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Genesis 5

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, JULY 21

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 5

When I decided to take us on this journey through Genesis, I thought I wouldn’t spend much time on the genealogy chapters.  In fact, I thought we would probably break our rule of one chapter each day when we came across a genealogy.  That doesn’t mean the genealogies aren’t important.  It just means it is really easy to get bogged down in one of those.  Now I am about to violate what I just said.  

There is a lot of important stuff in the genealogy of Genesis 5 that we need to think through.  For example, if you look back over the end of chapter 4, beginning in verse 17, you will see part of the genealogy of Cain.  When we get to chapter 5, we have the genealogy of Adam through Seth which is the ancestry through which Jesus would come.  But if you will look at carefully, you will discover that we have some of the same names in both genealogies.  I guess that could mean that early on in human history there was a limited set of names for people to use.  But the real point behind this is that even this early in human history there was a counterfeit being produced to mimic the work of God.  

Another interesting and important point in human history is broached in verse 4.  Notice, the verse says that Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters.  Sometimes folks reject the Genesis narrative because they struggle with where the women came from that all the men married.  The answer to that apparent conundrum is early on men like Cain and Seth married their sisters.  In the next generation, cousins would have married cousins and so on until the population grew.  

If you will look down at verses 18-23, you will find the story of Enoch.  In verse 22, we find that Enoch walked with God after Methuselah was born.  We don’t know what Enoch’s relationship with God was before the birth of Methuselah but we know after that birth, Enoch had a most remarkable relationship with God.  In the short book of Jude in the New Testament, we find where Enoch was actually a prophet who spoke of the return of Jesus (v. 14).  The story of Enoch ends with him walking with God and suddenly vanishing from the earth because God “took” him.  (Genesis 5: 24)  The book of Hebrews says it was “by faith” that Enoch was taken.  Among other things, this means that Enoch did not experience physical death.  At least he hasn’t experienced it yet.  Some people see this experience of Enoch as prefiguring the rapture of the church.

So, why did Enoch suddenly begin walking with God?  Maybe it had to do with the birth of a child.  It is not uncommon, even today, that the birth of child will bring a couple to church or back to church.  There is something about being responsible for another life that makes us very anxious and unsure.  There is also something about holding a baby that makes us realize there absolutely must be a God somewhere.  Or maybe Enoch’s “conversion” was the result of the growing evil that he was seeing around him.  

Enoch’s son Methuselah lived a long, long time.  In fact, he didn’t die until the year the flood occurred.  His son, Lamech, would be the father of Noah.  The name Noah sounds a lot like the Hebrew word for comfort.  And Lamech’s prayer was that somehow Noah would bring some relief from the difficulties of life they were struggling with.  

Behind the genealogies at the end of chapter four and throughout chapter five, we find the storm clouds of God’s judgment building.  I think if we looked around a bit, we might find the storm clouds of God’s judgment building today as well.

Genesis 4

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, JULY 20

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 4

This chapter gives us our first look at human life outside the paradise of the Garden of Eden.  Remember it was Adam’s choice to sin that drove him and his wife out.  So, we shouldn’t be too surprised that the second generation of humanity was going to have some problems.

Genesis 5:4 teaches us that Adam and Eve had several sons and daughters.  The two that we are introduced to in chapter four are Cain and Abel.  As the boys grew older they developed different interests:  Cain became a farmer and Abel became a shepherd.

Then we read that one day both boys brought an offering to God.  Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground that he had raised.  Abel brought the firstborn of the flock which would have been a sheep.  God accepted Abel and his offering.  God rejected Cain and his offering.

That should bring us to a logical question.  Why was Abel’s offering accepted and Cain’s rejected?  One might think it had to do with what was offered.  In other words, an animal offered as a sacrifice would carry more weight than something else offered.  But later on as the Old Testament Law is being given, we find several offerings that were specifically grown from the ground.

The next possibility would have to do with the animal sacrifice being a blood sacrifice.  But again the Old Testament Law commands some offerings to be from the fruit of the ground.

So what was the problem with the two offerings?  Absolutely nothing.  The problem was with the offerer.  Cain wasn’t rejected because of his offerings.  Cain’s offering was rejected because of him. 

In Hebrews 11:4 the Bible says Abel “by faith” offered a more acceptable sacrifice.  There is no such statement about Cain.  We can, therefore, assume there was something going on with Cain.  His relationship with God was tainted by something that somehow took faith out of the equation for Cain.  And since the Bible says “Without faith it is impossible to please God”, Cain was not going to please God and his offering would be rejected.

After Cain killed Abel, God asked Cain a couple of questions.  It is important to remember that God does not ask questions for His information.  Since He is omniscient, there is nothing He does not know and therefore doesn’t have to ask anything of anyone.  So, God does not ask questions for His information.  He asks questions for our transformation.

God asks questions to get us to think about who we are and what we have done.  If we actually wrestle through His questions, we will always come to an understanding that we need a Savior.  And that is where transformation begins.

As the story progresses, it is interesting that God does not demand Cain’s life in payment for Abel’s murder.  Instead, Cain was to be a fugitive and wanderer.  Cain whined about how great his punishment was.  Once again, we see the amazing grace of God.  Here God is dealing with sin and the first murder, and He decides to show grace to the murderer.  God put a mark on Cain to protect him and Cain wandered off to start a life with his wife.  The grace of God always surpasses all efforts to explain it.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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