Genesis 8-9

Notes for January 5, 2012

After months on the ark – without TV, telephone or email – Noah opens the window to a new world.

Genesis 8

1:  God remembered Noah. Sometimes the believer’s obedience puts him in isolation from all outside influences. If this seclusion is prolonged, one is tempted to think that he has been abandoned, and many have driven themselves into depression because their minds were too focused on the environment rather than the Eternal, on the situation rather than the Savior. But God has promised never to leave nor to forsake His people (Hebrews 13:5); so we should remember Him and be content, knowing that all things work together for the good of God’s elect, them who love Him (Romans 8:28).

2:  The most protracted natural disaster in history came to an end.  Looking back, it was so long ago; and 6 months seems such a short time in light of the length of human history. Of course, no trouble seems good at the time; but then, and now, our troubles are but for a moment and nothing to be compared to the eternal glory that awaits the children of God (Romans 8:18).

God, who caused the rain and the floods, put an end to them when they had fulfilled His purpose. The Creator is also the Controller-there are no freak accidents in nature.

3-12: The rain stopped, but the ark continued to float (you should recall that there was no steering mechanism-it was an ark). Eventually the waters subsided and the ark came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat. Imagine the relief of those inside to sense that their gopher wood life boat had finally landed!

After about 6 weeks, Noah opened the window. A raven and a dove were set free; the scavenger bird never came back, but the dove returned. A week later (note the references to days and months and years throughout this passage) the dove was loosed again; and this time the bird returned with an olive leaf, signifying that the waters had receded.

Another week onboard, and the dove was set free again, never to return.

13: How long was Noah on the ark? Subtracting Genesis 7:11-13 from Genesis 8:14-15 we see that about a year had elapsed. When was the last time that you spent a whole day relying completely upon God? When he entered the ark, Noah didn’t know how long the adventure would last, but he obeyed. We, too, should obey God; even when we don’t know the duration or final outcome and any particular acts of obedience.

16: Go forth.  Remember, God had been inside with them the whole year.  Who would know by looking at the pitched outside?

17: Breed abundantly, be fruitful and multiply. Offspring are to be increased, not only for the perpetuation of the species, but because God is worthy of His creatures’ praise; and the more voices there are to praise Him, the better!

20-21: Noah built an altar unto the Lord; and he offered a sacrifice of every clean beast and fowl that had survived. It’s a good thing that he took more than two of these animals or they would have become extinct immediately!

The Lord accepted Noah’s offering; and the Lord, recognizing that man’s heart is sinful from birth, promised not to send a universal and temporal judgment upon the earth again (even though such might and would be deserved).

22: Further, the Lord promised that seasons of winter and summer, planting and harvesting, day and night, would remain in tact as long as the earth remained. Those in eternal hell will be tormented day and night forever (Revelation 20:10); but those in heaven will see no night (Revelation 21:25, 22:5) and have no need of planting or harvesting.

 

Genesis 9

Here, as often elsewhere, there is a break in the chapter numbering of our English Bible; but the thought continues from Chapter 8 directly into Chapter 9.

1-2: A new relationship to the animals. In Chapter 2 the animals came to Adam, and in Chapter 7 animals came to Noah. But after the flood the animals would be afraid of Man.

3: A new diet. Before the flood, Man was vegetarian; after the flood, Man was allowed to kill animals for food. (Maybe that’s why the animals became afraid of Man, the hunter.)

4: No blood in the meat allowed. See also Leviticus 17:10-14.

5-6: Sanctity of life. God establishes a rule of law: thou shalt not murder. Both beast and man who murder shall be put to death. Later, in Numbers 35, we shall see the distinction between manslaughter and murder; but for now, in more primitive society, announcing the prohibition and the punishment will suffice.

And why is God careful to enjoin men from taking each other’s lives?  Because Man was made in the image of God; and he who strikes at Man strikes not only at the mirror, but also at the God who is reflected thereby (James 3:9-10).

8: Where were the wives?

