Monday, July 25, 2011

The Perfect Man - Genesis Chapter 6

Genesis 6:5-13 (NKJV) 6:5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. 9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
In the last post I tried to reason out what the Bible meant by “The sons of God and the daughters of men.”  But what I think is most important about the passage is that wickedness and violence increased in the world to the point that God was sorry that he had created people.  He was grieved in His heart.  Let me examine that for a moment: 

According to the Mirriam–Webster Dictionaries that word grieved can be defined as:  To feel sorrow or distress caused by or as if by bereavement. 

In other words God felt a loss through the wickedness of people.  It was as if he had lost a family member.  That’s what loss “as if by bereavement” means.  He felt as if someone He loved had died.  This is the emotion that God experienced, but God is righteous. 

He is a righteous judge, so even though He was grieved and sorrowful at the loss of His people, He had to judge the sin.  God judged every living human being on the face of the earth, with the exception of Noah and his family.  He told Noah, “I will destroy them with the earth.”  That Noah and his family escaped this judgment is interesting when viewed in light of His judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah later in Genesis 18:

Genesis 18:23-32 (NKJV) 18:23 And Abraham came near and said, "Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" 26 So the Lord said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes." 27 Then Abraham answered and said, "Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: 28 Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?" So He said, "If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it." 29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, "Suppose there should be forty found there?" So He said, "I will not do it for the sake of forty." 30 Then he said, "Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?" So He said, "I will not do it if I find thirty there." 31 And he said, "Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?" So He said, "I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty." 32 Then he said, "Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it for the sake of ten."
Ten righteous men weren’t found in Sodom.  Only Lot was found to be righteous.  So God removed him from Sodom before he destroyed the city.

So if God destroyed everyone in Noah’s time, then it stands to reason that everyone was wicked except Noah and his family.  The Bible says that Noah was perfect, the Strong’s Hebrew lexicon says that perfect means entire, it is also translated as integrity or truth.  So in being perfect the Bible is saying that Noah was a man of integrity and truth.  He walked with God.  These words were also used to describe Enoch in Genesis 5.

Genesis 5:24 (NKJV) 5:24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Enoch was the first rapture.  God took him.  He wasn’t wicked like the rest of the world.  He was spared the judgment of sin, which is death.  Noah in his integrity was also spared judgment. I see this as a picture of God’s character. 

  1. He was moved by the loss of the people He created.  Their descent into wickedness grieved Him.  The Living Bible says, “It broke His heart.”  But because of His righteousness He had to judge the world.
  2. But He preserved mankind through Noah.  Noah was judged as a perfect man.  He was a man with integrity filled with truth.  He did this to establish His covenant:  The promise of a redeemer who would defeat Satan.  In Sodom and Gomorrah he would have spared the city for ten righteous men, but only Lot was found, so he removed him from the city.

This tells me that God is righteous.  He doesn’t punish where punishment isn’t required.  He will preserve the righteous.  This is important for us as Christians to understand, because we are the righteous.  Not because we don’t sin but because Jesus’ righteousness is imputed to us by His death.  That’s why we can share in the inheritance of eternal life.

Romans 5:17-19 (NKJV) 5:17 For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.
Finally, one last thought from this is that man was corrupt.  Corrupt is an interesting word that literally means to change from its original purpose to an evil purpose.  In one the cities that I lived in, many of the city council members were arrested for corruption.  They were elected to serve the people but they had changed from that purpose to serving themselves and causing harm to the people they were represent and protect.  They were corrupted.  Mankind was intended to live forever in the Garden of Eden and have fellowship with Him.  But sin changed all that, turning men to look only on their own selfish desires.  They no longer had fellowship with God; they were corrupted. 

Sin corrupts and ultimately leads to our destruction.  God is required to judge our personal sin in the same way he was required to judge all of mankind in Noah’s day.  His righteousness requires it.  So we must take heed and be watchful and avoid destruction…like Noah.

Stream of Thought:

1.  God was grieved by the loss of mankind through sin.
2.  God was required by His righteousness to judge the sin.
3.  He preserved Noah because of Noah's integrity and truth.
4.  Noah was righteous.  We are righteous through Jesus.
5.  God will spare us the judgment of our sin; Eternal Life.
6.  We have been corrupted from God's original intention by sin.
7.  We must guard our integrity and be blameless like Noah.

Photo Credit:  http://www.maritimequest.com/misc_ships/pages/noahs_ark_3000bc_page_1.htm

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