Week 3, Day 4
READ: Genesis 5-6
BACKGROUND: Chapter 5 is a geneology and, like the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1, it is likely selective and not an account of every single generation back to Adam. Though many of us find genealogy to be rather boring reading, it was culturally important to the Israelites to trace their heritage. The most interesting thing about this chapter, though, is how ridiculously long all of those guys lived. I mean, according to Genesis 5 the earliest humans lived for hundreds and hundreds of years. That really begs the question: How? Is that even scientifically possible? The answer is yes. Both secular and Christian scientists agree that there was a great flood in ancient times and that the source of this great flood was very likely a canopy of water that once surrounded the earth collapsing onto the planet. This fits with the description in Genesis 1:7 of God separating the waters below from the waters above. Biologically speaking, with a protective ocean bubble of water surrounding the earth, the effect of the ultraviolet rays of the sun upon humans would be lessened considerably and the aging process would slow down so significantly that humans could live for hundreds and hundreds of years. Without that protective layer (post-flood) about the absolute longest that anyone could possibly live is 120 years – which is what God declared in Genesis 6:3. Pretty crazy, huh?
5:24 – The only part where the genealogy breaks the pattern of saying how old the man was when he died. Enoch did not die. He walked so closely with God that he was taken up into Heaven without dying.
6:2-4 – Really weird passage. “Sons of God” almost always refers to angels or angelic beings in the Old Testament. There is no really good way to read this passage other than to say that some angels were tempted to sleep with human women, and that these unions produced human offspring. This was an act of rebellion by these angels. It is revisited in 2 Peter 2:4 & Jude 6. Also, the apocryphal book of Enoch describes the fall and the condemnation to Hell for these angels.
6 – What a sad verse. Our sin was so great and painful for God that he wished he hadn’t ever created mankind.
14-21 – God gave Noah very specific instructions about how to prepare for the flood.
THINK: I have 2 younger sisters and a younger brother. Overall, I’d say that I’ve been a pretty good big brother to all of them and I always tried to set a good example (I might pay all of them to visit this site and tell you I was an AMAZING big brother), but, to be fair, I haven’t always been the most trustworthy big brother. I can recall a number of times when I tricked them into doing something or misled them so that I could pull a prank. Once I tricked my sister Kelsey into coming downstairs to the basement in our parent’s house – under the guise that I found a new song I wanted to play for her on the computer – and as soon as she got to the bottom of the stairway I shot her in the head with an airsoft gun. It was pretty hilarious if I do say so myself. 🙂 And once I can remember doing one of those trust activities with my brother James – the ones where one person is blindfolded and they have to pass through an obstacle course by listening closely to the directions spoken to them by their teammate – and I led him right into a wall. Also hilarious. Needless to say, by this point in their lives all 3 of my siblings have a healthy suspicion about what shenanigans may be afoot whenever I say, “Hey, come here…”
Sometimes we think about God in that same suspicious way. We hesitate to do what he is calling us to do because we fear that he doesn’t have our best interests at heart or that he wont be there for us in the end. We avoid following after his call on our lives because we aren’t certain what the cost will be and we aren’t willing to trust him completely. In our pride, we think that we know better than he does and we can make better decisions than he can about what is best for our lives. We foolishly walk around with a blindfold over our eyes and choose to go whatever way we think is best rather than listening to our Guide because we fear that he might lead us astray.
I think Genesis 6:22 is one of the most amazing verses in the whole Bible. Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Wow! God just told Noah to do something that seemed totally outrageous – even insane – but Noah trusted God so completely that he just followed. And that didn’t mean that it was easy. He faced public ridicule for following God. And it took a lot of time and a lot of sweat and hard work to complete the Ark. And at some points during the building of the Ark it seemed pointless – like God was just pranking him and wasn’t looking out for his best interests. But ultimately what happened? Because Noah followed God’s call upon his life and because he trusted God completely, God did something totally incredible in and through the life of Noah.
God wants to do something totally incredibly in and through your life too. But you have to swallow your pride and trust that he knows better than you do, and that his call is always what is best for you. And you can be confident of this: God, unlike big brothers, is always trustworthy!
ASK: What are the areas of my life where, if I’m honest, I think I know better than God? What are the things I know God is calling me to do that I’ve avoided because I don’t trust him the way that I should?