Genesis 5:1 to 6:12 – 25 May 2014
We have been studying the book of Genesis.
God willing, today we shall cover Gen 5:1 to Gen 6:12.
To guide us in our meditation, we shall ask the following 3 questions:
1) What is the purpose of the genealogy recorded in Gen 5?
2) What happened when the “sons of God” interacted with the “daughters of man” (Gen 6:2)?
3) What is the ultimate solution for fallen man?
1) What is the purpose of the genealogy recorded in Gen 5?
Let’s begin with a bible quiz where the answers can be found in Gen 5.
Who is the oldest man who ever lived on earth?
The answer: Methusaleh.
In v27, we are told that he lived a total of 969 years.
Second question: Name 1 of the 2 men who never experienced physical death.
The answer: Enoch (v24).
The other man who did not experience physical death was Elijah.
In 2 kings 2, we were told that he was taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire.
Now, obviously Gen 5 is not recorded just to help us answer such questions.
So what is the purpose of this record in Gen 5?
There are many reasons, but let me highlight 3:
– Firstly, it is a record of the Godly heritage after Cain killed Abel in Gen 4
After man fell into sin in Gen 3, there were 2 distinct groups of people in the world:
The “seed of the serpent” & the “seed of the woman” – Gen 3:15.
Satan through the “seed of the serpent” will constantly be trying to eradicate the “seed of the woman”.
And Gen 4 tells us all about the “seed of the serpent”.
They were the wicked descendants of Cain.
Here in Gen 5, we were told about the “seed of the woman”.
These were the Godly descendants of Seth whom God has preserved for Himself.
– Secondly, it was to show us that the quality of one’s spiritual life was more important than length of physical life
Have you noticed that the bible did not highlight the man who lived the longest?
But instead, there was special mention of the man called Enoch.
In Gen 5:24, the bible says that “Enoch walked with God.”
So what if you live the longest?
You will still die one day – just like everyone recorded in Gen 4&5.
But Enoch was such a friend with God that he was taken to heaven without experiencing death.
The NT in Jude 14-15 tells us that Enoch was a prophet of his time.
He preached to his wicked peers concerning the judgement that was about to come.
Now, just who were the peers of Enoch & what were they like?
Based on the ages of people provided in Gen 4&5, all of them (including Adam) were still alive in Enoch’s days.
Hence, Enoch would have to deal with all the wicked people from the family of Cain.
And one example of such people was Lamech – Gen 4:19.
He was the one who committed the first sin of polygamy.
But he was not remorseful for his sins.
Instead, he boasted that he would kill anyone who came in his way – Gen 4:23.
Hence, such were the people in Enoch’s time – wicked, sinful & unrepentant.
Yet, the bible says that “Enoch walked with God”.
And he maintained his witness before his wicked generation.
This is a great example & encouragement for us to emulate.
Just like Enoch living in a wicked world, we too live in a wicked world today.
And we ought to bear witness for Jesus just like Enoch did.
Dear Christians, are you fulfilling your calling as “the salt of the earth” the way Jesus wanted you to?
Or are you so well camouflaged in the world that you cannot be recognised as one who walks with God?
The Apostle Paul tells us to “work out our salvation with fear & trembling” – Phil 2:12
In other words, our decisions & actions ought to reflect our fear of God.
If this is not happening for you, examine yourself as to why this is the case.
Confess your challenges to a fellow believer.
Pray for each other that you may glorify God in your witness the way Enoch did.
– Thirdly, it was to show us that godly & wicked people co-existed in the world at that time
What we have in Gen 5 was the world before the Great flood.
The wicked & the Godly co-existed together.
The wicked made great progress materially & also advanced technologically.
But their hearts remained far from God & defiant in every way.
There were also Godly people who lived in this period before the flood.
But the unfortunate thing is that even amongst the Godly, there were those who were tempted by evil.
And this brings us to the next question for today.
2) What happened when the “sons of God” interacted with the “daughters of man” (Gen 6:2)?
Gal 5:9 tells us that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump”.
“Leaven” is often used in the bible as a symbol of sin.
In other words, just a little sin can eventually corrupt the entire Church.
Gen 6:1-4 tells us that men continued to multiply on the earth.
And the “sons of God” were attracted to the “daughters of men” because they were beautiful.
Some commentators interpreted the “sons of God” in v2 to mean angels.
But this cannot be correct because Jesus told us in Matt 22:30 that angels do not marry.
