According to one traditional viewpoint, it was on this day that Methuselah died, thus signaling Noah that it was time to enter the ark. (There’s another tradition that believes his death occurred on 11 Cheshvan). Regardless of which tradition is correct, the point is that Methuselah’s death, whose name means “his death shall begin” or “shall initiate,” was the sign to Noah that the long-anticipated flood was about to begin. In fact, just seven days after his death, the flood waters began to commence upon the earth. According to the Bible, Methuselah was the person who lived longer than anyone else on earth. Seeing that as long as he was alive, the flood was held back, his great age testifies of the fact that God is long-suffering and not willing that any should perish. Still, there came a point when God had to say, “Enough is enough.” It was then that Noah, who had been preaching righteousness during this time, took his family into the ark.
Here is what you and I need to consider about this story: it is a pattern for the end of days. Messiah described the days leading up to the flood as being a model for the days just before His return:
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)
Because of Messiah’s words, many of us anticipate something as catastrophic as the flood of Noah will come upon the world. And just like in Noah’s day, the people of our world live their lives quite unsuspecting of what’s going to happen. So many people go about their daily routines as if the world will continue on, forever. Of those who have heard warnings about the future, many are skeptical that anything of “biblical proportions” will occur. Interestingly, the Bible predicted both types of people; where the latter are concerned, Peter said:
“Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.” (2 Peter 3:3-6)
The point is that we are truly living in the days of Noah. Though righteousness is being preached, most people are oblivious to what is on the horizon. People scoff at the possibility God will bring judgment upon a corrupt society – all the signs are there. And so, to those who do believe His words and are looking, might something happen that will signal us that it’s time to “go into the ark”? There is no doubt that the Father will and can alert His people to what they need to know but it’s imperative that we continue to be sober and alert; that we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to His people.
Until He tells us something different, we must continue doing what we have already been instructed to do. We must do what Noah was charged to do – to be preachers of righteousness so that those who are in darkness may yet have an opportunity to come into the light.