Genealogy of two sons of Adam and Eve given in this part of Genesis – first that of Cain, followed by younger son Seth. Are some similarities, noted one last week in how nearly alike a few names are. Are significant differences also, more on that as we go along. If record ended with Genesis 4:24, future would not look too promising. Mention made of man’s achievements during first several centuries of civilization, God’s actions to push his plan forward seems to have ended with death of Abel.
The serpent appears to have the upper hand, God forced to play catch-up somehow. Managed to deceive Eve who then was followed by Adam into grievous sin. Next generation, through seduction of sin managed to overpower Cain and end life of a godly one who could have eventually produced the promised seed. And sin just keeps growing – affecting more and more people, inciting them to greater evil.
At the moment when evil seems to have reached its low point, God turns the camera from Cain back to Adam and Eve. Don’t think has taken all this time for God to think up plan B – God not reacting to events that surprised him. This part of his eternal plan, showing mankind just how serious his sin problem was, his total inability to fix it. Over and over in second genealogy the bell tolls – “and he died”. Clearly sin not just a problem for Adam and Eve – had infected entire human race with deadly consequences.
There is renewed light in the profound darkness of mankind bound in sin – a little baby, born to a mom who knew and loved God. That mom had discernment to see accurately what God was doing – had not walked away from his creation, leaving mankind to figure things out as best he could. God still very much involved, still very much committed to redeeming his people. That truth brought out distinctly by introduction and structure of this genealogy.
A. Adam – God’s likeness v.1-17
remember your origin – creation account not simply a way to get the story started… has ongoing significance for each generation
human history is linear, not circle or spiral – another reminder it had a specific beginning with specific identified individual
since is a beginning, probably an ending / goal toward which everything is trending – we know is a single end with two possible destinies, hinted at in genealogy
remember your design – originally made in image of God, sharing things in common with God although in different degree
this aspect of design absolutely essential for meaningful relationship… in both directions between God and man
strongly implies that healthy functioning relationship intended to be the norm, not some kind of exception
and the male/female bit – is it coincidence that put it here at the beginning of a genealogy? I think that, too, was done by intentional design
marred but not effaced by sin – completely corrupted or destroyed image would end positive relationship
would also diminish if not totally take away all value/worth – presence of imago Dei even though distorted means every human being has worth and significance, possibility of relationship
personally – record says he “had sons and daughters” – could add and grandchildren and great’s and… perhaps as many as 8 generations of offspring
even though under consequence of sin (death), lived amazing (to us) long life with probably good health for all of it
through both lines of descendants – descendants of both Cain and Seth achieved significant things, many good for others
throughout the Bible – yes, his transgression also remembered but stated in factual not condemning way
always in every context at least strongly implied and sometimes stated that he was first man, first formed, given place of honor at head of human race
in genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:38) – genealogy given here repeated in reverse order as given by Luke, ending with Adam
called “the son of God”, reference to his creation by hand of God… a special dignity given only to him and Eve
easy to see even from these few references – to make Gen 1-10 a myth destroys integrity of rest of Bible
B. Enoch – God’s companion v.17-27
7th from Adam… just like (evil) Lamech – high point of godliness vs evil
two trajectories: Cain to Lamech, Seth to Enoch – from murder to revenge 10x more evil, worshiping God to walking with God
God absent, God the focus – no indication of interest in God among Cain’s progeny; could have been individuals who did but general trend one of growing godlessness
just as Seth’s birth gave hope to Eve, so calling on / worshiping / walking with God led to Lamech’s hope in God’s promise
exact time uncertain – could have coincided with Methusaleh’s birth, might have occurred before
do know character of life after M’s birth – “walked with God”, description used only of Enoch and Noah (6:9)
outcome was certain – two significant aspects of description: intimacy and concurrency, pursuing the same object
knew God, knew what God wanted of him and pursued it, communicated/fellowshipped with God, pleased God
something beyond death – no reason to believe Enoch the only “survivor” – if he didn’t experience death, maybe…
certainly need a lot more revelation to figure it out but… is one indication of what promised Seed would achieve
reason to believe that somehow awful damage done by sin could be reversed/removed in future
something better than life – short life not punishment, rather a reward for pleasing God – experience wherever he went somehow better than staying here
note also: Enoch’s son Methusaleh longest life of anyone recorded – Enoch’s short life not new trend, was tied directly to his faith and godliness
C. Noah – God’s comfort v.28-32
don’t know about Methusaleh, would seem that Enoch’s life did influence grandson Lamech, encouraged faith in him
knew history of mankind, understood consequences of sin and the curse – like Eve, had insight about what God was doing
Eve and Lamech the only ones who gave us reasons for their name choices, both have to do with a son, how God would use him
a turning point
Lamech thought Noah would bring about sea-change, paradigm shift in life as they knew it – that he would remove the curse
would be turning point, not the way Lamech thought – Cain’s line would be obliterated, earth would be cleansed of burden of sin on it at that time, never again destroyed by flood
a source of hope
Noah was from God’s perspective the one that would give hope to his world and ours – even in worst of times God makes way of deliverance for those who are devoted to him
Enoch and Lamech are good examples for us – faithfulness to God when God’s plan isn’t always plain. Being informed of our history and God’s promises so can apply to daily life. Enoch cared more for God’s opinion than man’s, quality adopted by great-grandson Noah. Grandson Lamech trusted God and his promises, maintaining hope in promise made 1000+ years before.
These three – Adam, Enoch, Noah – significant figures in redemptive history. Yet genealogy includes many others of whom we know little apart from what is here. Each in their own way had significance to God – was important to him to include these individuals in the record of his son’s family tree. Not only big deals that are important to God, average people are also.
Used to be common saying, “nothing is certain but death and taxes”. Really should add to that “the promises of God”. God uses people of all kinds, sometimes in obvious ways, other times more quietly to bring about his redemptive purpose. Even when we can’t see his fingerprints clearly, can be confident of his faithfulness… because of his perfect track record, here for us in black and white. Meanwhile, let’s be like Enoch and walk with God day by day.