Saturday, September 10, 2011

The people’s defense of their wickedness in the time of Noah

20 And it came to pass that Noah called upon the children of men that they should repent; but they hearkened not unto his words;
21 And also, after that they had heard him, they came up before him, saying: Behold, we are the sons of God; have we not taken unto ourselves the daughters of men? And are we not eating and drinking, and marrying and giving in marriage? And our wives bear unto us children, and the same are mighty men, which are like unto men of old, men of great renown. And they hearkened not unto the words of Noah. (Moses 8:20-21)
When Noah exhorts the children of men to repent, they give the above strange excuse. They see nothing wrong with what they are doing; they are just doing the normal stuff that everyone does—eating drinking, marrying, giving in marriage… They think Noah is the weird one. (Unfortunately, wickedness had become so widespread that it had become the social norm of acceptable behavior.)

The activities they cite to Noah seem totally innocuous and innocent. Everybody does them. Everybody eats, drinks, marries, and gives in marriage. Everybody has kids. But that’s only a tiny part of a person’s life. You can’t eat and drink all day, and you can’t marry and give in marriage all day; there are other things happening in between those times, and the things that are happening are terrible, corrupt, and violent. See the next verse:
And God saw that the wickedness of men had become great in the earth; and every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually. (Moses 8:22)
That’s God’s perspective, which is just and true. This indicates that to these people, evil was considered good, and good was considered evil. You can kind of see it in their excuse to Noah too; they call themselves “sons of God” and they call their wives “daughters of men.” They probably thought their wives were the problem. And they seem to think that because their children become extra famous and mighty, that means they are doing something right as parents. However, if God saw they were all wicked, then that should tell us that they were admiring their children for all the wrong reasons and their children were much worse, having been encouraged in all the wrong ways.

What does this have to do with us and our day? It reminds me of what Jesus said:
41 But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man;
42 For it shall be with them, as it was in the days which were before the flood; for until the day that Noah entered into the ark they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage;
43 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. (JS Matthew 1:41-43)
I think this story shows how the worldview of the wicked and the worldview of the righteous can be so different.

The righteous are concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind and try to see their lives through God’s eyes.

The wicked seem to put their heads in the sand, thinking everything is alright, death is far away, now is the time for enjoyment, some magical thing can occur to make it all better in the end without need of concern from us, and what we do can’t really be so bad…

The righteous see a strong connection between action and spiritual/temporal consequences that follow ever so irrevocably though slowly.

The wicked see no connection and thinks negative consequences are not so assured. They can’t imagine any severe consequences arising from the way things are now; surely negative consequences couldn’t be that bad, and if they happen to be that bad, they should be able to escape easily; a few well-placed policy changes will do the trick, and “at a price we can just change the rules to allow us to do what we want.”

It will become more and more tempting to put off the worldview of righteousness as time goes on because of how bad things will get. But we’ve got to hang on, otherwise we will be deceived ourselves.


[1] Dictionary widget: eschatology


Curls said...

Oh yes the excuse "everyone is doing it" has been around for awhile. I've seen a new one crop up, at least in my own mind anyway, that I like to call "but at least I'm better than the people I see on TV." Because TV is so trashy we can feel all is well in Zion and think we are righteous. If you use TV as your standard it's easy to justify all kinds of things that are below God's standard.

Michaela Stephens said...

Oooo. "At least Im better than the people I see on TV" is a pretty good sign the TV needs to be turned off.

Ramona Gordy said...

What I have noticed is that there seems to be a lack of awareness of what is good and what is evil, even to the point of declaring that those two words are "out of snyc". I think that there is no fear of what should be feared,but there is a wide spread panic of what is not real.
It seems that the "smarter" we become as a society, the more "dumbed down" we are in danger of becoming.
Lately here on the mid atlantic and east coast's we have had some interesting events;earthquakes,hurricaines, torrential downpours,flooding, oh my. But with the exception of the earthquake, this is normal. However,there is a consensous that the world is coming to an end.There is much speculating about the end of days. The media feeds on this "lack of knowlege" and creates various commentary and reality shows. The opportunist's are making money on this. So the awareness of God is "dulled" in their senses. There is no "app" for God.
But, when the solution is given, when the right answer is given, no one wants to hear it because it is too simple to seek out our Heavenly Father. To repent and change an entire way of life for the better. It is just too hard.
But look at it this way,as members of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we can be like Noah. The ark has been built, it is the restored church of Jesus Christ. As members we can help to turn the tide.
I picked up my clothes at the drycleaners last Sat. The lady at the register asked me if I was going to church on Sunday. I said yes I am, are you? She said no, I am a Bhuddist. The way she said it like, it wasn't her choice to be a Bhuddist. I said, would you like to come to church with me? She looked like she wanted to come, but she shook her head no. So I said, come with me, she said I am a Bhuddist. I said, ok, but I will be back next Saturday to invite you to church again, and you can be my guest. Fishers of men, we are to be.

Michaela Stephens said...

That's cool that you are inviting the dry cleaning lady to church. How interesting that she asked you first, "Are you going to church on Sunday?" Keep working on her.