“And did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly.”
We come now to the second illustration of God’s judgment on apostasy.
And did not spare the ancient world.
The “ancient world” here is the ante-diluvium civilization. God did not spare the pre-flood civilization but destroyed it by a catastrophic flood. He did spare eight people from the cataclysm. Peter talks of the flood in three places in his epistles (1 Pe 3:20; 2 Pe 3:6 and here).
God will not spare apostates. He did not spare the apostates before the flood, and He will not spare them after the flood. God cannot and did not withhold retribution. He is eternally consistent with Himself.
but saved Noah
Noah spoke out against the depravity all about him. He stood alone in an apostate civilization.
one of eight people
The eight people were Noah, his wife, three sons, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and their three wives (Ge 6:10,18). God spared eight people from an entire civilization turned apostate.
a preacher of righteousness
Noah preached righteousness, that is, the judicial righteousness of the salvation that God provides from the penalty for sin.
“Preacher” means herald. A herald was an eminently respected person in the first century. This person frequently spoke for the Emperor or an ambassador. The verb means to proclaim or announce. Noah announced God’s message for 120 years to the ante-diluvium civilization, warning of the coming flood, but he obtained few converts.
Noah preached for 120 years with only his family as converts. This was 120 years of long suffering on God’s part.
God cannot spare societies that compromise the essence of who He is.
God deals with societies that lose their standards and become corrupt. The media condition us to accept filth, profanity, and vulgarity. Our educational institutions pass off slime for art. Society parades pornography as literature. This we call education! God will judge a culture that reaches a point of maximum corruption.
Nothing shocks us anymore. It is going to get worse and worse. It is very difficult to spare our children from filth and smut in our kind of culture.