We Shall Walk in the Name of Jehovah Our God
“We, for our part, shall walk in the name of Jehovah our God to time indefinite, even forever.”—MICAH 4:5.
1. As regards morality, what was the situation in Noah’s day, and how was Noah different?
THE first man mentioned in the Bible as walking with God was Enoch. The second was Noah. The record tells us: “Noah was a righteous man. He proved himself faultless among his contemporaries. Noah walked with the true God.” (Genesis 6:9) By Noah’s time, mankind in general had deviated from pure worship. The bad situation was made worse by unfaithful angels who formed unnatural unions with women and produced offspring called Nephilim, “the mighty ones,” or “the men of fame,” of those days. No wonder the earth became filled with violence! (Genesis 6:2, 4, 11) Still, Noah proved himself faultless and was “a preacher of righteousness.” (2 Peter 2:5) When God commanded him to build an ark for the preservation of life, Noah obediently “proceeded to do according to all that God had commanded him. He did just so.” (Genesis 6:22) Truly, Noah walked with God.
2, 3. What fine example did Noah provide for us today?
2 Paul included Noah in his list of faithful witnesses when he wrote: “By faith Noah, after being given divine warning of things not yet beheld, showed godly fear and constructed an ark for the saving of his household; and through this faith he condemned the world, and he became an heir of the righteousness that is according to faith.” (Hebrews 11:7) What a splendid example! Certain that Jehovah’s words would come true, Noah expended time, energy, and resources in order to fulfill God’s commands. In a similar way, many today turn their backs on secular opportunities in this world and expend their time, energy, and resources in obeying Jehovah’s commands. Their faith is noteworthy and will result in their own salvation as well as that of others.—Luke 16:9; 1 Timothy 4:16.
3 Exercising faith must have been as difficult for Noah and his family as it was for Enoch, Noah’s great-grandfather, who was discussed in the preceding article. In Noah’s day as in Enoch’s, true worshippers were a small minority—just eight people proved faithful and survived the Flood. Noah preached righteousness in a violent and immoral world. Moreover, he and his family were building a huge wooden ark in preparation for a worldwide flood, although no one had seen such a flood before. That must have seemed very strange to those observing them.
4. What failing of Noah’s contemporaries did Jesus highlight?
4 Interestingly, when Jesus referred to the days of Noah, he did not speak of the violence, the false religion, or the immorality—grievous as those were. The error that Jesus highlighted was the refusal of people to heed the warning being given. He said that they were “eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark.” Eating, drinking, marrying, being given in marriage—what was wrong with that? They were just living “normal” lives! But a flood was coming, and Noah was preaching righteousness. His words and his conduct should have been a warning to them. Still, they “took no note until the flood came and swept them all away.”—Matthew 24:38, 39.
5. What qualities did Noah and his family need?
5 Looking back on those times, we see the wisdom of Noah’s course. However, in the days before the Flood, it took courage to be different from everyone else. It took strong conviction for Noah and his family to build the huge ark and fill it with representatives of the animal kinds. Did some among those few faithful souls sometimes wish that they could be less conspicuous and just live “normal” lives? Even if such thoughts crossed their minds, they did not weaken in their integrity. After a great many years—longer than any one of us will have to endure in this system of things—the faith of Noah led to his salvation through the Flood. However, Jehovah executed judgment on all those who were living “normal” lives and taking no note of the meaning of the times they were living in.
We Take Note of Jehovah’s Warnings
9. How does today’s world compare with that existing before the Flood?
9 In the days of Noah, Jehovah brought mankind to ruin because of the extreme violence of wicked humans abetted by the Nephilim. What of today? Is the earth any less violent than it was then? Hardly! Moreover, just as in Noah’s day, people today are going about their business, trying to live a “normal” life, refusing to heed the warnings being sounded. (Luke 17:26, 27) Is there any reason, then, to doubt that Jehovah will once again bring mankind to ruin? No.
10. (a) What warning is repeatedly given in Bible prophecy? (b) What is the only wise course today?
10 Hundreds of years before the Flood, Enoch prophesied the destruction that must come in our day. (Jude 14, 15) Jesus too spoke of the coming “great tribulation.” (Matthew 24:21) Other prophets warned of that time. (Ezekiel 38:18-23; Daniel 12:1; Joel 2:31, 32) And in the book of Revelation, we read a graphic description of that final destruction. (Revelation 19:11-21) As individuals, we imitate Noah and are active as preachers of righteousness. We take note of Jehovah’s warnings and lovingly help our neighbors to do the same. Hence, like Noah, we walk with God. Indeed, it is vital that any who desire life keep on walking with God. How can we do that in view of the pressures that we face each day? We need to cultivate strong faith in the outworking of God’s purpose.—Hebrews 11:6.