Genesis 6:1-12 — Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God

Noah’s Ark Under Construction (artist unknown)


When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

This is the account of Noah and his family.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.

Genesis 6:1-12

When human beings began to increase in number on the earth… (v.1) Imagine with me how rapidly the population would multiply in a time when the average lifespan ranged from 777 to 969 years. (Genesis 5) People had that much more time to have children. And of course the parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, etc. would be included in the population count for a time period, in some cases, approaching 1,000 years. We know that the current worldwide average human lifespan is 69 years. (Data Source World Bank, World Development Indicators) We also know that the average woman worldwide has 4 children. (median average: World Bank, Fertility Rate Data) If we take a conservative approach and multiply the current human lifespan by 10 to 690 years and we say that every 69 years an antediluvian woman (woman before the great flood) had 3 children, that’s 30 children per mother during each lifetime. If that were true, in just nine generations the earth would be populated with more than 5 billion people. (see table below) Now I’m not saying that there were more than 5 billion people on earth before the flood. I’m just pointing out that the population of the world just before the flood was most likely quite substantial, possibly even comparable to our population today.

…the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. (v.2) Some scholars say that the sons of God mentioned here refer to the line of Seth and the daughters of humans refer to the line of Cain. A couple of thoughts. In verse 2 we see the term “sons of God” which is benai elohim in the original Hebrew. And we see it again in verse 4: The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. Every time the term benai elohim is found in the Old Testament it refers to angels. So it could be that these are …the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home. (Jude 1:6) It could be that these are those who God subsequently …has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. (Jude:1:6) It fits because the term Nephilim used in verse 4 means giants. If the sons of God and the daughters of humans were from the lines of Seth and Cain then why were the offspring giants? And verse 4 also refers to the heroes of old, men of renown. It would appear that the offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of humans were some type of giant super beings. Notice too that in verse 4 the phrase and also afterward is used. This explains the giants such as Goliath of Gath who are found after the flood. I’m inclined to agree with the scholars who adhere to this second school of thought. It’s interesting that these sons of God are mentioned twice here in Genesis 6. Could it be that this was the basis for the myths of ancient Greece? Of course we don’t know for certain. I’m looking forward to hearing the full explanation in heaven.

The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. (v.5) According to the FBI, in the U.S., every 34 1/2 minutes someone commits murder, every 6 minutes someone forcibly rapes, every 1 1/3 minutes someone commits a violent robbery, and every 39.1 seconds someone commits an aggravated assault. It’s no wonder that …the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” (v. 3) God’s adjustment to the human lifespan from the 777 to 969 year range to a maximum lifespan of around 120 years was an act of mercy.

The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. (v.6) The Lord’s heart was deeply troubled at the sin and wickedness of man. So He determined that He would wipe mankind from the face of the earth. Unless… unless they would listen to the one who had found favor in God’s sight. Unless they would listen to Noah, the descendant of Enoch, the man who walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. (Genesis 5:24) In that culture of evil and wickedness God found a man who desired to walk in His ways. Today there’s so much emphasis on going with the flow of society. If you believe in what God teaches in His word you’re often ridiculed. I just learned about a friend’s experience having lunch at a restaurant in a metropolitan area with another Christian brother: their Bibles were open, they were quietly discussing God’s word, when they noticed that the people at the table next to them were requesting to be moved because they were offended. Just envision what it was like for Noah in his day. It must have been far worse than what we experience today. Yet Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. (v.9) Noah resisted the flow of his culture and lived his life according to God’s word. What if he hadn’t? What if he had crumbled under the pressure of those around him and went with the flow. It may have meant the end of mankind.

Jesus said,

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:37-39)

The people in Noah’s day gave no regard to Noah’s testimony of the building of the ark. Jesus says that in the days before His coming it will be as it was in the days of Noah, people will continue to live their lives as they always have, without regard to Jesus’ testimony. Did you know that one of the most dangerous activities you do, by far, is to drive or ride in a car? Every thirteen minutes someone dies in a car accident in the U.S. That’s just one of the ways that Jesus might come to you or I in the next day, or week, or month. Talk with any family member of someone who’s died recently in a car accident and they’ll tell you, they knew nothing about what would happen until… (Matthew 24:39) How are you living your life? Are you and your friends and family eating, drinking, or marrying without any thought given to when Jesus might return? Follow the example of Noah. Resist the flow of our culture, of what’s on TV, of the news on the internet.

