- Religion and Philosophy
Understanding Genesis 6: God Grieves
Read the entire chapter 6 of Genesis on your own. You can read a variety of versions, from contemporary English to literal translations. You can download bible apps, websites (blueletterbible.org or biblegateway.com) or buy one from your local bookstore. I will use King James Version because some of the nuances are missing from other translations. When you read the chapter, don’t just read it—study it with questions and try to make sense of it.
Although, Cain had left his family, he built his city near East of Eden, and his buildings and family grew in number. "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden." Genesis 4:16 Seth’s descendants grew in number and mingled with Cain’s descendants, eventually marrying them. With their mingling, came the dilution of their faith. This is a warning that Paul also advises for us today: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
Besides the obvious about not marrying for looks, God does encourage us to marry with like-minded. "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Genesis 2:24 The husband and wife needs to be unified, like one. "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." James 1:8 We cannot be a lover of the world and of God. "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2
Many marry thinking they can pray for their spouse to change, but why settle for a difficult marriage, when marriage should be a blessing from God. "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" Ephesians 5:22,25 Wives, how hard it is to submit to someone who is not loving like Jesus. Husbands, how hard it is to love wives, who is not like a faithful church. We need to understand that marriage is a blessing and part of experiencing God’s love for us.
Evolution of Homo Sapiens
When God created Adam and Eve, they were perfect in physical and mental capabilities. Tall, beautiful to behold, and intelligent—they were the made in God’s image. Their descendants were made in Adam and Eve’s sinful image and diluted in looks and intelligence. Their lifespan also decreased, without the lingering effects of the fruit from the Tree of Life to sustain them. While early humans had lived 800-900 years, human lifespan sharply decreased to 100-200 years.
Even after the flood, "giants" were spotted in Canaan and among the Philistines (And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. Numbers 13:32 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.1 Samuel 17:4). After the flood, Abraham lived only 175 years, while Joseph lived only 110 years. Our current lifespan can barely live to the hundred twenty years that God gave us.
God knew the end from the beginning. He knew the consequences of sin. "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" Isaiah 46:10 Did God regret making humans? God is love; love is expressed by giving and growing. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 Where there is love, there is giving. We need to give love, increase and abound in love. "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:" 1 Thessalonians 3:12 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 13:34
It makes you wonder how sinful the early humans were that God had to save the world from their sin. We look at our current world with genocides, climate change, and animal extinction; could the old world have been worse? We consider ourselves civilized, but look at we do to each other. Was the old world increasingly growing hellish that God grieved at the sins that humans were committing against each other. "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." Genesis 6:11,12 Not only had humans been corrupted, but even the animals and nature had been ruined. Only for the sake of the future generation, did God stop the early humans.
Faith of God
Noah grew up listening to Enoch, Methuselah, his father; grew up hearing stories about God, Adam and the Fall. He knew Enoch was taken up to heaven and Noah also walked with God. Noah saw the world increasing in sin; saw his cousins marry Cain’s descendants. God comes to him and tells him about ending the world and building the ark.
Noah and his contemporaries had no concept of a flood or rain. They had never seen rain. The waters from the nearby river and the mist of the ground had irrigated the ground. "But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground." Genesis 2:6 When God tells Noah to build the ark, he does it in faith. Not fully understanding but believing that what God said, He will do. "And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform." Romans 4:21 "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." Hebrews 11:7
The covenant that God promise to Noah is the same that he gave to Adam—the promise of the Messiah from his lineage and eternal salvation. Noah shares what God has told him, and his family gathers to help him do God’s will. "Surely the Lord GODwilldo nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7
God could have wiped out everyone and started again with a new Adam and Eve. "These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." Genesis 6:9 Noah understood God and saw how the world was corrupt and sinful. He could have easily accepted God’s judgment, like Daniel’s three friends: If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Daniel 3:17,18 Even death would not have prevented Noah from worshipping God.
Yet knowing what would happen with Noah’s son, God still saved Noah and his family. Noah’s act of faith in building the ark, confirms God’s faith in him. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" Ephesians 2:8 If Noah had disbelieved God and not built the ark, he and his family would have perished in the flood. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" James 2:17,18,22
We can say we are faithful Christians, but does your life show it? "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Ephesians 3:17,19 Let the love of God dwell in your heart. Without experiencing the love of God, you will not understand Him or love Him.
- Understanding Genesis 7: the Flood
A Bible study of Genesis 7.