Therefore, the ‘sons of God’ simply referred to the Godly descendants of Seth.
And the ‘daughters of men’ simply referred to the wicked descendants of Cain.
So here’s the picture of the situation in Gen 6:
The descendants of Seth were attracted to the descendants of Cain & they inter-married.
And in spite of this, there was great progress for mankind overall.
We were told in v4b that there were “…mighty men who were of old, man of renown”.
In other words, there were great men amongst the descendants from the inter-marriage of the Godly & ungodly.
They had great accomplishments & became famous in their own ways.
However, this inter-marriage also resulted in the spiritual declension of the Godly.
Verse 5 tells us that “…every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually”.
Therefore, God was greatly grieved.
And His patience for their sins was quickly running out.
Verse 3 tells us that God will have patience with them for only 120 years.
The seemingly harmless “leaven” has corrupted the entire Godly heritage.
It caused so much grief to God that in v6, we were told that God was “sorry to have made man on the earth”.
It was so bad that we read in v7 that the only way out was for the entire creation to be destroyed.
At this juncture, let me point out 2 immediate applications from this passage.
1) Firstly, your choice of spouse will determine the course of your life
I can stand here ministering to you because my wife is supportive of my spiritual pursuits.
I can have family worship at home because my wife believes in it too.
If my wife is not spiritual, can we ever pray together?
If my wife is not spiritual, can we resolve any disagreements based on scriptural principles?
To those who are unmarried, let me tell you that your choice of spouse will determine the course of your life.
When you look at unbelieving men & women, you may find them attractive.
This is exactly what the “sons of God” felt when they saw the “daughters of men” in Gen 6:2.
It is unfortunate that they equated physical attraction to spiritual compatibility.
Perhaps the “sons of God” thought they could convert the “daughters of man” after marriage.
But instead of converting them, the “sons of God” degenerated in sin.
Some of you have heard this before, but I will repeat it for the sake of those who have not.
When I was working in Korea from 2006-2009, there were 2 people that I interacted with most.
One was my secretary & the other was my driver.
My driver was a Christian young man.
But he had a non-Christian girlfriend.
And he tried bringing her to his Church.
He did not speak very much English.
So I do not know if he really understood me when I advised him against that relationship.
When I was in Korea again in 2011, I was told me that my former driver was in trouble.
Apparently, he had a child out of wedlock.
I was really sad for him & I am not telling you these things to put him down.
I just regretted that I could not do more before the tragedy.
And the lesson must be learned that if Satan is given any space in our lives, he will use it to bring about our downfall.
And what he does may even leave scars on us that last a life time.
But if I get to meet my driver again, I will certainly tell him that there is forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
And it is to Jesus that we must flee to in order to escape the snare of the evil one.
My secretary also had a non-Christian boyfriend.
She conversed well in English, so it was easy for me to share bible truths with her.
And I told her that “it was not wise to continue that relationship because she will not be happy in the long term.”
She took my advice and left the unbelieving boyfriend.
She was visibly happier after that, even though she was single again.
By the providence of God, she subsequently got attached to a young man from her Church.
And the 2 of them served happily in the choir together.
In 2010, she sent me her wedding invitation card.
And she wrote this on the card: “I will always remember your advice to think long term. Thank you.”
I was really happy for her.
Not because she took my advice.
But because she received blessing from obeying God’s word.
2 Cor 6:14 tells us “Be not unequally yoked…..”.
Prov 4:14-15 “Enter not into the path of the wicked…avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it….”.
My advice for those of you who are not yet attached – don’t even start any relationship with an unbeliever.
It will save you a lot of heartaches.
It will gain you a lot of blessings.
For the sake of a promising future ahead, I exhort you to take heed of God’s warnings in His word.
The “sons of God” are not meant for the “daughters of men”.
The “sons of God” are meant for the “daughters of God” whom He has prepared for them.
It was God who instituted marriage.
Therefore, God has to be at the apex of the marriage relationship.
The man & woman can only grow closer to each other when each of them grow closer to God.
If you want a happy marriage, you must have a spouse whose one desire is to grow closer to God.
There are many miserable people whose lives are ruined because their marriage was unequally yoked.
Do not end up like them.
2) Secondly, we need to regularly keep in check the influence of the world upon us
Satan often works in subtle ways that we are not conscious of.
Every time you interact with the world, Satan will use those experiences to seed corruption into you.
Pro 13:20 says “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
In other words, you will become like those whom you spend a lot of time with.
