Thursday, July 28, 2011

Genesis Chapter 5 ~ Ten Generations of Adam & The Introduction of Noah's Family

Geness Chapter 5

Here we see the generations of Adam. Again, it says that man is created in the likeness of God: (1) Adam 930, (2) Seth 912, (3) Enosh 905, (4) Kenan 910, (5) Mahalalel 895, (6) Jared 962, (7) Enoch 365 [God took him], (8) Methuselah 969, (9) Lamech 777, and (10) Noah.

The names of Noah’s sons were: (1) Shem, (2) Ham, and (3) Japheth.

A few things to consider from this passage are first the noticeably long life spans of these men. Did they really live to be hundreds of years old? The answer seems to be “yes”. The Bible doesn't appear to be uncomfortable with this. This is difficult to wrap our minds around, but it seems to be the plain meaning of the text.

A second thing to consider is how Enoch’s life is described differently. He didn’t taste death. He walked with God and then God took him. The New Testament even includes Enoch in the hall of faith saying, "By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God." (Heb. 11:5) Jude 1:14-15 tells us a little more about Enoch as well, "It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, 'Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against [the Lord].'" What does this tell us about Enoch? Well, Jude (the half-brother of Jesus) was writing to encourage a local church or even a number of churches (possibly as a circular letter which was meant to be passed from church to church) to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3). He seems to be writing in the face of false teaching (Jude 4, 18-19). He gives three proofs seeking to encourage believers to contend for the faith once for all entrusted to the saints by illustrating God's destruction of the wicked: (1) the first proof is the destruction of unbelieving Egypt, and Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 5-7); (2) the second is that the false teachers are following the way Cain and Balaam, etc. (Jude 11-12); and (3) the third is Enoch's prophesy against false teachers and the wicked (Jude 14-16). Enoch is the third proof outlining how God will judge the wicked who are enemies of the, "faith once for all entrusted to the faith," and ultimately enemies of God. Enoch was a prophet warning of the judgment of God even in the seventh generation from Adam! Enoch was a prophet of the one true and living God. Not unlike how God took Elijah in a whirlwind before he could die a natural death (2 Kings 2:9-12), God took Enoch because He was pleased with him.

Third, every name matters to God. These lists of generations become an important part of God's revealing of His plan of redemption (see the book of Numbers!). They trace Eve's seed to show that God will fulfill His promise to bring a messiah in fulfillment of Genesis 3:15. Beyond that, we also see that these lists show that each person is known to God. God is a God of detail, and every name is retained and given account for. I wonder if you ever think, "Out of the billions who have ever lived, how could God regard, remember, or even know anything about me?" I've felt that way in a city before thinking, "What does it matter what I look like, or do, and who cares what other people think about this or that. No one here is ever going to see me again anyway." Well, first of all, these thoughts are patently false. You might see those folks again. I'm not advocating for a life lived in light of the fear of man. It depends what you're justifying. Is it a bad hair day, or is it going on a cussing tirade, flirting with lust, or commiting some other kind of sin? A bad hair day, really, who cares? But sins which accrue the wrath of God against us; friend, flee it. Second, God knows everything meticulously. Don't think that just because there have been billions of people that you'll just be lost in the mix. Everything you do and think is known and seen by God. Quite the sobering thought.

Fourth and lastly, we arrive at the end of this chapter at a new headwater for another generation, namely that of Noah and his sons. The question that stands before us is if they will walk in a wicked way in the description of the generations of Cain, or if they will stand upright and glorify God? Will Noah or his three sons be the seed who will crush Satan, sin, and death?

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