Genesis 11

11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

10 This is the account of Shem’s family line.

Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad. 11 And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.

12 When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah.13 And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber. 15 And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg. 17 And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu. 19 And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug. 21 And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. 23 And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah. 25 And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

26 After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahorand Haran.

27 This is the account of Terah’s family line.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. 30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.

31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.

32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.
(Genesis 11:1-32 NIV)

As we move from Chapter 10 to Chapter 11, Moses goes from the “macro” view of Noah’s family to the “micro” view of Shem’s family, ending with the focus on Terah’s family.

Remember God’s instructions to Adam & Eve and to Noah?  To fill the earth (Genesis 1:28, 9:1).  From Chapter 10, Moses pointed out that Noah’s sons did, in fact, branch out into clans, languages, territories, and even entire nations, just as God instructed.

But as time progressed, Moses tells us at the beginning of Chapter 11 that any differences in dialects and words and distance from one another shrank over time, until everyone congregated in the plain of Shinar (the ancient city of Babylon, which is about 60 miles southwest of Baghdad in modern-day Iraq).

Moses records the dialogue among the people gathered there.  The consensus was not to worship the Lord, but to band together out of fear of others and fear of God.  Rather than having their identity in God, the people wanted to create their own identity apart from God, to have a name for themselves, to be equal with or greater than God.

Notice the language of the people gathered together:  “let’s”, “let us”, “we”, “we”.  God is not even in their vocabulary or thoughts.

Rather than rely on God to provide a way to heaven, the people decided to build their own way to heaven via a tower, and protect themselves with a walled city.  They would not use God’s ready-made materials such as stone and mud for mortar; they made bricks and tar for the mortar to hold the bricks in place.  All this was based on human effort.

God, in His mercy, did not destroy the people for their deliberate disobedience to His command to fill the earth.  Instead, He confused their language, which halted their progress on the building of the tower and the city and scattered them across the face of the earth as He intended and had instructed both Adam and Noah and their descendants.  The people were multiplying (having children), but not filling the earth (moving to new areas that God had given them).

Moses then loops back and picks up the “micro” view of Shem’s family tree, complete with ages and detailed lineage (vv. 10-25).  Moses then zooms in even further, giving a detailed account of Terah’s family, including Terah’s son Abram (vv. 26-32).

Moses is setting the background and stage for the next part of the story, focusing on Abram and his relationship with God.

May we be faithful to God’s calling to “fill the earth” – to live on adventure wherever God may take us.

May we be faithful to focus our attention on God, and not on ourselves and our selfish desires, fears, and anxieties.

Blessings,
~kevin

Genesis 10

10 This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, who themselves had sons after the flood.

The Japhethites

The sons of Japheth:

Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras.

The sons of Gomer:

Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah.

The sons of Javan:

Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittites and the Rodanites. (From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.)

The Hamites

The sons of Ham:

Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan.

The sons of Cush:

Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah and Sabteka.

The sons of Raamah:

Sheba and Dedan.

Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” 10 The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. 11 From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.

13 Egypt was the father of

the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, 14 Pathrusites, Kasluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites.

15 Canaan was the father of

Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, 16 Jebusites, Amorites,Girgashites, 17 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 18 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites.

Later the Canaanite clans scattered 19 and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, as far as Lasha.

20 These are the sons of Ham by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.

The Semites

21 Sons were also born to Shem, whose older brother was Japheth; Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber.

22 The sons of Shem:

Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram.

23 The sons of Aram:

Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek.

24 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah,

and Shelah the father of Eber.

25 Two sons were born to Eber:

One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan.

26 Joktan was the father of

Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan.

30 The region where they lived stretched from Mesha toward Sephar, in the eastern hill country.

31 These are the sons of Shem by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.

32 These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their lines of descent, within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.
(Genesis 10:1-32 NIV)

As we walked through Chapter 9, we saw God’s blessing on Noah and his family, their commission to fill the earth, a change in dietary options, God’s covenant with all the creatures of the earth to never wipe everyone and everything out with a flood, and God’s sign of a rainbow to constantly remind us of that promise over the millennia.

As we walk through Chapter 10, we see Noah’s family tree through his three sons.  At first glance, it is tempting to skip over this chapter, as it lists the generations of Noah, listing a bunch of names that we struggle to pronounce.