9: Seed. There’s that seed again. It seems like we can’t get away from this idea that God’s blessing is to this promised “seed”. Indeed, take away Christ Jesus the Seed and there is no blessing.

10-17: A promise to man and creation. Although creation suffers because of the sin of Adam (Romans 8:22), demonstrated most recently by the great flood judgment, God covenants never to send such a global disaster again. As a token of God’s promise, He leaves a rainbow in the sky when it rains.

Parents may joke with little children that thunder is angels bowling; but the rainbow is the weatherman’s opportunity to remind us of a faithful and covenant-keeping God.

20-27: The drunkenness of Noah, sin of Ham and the curse of Canaan. If the grandfather hadn’t gotten drunk, the son never would have so sinned, and the grandson would not have been affected by these events.

Among other things, perpetual drunkenness is an indication that one will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:21). To be sure, one who never once gets drunk will never be guilty of perpetual drunkenness. Even godless societies have forbidden public drunkenness. The believer, who desires to glorify God in all that he does, should be careful not to allow himself to lose control of his conscious ability to glorify God.

What did Ham do? He “saw the nakedness of his father” and “he told his two brethren.” In Leviticus 18 and 20, to uncover the nakedness of someone close of kin was forbidden. In this situation, the sons know full well that what Ham had done was wrong; and Shem and Japheth attempted to cover up their brother’s sin; but Noah awoke and knew what his younger son had done. Apparently more than a momentary glance was Ham’s offense.

The curse came upon Canaan; but associated with it is the blessing upon Japheth and even more so upon Shem. What is good news for one is bad news for the other.

Note: In the past, some have suggested that the descendants of Ham are under this curse today; further, they read Genesis 10 to delineate which people groups specifically are under the curse of servitude. This false teaching even had proponents who went farther and taught that Ham’s descendants are genetically inferior to descendants of the other two brothers.  You will remember that the curse was actually upon Canaan; and this fact alone disproves the whole errant teaching. Let us pray that none today would take this passage to justify their racism.

 

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Genesis 6-7

Notes for January 4, 2012

Genesis Chapters 6-10 speak of Noah-his society, his God, his character, his work, his experience, and his descendants. Nearly everybody I know has heard of Noah and the ark; but very few actually know why he built it, or what happened after the flood.

Other Biblical references to Noah:

Isa 54:9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

Eze 14:14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.

Eze 14:20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

1 Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

2 Pe 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Genesis 6

The last chapter ended on a high note–God’s promise to send one to conquer the serpent was not thwarted by Cain’s murder of Abel, as evidenced by the birth of Seth and men calling on the name of the Lord. Sadly, chapter 6 shows us that humanity was divided into two groups: those who loved God and those who had no thought of God at all. Today the same division exists. Not political divisions, not educational divisions, not economical divisions. There is a great spiritual divide today as there was in the days of Noah– the sons of God separated from sons of men, those who have been twice born and those who have been born but once.

2: Biblical separation, the eternal truth that God’s people should not ally themselves with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1), was ignored by the children of God. Unlike Adam who received the wife of God’s choosing, these who represented God’s saving family chose wives for themselves from among the daughters of the unsaved.

3: God tolerated this confusion for a while, as He so graciously and often does (Acts 17:30). Note mention here of the Spirit of God (remember Genesis 1:2?) and see how early in the Bible we are introduced to God in multiple persons (not personalities!). The concept of a triune God was not foreign to Old Testament saints.

4: Mighty men, men of renown, giants, were born of these unholy marriages.

5: The world soon turned away from God (turned by these mighty men?); and thoughts of God’s Savior were replaced by contemplation of evil. God was not in all of men’s thoughts (Psalm 10:4).

6-7: God doesn’t sin-so God cannot repent of evil that He has thought or done. God doesn’t make mistakes–so He can’t be sorry for a decision that He made. Maybe “repent” in these verses is used because we understand the concept in our own experience and it comes close to describing God in terms that understand.

8: God’s testimony regarding Noah: I will bestow my grace upon him.

