Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thursday, June 5 ~ Miriam

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 15-16; Psalm 111; Acts 22
Today's scripture focus is Genesis 5.

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.

3 When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. 4 Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. 5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.

6 Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. 7 Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. 8 So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died.

9 Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. 10 Then Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years after he became the father of Kenan, and he had other sons and daughters. 11 So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died.

12 Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel. 13 Then Kenan lived eight hundred and forty years after he became the father of Mahalalel, and he had other sons and daughters. 14 So all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died.

15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared. 16 Then Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Jared, and he had other sons and daughters. 17 So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died.

18 Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch. 19 Then Jared lived eight hundred years after he became the father of Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters. 20 So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years, and he died.

21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. 22 Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

25 Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech. 26 Then Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years after he became the father of Lamech, and he had other sons and daughters. 27 So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died.

28 Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son. 29 Now he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will [c]give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the Lord has cursed.” 30 Then Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years after he became the father of Noah, and he had other sons and daughters. 31 So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died.

32 Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Well, we all know that genealogies aren't all that exciting or interesting to read, unless one is attempting to find a Biblical name that hasn't been used 1,000,000 times already, or counting generations to make extra sure that the prophecies about Jesus' ancestry were fulfilled down to the minutest detail.

The thing that always stands out most to me from this passage is about Enoch.  "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him."  He is one of only two people that we know of in the entire history of humanity who did not die before going to be with God.  I kinda wish we'd learn more about Enoch, other than that Jesus descended from him, he was the father of Methuselah who lived longer on Earth than any other recorded human being (Perhaps a blessing because he walked with God as his father did?  We don't know, but it's interesting to speculate.), and he was 187 years old when Methuselah was born.

Anyway, there is a whole other side to the genealogy other than just defining the lineage of Noah, and thereby Jesus.  Yesterday's passage talked about the descendants of Cain, the ungodly population on the earth at the time, and today's passage talks about the descendants of Seth, the godly branch of the family tree.  There are some differences between the two to take note of, as per Bob Deffinbaugh's sermon:

Moses begins chapter 5 with the terminology of chapters 1 and 2 (e.g., ‘created,’ ‘in the likeness of God,’ ‘male and female,’ ‘blessed them’) in order to indicate to the reader that God’s purposes and program for man begun in the first chapters are to be carried out through Adam’s seed, but not through the line of Cain; rather through Seth. The whole of chapter 5 is a description of the ever-narrowing line through which Messiah will come.

The contrast spiritually between the two lines is obvious. It can easily be illustrated by the two ‘Lamechs’ of chapters 4 and 5. Lamech (the son of Methushael, 4:18) of Cain’s lineage was the initiator of polygamy (4:19). Worse than this he was a murderer who boasted of his crime (4:23) and made light of God’s words to Cain (4:24).

The Lamech of chapter 5 (the son of Methuselah and the father of Noah) was a godly man. The naming of his son revealed his understanding of the fall of man and the curse of God upon the ground (cf. 5:29). It also indicated his faith that God would deliver man from the curse through the seed of Eve. I believe Lamech understood that this deliverance would specifically come through the son God had given him.

In the account of Cain’s descendants no numbers were employed, while the line of Seth has a definite numerical pattern. 

The length of the lives of the men in chapter 5 is unusually long, but every effort to explain this fact in some way other than taking the numbers literally has proven futile. Conditions were undoubtedly different prior to the flood.

Moses surely intended the length of the lives of these men to impress us. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons why they were so prominently included. The long length of life would facilitate the population of the earth. My wife and I have had six children in our 17 years of marriage. Imagine what could be done in 900 years?

Furthermore Moses would reveal by this that man was originally intended to live many years, even after the fall. Surely the promise of a millennial kingdom in which men would live to a ripe old age (cf. Isaiah 65:20) is buttressed by this chapter. Length of life was nothing new, but simply something regained.

The main contrast between the lines of Cain and Seth is that of the emphasis of each. Cain’s line is credited with what might be called ‘worldly progress’ and achievements. Cain built the first city (4:17). From his descendants came the technological and cultural contributions. Metal workers, ranchers, and musicians were of this line.

