And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him. (Genesis 7:5)
I can imagine one beautiful morning, not a cloud to be seen, Noah has got his communication. He has heard the voice that he heard one hundred and twenty years before—the same old voice. Perhaps there had been silence for one hundred and twenty years. But the voice rang through his soul once again, “Noah, come thou and all thy house into the ark.”
The word “come” occurs about nineteen hundred times in the Bible, it is said, and this is the first time. It meant salvation. You can see Noah and all his family moving into the ark. They are bringing the household furniture.
Some of his neighbors say, “Noah, what is your hurry? you will have plenty of time to get into that old ark. What is your hurry? There are no windows and you cannot look out to see when the storm is coming.” But he heard the voice and obeyed.
Some of his relatives might have said, “What are you going to do with the old homestead?”
Noah says, “I don’t want it. The storm is coming.” He tells them the day of grace is closing, that worldly wealth is of no value, and that the ark is the only place of safety. We must bear in mind that these railroads that we think so much of, will soon go down; they only run for time, not for eternity. The heavens will be on fire, and then what will property, honor, and position in society be worth?
The first thing that alarms them is, they rise one morning, and lo! the heavens are filled with the fowls of the air. They are flying into the ark, two by two. They come from the desert; they come from the mountain; they come from all parts ofthe world. They are going into the ark. It must have been a strange sight. I can hear the people cry, “Great God! what is the meaning of this?” And they look down on the earth; and, with great alarm and surprise, they see little insects creeping up two by two, coming from all parts of the world. Then behold! there come cattle and beasts, two by two. The neighbors cry out, “What does this mean?” They run to their statesmen and wise men, who have told them there was no sign of a coming storm, and ask them why it is that those birds, animals, and creeping things go toward the ark, as if guided by some unseen hand.
Do you know, when the hundred and twenty years were up, God gave the world seven days’ grace? Did you ever notice that? If there had been a cry during those seven days, I believe it would have been heard. But there was none.
The windows of heaven are opened and the fountains of the great deep are broken up. The waters come bubbling up, and the sea bursts its bounds and leaps over its walls. The rivers begin to swell. The people living in the lowlands flee to the mountains and highlands. They flee up the hillsides. And there is a wail going up:
“Noah! Noah! Noah! Let us in.”
They leave their homes and come to the ark now. They pound on the ark. Hear them cry:
“Noah! Let us in. Noah! Have mercy on us.”
Ah, there is a voice inside, saying: “I would like to let you in; but God has shut the door, and I cannot open it!”
God shut that door! When the door is shut, there is no hope. Their cry for mercy was too late; their day of grace was closed. Their last hour had come. God had plead with them; God had invited them to come in; but they had mocked at the invitation. They scoffed and ridiculed the idea of a deluge. Now it is too late.
God did not permit anyone to survive to tell us how they perished. When Job lost his family, there came a messenger to him: but there came no messenger from the antediluvians; not even Noah himself could see the world perish. If he could, he would have seen men and women and children dashing against that ark; the waves rising higher and higher, while those outside were perishing, dying in unbelief. Some think to escape by climbing the trees, and think the storm will soon go down; but it rains on, day and night, for forty days and forty nights, and they are swept away as the waves dash against them. The statesmen and astronomers and great men call for mercy; but it is too late. They had disobeyed the God of mercy. He had called, and they refused. He had plead with them, but they had laughed and mocked. But now the time is come for judgment instead of mercy.
Excerpt from “The Overcoming Life” D. L. Moody