A Chronological Daily Bible Study of the Old Testament
7-Day Sections with a Summary-Commentary, Discussion Questions, and a Practical Daily Application
The Story of Cain and Abel
4:1 Now the man had marital relations with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.
Then she said, “I have created a man just as the Lord did!”
4:2 Then she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Abel took care of the flocks,
while Cain cultivated the ground.
It seems apparent that very little time passed between the creation of Eve and the expulsion of man from Eden as this appears to be the first couple's first effort at reproduction.
The Lord God ceased from Creation at the end of the 6th Day and then His design for humankind to be self-propagating was initiated.
Verse 4:1 begins with “Now”, announcing the conclusion of the events of Eden and the initiation of their time as exiles. Eve, as close to physically perfect as a person in the first day of the fallen world can be, immediately became pregnant.
The first born of Eve is named Cain, and Eve declares “I have created a man just as the LORD did!” Various understandings of this include Eve suggesting that she is now a peer in Creation with God, secondly that she was remarking that by the same means – out of a human came a new human just as the Lord intended – she now had birthed her first child independently as God had designed her to do and was amazed and delighted but not claiming a God-equivalence, and the third option is that she was expressing a partnership with the Lord God where He Created a new life using her just as He had used Adam.
Eve then gave birth to Abel (presumably nine months or longer after the birth of Abel) whose name meant “breath, vapor, vanity” according to the NET Bible translator's notes. [Looking ahead to Ecclesiastes where the writer refers to the things of this world as temporary and transitory “vanity vanity”, “like a vapor”, and “like the wind” the name and brief life of Abel should come to mind.]
Abel was a shepherd while Cain worked the soil. Some writers have suggested that Abel's occupation was somehow elevated above Cain's but the prior text does not support that – everything was under the curse – not merely the ground.
The creation of every new life is a partnership between man and God, although the Lord delegated the capacity to reproduce, it is He who gives the spiritual life that separates man from beast.
Despite their devastating rebellion the Lord God still allowed Adam and Eve to experience the awe of “creation” through their bodies.
What do you believe that Eve meant?
The creation of every new life is a partnership between man and God, while God delegated the capacity to reproduce it is He who gives the spiritual life that separates man from beast.
When have you experienced, within the family of those who claim the name of Christ, a tendency to imagine that one role is more or less impacted by “the curse”?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place in your life where you have been uncertain as to your value versus that of another. Also, for someone(s) for whom He wants you to provide encouragement and prayer.
Today I will celebrate life. I will thank the Lord God for His gift of life to me and especially for my new life in Christ. I will encourage and pray for the one(s) whom He has identified.
Be Specific ________________________________________________
4:3 At the designated time Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground for an offering to the Lord.
4:4 But Abel brought some of the firstborn of his flock – even the fattest of them.
And the Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering,
4:5 but with Cain and his offering he was not pleased.
So Cain became very angry, and his expression was downcast.
4:6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast?
4:7 Is it not true that if you do what is right, you will be fine?
But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door.
It desires to dominate you, but you must subdue it.”
Lord, You are the Holy One, deserving of our very best. May I strive to present myself as “a living sacrifice”, doing all things with excellence, as You deserve my very best effort.
“At the designated time ...” tells the reader that the Lord God had informed Cain and Abel of His expectation that they present an offering to the Lord their God. They came to do so, each from the fruits of his labor, but with very different states of mind.
Cain did not appear to comprehend the great gift that he had in his relationship with the Lord God, while Abel did. Cain evidences a preoccupation with himself whereas Abel understood that God was his first priority.
The text does not help us to understand the divergence in spiritual maturity between the first-born and second-born of Adam and Eve, though we may speculate that they were still in shock following their expulsion from Heaven and some of the bitterness and rebellion spilled over into their raising of Cain whereas they were better parents to Abel.
So, Cain apparently threw a bunch of carelessly selected veggies into his wheelbarrow and reluctantly trudged down to the place of offering, expecting the Lord God's approval so he could get on with life. Abel carefully culled his flock for the first and the best, excited to present them to his Father in Heaven as evidence of his love and respect. The Lord saw their hearts long before He saw their offerings, Abel's offering brought joy to God's heart, Cain's indicated that he clearly did not get it and it was immediately obvious to Cain that God was not pleased.