May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways… (1 Kings 8:58)

Live for Him.


Antediluvian Population Growth Table:

1st generation: 2

2nd generation: 32

3rd generation: 482

4th generation: 7,232

5th generation: 108,482

6th generation: 1,627,232

7th generation: 24,408,482

8th generation: 366,127,232

9th generation: 5,491,908,482


References:

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

Biblos

The World Bank

Oxford Journals

FBI Crime Clock

Chuck Smith

Ray Stedman

Jon Courson

Genesis 5 — Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

Enoch (photo courtesy of “News That Matters”

This is the written account of Adam’s family line.
When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Adam” when they were created.

When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.

When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.

When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. After he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.

When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. After he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.

When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed.” After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.

After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Genesis 5:1-32


God’s word continues to blow me away. Take a look at the meanings of the names listed in Adam’s family line.

Adam means “Man.”

Seth means “appointed.”

Enosh means “subject to death.”

Cainan means “sorrowful.”

Mahalaleel means “from the presence of God.”

Jared means “one comes down.”

Enoch means “dedicated.”

Methuselah means “dying He shall send.”

Lamech means “to the poor and lowly.”

Noah means “rest” or “comfort.”

Put it all together and you have,

Man (is) appointed (to be) subject to death (and) sorrowful (but) from the presence of God one comes down, dedicated and dying, He shall send to the poor and lowly rest (or) comfort.

Here we are only five chapters into the Bible and already the gospel message is found! According to the principles of textual criticism, it’s impossible for these names to be here, with these meanings, in this order, and at this point in the Bible, unless the book of Genesis was written after the New Testament. Of course every Bible scholar on the planet, both Christian and non-Christian alike, agrees that Genesis was written thousands of years before the New Testament. What does it mean then? It means that God knew Adam would blow it. God knew that mankind would need a savior. It means that God, in His abundant grace and mercy, provided a way to reconcile you and I to Him. And He was preparing the world through His word thousands of years before He sent His Son! Finally, it means that the Bible is the genuine word of God!


Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years… (v.22)

As I read through Adam’s family line and about Enoch specifically, it occurs to me that on that day, that day we’ll all face, that day when we’re before the Lord at the Judgement Throne, one of the most important things in the universe will be the heritage you and I left behind. (Hebrews 9:27) What do you want to say to the Lord about your family on that day? What are you doing today to shape and grow your family toward becoming the people you want to tell the Lord about on that day?

Think about it. Will the size of your salary be more important on that day? Will your wardrobe be more important on that day? Will your video game achievements be more important on that day?

Every one of these will be hay and stubble on that day (1 Corinthians 3:12-13) It’s been said that wisdom can be defined as doing something now, that you would have wished you had done five years from now. Why not live the rest of your life doing now what you would have wished you had done on that day? On that day, nothing will be more important than hearing those words, “Well done good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23) Everything about your life, and mine too, should point toward preparing for that moment when we’re held accountable before the Lord.

Do everything you can to grow your family in the Lord. First and foremost, set a great example, continually seek a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Second, pray for your family. There’s power in your life and in the lives of those close to you that remains untapped. You do not have, because you do not ask God. (James 4:2) Pray regularly for your family members to have their best possible relationship with God for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:6-10)

Enoch’s testimony is what I long for, for my family. My prayer for you is that you do too.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation…

…he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Hebrews 11:5 (KJV)


Live for Him.


References:

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

Chuck Missler

Jon Courson’s Application Commentary Volume 1, Nelson 2005

Photo courtesy of “News That Matters

The Right Question to Ask and the Abundant Life: Genesis 4:17-26

Cain’s Descendants by Christopher Leth (from Christophers Photos)

Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out ofbronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
wives of Lamech, hear my words.
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for injuring me.
If Cain is avenged seven times,
then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.

At that time people began to call on the name of the LORD.

Genesis 4:17-26


In this passage of scripture we find 7 keys to living the abundant Christian life.


