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.