Reflecting back to Genesis 1-3 the reader may recall that the Lord God Created in order to share His love with the willing. To accomplish that He had to allow for the rejection of the unwilling. In this first post-Fall opportunity Abel proved willing and Cain unwilling.
Cain, who would fit well in our modern-day culture of entitlement, become angry and depressed when his ill-conceived offering was rejected as unfit for the Lord God. It is initially unclear in the text as to with whom he is initially most upset; himself, Abel, or God.
God challenged Cain to explain his reaction to His disappointment “Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast?” The word “downcast” refers to dejection or depression and “angry” suggests rage, a common reaction to fear-driven anger or frustration-driven anger. Rage generally finds expression in the projection of anger upon others, verbally, physically, or in some less obvious but no less destructive way.
God, knowing what Cain has been taught by his parents, challenged him further “Is it not true that if you do what is right, you will be fine?” The Lord's intent was to stimulate Cain to assess his motives and his actions and to get them right so that He might bless him.
The Lord then warned Cain of the corollary, if you fail to do what is right “... sin is crouching at the door.” There are a couple of important elements in this text worthy of note; first, the phrase “sin is crouching” is intentionally chosen to illustrate the ongoing state-of-war – spiritual - that exists and the consequence of choices; second, God is not allowing for any middle ground, one either does what is right and is blessed, or one fails to do so and is victimized by sin.
God then informed Cain that just as his father Adam had the capacity to resist the efforts of his mother Eve to control him so did Cain have the capacity to resist the efforts of sin (or the demon-beast of sin) to control him. There is a clear choice here, not predestination but clearly an illustration of free will - Cain was not doomed to sin.
From the very beginning of the post-Eden/post-Fall story of man the Lord God expected an outward expression of faithfulness and gratefulness, of obedience, and of loving sacrifice, and He has never ceased His expectation of the same. What relationship is real without the effort to express commitment and love in action?
The consistent message here, and again from Jesus in the New Testament, is that the Lord does not recognize any neutral or safe middle-ground between living-righteously or choosing sin. Jesus phrased it “Be hot or cold, if you are lukewarm I will spit you out.” (Rev. 3:15-16) and James wrote in vs. 1:8 “... a double-minded individual, unstable in all his ways.”
The Lord God does not allow and room for us to blame “I was made that way” or some other factor of our birth or childhood environment for our choices.
When we know what the Lord God expects of us and we intentionally under-perform, fail, or intentionally rebel, then His disappointment becomes apparent, how do we react? Anger with ourselves, others, the Lord, or perhaps some of all of the above?
Is it really a lot for the Lord God to ask, that we give back a little, given all that He has given to us? (Life, necessities, fellowship, the Holy Spirit, eternal life.)
When have you sensed clearly the Lord's expectations of you; to serve His children even when it is inconvenient, to give to His ministry even when it is sacrificial, to love a hard-to-love person, or to take some time every day to worship Him - even when you'd rather sleep late or enjoy a hobby or some entertainment instead, and then you struggled to do the right and best thing in His eyes?
When have you been confronted with a decision and clearly recognized that your flesh wanted to respond to “the sin crouching at the door” while the indwelling Holy Spirit was calling you to choose the path of the Lord? How did you choose?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you one area in your life where you repeatedly disappoint the Lord, one place where you avoid responsibility for your bad choices and wrong thinking on the circumstances of your birth and/or early life, and/or one specific place where you try to live in-between outright disobedience and intentional-righteousness yet falsely excuse it as morally-neutral.
Today I will confess that my repeated-sin to the Lord, I will make a genuine commitment to repent (turn away) from that sin, I will request and accept his forgiveness (as well as my own and that of anyone offended), and I will also reject the lie that the past can or should define and/or should control me. I will reject the lie that there is any such thing as moral neutral-ground. I will identify the sloppy-thinking, false excuses, and bad influences in my life which can lead me into rebellion. I will request and accept the help of the Holy Spirit to repent (turn away) from these things and will recruit an accountability partner to pray in agreement with me and to encourage me to stay-the-course-to-freedom from these things.
