And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever.” Genesis 6:3.
In Noah’s day all people were not in the fullest sense heathen idolaters…. The class who professed a knowledge of God were the ones who had the greatest influence and took the lead in making of none effect His word spoken to them by Noah. They not only rejected the message of the faithful preacher of righteousness themselves, but like their master the devil they sought every means in their power to prevent others from believing and being obedient to God…. While Noah was sounding the note of warning of the coming destruction of that generation, was their day of opportunity and privilege to become wise unto salvation. But they gave their minds to the control of Satan rather than God, and he deceived them as he did our first parents….
The world before the Flood reasoned that for centuries the laws of nature had been fixed. The recurring seasons had come in their order. The rivers and brooks had never yet passed their boundaries but had borne their waters safely to the proud sea. Fixed decrees had kept the waters from overflowing their banks. But these reasons did not recognize the Hand that had stayed the waters, saying, thus far shalt thou go and no farther…. They reasoned then as people reason now, as though nature was above the God of nature, and her ways were so fixed that God Himself could not change them, thus making in the minds of the world God’s messages of warning a delusion, a grand deception, reasoning that if the message of Noah was correct, nature would be turned out of her course of order….
Human nature in Noah’s day, uninfluenced by the Spirit of God, is the same in our age. Jesus in His assertions and representations recognizes Genesis as the words of inspiration. Many admit the New Testament to be divine, while they show no special regard for the Old Testament Scriptures; but these two grand books cannot be divorced. Inspired apostles who wrote the New Testament are continually carrying back the minds of the searchers of Scriptures to the Old. Christ carries the minds of all generations, present and future, to the Old Testament. He refers to Noah as a literal person who lived; He refers to the Flood as a fact in history; He shows the specification of that generation as characteristic of this age. The Truth and Life has anticipated the questioning and doubts of men and women in regard to the Old Testament by pronouncing it divine.—Signs of the Times, December 20, 1877.