August 21, 1999 – August 27, 1999
MEMORY 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 preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” 2 Peter 2:4, 5.
STUDY HELP: Testimonies, vol. 4, 306–313.
“The 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.
“MY SPIRIT WILL NOT ALWAYS STRIVE WITH MAN”
What was the state of the world before the Flood? Genesis 6:5.
NOTE: “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.
What decision did the Lord make regarding those who lived before the Flood? Genesis 6:6, 7.
NOTE: “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 1, 1906.
What period of probation did the Lord in His mercy grant to the wicked inhabitants of the earth before the Flood came? Genesis 6:3.
NOTE: “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, 102.
“WATERS ON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH”
What was the extent of the Flood? Genesis 7:19, 20.
NOTE: “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, perished.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 100, 101.
What was the effect of the Flood on life on earth? Genesis 6:7, 13; 7:4, 21.
NOTE: “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.
How long did the Flood last? Genesis 7:24. (See Genesis 7:11, 12. Compare with Genesis 8:13, 14.)
NOTE: “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.
“AN OLIVE LEAF PLUCKED OFF”
What sign was given to Noah that vegetation had begun to grow once more? Genesis 8:11.
NOTE: “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 13, 1879.
What change in man’s diet did God sanction after the Flood? Genesis 9:3, 4.
NOTE: “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.
What was one consequence of this change in man’s diet? Compare Genesis 9:29 with Genesis 11:10, 25.
NOTE: “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 Collection, 160.
“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.
“SCOFFERS WALKING AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS”
What attitude to the Bible’s account of early history did Peter warn against? 2 Peter 3:3, 4.
NOTE: “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, 192.
Of what event in particular did Peter prophesy that men would be “willingly ignorant”? 2 Peter 3:5, 6.
NOTE: “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, 129.
“AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH”
What comparison did Jesus make between the days of Noah and the closing days of the world’s history? Luke 17:26, 27.
NOTE: “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.
What promises are given to the godly at times of widespread moral depravity? 2 Peter 2:4–9.
NOTE: “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.