Be Specific _____________________________________________
4:8 Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”
While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
4:9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
And he replied, “I don’t know! Am I my brother’s guardian?”
4:10 But the Lord said, “What have you done?
The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!
4:11 So now, you are banished from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
4:12 When you try to cultivate the ground it will no longer yield its best for you. You will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.”
4:13 Then Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to endure!
4:14 Look! You are driving me off the land today,
and I must hide from your presence.
I will be a homeless wanderer on the earth;
whoever finds me will kill me.”
4:15 But the Lord said to him, “All right then, if anyone kills Cain, Cain will be avenged seven times as much.”
Then the Lord put a special mark on Cain so that no one who found him would strike him down.
4:16 So Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Lord, despite Cain's murderous heart, when he asked for Your help You gave it. May I be more like You, long-suffering with those who make poor choices, including forgiving myself as well for mine.
Cain choose to surrender to sin – harboring jealousy which metastasized into rage. He conspired to project his rage upon his younger brother Abel, hiding his crime out of the sight of their parents, he then murdered his unsuspecting brother. A series of choices for evil were by Cain even with obvious righteous-alternatives available to him.
The Lord God retained His pattern of rhetorical challenges; as He did with Adam and Eve, He then did with Cain, asking “Where is your brother Abel?” His purpose was to force Cain to reveal his heart.
Cain displays his heart of arrogant-rebellion and deceit, saying “I don't know. Am I my brother's guardian?” His reply was both mocking of God and an effort to pretend that what happened to his little brother, for good or evil, was not his responsibility.
Cain attached no value whatsoever to his brother – the selfishness of sin-the first-born of Adam and Eve actualized-evil in full display.
The Lord God repeated His challenge to Eve, this time to Cain “What have you done?” In both cases He challenged the sin-doer to acknowledge both their choice and the consequences.
This time Cain was presented with the evidence of his sin “The voice of your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground!” Cain had no chance to deny his responsibility.
Then the Lord announced the consequences for Cain's actions; he would be unable to successfully farm the land but rather would wander aimlessly, he would be as disconnected as was his expressed desire -- to be free of responsibility for his brother and of respect for his parents.
Cain pleads for the mercy he did not offer Abel, complaining of the loss of the very presence of the Lord God that he tried to avoid when killing his brother, even worrying about being killed as he wandered.
Not addressed is the question of how there were people out there for him to fear if he was the only living child of Adam and Eve, unless he was looking forward to the reality of a long life and the reality that during those hundreds of years thousands of people would be born, reach adulthood, and disperse.
Cain's curse was to wander, and to wander utterly-alone for a few decades (or perhaps a century), which would have been a suitable punishment for the first murderer.
The Lord God responded by giving Cain a mark to warn anyone against attacking him and then sent him on his way “So Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.”
According to the NET Bible translator's notes the term “Nod” means 'wandering' and the term “... lived ...” inferred the passage of some time.
Do we understand that we mock the Lord God when we minimize the people and things that are important to Him? Do we recognize that the first step of sin is preceded by a wrong choice and each step that follows is made easier by our initial rationalizations and our spiritual-surrender to evil?
What do we understand it to me when the Lord says that He expects us to care for the well-being of others? And what is our first priority, given limited resources, Christian family or non-Christians?
Do we understand that when we reject the Lord God, and refuse to care enough to invest in relationships with and the well-being of others, we condemn ourselves to wander lonely and aimless in the world?
When has the Lord God, through His Holy Spirit and/or a fellow believer, confronted you for separating yourself from worship – which separates one from the presence of God - just as Cain was separated from Him - and by all evidence of the text ceased from worship (as did his descendants)?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you one person toward whom you have an uncaring attitude, as to their well-being, at least one thing that you have allowed to get in the way of consistent and joyful Sunday corporate worship and fellowship, and/or of daily private worship and fellowship time with the Lord my God.
Today I will pray for, and see a way to reach-out to, the one whom the Holy Spirit has identified. I also commit to overcome the distractions that so I may be more faithful to the Lord's call to intentionally go-apart from the world and into His presence.
