WEBS: 11 September 2013
Title: Going From Bad to Worse
Text: Genesis 6.1-8
Introduction: Enoch (5.21); how many generations pass before they begin to deteriorate spiritually? From Enoch on, there is a head-first dive in to depravity. How quickly people forget God’s goodness!
Transition: that’s what we’ll see today.
1. The Degeneration of Man: (1-4)
Ø Marriage is devalued, watered-down; v 1-2;
exp.: rd v1-2; short easy explanation:
· Chapter 4.17-22 gives the ungodly genealogy of Cain and Chapter 5 gives the godly lineage of Seth. So, context might lead you to believe that these are the two groups: godly line, taking on ungodly wives and producing ungodly offspring. That’s the easiest explanation.
· I’ve also heard, but disagree with Kings marrying subjects/peasants.
· But, there is the miraculous, the unexplainable by human intelligence.
o Look at the link between fallen angels and the flood
§ 1 Peter 3.19-20 – allusion to Christ preaching upon his death “to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.” BTW; the Gk word for spirits (pneumata) is used in the bible to describe supernatural beings – here “fallen angels” in Gen 6;
§ 2 Peter 2.4-5, 9: references the same fallen angels in the context of the flood, as Peter warns that God will also hold the unrighteous for judgment.
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;… 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
· We find a similar reference in Jude 6: And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—
· Added to this, there are many ancient texts which teach this doctrine:
o 1 Enoch, The book of Jubilees, LXX, the writings of Philo & Josephus, the DSS;
o Early Christian scholars like Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen.
o Furthermore, The OT does declare sons of God to be human, most often, it is a reference to angels; Job 1.6; 2.1; 38.6; Daniel 3.25
o The NT refers to demons as craving for bodies: Mk 5.11-13; Luke 8.31-33; 11.24-26;
· So, It’s possible that the sons of God were fallen angels who demonically, through possession, took over male bodies for the purpose of fulfilling their lusts. I say possession, because of the previous verses and Luke 20.34-36 says angels cannot marry nor procreate.
Now, some may say this is a hard teaching. I agree, but isn’t some of our theology difficult. How was Jesus formed in Mary’s womb? Did not the H.S. come upon her? Lk 1.35ff;
· Note the similar wording in the Hebrew between Gen 3.6 & 6.2; Here is a picture of unmitigated lust for an object (Eve the fruit; fallen angels human bodies);
This raises a question: why? Why would these humans desire to intermarry with fallen angels? The answer might be found in the next verse, v 3. Maybe, just maybe, Their lives were long, but they desired immortality. This complicity by the parents to give their daughters, I think, demonstrates how far their culture had fallen. These weren’t proper marriages. These weren’t ordained of God! you may ask how could a dad do this? Well, we find dad’s doing this in the cultic worship before, during and after Jesus’ time. Dad’s gave their daughters to the temple to be prostitutes. That’s depraved.
Next we see, man’s life span is cut short;
Ø The Life span of man is shortened; v 3; as I mentioned before, the goal was probably extending their long lives to immortality.
o God shortens the span from hundreds of years to 120; roughly translated, 1/7 of the original time span.
o Notice though, it doesn’t happen right away. Noah – rd 9.29; 11.10-26; It appears to decline through the generations.
o Notice then Abraham – 175 years; Isaac 180 years; Jacob 147 years; Joseph 110 years (Gen 50.26); Moses 120 years (Deut. 34.7); Joshua 110 years (24.29). Aaron is the only one who actually lives long than 120 years from Moses on – 123 years (Numbers 33.39).
Ø Violent men become idolized:
exp.: v 4; Nephilim lit.: fallen ones; Older translations use the word Giants because that is the meaning in Numbers 13.33 when the Israelites refused to enter the land because they were scared. They said their were giants in the land. Indeed, the offspring of fallen angels and daughters of men might have created a ‘giant’ species. These cannot be the same people in the land, because of the flood. So, who were they?
o The mighty men of old, men of renown. Note in v 4: the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. There is an implication that this is done by violence and force.
o We’ve seen throughout history where men have forced women to become their slaves. Indeed, that is a ministry that Julieanne has been a big part of. She’s helped, or tried to help, women leave the bondage of slavery and drugs to find freedom and a new start.
app.: Can you draw some comparisons to our society and culture today? Have we not diluted marriage and changed the definition? How has the media played a role? How has sports played a role? MMA/WWF; football; boxing; the steroid scandals?
Let me ask: who is in control of this degeneration? Eph. 6.12
Transition: 1st we see the Degeneration of man, now we see the depravity of man at it’s lowest!
2. The Depravity of Man (5)
exp.: What did God say when he created the heavens and the earth (1.9, 18, 21, 25) and how did he conclude in v 31? Now, not the stark contrast of v. 5; rd v 5; note: every, only, continually; also, every intention lit.: is every forming; this is a metaphor for a potter who is in the act of molding and shaping his vessel; Von Rad’s commentary says: It means even the reflections of fantasy, the rising and freely formed movements of the will were ‘only evil continually’. There is no remorse, no repentance – only total depravity.
Transition: The Degeneration of Man, the Depravity of Man and now, the Divine Judgment of God.
3. The Divine Judgment of God (6-7)
exp.: Notice 1st,
Ø God’s Grief: rd v 6; compare w/ 1 Samuel 15.29; Listen to R. Kent Hughes: Though God’s eternal joy and happiness cannot be disturbed, he is not a disinterested observer of the human scene. One of the marks of personality is feeling and here in Genesis we read that God’s heart was filled with pain. One of my commentaries said that this word is filled with human emotion, “a mixture of rage and bitter anguish.”
Ø God’s Plan: rd v 7; His plan: erase what’s there and start over; God would erase all that exists, except for one small part to start all over again with; The result of sin, the consequence of sin will reap it’s full benefits. The Human race now was beyond repair in it’s current state and the best course of action was complete annihilation. Except for one thing: the grace of God.
4. The Divine Grace of God (8)
exp.: God doesn’t do things half way; Just as judgment will be poured out full measure, so is God’s grace; rd v 8; Noah found – ‘grace’; rd v 9; Noah was like Enoch, he walked with God! Please note: Noah was a sinner like the rest of mankind; Noah was a wretched man, like the rest of mankind. Noah, like us, is saved by grace and not by any righteousness (v9) of his own! He wasn’t saved because he built a boat; he was saved by grace. He wasn’t saved by his righteousness; he was saved by grace.
Now, today, we don’t fear a flood like the one in Noah’s day; however, we do fear the flood brought about by the consequence of our own sin. We need God’s grace today, too. We are a sinful people:
Observations & Implications:
1. Romans 3.10-12; our souls are condemned in word and deed; rd v 13-14; our words condemn us; rd v 15-17; our deeds condemn. We need God’s grace.
2. Hear the words of Jesus for our time: Matt 24.37-39