Sunday 30 September 2012

Read with me: Genesis 6

God’s grief & God’s grace (Chapter 6:1-8)

[6:5] “The LORD saw the wickedness of man was great...” The increase of man upon the earth only results in the increase of his rebellion against God. “every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

The identity of the “sons of God” (verses 2 and 4) is a source of much scholarly debate. Some suggest they refer to angels. More likely, Genesis is referring to the line of Adam outlined in Chapter 5. Theirs is the sin of their ancestor Eve, “(they) saw... and they took... any they chose.” The new 120 year limitation on lifespan also makes more sense in light of the decreasing age of death in each successive generation we see in Adam’s genealogy. Either that, or Genesis is counting down God’s judgement of the flood.

[6:6] “And the LORD regretted (possibly even, repented) that he had made man on the earth.” God is deeply affected by our sin. “It grieved him to his heart.” Verse 7: “I am sorry that I have made them.”

[6:7] “I will blot out man...” God’s judgement upon man whom he has created in seen in his judgement upon all creation, “Man and animals and creeping things and the birds of the heavens.” To blot out means to wipe/wash away (pointing forward to the flood, perhaps?), an expression often used to describe the erasure of a line of writing. Psalm 69:26, “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living.”

God is about to start afresh, not simply with man, but with all creatio. He plans to “reboot” the earth.

[6:8] “But Noah found favour (hen=grace) in the eyes of the LORD.” Grace means Noah’s salvation is not earned nor deserved.

Noah’s righteousness & obedience (Chapter 6:9-22)

[6:9] “Noah was a righteous man.” Saddiq (righteousness) never refers to an inner character of uprightness, rather describes an outer, visible, active quality of a person. Noah was one who acted righteously. Almost immediately, Genesis tells us how, “Noah walked with God.” And the the rest of the chapter illustrates how his righteousness is lived out - in obedience to God’s spoken word.

For the rest of the chapter, God alone speaks. He reveals his plans to Noah. He gives detailed instructions on building the ark. He makes his covenant with Noah.

     [6:13] “God said to Noah...”
     [6:14] “Make yourself an ark...Make rooms... cover it.”
     [6:15] “This is how you are to make it...”
     [6:16] “Make a roof... make it with … decks.”
     [6:18] “You shall come into the ark...”
     [6:19] “ Every living thing.... you shall bring two of every sort...”
     [6:21] “Take with you every sort of food... store it up.”

[6:22] Noah responds with obedience. “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.”

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