Be Specific _________________________________________________
The Beginning of Civilization
4:17 Cain had marital relations with his wife,
and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch.
Cain was building a city,
and he named the city after his son Enoch.
4:18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael. Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.
4:19 Lamech took two wives for himself;
the name of the first was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah.
4:20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the first of those who live in tents and keep livestock.
4:21 The name of his brother was Jubal; he was the first of all who play the harp and the flute.
4:22 Now Zillah also gave birth to Tubal-Cain, who heated metal and shaped all kinds of tools made of bronze and iron.
The sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.
4:23 Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah! Listen to me! You wives of Lamech, hear my words!
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for hurting me.
4:24 If Cain is to be avenged seven times as much,
then Lamech seventy-seven times!”
Lord, as humankind multiplied and developed Cain's descendants seem to have forgotten You, but they remembered Cain's bad attitude. May I not become so busy about the tasks of daily life, nor so self-important, that I forget to be humble before You.
The Bible does not describe the genealogy of Cain in detail so we don't know with specificity the generations that passed prior to the birth and maturing of his wife. We do know that the gene pool had not yet degraded significantly, from the Lord God's perfect Creation, such that the closeness of her relationship would have created a profound genetic problem.
It is possible that Cain wandered for 90 years before he married. Eve's children would likely have reproduced in their early teen years followed by their descendants and the same for six generations - each multiplying ten times - potentially could have resulted in hundreds of thousands within that brief period of time.
Verse 4:17 introduces the first “city”, built by Cain, the enemy of God. Whereas the shepherds would be nomadic and rural and the farmers fixed and rural, Cain-the-lonely-wanderer decided to build a place where people would be gathered – perhaps compensating for a fear of loneliness and a continued rebellion against God – believing that the curse of God was mere physical wandering rather than spiritual wandering without God.
It is worthy of note that when the Bible, in Genesis 4, presents the genealogy of “... the family line of Adam.” it completely excludes mention of Cain or of his descendants. Cain very clearly was living-out the curse of being estranged from God.
Verse 4:20 reported the growth of the population and that specialization had developed to where Jabal became “... the first of those who live in tents and keep livestock.” then verse 4:21 told of “... his brother … Jubal … the first of all who play the harp and the flute.”
Verse 4:22 reported a third brother “... Tubal-Cain, who heated metal and shaped all kinds of tools made of bronze and iron.” The first named female in the Bible, since Eve, was Tubal-Cain's sister, Naamah.
The text recorded the boastful declaration of Lamech to the women, six generations descended from Cain, that anyone who killed him was to be avenged seventy-seven times rather than the seven that the Lord God declared to be the punishment for one who would kill Cain. The arrogance of Cain appears to have grown from generation to generation, here Lamesh attempts to promote himself as more valuable than Cain, as well as attempting to impose an obligation upon the Lord.
The example of Cain is that when we are distant from the Lord God our lives lose relevance to the plans and purposes of God. As the physical offspring of Adam and Eve multiplied they began to select the roles to will play among their peers, the first three of mention are the rancher-shepherd, blacksmith-toolmaker, and the musician. It was not unusual, even from the beginning, that different tasks interested different children.
Why do we sometimes find ourselves creating artificial 'safe places' rather than trusting the Lord God to be our “safe place”? Lamesh even found it necessary to proclaim his importance in comparison to others - to the degree of suggesting that his life was seventy-seven times more valuable; do we sometimes do the same?
Merely gathering people together does not create meaningful and positive relationship or value. The multi-generational transmission of sloppy thinking is apparent as Lamech, six generations later, still echoed the immaturity of Cain; we should not be surprised when it happens to those around us.
When in the past did you respond to the Lord God with a resentful heart and later made excuses, or sought ways to avoid the consequences? Did it work? Have you observed, or experienced, our human tendency to consider ourselves – or those about whom we care most – as more valuable that others?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you at least one place in your life that you try to live out of your own strength and wisdom and do not intentionally invite the Lord God.