The key to understanding Chapter 10 is found in verses 5, 20, 31, and 32.  This genealogy is not just the first cousins, second cousins, etc. of Noah’s sons – this is the record of the birth of:

  • clans
  • languages
  • territories
  • entire nations

Chapter 10 is the “macro” view of Noah’s family; Chapter 11 is the “micro” view that focuses in on Shem’s family, which is the family line that gave us Abraham, David, and eventually, Jesus.

Remember Noah’s prophecy against his son Ham, and specifically his grandson Canaan?  We see this prophetic curse come true in Ham’s family tree here in Chapter 10.  Consider the line of ungodly nations that came from Ham:

  • Babylon (v. 10)
  • Assyria and Nineveh, its capital (v. 11)
  • Egypt (v. 13)
  • The Philistines, including Goliath (v. 14)
  • all the “-ite” nations that battled against the Jewish people (vv. 15-18)
  • Sodom and Gomorrah, which God later destroyed their namesake cities for their extreme wickedness (v. 19)

While we may not have nations that will spring up in our family line, Chapter 10 is a solemn reminder to live our lives focused on the Lord and in constant connection to Him, and the consequences of families that go their own ways.

Blessings,
~kevin

Genesis 9

Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

“But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

“Whoever sheds human blood,
by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made mankind.

As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth.

20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,

“Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves
will he be to his brothers.”

26 He also said,

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
27 May God extend Japheth’s territory;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”

28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.
(Genesis 9:1-29 NIV)

At the end of Chapter 8, Noah and all the creatures on the ark exited and made their way out into the new world.

As we begin Chapter 9, the Lord blesses Noah and his family and commissions them.  God gives Noah and his sons the whole earth again, and grants them dominion and power over all the other creatures.  God also gives Noah and his family the animals, birds, and fish as a food source.  The only restriction was that the meat of the creatures being eaten must not be consumed raw.

This restriction was God’s way of showing dignity and grace for all life that He created, and human life above all others:

  • Humans must not kill other humans, nor consume their flesh
  • Animals must not be permitted to harm or kill humans
  • Humans must not eat the meat of creatures raw like other creatures do

After God blessed Noah and his family, He then made a covenant with all creation (including humans, animals, birds, bugs, everything) that He would never destroy all life by flooding the earth again.  As a sign of this promise, God gave the reminder of a rainbow in the sky.

God’s rainbow reminder continues to our world today; after work yesterday, I stopped at the store for a few groceries; as I walked back to my car, there was a partial rainbow with brilliant colors in the sky.  People in the parking area were stopped to look and comment; one couple even tried to take a picture of themselves with the rainbow in the background.  God’s promises are true and everlasting!

Moses previously recorded Noah’s righteousness; in this chapter, we also see his fallenness.  Noah’s sin and shame came through drunkenness.  One of his sons disrespected his father rather than honoring him.  Noah’s two other sons were very careful not to dishonor their father and cover his nakedness without seeing him naked.

After Noah slept off his drunkenness and realized what had happened, he gave a prophecy against the son who had dishonored him and in favor of the two sons who had honored him.  We will see the effects of this curse and blessing in future chapters.

As Chapter 9 ends, the saga of Noah’s life (all 950 years) comes to an end.  Noah had seen two worlds, before and after to flood, full of people and creatures, and just a few that were starting over.  Noah (for the most part) lived in humble gratitude of the Lord.

May we do likewise.

Blessings,
~kevin

Genesis 8

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.

13 By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year,the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”

18 So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19 All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
(Genesis 8:1-22 NIV)

In Chapter 7, Moses told us about God’s gracious invitation for Noah’s family plus representatives from all the creatures to enter the ark.  The Lord shut the door, and the flood began.  The only survivors were the people and animals inside the ark.

In Chapter 8, we see God’s grace extended again to Noah and the inhabitants of the ark.  Moses said that God “remembered” Noah and the creatures in the ark – God had not forgotten about them.  The Lord sent a wind (another first)  to dry out the earth and cause the flood waters to recede.

Moses records in great detail the flood timeline.  The ark had been afloat for approximately five months before it settled once again on dry ground.  Another two and a half months later, other mountain peaks became visible.  Another three months after that, most of the water had dried up from the face of the earth.  Another three months after that, the Lord told Noah and all the creatures they could exit the ark.

All in all, Noah, his family, and the animals and creatures had been in the ark for about thirteen months.  While Noah was clearly ready to be out of the ark, he was obedient and stayed in until the Lord gave him permission to leave.

