Q. Jesus said that it would be like in the days of Noah and Lot, referring to His return and the establishment of The Kingdom. Lot was escorted from his home. Noah entered the ark seven days before the flood waters came. Scripture, I have learned, is precise to the extreme. Is there something to be learned from Noah entering the ark a week before judgment? From a practical standpoint He would have had time to worked out logistical and schedule details for each day’s care of the critters. I am wondering if there is a prophetic significance to this time?
A. We’ll take the example of Noah first because according to Matt. 24:37 it involves everyone on Earth in the Last days, Jew and Gentile.
In Genesis 7:1 God told Noah to go into the ark and bring the animals with him because the rain was coming in 7 days. This was the first time they had entered for the purpose of preparing for their departure rather than completing the Ark’s construction. During that 7 days Noah and his family were in and out of the ark bringing the animals on board, and there was still time for anyone who so desired to join them. Genesis 7:10 says that after the 7 days the flood waters came.
Genesis 7:13 says that on the very day the flood waters came on the earth Noah and his family entered the ark. This would have been the last time they entered because after that the Lord shut them in (Gen 7:16) and no one else could come aboard.
I believe their first entry could be compared to the treaty mentioned in Daniel 9:27 that begins the 7 last years of pre-millennial history. The countdown to the end will have begun but there’ll still be time to “get on board” by choosing salvation.
Their final entry could point to the sign of the Son of Man that appears in the sky immediately after the Great Tribulation ends (Matt. 24:29-30) causing all the nations of the earth to mourn, because after that it’ll be too late for anyone to choose the Lord and be saved, just as it was too late for anyone to get on the ark and escape the flood after the Lord shut the door.
With Lot it was different. According to Genesis 19:22 judgment couldn’t come upon Sodom and Gomorrah until Lot was gone and there was no advance notice. The angels came, took Lot away, and the towns were destroyed without warning. Lot serves as an example for the Church, not preserved through the judgment like Israel and the Tribulation survivors, but suddenly taken away from the time, the place, and any relation to the judgment, as Paul prophesied in 1 Thes. 1:10.