Today I will recognize that the frustration I feel is due to the absence of the Lord. I will also recognize that busyness, together with groups of other people, does not replace intimacy with my Lord; nor does that same busyness, or those numbers of people, create true meaning or value. The emptiness I feel there, and the striving to fit-in, are signals from the Holy Spirit that I am in the wrong place with the wrong expectations. I will make a commitment to invite my Lord God into all of the places of my life. I will also celebrate one place in my life where He has gifted me and I will dedicate that gift or talent to the glory of God alone. I will also identify one way that my gift or talent, or something else, has become a tool of the enemy to cause false pride and arrogant boasting (aloud or in the secrecy of my heart) and I will repent of that.
Be Specific ________________________________________________
4:25 And Adam had marital relations with his wife again,
and she gave birth to a son.
She named him Seth, saying,
“God has given me another child in place of Abel because Cain killed him.” 4:26 And a son was also born to Seth,
whom he named Enosh.
At that time people began to worship the Lord.
Lord, You restored the path of good that Cain – an agent of Satan – had tried to terminate in killing Abel, and You led humankind back to worship of You. May I always remember that You are there, You restore those who have drifted away, and that You preserve Your sovereign plan for Your children with You in heaven for eternity.
Some translations label verses 4:17-4:26 as “The Beginning of Civilization” but oddly enough all but the final two verses describe a gathering and organizing of people who were estranged from God.
Verse 4:25 describes the gift of another son to Adam and Eve, celebrated by Eve as “… another child in place of Abel because Cain killed him.” Interesting Eve appears to have matured as she no longer celebrates her 'creation' but gives the Lord God full credit.
The name Seth vaguely refers to “given” and “set-apart”. Seth represents a new beginning for the prophetic offspring of Adam and Eve.
“At that time people began to worship the Lord.” The context, though uncertain, appears to relate to the new generations beginning with Seth rather than extending to Cain.
Later in Genesis worship is described as prayer and sacrifice, something that was missing since the expulsion of Cain from the Lord God's presence in Genesis 4:11-16.
The Lord God's plans are not stymied by anything man can do, Cain killed Abel and was banished from God's presence so the Lord caused Eve to give birth to Seth and started over.
Do we recognize that prayer and sacrifice are essential to relationship with God?
Worship flows from the presence of the Lord God in a life prioritized for the Lord then back to Him. Seth and his descendants practiced that while Cain and his descendants appear to have remained estranged from the Lord.
When has ‘the world’ taken something away from you and although you missed it” terribly the Lord God gave you something new and you continued on?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you an area in your life where you are successfully prioritizing your life for the Lord God.
Today I will celebrate the success that the Holy Spirit has had in leading me to prioritized the Lord. I will also identify one way that I will be more intentional about the priority of prayer to and sacrifice in service of the Lord.
Be Specific _____________________________________________
From Adam to Noah
5:1 This is the record of the family line of Adam.
When God created humankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 5:2 He created them male and female; when they were created, he blessed them and named them “humankind.”
5:3 When Adam had lived 130 years he fathered a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and he named him Seth. 5:4 The length of time Adam lived after he became the father of Seth was 800 years; during this time he had other sons and daughters. 5:5 The entire lifetime of Adam was 930 years, and then he died.
5:6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. 5:7 Seth lived 807 years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:8 The entire lifetime of Seth was 912 years, and then he died.
5:9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. 5:10 Enosh lived 815 years after he became the father of Kenan, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:11 The entire lifetime of Enosh was 905 years, and then he died.
5:12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. 5:13 Kenan lived 840 years after he became the father of Mahalalel, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:14 The entire lifetime of Kenan was 910 years, and then he died.
5:15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. 5:16 Mahalalel lived 830 years after he became the father of Jared, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:17 The entire lifetime of Mahalalel was 895 years, and then he died.
5:18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 5:19 Jared lived 800 years after he became the father of Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:20 The entire lifetime of Jared was 962 years, and then he died.
5:21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 5:22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God for 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:23 The entire lifetime of Enoch was 365 years. 5:24 Enoch walked with God, and then he disappeared because God took him away.
5:25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 5:26 Methuselah lived 782 years after he became the father of Lamech, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:27 The entire lifetime of Methuselah was 969 years, and then he died.