Can you imagine the joy that Noah, his family, and all the creatures had when they exited the ark?  The sunlight, the ability to move around freely, the fresh air – what a blessing!

So what did Noah do?  He offered thanks to the Lord by constructing an altar and sacrificing clean animals to the Lord.  His life and his family’s life had been spared, and he was exceedingly grateful to the Lord.

Here is a great summary of Noah’s mindset after exiting the ark:

“Noah must have been totally overwhelmed by the awareness that out of all the people who had been living on Planet Earth, God had saved him. Why? It was just God’s grace! Noah had been righteous and blameless as he had walked with God, but he knew that did not make him worthy of salvation. His heart must have felt ready to burst with the intensity of his gratitude. There could be no other way to express what was in his heart than to give back to God the life that He alone had saved.

How can you and I do less?”
(
from Joy of My Heart devotional, AnGeL Ministries/Anne Graham Lotz, 7/24/2018)

Blessings,

~kevin

Genesis 7

The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. 15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.

17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
(Genesis 7:1-24 NIV)

As we finished chapter 6, the Lord commanded Noah to build an ark and gave him detailed instructions on its construction.  The Lord told Noah why He asked Noah to build the ark (to preserve Noah, Noah’s family, and all creatures) and how long Noah had to build the ark (120 years).

Remember that Noah was a preacher as well as the builder of the ark (2 Peter 2:5).  How hard must it have been for Noah and his family to keep focused and not be discouraged as they were likely mocked, threatened with violence, and ridiculed for their seemingly crazy venture of building a wooden monstrosity on dry land, working day after day for 120 years?

As we continue the story in chapter 7, we see that Noah did, in fact, persist in faithful service to the Lord, and according to God’s timeline, finished the ark.  God had protected and preserved Noah’s family from the mocking and violence of his day.  God also praised Noah for staying faithful and true during this time and called Noah a righteous man.

Now that the ark was complete, God said it was time to load the ark with all its guests.  The NIV uses the word “go” (v. 1), which sounds like a command.  In fact, it is a directive from God, but much softer than it feels.  The KJV uses the word “come”, which is more like a loving invitation than a stern order.  The Hebrew word is the same word translated “enter” in Psalm 100:

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
(Psalm 100:4 NIV, underline mine)

Do you feel the loving invitation from the Lord, as if your friend were welcoming you into their home, to a safe place, to a sanctuary?  While Noah and his family and the animals may have felt a bit claustrophobic all together in the ark, this was God’s protection and provision for His creation while He judged the rest of the world for its sin, ungodliness, wickedness, corruption, and violence.

God tells Noah that the long-awaited judgment is going to happen in 7 days (v. 4).  Not only was this a signal to Noah to load the ark as God instructed, it was also a trigger for Noah to preach God’s final message of repentance and reconciliation to any and all who would listen.

Unfortunately, no one heeded God’s pleas through His servant Noah.  The people ignored Noah’s message and went about their daily lives.  Jesus uses the illustration of people ignoring Noah’s message to portray what it will be like when He returns:

37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
(Matthew 24:37-39 NIV)

Once all the animals and creatures and people were inside the ark, God shut the door (v. 16).  Then the springs from deep inside the earth (v. 11) and the rains from above the earth (v. 12) burst forth and flooded the entire earth, covering even the highest mountains by over 20 feet (v. 20).  As the waters rose, the ark floated on the surface of the waters (v. 18), guided and protected by God’s hand.

The flood persisted on the earth for 150 days; in that time, everything that breathed air – people, animals, bugs, everything – eventually died.  The only survivors were those people and creatures that heeded God’s call to enter into His salvation, the ark.

May we see and heed the righteousness of God, seeking after Him with our whole heart and mind and body, through our thoughts, words, and actions.

May we heed God’s warning of the judgment to come and share His message of hope, joy, and salvation through His Son Jesus Christ to all who will listen.

Blessings,
~kevin

Genesis 6

When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

This is the account of Noah and his family.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around.Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
(Genesis 6:1-22 NIV)

As we move into Genesis chapter 6, Moses continues on with his story of humanity.  In chapter 6, we see another first – the sadness of God.

In chapter 5, Moses gave the genealogy from Adam to Noah, listing the families that honored God and passed on their legacy of faith to the next generation, such as Seth.  There were obviously many other children that did not pass along that legacy, such as Cain and others who chose not to walk with the Lord.

