Summary: It’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters.
Have you ever watched THE PRICE IS RIGHT with Bob Barker? Did you see me win both Showcase Showdowns last week? That’s right, I guessed the price of both showdowns and won them both, from my kitchen. It felt pretty good until Jude said “what do you have to show for it?”
It’s amazing to me how some people have so much trivia stored in their brain. I’m embarrassed watching Jeopardy and answering so few questions. Occasionally, the Bible will be a category on Jeopardy - but the Bible is more than a book for TRIVIA!
In Luke 17, Jesus told the 12 disciples how quickly the Son of Man will be revealed. with very little, if any, warning. For centuries, popular concepts of the second coming include some cataclysmic event that will cause everyone to know and want to know who Jesus is. Tim LaHaye’s LEFT BEHIND best selling series of books warns of the rapture that will come without warning. But, some other people mistakenly believe they can live life routinely with no concern or care for God, but when Jesus returns, they will go to heaven because they have been baptized. Still others live with full awareness that Jesus Christ could come any moment.
Life is fairly routine for most of us. Some of you have specific things you do on certain days, Monday = wash day; Tuesday = grocery shopping, etc. Some of you awake about the same time, do the same things in the same order, & drive the same route to work. For much of our lives, we live within a daily regime that varies very little.
Jesus said, in Noah’s day, people were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage while Noah was building the ARK. They may have asked Noah what he was building, someone may have even interviewed him for the weekly newspaper. He probably was the subject of conversation in the coffee shop and family gatherings. “Did you hear about Noah?” may have been a popular conversation starter, or even a subject for the 6 PM news.
On the day Noah gathered 2 of every animal, he probably had to herd them through rush hour traffic. While Noah was herding them onto the Ark and after God closed the door, someone probably had just settled down with a good cup of coffee & the newspaper. Other people were eating lunch, planning supper, getting ready for a date, drinking with their buddies, or doing their daily chores. Someone was probably cutting grass, playing a recreational sport, paying bills or even making preparations for their will.
Not as a trivia statement or question, Jesus then says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Who? How does she fit into a discussion about the Second Coming? Let’s see what Jesus may have been trying to tell us:
1. After all these years, people haven’t changed much, People are People!
It has been said, “the more things change, the more they remain the same.” Noah’s day was characterized by the wickedness of man and that every inclination of his heart was evil. Things were so bad that the Lord was grieved that He created man. Lot lived in a generation obsessed with sex and sexual perversion.
Some thousands of years later, someone could describe our culture in similar terms. We live in a wicked and violent society that is obsessed with sex. The ultimate perversion is when humankind say that God created people "that way". Popular concepts include "Homosexuality & sexual promiscuity are the NORM". The wholesale availability of pornography is a multi-billion dollar business. It is estimated that up to 30 million people daily log on to pornography on the Internet; 10% of church members access porn daily. Include the drive by shootings, gang activity, theft, mass murders, elderly & child abuse and we live in a violent & sin-sick culture. For all our technological and intellectual advances, we haven’t progressed very far.
Jesus said, in both Noah’s & Lot’s day, God brought judgment as people lived routinely. Someone had just driven in to Noah’s Ark Restaurant, or someone had just been served a good steak, another person had just bought the item at Wal Mart they had saved months for, another person had just hit a home run and was running around the bases, another person had just said “I do” to his bride, & then the judgment of God fell! It was business as usual …..
2. Lot’s wife was a product of her culture
While the Bible tells almost nothing of Lot’s wife, much is known of her husband. Lot was the nephew of Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel, and a man who walked with God. Lot apparently loved & admired Uncle Abraham as he lived his faith in front of his nephew.