But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. – Psalm 86:15
The implosion of a building is always an amazing site. Carefully placed explosive charges are ignited in a sequence that controls the downfall as much as possible. The actual event is always a spectacle of destructive power.
God was working a plan in the early chapters of Genesis that went in the opposite direction. He anticipated the creation of the universe, Earth and mankind to come together in a marvelous edifice that expressed His glory and functioned in harmony with His holiness and character. Satan however managed to introduce a fatal weakness into creation (sin) and proceeded to temptation of Adam & Eve to become a part of the conspiracy.
As we move into the Second and Third “Generations” of Adam’s progeny, we are able to see just how bad the damage is. Signs of collapsing infrastructure are showing up everywhere, and the implosion of civilization looks unavoidable. Beginning with Cain’s murder of Abel, Cain’s tribe was driven away from Adam, and the Babel conspiracy proceeded. Already we are seeing the extreme realities of the rebellion Paul describes in Romans 1. As we move towards God’s decision to judge humanity for its sin by universal flood, we come to understand the tragedy that has occurred. If it were not for the longsuffering love of God, all would be lost.
- You Shall Surely Die
- God made man responsible for managing the Garden (2:15) – God always has a plan, here it was those two trees
- Man had all he needed (2:16), there was no need to eat from that tree
- The Essential Morality: Obey God – man’s choice
- God’s nature allows free choice – started with the angelic hosts from which Satan descended
- Choice: God’s holiness or Satan’s rebellion
- Choices are a part of God’s plan, present throughout man’s history, starting before the Fall, then Adam & Even – think of the choices involved with Job, Jesus in Matt.4, the Tribulation
- Without Excuse
- Romans 1:18-32 is elaborate detail of overwhelming evidence of man’s guilt
- Man is desperately in need of righteousness, which only God can provide
- Like all of Romans, this passage isn’t an emotional outburst but a carefully planned summary of man’s guilt, man’s determined response to a righteous God
- God gave them up – an ominous summary judgment by the sovereign God of the universe
Genesis 4 – Cain’s Sin at the Door
- Worship God
- God is the only teacher of holiness
- God is the only subject of true worship
- Abel got it but Cain didn’t – Cain’s worship fell short – blood sacrifice is the right path, a truth that began with Adam & Eve and has gone through man’s history, the Cross and into eternity
- Cain’s heart was bad… he had no faith – Jude 11, the way of Cain, sin was crouching at his door and anger burst from his heart
- Cain was Adam’s firstborn, but sin destroyed him, apparently cast out and ended up taking his family & descendants east resulting in a legacy that still haunts us today, bent on lawlessness – away from God and His blessing of Adam’s family, his response is self-pity, not repentance
- Seth replaced Cain in the “seed line” that bring us the Messiah – his line sought after God, men began to call on the name of the Lord
- A sad story of sibling rivalry, dysfunction, fractured families – Ishmael replaced by Isaac, Esau replaced by Jacob, Reuben replaced by Joseph’s sons (Gen.4:26)
Genesis 5-6, The Next Generations
- The Second Generation
- 5:1, “toledoth” –
- 4:25 – 6:8 – 5:1 Generations, teledoth #1 is 2:4 – Seth is born
- Calling on the Lord – “men began to call on the Lord”
- Hope is not lost – as bad as ch.4 is, hope is not lost
- The “Notables” – Enoch, Methuselah, Noah (grandson) – Abt 1500 yrs –
- 5:21, Enoch walked with God – Methuselah, oldest man, died yr of flood – Lamech – in Seth’s line – big difference wt Lamech of Cain’s line (4:18ff) – Noah born
- The Third Generation
- 6:9 – “toledoth”
- Men began to multiply
- V3, God will not strive
- V9, Walking with God
- V18, I will establish My covenant
- Just to emphasis again… another chiasm:
Once more, take some time to note the emphasis of each section of this chiastic passage.
Signs of Collapse
- Times & Seasons
- Major divisions or fluctuations of history, and different influencing factors for each, that is some major influence comes to the front of the world’s culture and experience, e.g. the Catholic church, Hitler, radical Islam
- Mankind builds beautiful cities, buildings, cathedrals, gardens – but he can’t cover up the tragic results of pride, hatred and violence
- Socrates, 425BC – “Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders and they love to chatter instead of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of the households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers.”
- 6:5-11, wickedness was great on the earth- demonic powers freely preying on civilization – compare Paul’s description of sin’s ugliness in Gal. 5:17ff – angry, fallen, selfish people
- Three signs of collapse
- Demonic invasion, 6:1-4
- Sexual wickedness, 6:5
- Corruption & violence, 6:11
- What does Heb. 11:4 tell us about Cain & Abel?
- Did either Cain or Abel understand why they were offering a sacrifice?
- What does Gen. 4:16 tell you about Cain?
- What was the good news about Eve’s third child (4:25)?
- From 5:22, why do you think God took Enoch early in life?
- In addition to Enoch, what other person did God take to heaven alive?
- What is the name of Noah’s sons, in birth order?
- From Gen. 6, what are some of the characteristics of the people living in Noah’s time before the flood?
- God is loving and kind. So why does He also allow people to die in judgment?
- From Gen. 6:9ff, what characteristics of Noah led God to choose him?