Resting and Waiting:
Some Keys to End
Time Survival from the story of Noah's
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:" Lk. 17:26
The understanding that the world moral climate at the Lord's coming will be similar to that of Noah's time is a rather common one. It's not hard to read the story of Noah and then to look around now to make that comparison. Most teaching on this verse from Luke 17 features this comparison of moral climates.
But I want to take a different look at the comparison. If we look more closely, we can learn some things by positive comparison with Noah's life—what he went through in surviving the Great Flood, and what God will expect and how He will deal with us as end time people. The phrase "as it was in the days of Noah" does not just apply to the evil qualities of the world we face today, but also to the qualities of righteousness and the pattern of His ways to be walked out in our midst as Noah did. Let's see then what we can discover.
I. Noah: a Man of Rest
The first thing I want to prophetically observe about Noah is his name. The name "Noah" simply means "rest." Noah was a man of rest. Why he was named that we don't know. But we do know that Bible people were named after qualities for a reason. Their names had meaning that applied to their lives. Today, those same names carry prophetic meaning that reveals spiritual truth.
So here we have, "As it was in the days of Noah—the Resting One." As a type of the righteous people of the end times, Noah's name tells us something about the quality we will and must have if we are to overcome and be saved throughout the final days of this age. In answer to the character of Noah, God's end time people are to be a people of rest. This means that to be counted among the righteous of the end times, we must have learned how to "enter into His rest" by dying to the sights and sounds of this life. As a corporate people, the Lord must be able to call us "Noah."
Rest is absolutely opposite to what characterizes the world. End time civilization is characterized by feverish noise and activity. We must daily fight against being driven and consumed by this nervous energy. So how do we respond when the pressure is on—when things get tough? How do we answer the threats of every circumstance demanding our immediate urgent attention?
In response to every rumor and noise and pressure of life, we must be a people who practice resistance to absorbing such energy. The response of Noahic people to the buzz of sirens and flashing lights is to move into and defend a place of inner stillness. Noahic people don't rush around. They don't get hooked into following the hype on cable news networks and radio talk shows. They aren't nervous. They don't jump at every bark of the dog or ring of the telephone. They don't get caught up in prophetic frenzy or become channels for prophetic rumor. Noahic people learn command of their hearing and inner senses, so they don't lose poise in the face of whatever comes at them from the outside.
This is something all of us have to learn if we are going to be saved in these end times. Remember, only Noah and those descended from him are saved. "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of
" Only those who learn to live by inner rest will be saved. Man.
: A Ship without Propulsion Ark
The Lord told Noah to build an ark. The ark was a massive cargo tanker that took years, maybe even decades to build according to specific instruction and pattern. Today, the ark represents what the Lord requires the Noahic people to "build" in our lives through the years and decades of our works if we are to make it safely through the end times. "As it was in the days of Noah" refers to the nature of the "boat" end time people must build who hope to be saved through the "Flood" of judgments ready to fall on the entire world.
There are many things we could observe about the ark from which we can draw prophetic types to direct the building of our lives for salvation ahead. The ark was huge. It had three inner decks. It had no side windows, but one through the top. It was pitched. It was made of a certain wood. Each of these facts portrays something meaningful to us today spiritually.
But what I want to key into is that the ark had no propulsion system. It simply floated—no outboard or inboard motor by which it could "speed away." That's because it didn't need to "get away" from anything to be saved. Rather, the very force coming to destroy the world was to be the ark's means of salvation. Therefore the ark had to be built to interface with that force in such a way that the flood would work to save it rather than destroy it. Therefore it was built only to float. That's all it needed to do. The flood would take care of the rest.
The idea that the ark had no propulsion system harmonizes well with the meaning of Noah's name, which is to rest. As Noah was one who rests, so was the ark a means of salvation through the flood that operated by "resting" (floating). Is there significance in this for us today? You bet!
I know this may seem strange to say, but deliverance through the end times from the world tribulation will not be accomplished by what actions we take to "speedily" save ourselves. Rather it will come by the actions we don't take to save ourselves. The Lord will teach us rather how to be "built" in such a way as a "floating" people so as to be "lifted up" by the forces sent to destroy everyone else. Not only are we to be a people of rest, but our actions are to be actions of rest (or "floatable actions").
For a long time the wilderness prophetic stream has seen much emphasis on end time preparations. And this is vitally necessary. But at the same time, a lot of the talk of preparation is not fielded from a position of rest, but from frenzy and hyper threat of what will happen if we don't prepare. Many reactionary "speed boat" strategies have been advanced, urging people to "take action now" to "run away from" the times to come.
The problem though is that speed boats are destroyed by tsunamis (ever seen a yacht club after a hurricane?) Speed boat strategies are designed to resist the flood rather than cooperate with its force in such a way as to be lifted above it. Speed boats are built to try to "escape the inescapable." Because of this, self-propelled survivalist prophetic ministries will not survive the times to come. They have not built arks based on rest.
There is mystery to all of this, but as the times progress and we become a more discerning resting people, the Lord will teach us the difference between building an ark and building speed boats.
III. The Flood: A Time Demanding Patience
Besides becoming a people of rest and building arks based on rest, another key quality necessary to safely navigate the end times is patience. The book of Revelation makes this clear:
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called
Patmosfor the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ—I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary—I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first—He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints—Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Rev. 1:9; 2-3, 19; 13:10; 14:12
The story of Noah's deliverance through the Flood is a story of great patience. Now Bible narratives are written the same way television episodes are written. They only show you the "action packed adventure" in the space of a few minutes or a few paragraphs. You don't see all the day to day mundane waiting-it-out of life between episodes.