Ask the right question

Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. (v.17) The question is often asked, “Where did Cain’s wife come from?” And the answer is probably that with Adam’s life span of 930 years, Adam and Eve had plenty of opportunity to be fruitful and to multiply. Thus Cain almost certainly married a relative. Not a problem, I believe, in Cain’s day for in its beginnings the purity of the human race was such that the problems now experienced from such a relationship would not yet be realized. The real issue with the question, “Where did Cain’s wife come from?” is that it’s the wrong question. I believe that from God’s perspective, that question and those like it, such as, can God make a rock so big that even He can’t lift it, or how is it possible that the Red Sea parted, are akin to the questions sometimes asked by toddlers. Silly questions, such as what does the color yellow sound like, or what bedtime stories does a mother dog read her puppies. In fact, the question that should be asked, by all of us, is, “what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) (please see So Your Life Is Falling Apart if you’re asking that question)

It’s worth noting that Enoch the son of Cain, spoken of here in Genesis 4, is a different man than the holy man of God, Enoch the son of Jared, spoken of beginning in Genesis 5:18.


Choose the right priorities

Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. (v.17) Cain built a city and dedicated it not to the Lord, but rather to his son. Cain is an example of a man whose priorities are out of order. He prioritized his anger above his brother’s life. Now we see him prioritize his son above the Lord. God first, family second, work third, and recreation last of all. Those I’ve observed who rearrange these begin to spiral down, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly, toward a life that’s unnecessarily filled with despair.

Cain’s propensity to glorify man over God is further expressed in the name of his grandson Irad.

To Enoch was born Irad… (v.18) Irad means “City of Witness.” However the problem here is that the orientation of the witness is toward man’s glory, not God’s.


Adopt the right attitude

Irad was the father of Mehujael… (v.18) The meaning of the name Mehujael: the first part comes from the verb maha which means to wipe out. This is the verb that’s used in Genesis 6:7 when the Lord speaks of wiping out mankind with the flood. The second part comes from the the common abbreviation of Elohim. So the name Mehujael literally means “To wipe out God.” The name Mehujael is a sad commentary on the heart of Cain toward God — a heart of bitterness. In our own lives, we can ward off bitterness with thankfulness. At some point in your life you’ve asked yourself, “What is God’s will for me?” I have good news. God anticipated that question and He gave you the answer. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 God says, …give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


Make the right choice between Spirit and flesh

Lamech married two women… (v.19) Here we see the first mention of polygamy. God tells us in Genesis 2:24 that For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Notice that the word wife is used, not the word wives. While it’s been said that polygamy comes with its own punishment, multiple mother-in-laws, it appears that this was never God’s intention. It’s not surprising that polygamy is first found in the line of Cain. Cain was a man who succumbed to the desires of his flesh by murdering his brother. Now we see Cain’s descendant Lamech succumb to the desire of his flesh by engaging in polygamy.

…one named Adah and the other Zillah. (v.19) Adah means “Ornament” and Zillah means “Shadow,” “Seductress,” or “Shabiness.” There’s something lost in the translation of Zillah here because the meaning in the Hebrew has a negative connotation. Could it be that Lamech found Adah to be desirable and Zillah undesirable? It’s human nature to love one and not the other. That’s why it’s so important to invest in your wife, or your husband and to avoid extramarital relationships, even close friendships, with the opposite sex, including relationships on the internet. That’s also why it’s so important to avoid investing your time in watching sexually explicit material on television, at the movies, or on the internet. In the end, investing in these things will leave you without desire for your spouse. Invest in your spouse and you’ll desire your spouse. Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. (Proverbs 5:15) For more on this topic I highly recommend reading Proverbs chapter 5.

In your own life choose to feed your Spirit. Feed your Spirit and watch him grow. However, if you feed your flesh, you’ll watch him grow. You must choose which type of person you desire to be, a person who feeds his Spirit or a person who feeds his flesh.

As an aside, much of what makes up society today came from Cain’s line. Cain himself built the first city and the three descendants of Cain mentioned in verses 20-22 were initiators of three additional aspects of human society.

Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. (v.20) Jabal was the first professional rancher.

His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. (v.21) Jubal was the first professional musician.

Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. (v.22) Tubal-Cain was the first metal worker and weapons manufacturer.


