Last fall I visited Noah’s ark. No, not the original in the mountains of Ararat. Instead my family and I visited the new life-size replica in Williamstown, Kentucky. Opened in 2016, the 510-foot ark rests just off I-75, more than 6,000 miles from Ararat.
As we pulled off Exit 154, I had one reaction: That’s ridiculous! The massive wooden boat looked absolutely ridiculous sitting in the middle of a field. Then I remembered something: the original looked every bit as ridiculous—sitting there on dry land with no water in sight.
I began to feel the weight of the story: a lone 600-year-old man . . . telling people . . . that God had told him . . . that a worldwide flood was coming.
As heavy as the realization was, something else about the flood hit me even harder.
Four thousand years later, is our culture much different?
As Cindy, Summer, and I moved through the ark’s three levels, our focus turned to the estimated millions of humans left outside. A three-dimensional depiction of a “godless world” before the flood highlighted a time during which “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time” (Gen. 6:5).
I was reminded of God’s tipping point: a specific sin to which God said, “Enough is enough.” “When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with humans forever’” (verses 1-3).
There has been much debate about “the sons of God” of Genesis 6: Were they fallen angels? No, they were fallen men from the once-godly line of Genesis 5: descendants of Seth now so utterly evil that they forced women into polygamy, sexual slavery, utter despair.
God said: “I’ve seen enough. My Spirit will not contend any longer with these men.”
Four thousand years later, is our culture much different? Sex trafficking and harassment run rampant. Everywhere they go—everywhere they go—our daughters are objectified on screen and in person.
Could it be that the men of earth are experiencing a final window of mercy?
An unprecedented wave of women (called Silence Breakers by Time magazine) have come forward to share their stories—to shine light on how they’ve been treated for a long, long time. Yes, it would be better if men would step out of the darkness on their own, but if they need to be salted with fire, then so be it.
At the close of history, before the entire earth is cleansed with fire, the Lord says once more: Sons of God, if you’re truly a follower of My own Son, it’s time to act like it. It doesn’t matter how you feel in your moment of temptation; what matters is not yielding. It’s time to give the women in your life the gift of dignity, and yourself the gift of integrity.
And find favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Andy Nash ([email protected]) is a professor and pastor who leads summer study tours to Israel, Turkey, and Patmos.