To give an idea of the patience required of Noah and thus of God's end time people, I want to offer you a "calendar" of events pertaining to the flood based on the Genesis account. When you see the length of time between events, you will realize the extent of Noah's patience.
First off, we don't know how long it took to build the ark. Given its massive size and the few people involved, it's safe to say it took years to build. My guess is it took a few decades. The project probably would have occupied the entire adult life span of any one of us living today. Then add to this that there would have been set backs throughout. Mistakes would have been made that needed to be fixed. Materials would have been delayed. If Noah had to depend on businesses to supply wood and other materials, there would have been third party set-backs and cost issues as well.
Fine. That brings us to the calendar of events. To help visualize this easily, let's use a modern calendar in which we assume Noah was born on New Years Day, January 1. After however many years of building the ark, Noah has just turned 599—it is the beginning of his 600th year. Now the calendar begins:
February 10, 599 A.N. ("anno Noah") — Noah moves into the ark with his family at the direction of the Lord. The suggestion is that throughout the next week, the animals are being herded into the ark as well, if they are all not already boarded. The families take an entire week just to get used to being in the ark before anything happens, waiting for something to happen that has never happened before.
February 17 — The Lord seals the door shut, and the Flood begins. ("Wow," someone inside says, "So we didn't build this thing for nothing after all!") Sometime that day or in the next few days, they begin to feel the ark move and sway and rock as the water reaches the draught (draft) water level. Everyone now has to develop a new sense of equilibrium. There is probably some sea sickness experienced. For the next 40 days, they are subject to the ferocious bombardment of sound from the rain, wind and waves beating the ship.
March 29 — The rain stops. All grows quiet. Now they are only floating. Likely the first attempt is made to open the top hatch window and view what is outside, which is just ocean.
July 19 — After 110 days of floating and 150 days (5 months) since the rain began, the ark runs aground on an unknown mountaintop. All motion of the ship ceases. However, nothing but ocean can be seen. It will be 2 1/2 months before any land appears.
October 1 — Like tiny dots forming small islands, the first mountain tops become visible above earth's water level. It is unknown whether their own mountain is one of them yet. The families have now been aboard the ark almost 8 months.
November 9 — After nine months on the ark, Noah releases a raven and dove to obtain intelligence on the habitability of any of the growing islands in sight. The raven stays out to forage on carnage on the mountain top islands, but the dove returns.
November 16 — Noah waits an entire week before sending out the dove a second time. This time the dove returns with a freshly picked olive leaf. Noah now knows that at least the tops of some tree lines are above water level, not just rock surface. The growing islands are still too far from view for him to know anything more. Nor can he see beneath the ark to appreciate anything about the increasing mountain top he is on.
November 23 — after yet another week, Noah sends out the dove the third time, and the dove does not return. He now knows that life is sustainable for birds at the elevations visible. What he can see of the top of his own mountain remains unknown. He may only see some rocky craggy surfaces stretching beneath outside the ark's perimeter.
New Years Day, January 1, 600 A.N. — Noah turns 600 today, beginning his 601st year of life. (Happy Birthday, Noah!) After almost 11 months on the ark, Noah can now see connections between all the mountains that used to be islands, and a land based horizon is now visible. He is comfortable with removing a large top section of the ark cover to allow outside access to the ark roof. However, he ascertains that the ground—which he can see only from the distance of his rocky mountaintop—is still shimmering with moisture and thus too water logged to venture to inhabit yet.
February 27 — After 382 days living on the ark (that's 1 year and 17 days) the ground is now dry enough to sustain human habitation. But most importantly, it is the Lord Himself who makes this determination and gives the "green light" for Noah and his people to finally leave the ark.
When the calendar of the Flood is drawn out like this, it becomes clear that Noah's voyage to salvation from his godless world required extreme patience. Notice that Noah: a) could not make anything happen, and b) had to continually test things out and make scientific observations on his surroundings. But when all was said and done, He could only move in or out of the ark based on the Word of the Lord Himself.
"As it was in the days of Noah...." This tells us then what will be required of us to come to salvation from the godless world through the worldwide judgments ready to fall. To be saved through the coming judgments, we will have to be a resting people who:
a) are willing and able to be confined to constricted situations over extended periods of time,
b) know we cannot make anything happen to improve our situation,
c) continually take prophetic measurements and make prophetic observations on our surroundings, and
d) ultimately wait for the Lord to give His orders before making decisions relative to survival.
Waiting on the Voice of the Lord before making decisions will be crucial in coming days. I'm reminded of the movie the "Great Escape"—the World War II movie about the allied prisoner escape from underneath a German concentration camp using a secret tunnel. An exacting plan requiring great patience and precision was executed to dig a tunnel making escape possible. But at the last, one prisoner awaiting his turn to escape loses patience waiting for the "all clear" signal. He takes it on himself to climb out too soon and is discovered by the guards, thus exposing the whole operation, resulting in doom for almost all the others.
As it was in the days of Noah that the Lord found a righteous man through whom He could start a new world, so will He find a righteous people in the day of His return to start a new age. But who will these people be and what will they be like? They will be a people that have Noah's character qualities:
— a people marked by inner rest.
— a people who build non self-propelled means of escape only according to divine plans that allow God's judgments to lift them to safety (not a people of self-propulsion who try to make things happen or devise their own means of escape.)
— a people of great patience over extended time and keen prophetic observation under close quarters.
— last of all, a people sensitive to the Voice of the Lord, moving only on His direction and signal to enter and exit their arks.
Be blessed and thoughtful as you ponder your means of salvation from this godless world in the coming days en route to rebuilding the earth under the Lord's dominion.
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created October 25, 2009