Understanding Genesis 5: Walking with God
Read the entire chapter 5 of Genesis on your own. When you read the chapter, don’t just read it—study it with questions and try to make sense of it.
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. Genesis 5:1-2
Adam in Hebrew means, mankind. Both the male and female were called Adam; to distinguish from the animals created on the sixth day. They called each other Man and Woman [Genesis 2:23: And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.], because they were two parts of a whole. Their unity should have reflected the unity that the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit shared. "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:" Deuteronomy 6:4
Man and Woman’s union was so close they had the same name; they were one. Only after they left Eden, was Eve given a separate name. Sin caused a separation between the two, but it did not wipe out hope. Eve was symbolic of the hope of the promise, given by God. Eve would be the mother of the future Messiah, who would redeem them. They looked forward to each child born and the hope of the promised Messiah.
Adam's Fallen Image
And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: Genesis 5:3
Adam and Eve were created after God’s perfect image: creative, intelligent and loving. But their children were made in their image: selfish and full of negative thoughts and desires. It’s not just a case of nature, but also nurture. Imperfect parents rearing imperfect children. Adam and Eve had God as an example of how to be a parent, but just like how they rebelled against their Father, so did their child rebel against Him. Perfect love was freely given to them, but was Adam and Eve capable of giving perfect love? Did Adam and Eve do or say anything to impede Cain’s Spiritual growth?
God is no respecter of one person [Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: Acts 10:34], but the patriarchal society growing in this new world sheds some light that perhaps Cain was spoiled and allowed too many concessions. Not because of Adam and Eve’s spitefulness, but perhaps because they were new parents, or perhaps Cain was thought to be the promised Messiah; the first child born to them—all their love and hope showered on him, perhaps Cain grew hearing of his specialness, and his vanity and pride was esteemed. It’s unfortunate, but to play favorite was a family trait passed down generations after, to many detriments.
After Abel’s death, Adam and Eve could sympathize with God on how He must have felt when they sinned against Him. They knew the pain of losing a child, knew the pain of their creation causing the death of another. But God in His mercy gave them hope. They had another child who would continue their lineage and eventually produce the Messiah. [Read the lineage in Luke 3]
And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. Genesis 5:4,5
As Adam felt the aging process, he must have felt more sad and regretful: the gift of life that God had given him and Eve, wasted. As each year passed, and he saw the world that his children were creating, there must have been times of hope in seeing Seth’s descendants, and despair at seeing Cain’s.
Death is not always a punishment, but sometimes a relief. Imagine if Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot were still alive. Imagine if years of oppression and genocide continued. God took away the Tree of Life, not only as the consequence of sin, but also as a blessing to future generations; a blessing with the promise of the resurrection. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23
And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. Genesis 5:21-24
Adam was around 687 years when Enoch was born. Enoch grew up listening to Adam and Eve; saw the cherubim standing guard around the forbidden Garden. He heard of Cain and saw the buildings rise up beyond the plains.
Enoch learned of God, and had a personal relationship with Him. Enoch understood what sin was and did not allow it into his life. He loved God, loved others and lived the life God intended humans to live and eventually, was taken to Heaven. We say how impossible our struggles are and we cannot be sinless, but Enoch shows us we are able. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13 His relationship with God made it possible for him to live the life God intended from creation.
Given a Warning and Time to Change
And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech: And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed. And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Genesis 5:25, 28, 29, 32
It’s over a thousand years since Adam left Eden, and humans populate the earth. Unfortunately, free will allows sinful choices and many turn away from God. God in his mercy shows the descendants of Adam, what is to occur. He warns each generation to follow Him and live a Godly life. Enoch names his firstborn son, Methuselah: Man of the Dart; meaning he brings dart/spear/weapon of death. Methuselah names his firstborn, Lamech: which means powerful. Lamech names his firstborn son, Noah: meaning relief from the God cursing the ground. Each generation is warned of impending judgment, and given the opportunity to change.
Our life is ours to live, but we are given opportunity everyday to grow closer to God. God will not force us to follow Him, so it is up to us to follow Him. "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31:3 "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Micah 6:8 Love God, love others. Don’t waste the time you’ve been given.
- Understanding Genesis 6: God Grieves
A Bible study of Genesis 6.