9: The result of God’s grace upon Noah: he was a just man, perfect in his generations (2 Peter 2:5), and he walked with God (like Enoch before him, Genesis 5:24).

11, 13: God was disturbed by violence in the world. Shouldn’t we be disturbed by violence in our world also?

12: Further, God was disturbed by men having corrupted His way. Shouldn’t we be disturbed by widespread corruption of God’s word and way in our world also?

7, 1, 17: Although it appears that God was cutting His losses and going to Plan B, we know that from the beginning, even before the beginning, God’s eternal plan was that Christ would be born to save His people from their sins. Worldwide corruption in Noah’s day was no more surprise to God than is similar worldwide corruption in our day. Don’t despair; have faith in God.

8,18: God chose Noah; and God announced His intent to save Noah, his three sons, and the wives of the four of them from the coming judgment. Would anyone question the justice of this limited salvation? Only eight souls from the total world population? That’s only a remnant of the needy. Yes, God always saves a remnant of undeserving souls.

15-16: 300 x 50 x 30 cubits. As Bill Cosby asked, “What’s a cubit?” Usually a cubit is said to be the distance from one’s elbow to the tip of his outstretched fingers, or approximately 18 inches or 1 1/2 feet. That’s a rather large wooden box.

18-21: God’s covenant/promise with Noah was to save him and along with him would be his family and a sample of all kinds of animals and birds. Talk about protecting endangered species!

22: And Noah did everything as God commanded. Wouldn’t you? Do you?

Genesis 7

1: Come into the ark. Not “Go”. God was inside inviting Noah and his family to join Him. Imagine a whole world, and safety was only to be had inside a small and unglamorous wooden box. Jesus Christ-to the Jews, a stumblingblock; to the Greeks, foolishness. Yes safety for the sinner is to be found only in Christ.

2: Most people are ignorant of this verse! By 7′s and by 2′s. What is this clean/unclean distinction? Where did that idea come from? God, of course. It’s a distinction that will be explained in more detail in the book of Leviticus; and it illustrates the eternal principle that what God declares to be right is right; and what God declares to be wrong is wrong.

4: Noah and his family were shut up inside the ark for 7 days before the rain started. Remember that it had never rained before. Remember that God’s creative act encompassed six days and that God rested on the seventh–culminating a week of creation activity. From the beginning time has been reckoned by days and weeks.

4, 12: How many days did it rain? How old was Noah when he entered the ark.

16: Who shut the door?

20: How high above the mountain peaks did the water rise?

21: What happened to the animals and men who were not inside the ark? What happens to men who are outside Christ?

 

 

Genesis 4-5

Notes for January 3, 2008

Why are my children so bad? They’re just like their father.

Genesis 4

1-2: When Cain was born, the happy mother said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.’ Indeed, children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3); and parents are to teach their children about God (Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 6:7).
3-4: Adam and Eve seem to have been faithful in that responsibility; for we find both Cain the farmer and Abel the shepherd bringing offerings to the Lord.
3: “In process of time”. Are we to understand the usual weekly sacrifice, an annual sacrifice, or some other occasion?

NOTE: Whenever you find “LORD” in all capital letters in the King James Bible, remember that the Hebrew word thus translated is “Jehovah”. This typographical convention, although not inspired of God, is useful to readers of the English Bible.