5:28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 5:29 He named him Noah, saying, “This one will bring us comfort from our labor and from the painful toil of our hands because of the ground that the Lord has cursed.” 5:30 Lamech lived 595 years after he became the father of Noah, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:31 The entire lifetime of Lamech was 777 years, and then he died.
5:32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Lord, Seth was faithful and from him came the faithful Noah, though whom You preserved humankind from the Flood. May I be found faithful so that I ma also be an instrument of Your work in the lives of others.
Adam and Eve were “humankind”, created “in the [partial] likeness of God”, unlike any other creatures of Creation.
The text is silent as to the names of any other children, male or female, between the birth of Cain and Abel and that of Seth, just as it was silent as to the length of time between the creation of Adam and Eve and the birth of Cain and Abel.
While the text occasionally mentions the birth of other sons and daughters the purpose of this text is to document the lineage from Adam to Noah, other details are not germane.
The text does make a point of Seth being in Adam's “own likeness, according to his image”. The text also makes a point of the longevity of early “humankind”, in Adam's case that was 930 years.
The genealogy flowed from Adam to Seth to Enosh to Kenan to Mahalalel to Jared to Enoch where it diverges a moment to observe that Enoch “... walked with God, and then he disappeared because God took him away.” Also notable is that Enoch lived much less than half as long as his predecessors and nearly one-third as long as his son Methuselah.
Reference is made to Enoch in Judges 1:14 “Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, even prophesied of them, saying, “Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones,” and in Hebrews 11:5 “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he did not see death, and he was not to be found because God took him up. For before his removal he had been commended as having pleased God.”
The genealogy continues from Methuselah to Lamech to Noah and again it pauses to record that the name “Noah” was chosen for a special meaning, “This one will bring us comfort from our labor and from the painful toil of our hands because of the ground that the Lord has cursed.”
The text of Chapter 5 concludes “After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”
While Chapter 5 does not directly concern itself with the conduct of these generations the contrast between Enoch, who “... walked with God” and Noah, who “... will bring us comfort from our labor and from the painful toil of our hands because of the ground that the Lord has cursed.”, it is clear that there has been continuing trouble between man and God – with Enoch presented as uniquely faithful and Noah as a “type” of “Messiah”.
It is interesting that the first-born of Adam and Eve, Cain, has a lineage described in Genesis 4 and an impact upon the world, whereas their second-born, Abel has none. It is not until Seth that a son is born to them whose lineage has impact, through Noah, and then leads to Christ.
Enoch, who was “... the seventh in descent beginning with Adam” appears to have been the first prophet of God. While his 300 years is long by our standards it was brief compared to others of his time. Does this lend itself to the postulate of “de-evolution” (from the perfect to the less perfect), shortened lifespans as time moved on, rather than the speculative postulate of “evolution” (from the less perfect to the more)?
While Enoch was the first prophet, and his faithfulness earned Him the Lord God's early call “home”, Jonah was the Lord's first 'type' of Christ whose role was to be a temporary redeemer of humankind.
When have you observed multiple generations of faithfulness to the Lord? What were the factors that contributed to that?
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you an opportunity to share this text with someone who is curious about Christ, and/or with a fellow believer.
Today I will emphasize the incredible consistency of the redemption message of God from - Genesis through Revelation – as a witness to the not-yet-saved and as an encouragement to the saved.
Be Specific _____________________________________________
God’s Grief over Humankind’s Wickedness
6:1 When humankind began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 6:2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humankind were beautiful. Thus they took wives for themselves from any they chose.
6:3 So the Lord said, “My spirit will not remain in humankind indefinitely, since they are mortal. They will remain for 120 more years.”
6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days (and also after this) when the sons of God were having sexual relations with the daughters of humankind, who gave birth to their children. They were the mighty heroes of old, the famous men.
6:5 But the Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind had become great on the earth. Every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time. 6:6 The Lord regretted that he had made humankind on the earth, and he was highly offended.
6:7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe humankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – everything from humankind to animals, including creatures that move on the ground and birds of the air, for I regret that I have made them.”
6:8 But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord.
