternity. This is God’s intent for us. This is why He has revealed His will in the scriptures. As David said, we are warned by His commandments and if we keep them we will receive a great reward (Psa. 19:11).
In order to avail ourselves of this power, and to avoid the judgment that is coming upon the wicked, we must devote ourselves to God’s word. In Rom. 12:2 Paul said, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” In Jas. 1:21 James said, “Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted which is able to save your souls.”
Judgment is coming; of this we may be certain. We may also be certain that when the Lord returns the wicked will not go unpunished, just as it was in the flood. Therefore, the only answer to this impending judgment is to know God’s word and to obey it.