4-5: The LORD accepted Abel and his offering, but He had no regard for Cain or his offering.
Both came “in process of time.”
Both came to the LORD.
Both came independently and without coercion.
Both brought the fruit of their labors.
Why then the disparity?
Hebrews 11: 4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). It doesn’t matter whether we follow the outward teachings of religion completely, if our actions are not because have heard God commanding us to do them and we have believed Him, then our actions are in vain. Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).
5-7: God spoke to Cain about the matter and encouraged him to repent and to do right. And, if Cain would be right with God, then Cain, the older brother, would maintain his firstborn rights. Otherwise, God said, sin will enter.
8: Apparently, Cain chose not to follow the Lord’s instruction, for we find that one day, as the brothers were in the field talking, Cain killed Abel. How many murders have been committed because of religious jealousy?
9-10: What have you done? What a convicting question from the mouth of God!
11-12: The criminal’s curse
13-14: The criminal’s complaint. Why would he be afraid that someone might kill him? Did ancient society have laws against murder? (Not until Genesis 9:5-6) do we find God granting Man the responsibility of capital punishment.)
14: To be cast out from the presence of God. What is hell?
15: Cain carried a mark to indicate that he was under the curse of God and that men might not take matters into their own hands.
17: Cain’s 3rd son and grandson were both named Enoch; and neither of them was the prophet Enoch who was translated to God (Genesis 5).
17-22: The genealogy of Cain is enumerated; but soon forgotten. This record does however speak of nomadic herdsmen, musicians, and craftsmen. Even today some people groups are known for their talents or abilities. What are you known for?
23-24: When Adam and Eve sinned, they were ashamed and attempted to hide from God (as though a sinner might actually hide from God! [ Psalm 139]). And not too many generations later we find their descendants not only without shame, but we actually find men boasting of their sin! Little has changed since then.
25-26: Seth is born; and declared to be a replacement seed (KJV: offspring) for Abel. Do you not see how the seed of the woman promised in Genesis 3:15 would have come through Abel, but now the Messiah is to be born of the family of Seth. It is not the “seed of Abraham” alone that should inspire us, but also the ‘seed of the woman’, the ‘seed of Seth’.
26: And with the continuation of the promised seed through Seth, we find that men began to call upon the name of the Lord. In what sense can it be said that men ‘began’ to call upon the name of the Lord? Perhaps we find the spread of true religion, or perhaps we find men joining together to call upon the Lord.

Genesis 5

From Adam to Noah

 

Father
Age at Son’s Birth
Son
Years after Son’s Birth
Age at Death
1. Adam 130 Seth 800 930
2. Seth 105 Enos 807 912
3. Enos 90 Cainan 815 905
4. Cainan 70 Mahalaleel 840 910
5. Mahalaleel 65 Jared 830 895
6. Jared 162 Enoch 800 962
7. Enoch 65 Methuselah 300 365*
8. Methuselah 187 Lamech 782 969
9. Lamech 182 Noah 595 777
10. Noah 500 Shem Ham Japeth

 

*Enoch never died (Genesis 5:24)

1: This genealogy of Adam begins by reminding us that Adam was made in the likeness of God. And Seth, the seed through whom Messiah would come, was begotten in that same likeness. Of Cain’s descendants we learned that they were builders, artisans and musicians.  Which would you rather be: in the line of Christ, or a famous architect, educator, politician, athlete, artist, or entertainer?

22: Why did Enoch choose the name “Methuselah” for his son? The name means something like “when he dies, something happens”. If you compare this chart with the time indicators of Genesis 6 you will see that Methuselah died the year of the flood!

24: Enoch walked with God.  Can two walk together unless they are agreed (Amos 3:3)? Do you walk with God?  Do you agree with God concerning Christ, your sin, God’s providence and salvation by grace?

24: One day God took Enoch from the earth, and Enoch was seen no more. Hebrews 11:5 says that Enoch was translated that he should not see death. And before his departure from this world, Enoch had this testimony, that he pleased God. How did he get to this enviable position of pleasing God and walking with God and not seeing death?  By faith!  Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. This kind of faith is not something that one turns on Sunday morning and turns off Sunday afternoon.

27: Methuselah lived 969 years. (One preacher said that since 1000 years is as a day to the Lord (2 Peter 3:8), then Methuselah was only a day old. He further proposed that with 1000 years being a day to the Lord, then Adam really did die the “day” that he ate the forbidden fruit.)

29: Lamech expected his son Noah (meaning: rest or comfort) to bring comfort to his people who tilled soil and the sin-cursed ground. I doubt he was looking forward to Noah’s discovering new agricultural methods.

Math question:  How many generations of his descendants would it have been possible for Adam to witness and to witness to?