Lord, left to their own flesh-driven lusts, humankind drifted farther and farther away from You. My You find my heart transformed by the Holy Spirit so that I share your offense at sin and that I turn away from it as is your desire for me.
There is considerable debate as to the meaning of the term “sons of God”, just as the term “son of Man” as applied to Jesus has stimulated debate. Some say that these are fallen angels who assumed human form, others that they are fallen angels (demons) who possessed humans, and other that they were genetically-giant in stature.
A problem is created by the first assertion as this renders the “immaculate conception” of Jesus somewhat mundane – since demons would have done the same thing thousands of years previous – and done so on a widespread scale.
There is no particular problem with the second iteration of the second theory (indirect demon action vs direct) as demon-possessed men impregnate women every day in the modern world, often the woman is a willing-accomplice, as was Eve in her rebellion in the Garden.
The third assertion appears to conflict with the parallel uses of a similar phrase in the Bible yet finds some support in the phrase Nephilim (giants) also found elsewhere in the Bible. (The “Nephilim” were exceptional in stature and strength, much like many modern sports stars, but nothing in the text requires that they have been part-demon or anything else other than fully humankind.)
The Nephilim are described as "the mighty heroes of old, the famous men" who were present prior to the ministry of Noah and afterward in history as well.
For our purposes we recommend the second (indirect-demonic) or third understandings.
There is also some debate as to the third verse. Some take the reference to “120 years” to mean that the Lord God imposed a hard-limit on the longevity of humans. If one understand this limit to have been neutralized at some later point in Bible history this is fine. There would otherwise be a problem as there are documented cases of people living beyond 120 years.
A phrase is used that we will read many more times in both the old and new testaments "... every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time." appears here in this early OT text for the very first time.
While it is not new that the Lord God was unhappy with the choice Adam and Eve made in the Garden, and the necessity of His response to it, this is a new level of Heavenly unhappiness.
The Lord God now regrets making humankind at all because instead of turning back to Him and seeking reconciliation our earlier Chapter 6 text recorded an increased and more-pervasive rebellion through sin.
The Lord God's response is to obliterate all whose hearts are hardened against Him, who are unrepentantly irredeemable “... every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time." (vs 6:5)
Humankind, with the influence of the Enemy, intentionally mated with the men of “giant” stature whose purpose was aggression. The “Nephilim” must have survived the flood through the lineage of Noah (the wives of his sons or the husbands of his daughters) since the text has them present before and after Noah. There is a difference between human imperfection and an unrepentant heart, and there are different consequences for each.
What have you been taught about fallen angels mating with human women or Nephilim (giants)? Do you see how this would create an unnecessary conflict with the uniqueness of the immaculate conception of Jesus?
If the correct understanding of the “120 years” is that Lord God warned that He would lift His hand of protection in 120 years then it appears that almost everyone continued in their rebellion despite the impending doom.
What are some ways When have you been warned of impending consequences yet continued in the same conduct and suffered the negative consequence? When have you found yourself closing-out God from a part of your life, only to find that you have also blocked His blessings?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where you may be in rebellion and ignoring warnings from God through His Holy Spirit.
Today I will confess and repent of my rebellion, request and accept His forgiveness, then ask a fellow believer to pray in-agreement and to provide accountability as I establish a new pattern of life. I will also seek an opportunity to share this teaching with others, perhaps in a small group, an opportunity to encourage and to pray for a fellow believer who is drifting away from the Lord God in some area of their life, and also to share these verses with someone who is considering-Christ.
Be Specific _________________________________________________
All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated - http://bible.org
Note 1: These Studies often rely upon the guidance of the NET Translators from their associated notes. Careful attention has been given to cite that source where it has been quoted directly or closely paraphrased. Feedback is encouraged where credit has not been sufficiently assigned.
Note 2: When NET text is quoted in commentary and discussion all pronouns referring to God are capitalized, though they are lower-case in the original NET text.
Commentary text is from David M. Colburn, D.Min. unless otherwise noted.
Copyright © 2012 by David M. Colburn. This is a BibleSeven Study –“Genesis 3. Prepared by David M. Colburn and edited for bible.org in August of 2012. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.