Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday, June 6th

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 17-18; Psalm 112; Acts 23
Today's scripture focus is Genesis 6:1-4

Genesis 6:1-4

English Standard Version (ESV)

Increasing Corruption on Earth

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

Accompanying Bob Deffinbaugh sermon: The Sons of God and The Daughters of Men
Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: Demonic Invasion

MacArthur contends that there are two important questions to consider regarding this passage.
1) What does it mean?
2) Why is it here?

There are varying interpretations of what this passage means, but traditional Jewish interpretation, as well as both MacArthur and Deffinbaugh, agree that the term sons of God refers to demons, and daughters of men refers to human women.  The point is the contrast between the creatures of God and the creatures of men.

Every time the Old Testament refers to sons of God it is referring to angels - either fallen or holy.  (Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Job 38:7,  Psalm 29:1, Psalm 89:6, Daniel 3:25).  What we have here is heavenly beings contrasted with earthly beings, those who come directly from God versus those who come directly from man.

These demons defied God by leaving the realm of the spirit world and took the form of, or inhabited the bodies of men, in order to marry human women and have children with them.

The passage starts by reminding us that this was a time period where "normal" life was simply occurring.  People were living under common grace - God had blessed humanity with the ability to marry and have children and just enjoy every day life.  Perhaps this ability to procreate gave them the feeling of invincibility, or that they, not God, controlled the future.  But they were wrong.  They were presuming upon the grace of God, and God was about to show them His righteous judgment, after rescuing the righteous remnant.

The Bible teaches that this is how we too, will be living before God's ultimate and final judgment.  Life will be going on as normal.  The redeemed and the unbeliever alike will be enjoying common grace.  But just as God destroyed all but the righteous remnant in the flood, after multiple warnings and opportunities to receive grace had been rejected, someday God will destroy this world in an act of ultimate judgment after He rescues the redeemed.

Notice how, in v3, God does not put the responsibility for this on the demons, but on the humans. This text shows us how very wicked mankind had become, and why God sent the flood in an act of righteous judgment.  Humanity, aside from one family of 8 righteous people, had become so wicked that, in God's eyes, they were no longer redeemable. In fact, their wickedness was such that not only were they not seeking God, they were pursuing demons.  Likely they had been deceived into thinking this would help them beat death and/or judgment, or become like God.  Satan always promises heaven but delivers hell.

1 Peter 3:18-20Jude 6-7, and 2 Peter 2:4-5 tell us that God sentenced these demons to the pit for disobeying God and overstepping their bounds in this way, and His grace towards mankind has limits as well.  In our passage, God's limit has been reached - and He still, in His grace, gave them 120 more years to repent!  Noah preached righteousness for 120 years, and had absolutely no converts, save his own family (2 Peter 2:5)

Here is MacArthur's take on the Nephilim....
In verse 3 in the middle it says, "My Spirit will not always strive with man forever because he's also flesh." Just a very important point. He says you may may think you're demons coming in and filling you and taking your demon power into your sexual actions are going to produce some godlike children. You may have some illusion about this supernatural power to transcend and to produce some kind of wonder child or to elevate you beyond the power of God to judge and to bring you into godlike status, but I'm telling you, when it's all said and done, you are only flesh. That's the point, you're just flesh. You're just mortal, you're not half man and half angel, you're just depraved flesh. And then he says in verse 4, "And there were Nephilim on the earth in those days." Nephilim is just a term that means great men, men of stature, men of power, men of influence. It is used only one other time in the New (meant Old) Testament and that's in the book of Numbers when the spies went in to Canaan in Numbers 13 and they came out and said there are giants in there, we can't knock those people off, they're giants and we're just like grasshoppers. And the reason they used Nephilim there to describe them is because they knew the word from Genesis. Not a race of people, it's not a race of people that shows up again later in Canaan because they would have been all drowned anyway, cause only Noah and his family survived. It's simply a term used in Genesis to describe great men, powerful men. And it was borrowed by the spies in Numbers 13 coming out of the land of Canaan because everybody knew the Nephilim as great powerful men. It's just a generic word for that kind of person. They were called...the term actually means falling ones, the kind of people that fall on you and crush you, powerful, fierce warrior-type people. But he says they were on the earth in those days.
It's important to say that because somebody might think they were the product of these unions and that angels, demons and men got together and produced some monsters. No. There were powerful men on the earth and when the sons of God, verse, went into the daughters of men and bore children to them, those were the mighty men and were men of old, men of renown. All you have is men, men, men. There were already some powerful men and out of those unions there came some more powerful men. The point being that those unions didn't produce anything different than already existed. That's...that's a reasonable interpretation of this, it's hard to be doctrinally dogmatic about it. Nephilim is simply a term that speaks about powerful, fierce, great, strong. They were already on the earth, they were already there, just a genetic pool produced them. And there were probably many of them that close to the fall of man when they were still living into the 900 of years and the corruption of sin hadn't taken its effect on their brains and their physical abilities. They must have been some great and powerful and mighty men. They were already there and out of these unions came more of them, but they were men, men, men, men. They were of flesh. And so what you have here is that all of the demons promised, all that Satan always promises never does change human nature. It doesn't change human depravity. They're just of the flesh, man, man, man. Renown man, yes. Powerful, fierce warriors attaining reputation and fear and all of that, but men
All men are mortal and God's judgment will fall on all.  The only way to escape the final judgment is in the ark that is Jesus Christ.

Monday's scripture focus: Genesis 6:5-12
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 1 Kings 19-20
Sunday's passage: 1 Kings 21-22
Monday's passage: 2 Kings 1-2, Psalm 113, Acts 24

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