Therefore, we need to ask ourselves “Who & what do we spend a lot of time with?”
Is it the TV, movies, youtube, novels, computer/phone games or window-shopping?
Whatever you spend most time with, the values inherent in those things will influence you.
And this influence will come so subtly & sub-consciously that you won’t even notice it.
Why do you think companies sponsor their products & brands to appear in movies?
So that you will see their products subconsciously & buy them!
And especially because the movie stars use them too!
And some of you may even speak or behave like the movie stars without you realising it.
Conversely, who do you spend most of your time with?
Are they Christians or non-Christians?
Whatever they say is going to shape your mind without you realising it.
In my first job after gradutation, I was surrounded by colleagues who frequently discussed about properties & wealth.
And I found myself greatly influenced by their views even though I did not participate in the discussion.
But God was gracious to me.
He kept those views in check because I was regularly reading His word.
May I asked you – are you aware of who is influencing & shaping your mind right now?
Rom 12:1 says “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind….”
But what do we renew our minds with?
The answer is in Phil 4:8
“…whatever are true, whatever honest, whatever right, whatever pure, whatever lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue & if there’s anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things”.
And these are the things that you will find in the word of God.
So, if you are not reading God’s word regularly, I am not surprised that your value system will be shaped by the world.
Let us be reminded by what the Apostle Paul said in Rom 8:5-6
V5 “.. those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”
V6 “… to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Dear Christians, Jesus gave His life to save us from a carnal life.
We are called to be people who by faith, live out Christian values & reflect the glory of God.
Let us carefully examine ourselves as to see where we stand in this aspect.
And may God do a work in our hearts to glorify Himself through us.
We come now to our 3rd & final question for today.
3) What is the ultimate solution for mankind?
Satan will always be trying to destroy the Godly line from which the promised Messiah will come.
Here in Gen 6, it appeared as if he had succeeded in doing that.
He had seduced the Godly heritage into sin.
And “The earth was corrupt … and was filled with violence.” – Gen 6:11.
And mankind had degenerated into a hopeless state.
You can’t even tell the difference between the Godly & ungodly anymore.
And when it seemed like all was lost for the Godly heritage, a spark came forth in Gen 6:8.
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
Now, what does this mean?
Is Noah perfect or is he a sinner just like you and I?
If he is not perfect, why then do we read in Gen 6:9 that “..Noah was a just man & perfect in his generation…”?
Does it mean he was sinless & perfect and therefore granted him grace?
When the bible says that Noah was “just”, it meant that Noah “agreed with God about his sin.”
It meant that he turned away from his sins, found grace & was saved.
In the same way, the bible also says that Job was blameless.
Now, that did not mean he was “sinless” & “perfect”.
It meant that Job did not continue in any “blameworthy” actions.
It meant that he turned from his sins, followed God & trusted in His grace & mercies.
This is consistent with the description of the righteous man in Psa 32.
A man is righteous when his sins are forgiven & not taken against him.
Therefore, Noah was a sinner, just like you & I.
In fact, we read in Gen 9:21 that he drank wine, became drunk & was uncovered.
And Gen 8:21 (which is after the flood) tells us that “…the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…”
Hence, Noah was no exception – he was a sinner.
So what does it mean that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD”?
Listen to the explanation provided by Heb 11:7.
“By faith Noah, having been warned by God of things not yet seen, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith”.
In other words, Noah heeded the warning from God.
He did what God instructed him to do because he believed God.
And that believe was demonstrated by his obedience to God’s instruction to construct the ark.
And all these showed that he had faith -“… the substance of things hoped for & the evidence of things not seen.” – Heb 11:1.
Therefore, from the beginning to the end, salvation is by grace through faith.
It is a gift from God.
“Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” – Gen 6:8.
That was the ultimate solution for fallen man in this world.
The solution was not found in anything that man could invent.
It is found in the grace that God provided to save sinners.
Dear friends, have you found grace in the eyes of the LORD?
God warns us in Heb 9:27 that “there will be judgement after death”.
Have you heeded God’s warning like Noah did?
God instructed all men to repent & believe in the salvation provided by His Son Jesus Christ.
Have you done what God instructed?
If you have not, let me lovingly warn you that you are in grave danger of eternal hell fire.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
If there is anything that is stopping you from believing in Jesus, please talk to me after worship today so that I can help you.
The ultimate solution for fallen man is grace from God.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
I hope that you too may find the same grace from our merciful God today. Amen.