A king once went hunting, and he traveled like a simple man, so that he would have freedom of movement. Suddenly a heavy rain fell, literally like a flood. The ministers scattered in all directions, and the king was in great danger. He searched until he found the house of a villager. The villager invited the king in and offered him some groats. He lit the stove, and let the king sleep on the pallet.
This was very sweet and pleasant for the king. He was so tired and exhausted that it seemed as if he had never had such a pleasurable experience.
Meanwhile, the royal ministers sought the king, until they found him in this house, where they saw the king sleeping. They wanted him to return to the palace with them.
“You did not even attempt to rescue me,” said the king. “Each one of you ran to save himself. But this man rescued me. Here I had the sweetest experience. Therefore, he will bring me back in his wagon, in these clothes, and he will sit with me on my throne.”
Rabbi Nachman concluded by saying that it is said that before the Messiah comes, there will be flood. (People will be flooded with atheism.) It will not be a flood of water, but of immorality. It will cover all the high mountains [cf. Genesis 7:21], even in the Holy Land, where the original flood did not reach. [There is an opinion in the Talmud (Zevachim 113b) that the flood did not cover the Land of Israel.] But this time, it will come with such strength that the water will splash over the land. This means that it will have an effect even in virtuous hearts.
There will be no way to combat this with sophistication. All the royal ministers will be scattered, and the entire kingdom will not be firm on its foundation. The only ones who will uphold it will be the simple Jews who recite Psalms in simplicity. Therefore, when the Messiah comes, they will be the ones to place the crown on his head.