Now what is it that is emphasized about the line of Seth? No mention is made of any great contributions or achievements. Two things marked out the men of chapter 5. First of all, they were men of faith (cf. Enoch, 5:18, 21-24; Lamech, 5:28-31). These men looked back and grasped the fact that sin was the root of their troubles and travail. They looked forward to a redemption that God was to provide through their offspring.

That brings us to the second contribution of these men of chapter 5—they produced godly seed through whom the purposes and program of God would continue. Now we are not told that every child of theirs was godly. But we do know that these were godly men and that through them and their children a line was continued which culminated in Noah. While the rest of mankind would be destroyed in the flood, through Noah, the human race (and more than this, the seed of Eve) would be preserved. The hope of men rested in the preservation of a godly seed.

So, in spite of the eye-glazing factor of genealogies in the Bible, there are things that can be gleaned, not only from the text, but from what comes before and after it.  As our friend Bob says:

There is a verse of Scripture which will not let us pass by Genesis 5 without a serious study of this genealogy: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16).

May we walk with God and be people of faith, as were the descendants of Seth.

Happy Thursday!

Tomorrow's scripture focus:  Genesis 6:1-4
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  1 Kings 17-18; Psalm 112; Acts 23

1 comment:

TammyIsBlessed said...

I found several things absolutely fascinating about this genealogy....

MacArthur pointed out that the first men - Adam through Lamech - were all alive at the same time. They all knew each other. In fact, the overlapping is amazing - Adam and Methuselah overlap for 200 years (and Lamech for about 60). Methuselah and Noah overlap for 600 years. Noah overlapped Shem for 400 years. And, get this, Abraham died before Shem did. And, Shem was alive, not only in Abraham's lifetime, not only Isaac's, but Jacob's too!

This means that firsthand accounts were passed down about creation and the fall from Adam all the way to Lamech. Firsthand accounts of the flood were passed down from Shem all the way to Jacob! You only need 4 people to span from Adam to Abraham/Jacob - important firsthand accurate truth being passed down from generation to generation. Obviously, it's also divinely inspired, but from a human standpoint, it's awesome.

This point is rather obvious, but unless you've purposefully thought about it, you can still miss it. There are no descendants from Cain on the face of the earth. None. Everyone is descended from the line of Seth, through Noah.

Also, notice the difference between v1 and v3. God created Adam in the likeness of God. Adam became the father of a sin in his own likeness.

Obviously we are all still created in the image of God. But due to the fall, we are now marked by the image of man - the image of fallenness and sin. How sad.

Some other reasons for the long lifespans - they would experience sin and grief in an intense way. Imagine all the wickedness and grief they would have seen living 900 years! They would have realized the enormity of sin, they would have realized the justice of his sentence and the amazing nature of God's grace.

And they would have looked forward to their eternal reward. There was also simply the advancement of race - they hadn't experienced all the thousands of years of corruption like us, they would have been very intelligent, very skilled, very strong with lots of time to finetune their crafts and advance technologically.

But it also allowed them time to become morally corrupt at an intense level. It's hard to battle sin for 80 years, but 800 years?

Also, Enoch was the first to prophecy against false teachers. Jude says 14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 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 him.” And he could do this with authority due to the firsthand account of creation and the fall that he received from Adam. He prophecied about the judgment of God - referring both to the final judgment at the end of the age, but also the flood. Methuselah was his son and it means "man of the shot out" which very likely refers to the fact that he will not die until judgment is shot out, and indeed, he dies the very year of the flood which was the initial fulfillment of Enoch's prophecy.

Finally, MacArthur adds this...
Three men, then, mark this genealogy in a very special way. Adam - he shows us the reign of sin and death. And Enoch - he shows us the hope of conquering death. And Noah - he tells us of a new day and a new creation that will come after the judgment. And that, folks, is the history of redemption. Fall, salvation, and the new creation - all pictured in that genealogy.

Fascinating stuff indeed!