Set the right example

Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.” (Genesis 4:23-24) The last father mentioned in the line of Cain killed a man as Cain did. If you think you can sin “without hurting anybody” think again. Your example is a powerful influence on your kids, your kids’ kids, and the generations beyond. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. (Titus 2:7)


Rightly recognize that God’s on the thrown

Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” (v.25) Seth means “Appointed.” Here we see that God raises up a man to take the place of Abel. It’s good to remember that individual people are not uniquely necessary for God to carry out His plan. The great theologian John Wesley has an inscription on his tomb that reads, “God buries His workmen, but He carries on His work.”


Rightly recognize your own mortality

Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. (v.26) Enosh means “Mortal” or “Subject to death.” It seems to be our nature that the degree to which we’re aware of our own mortality is the degree to which we call on the name of the Lord. Not surprisingly then, the second half of verse 26, the last verse of chapter 4, reads:

At that time people began to call on the name of the LORD.



References:

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

Ray Stedman

Jon Courson‘s Application Commentary, Vol. 1, Nelson 2005

Matthew Henry

Photo from Christopher’s Photos Blog

Cain and Abel–The Blood Cries Out: Genesis 4:10-16

Cain AbelThe LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

But the LORD said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,east of Eden.

Genesis 4:10-16

We have to keep in mind that before Cain murdered Abel, no human had ever died. Cain and everyone else alive at that time, had never been exposed to a friend or relative dying in the hospital, to a violent movie with a high body count, to a first person shooter game with gory graphics where the goal is to kill as many of the enemy as possible, or to a real life war where the same goal presides.

So when Cain stood over Abel, lying there with dark warm blood blood flowing from him into the ground, Cain couldn’t be sure what to expect. He may not even have realized that his anger would have such a dramatic result. The reality of physical death was a new concept. He must have feared God in that moment but at the same time, he may have taken hope in that Abel’s blood didn’t pool on the surface of the earth but rather it disappeared into the ground which opened its mouth to receive it. (v. 12) At that time there were no police officers, no judges, no man made justice system to investigate Abel’s death. Perhaps Cain thought that he could move on with his life, now without the person who distressed him the most.

Perhaps the religious leaders who killed Jesus thought the same. What a thorn in their side He was, this upstart Rabbi who was so open and honest about everything, including their shortcomings. This One who was stealing away the hearts of the people with His love, His mercy, and His miracles. He was a threat to their authority but now, they may have thought, now that he’s been crucified, we’ve removed this one who has distressed us so. The religious leaders surely thought, “We’ve eliminated him.” The political leader, Pilate, surely thought, “I’ve washed my hands of him.”

Of course in both the case of Abel and the case of Jesus, this was not to be. As a result of Abel’s death, Cain’s life was changed forever. Abel’s blood cried out to God and demanded justice. Cain learned, as we all learn, that we can be sure our sin will find us out.

Jesus’ blood also cried out, but Jesus’ blood speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:24) Abel’s blood cried out for justice but Jesus’ blood cried out “Father forgive them.” (Luke 23:24) As a result of Jesus’ death, the world changed forever. A way to reconcile with the Father was provided. A way that’s available to you and to me right now. (see So Your Life Is Falling Apart)

Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear. (v. 13) Now that the truth of Cain’s deed has come to light we see that Cain is afraid for his life. Think about it, Cain lived in a time so early in the development of the human race that wherever Cain went he would encounter his relatives. And his relatives, either out of fear of Cain or out of a desire for vengeance, might attempt to kill him. But God puts a mark on Cain to deal with this issue.

Abel’s relatives learned from Cain’s mark that it wasn’t theirs to take revenge. It’s the Lord’s to avenge. You and I must realize the same. Though we may possess a deep desire to, it’s not for us to take action. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)

A second reason for Cain’s mark is because of God’s love for Cain. Yes Cain murdered his brother, yes Cain has been weighed in the balance and found guilty, and yes Cain will experience consequences for his sin. Never the less God loves Cain. God’s mark, whatever it may have been, served as protection for Cain and helped Cain to endure his years in the land of Nod, which is literally Wandering.

Is there a person in your life who distresses you? Do you ever wish that he or she were gone? Beware of the way of Cain. (Jude v.11) Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. (Genesis 4:7) Cain’s anger resulted in a life in Nod or Wandering. Your anger can alter your life path in ways that you never thought possible. Jesus tells us the way we’re to respond to those who distress us:

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

Matthew 5:44-46

References:

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

Ray Stedman

C.H. Spurgeon

John Courson

[Image via gabork – Creative Commons]