Sunday, May 2, 2010

Genesis Chapter Six

6:1 when men began to multiply on the face of the earth
Chapter six begins with an overview or synopsis of man’s current state and numbers on the face of the earth. Chapter 4:16-22 and chapter 5 chronicle the growth of men on the face of the earth since the days of Cain and Abel. Some suggest hundreds of thousands might have been alive by this point; others suggest millions or even a population rivaling today’s world. If that is so, it might agree with our Lord’s words when He said, “But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be,” Matthew 24:37-39.

6:2 the sons of God
The naturalistic explanation for this passage is that the sons of God are the sons of godly Seth, son of Adam; the daughters of men would be the daughters of Cain’s progeny. Thus the two intermarried and mingled light with darkness and Christ with Belial, 2nd Corinthians 6:14-15. The second interpretation takes the meaning to be angels, or fallen angels. Twice during the book of Job the angels in Heaven are referred to as the sons of God, Job 1:6; 2:1. Angels, like Adam, are sons of God by virtue of direct creation, since angels by nature do not give in marriage or marry, Matthew 22:30.

6:2 and they took them wivesThe Hebrew word for “wives” can of itself be translated “women.” The verse does not necessarily suggest that angels came to earth seeking wives. It only states that these sons of God “took them wives” and “came in unto the daughters of men,” verse 4. This could be a reference to demonic possession, which fallen angels have been apparently obsessed with since their original fall. In Jesus’ day there was an irruption of demonic possession as Satan sought to withstand our Lord. As it was in Jesus’ time so it may have been prior to the Flood as Satan sought to thwart and frustrate God’s plans. This idea gripped unsaved man’s imagination, and birthed all manner of myths and folklore about “gods” coming into human women and having sex with them to produce “demigods.” Perseus, Hercules, and all other such mythology perverted this simple account of days prior to the Flood. “Since they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind,” Romans 1:28.

6:3 his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
I don’t believe this passage teaches that man’s lifespan was shortened at this point to one hundred twenty years, but that God was giving a hundred and twenty year grace period prior to the breaking of the Flood upon the world of the ungodly. As He gave the Amorites time to repent during the days of Abraham before bringing in Israel to destroy them—Genesis 15:16—so would God permit Noah to preach righteousness to the unsaved men of his day, 2nd Peter 2:5.

6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that…the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
The Hebrew word translated “giants” is “nephilim,” which means “fallen ones.” The fallen ones, which may have been demonically possessed offspring from their mothers cohabiting with demons, were men of renown. We see an example of this in the gospels. In Mark’s account we read: “there met [Jesus] a man with an unclean spirit (a demon)…no man could bind him, no, not with chains: because that he had often been bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him,” Mark 5:2-4. The remarkable power accorded by the evil spirit inhabiting these men made them legends among the unsaved nations, who did not know where the origin of such power dwelt. These giants reappeared in Moses’ time (Numbers 13:33), Joshua’s time (Joshua 14:12-15), even into David’s days, 1st Samuel 17. Jude seems to be speaking of this particular group of angels when he writes, “the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” In similar manner to Sodom they had, “gone after strange flesh,” Jude 1:6-7. Peter may have this in mind as well when he writes, “God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them to chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment,” 2nd Peter 2:4. These passages bring into sharp relief the hosts of evil arrayed against us: “principalities…powers…the rulers of the darkness of this world…spiritual wickedness in high places,” Ephesians 6:12.

6:5 the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
God repeats this passage both before and after the Flood. In Genesis 8:21 we read: “for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Both before and after the Flood and God’s covenant with Noah and all the world man’s condition is inherent and terminal. Man’s heart is deceitful and wicked; only God truly knows its inner thoughts and motives, Jeremiah 17:9-10. Jesus said, “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies,” Matthew 15:18-19. Man is not naturally good, with a bent toward doing what is right; man is naturally evil, with a bent toward doing what is selfish: that is, motivated with self’s purposes and pleasure in mind. One cannot become God centered or “God-ish” if you will, until we are reborn by the Spirit of God to become children of God. Not until then may we do anything truly pleasing to Him; self must be surrendered first, Mark 8:34; Titus 2:14; Ephesians 2:10.

6:6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth
Scripture is clear that God does not change His mind, Numbers 23:19. When man changes his mind about God, then God must of necessity change His attitude toward us. Leviticus chapter 26 is a great example of this. When God entered into covenant with Israel, He explained to them beforehand that if they were faithful in obeying Him, He would be faithful in blessing them. If they rejected Him, He would likewise have to reject them for His name’s sake. God’s blessing or curse was incumbent on man’s behavior toward God. He tells Ezekiel, “When a righteous man commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die…nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous man sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live,” Ezekiel 3:20-21. Why is this? “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3. God only walks in one direction, so to speak. If you turn from Him, He must walk contrary to you, because the Lord does not change, Malachi 3:6. The writer is using human language to convey the idea that God does not desire to destroy His own creatures, but they have chosen disobedience and rebellion, so they have also chosen the consequence.
To be continued...

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