Nevertheless, God’s command to “be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28) was being carried out; the genealogy of chapter 5 as well as the first few verses of chapter 6 tell of God’s command and blessing being fulfilled.

The problem was that each subsequent generation moved further and further from God’s design to have a healthy, continual relationship with Him and live in harmony with other humans.  Like Lamech, the majority of humans wanted to make a name for themselves rather than honor the name of God, their Creator.

In chapter 1, God had pronounced His creation as good for everything and very good when He created humans in His image.  Now in chapter 6, humanity had strayed so far that God was sad.  Verses 5 – 7 record God regretting His decision to make humans, and being deeply troubled in His heart.

And what was the cause for God’s troubled heart and regret?  People’s inner lives and outer lives were in complete disarray, the opposite of how and why God had designed them.  The wickedness of peoples’ hearts, their mind continually focused on evil (their inner lives), and the violence and corruption toward one another (their outer lives) were all clear markers that people had lost their way and were far from God.

No longer was God’s love, grace, and mercy in effect; they were not even under the rule of law as a civilized society.  Instead, they were under the tyranny of force and headed for self-destruction.  Indeed, the people had made their wish come true – they had made a name for themselves apart from God, but it was not a good name.  They even created a title for the biggest and worst of these savage people – “Nephilim” – similar to a pirate or a gladiator – someone skilled in fighting who would devastate and pillage their possessions and families.

So God decided to press the “reset” button and start over with one man, his wife, their three sons, and their wives.  Moses tells us that “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” (v. 9).  In all of humanity, God found only one family and their descendants worth preserving.

God then gave Noah instructions on building a boat – the ark – that would preserve all of Noah’s family plus a pair of all the animals, birds, bugs, etc. through this time.  God addressed all aspects of this epic change in history – the construction of the ark, its contents, and the care for everything and everyone aboard.

Noah had two jobs during this time:  the first, obviously, to build the ark, and second, to preach a message of repentance and reconciliation to those who were not walking with God (2 Peter 2:5).  God used Noah as a preacher and builder for 120 years (v. 3) to show humanity a better way, the way He designed life to be.

May we be like Noah in his pre-Flood days – walking faithfully with God, righteous in God’s eyes, and blameless among the people we with live near and work with, sharing the good news God’s hope through the “ark” of eternal life – Jesus.

Blessings,
~kevin

Genesis 5

This is the written account of Adam’s family line.

When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.

When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.

When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan.10 After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Altogether, Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.

12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel.13 After he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Altogether, Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.

15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared.16 After he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.

18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch.19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.” 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters.31 Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.

32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.
(Genesis 5:1-32 NIV)

In the fifth chapter of Genesis, Moses transitions from telling the stories of individuals to providing a genealogy of the generations between Adam and Noah.

Moses does not provide an exhaustive or complete record of every person born; rather, Moses provides a record of certain individuals from each generation.

Genesis chapter 5 also introduces us to another “first”  – natural death.  Moses recorded the stories of two unnatural deaths – Abel (at the hand of his brother Cain), and an unnamed young man (at the hand of Lamech).  Eight times Moses records “… and then he died”.  God had told Adam and Eve that the consequences of disobeying His commands would lead to death.  Satan had sown the seeds of doubt when he tempted Adam and Eve; after they sinned, God did not strike them dead, but He did keep His promise, as recorded in Chapter 5.

There are a few notable points as we read down through this genealogy:

First, God cares about His creation, especially about His people.  God inspired Moses to write down the names and lineage of these people to remember their lives and to preserve a record of their days on earth.  This is particularly important for future generations, as Luke traces the lineage and genealogy of Jesus from His earthly parents all the way back to Adam (Luke 3:23-37).

Second, we see the first instance of God intervening and taking someone into heaven before they experienced death.  Verses 22 – 24 tell of Enoch, who “walked with God”.

Enoch’s notoriety was not focused on his deeds, but rather on his attitude toward God.  Hebrews 11:5-6 give us a clearer perspective on Enoch’s life – a life pleasing to God.  The writer of Hebrews ties verse 6 back to verse 5 as the “lesson learned” from Enoch’s life – to earnestly seek after God and to walk in obedient faith with God is to please God.

May our life center in God as Enoch’s life did, with our sole desire to please Him.

Blessings,
~kevin