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Myths About the Bible: Noah was Mocked?: The Fight Against Apathy

I’ve seen someone mention it in a Facebook post. I’ve heard more than one famous preacher pound the point:

‘There was Noah, in faith, building the ark. The world was mocking, “What are you doing Noah? You’re crazy Noah!” Noah was being ridiculed and laughed at, but he just kept on building.’

The problem is that you won’t find this anywhere in the Bible – not a whiff. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Noah was mocked.

I remember several years ago, after hearing a very famous preacher hammering away about Noah being mocked and relating it to persecution, and how everyone who obeys God will be mocked, I got out of my car, went straight into the house, pulled up BibleWorks, and did an exhaustive word search on ‘Noah.’ I couldn’t find one mention of him being mocked. I’ve read the Bible cover to cover many times since then and still haven’t found it.

In fact, if you consider Jesus’ words about Noah, this was likely not the case at all:

  • Matthew 24:37 As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

The fact of the matter is that the people of Noah’s day didn’t realize what was happening. They were too busy with other things to really care even if they did. That’s the point of Christ’s words. And so it goes with the ungodly. They continue not to care.

Now there are those who are mocking God’s people to be sure. But the fact that they were not mocking in the days of Noah should be an encouragement to us in some sense. As a preacher, this is encouraging. There was Noah, setting Christ before the world in the form of a type or shadow in the ark. And the world was indifferent. Preachers learn quickly that it is apathy, rather than ridicule, that gets to you. You can fight ridicule. It is hard to fight apathy. Indifference is one of our great enemies, and it has always been this way.

  • Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

If we are to get a ‘moral’ from Noah, it is that we must persevere through apathy. Will we be mocked as Christians? I don’t doubt it. But more often people just won’t care. We must stand, even if we stand alone and no one cares, or even notices, that we are standing. God cares, and that is what matters. The world doesn’t care if we are becoming heirs of the righteousness that comes through faith. Yet we stand forgiven.


  1. Richard says:

    Proverbs 14:9 says, Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

    Does ‘mock’ in this context mean to ridicule, deride, or scorn? Does it mean to show contempt or mimic?

    We can agree that words and their meanings have changed over time. It is quite likely the preachers of old read, studied and wrote their sermons using the KJV translation of Yahweh’s inspired word. However, it is clear that ‘mock’ (Strong’s H3887) in the above text does, in fact, mean to “scorn, make mouths at, talk arrogantly”.

    So then the question becomes, did the people of Noah’s generation not know of the coming flood? Or, as you say, were they simply too busy to care?

    ‘The fact of the matter is that the people of Noah’s day didn’t realize what
    was happening. They were too busy with other things to really care even
    if they did. That’s the point of Christ’s words. And so it goes with the ungodly.
    They continue not to care.’

    Matthew 24:37-39 was quoted as a basis for this interpretation. Unfortunately, brother, I cannot agree with this interpretation. The people of Noah’s generation were certainly ‘unaware’, but this does not mean they were not warned. Properly understood, the people were ‘unaware’ of anything resembling a ‘flood’–for Yahweh had not yet flooded the earth in those days.

    It is true. The people of Noah’s day did not realize what was happening. But, again, this is not because they were not warned by Noah. For 2 Peter 2:4,5 says,

    For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell,
    and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
    And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eight person, a preacher
    of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.

    Noah was a prophet of Yahweh, and was sent to preach repentance by faith to a wicked generation; lest they should be judged with righteous judgment. We know this is true because 2 Peter 3:9 says:

    The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness;
    but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all
    should come to repentance.

    Had Yahweh not sent Noah, a preacher of righteousness, to warn the people of their need to repent, then Yahweh would not be just in flooding the earth.

    Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just:
    for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
    Psalm 7:9

    How should the people come to believe and repent unless a preacher be sent to them?

    How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how
    shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they
    hear without a preacher?
    Romans 10:14

    My friend, I believe the people of Noah’s generation were given every opportunity to repent of their wickedness–whether by hearing the preacher of righteousness –or– by beholding the things that were made, having no excuse for their idolatry and wickedness (Romans 1:18-32). Further, I do believe they mocked Noah and spurned Yahweh’s call to repentance.

    For our Redeemer did testify that as in the days of Noah, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be. Today, men continue in the world as though they are too busy to heed the call to salvation. This is not because of ignorance, for Jesus did say that ‘this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ (Matt 24:14)

    Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days,
    a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
    Acts 13:41

    Brother Heath, you have a very nice platform to discuss such topics. Thank you for taking the time to put this blog together. May Yahweh continue to bless you and your ministry.

    Humbly yours,

    • John Steve says:

      this is quite exhaustive. Thank you.
      And this also made me even more certain that the article got this right.
      Some of us may speculate or even believe, but there’s no account to substantiate that Noah was mocked.

      • Heath says:

        Jude is talking about the future. Notice it’s a prediction of the Apostles (who came long after Noah) that he is calling his audience to remember for the future. Jude 1:17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” I think you’re reaching for something that’s not there in the passage.

  2. masande malinga says:

    Am happy to found this story of Noah on this section..I think Noah preached them about righteousness before the building of tht Arch.. He didn’t preach them about the building of the Arch..what’s the use of entering in Heaven whilst u a sinful

    • John says:

      I think it would have happened “this way.” I think “people would have said and done this.” Yet it is not stated in the text of the Bible anywhere. Pure speculation. I agree with the author. Thank you

  3. Joe says:

    I can see Richard’s point about the preaching. One would also think logically, that if Noah was a “righteous” man, that he would have preached or at least witnessed the faith. (Maybe before God spoke to him, and that’s why he’s called righteous). He also makes a compelling point that the New Testament writers understood Noah to have done this through the various traditions that had been passed down to that time.
    But, there is no “mocking” mentioned, even though I think it to be reasonable. Some people would have seen this building project and laughed, many would have also been apathetic.

  4. Dennis says:

    What does the word strive mean in Gen 6:3 2 Peter 2:5 calls Noah a preacher of righteousness. The word preacher here comes from herald=one who announces. Announces what? Righteousness, there is one righteous, so the Spirit of GOD strived with man and Noah proclaimed HIS (GOD) righteousness. Along with the ark making it own statement of Noah and GOD message. 2 Peter 3:1-7 vs 5 talks about scoffers but this may be extrapolating bit.

  5. paul kamau says:

    i once heard someone saying that people mocked and ridiculed Noah such that they used to poo in the ark. “God brought smallpox/measles and one man stepped on the poo that was on the ark and got healed instantly..” he added. the people ended up clearing all that poo because it was the only ‘medicine’ that could heal people. i have lived to search this story and have never found it. is there anything as such in the Bible or is it a thing that preachers use to mislead people?

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