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?

 

Genesis 2-3

Genesis 2

The creation of male and female humans is found in Genesis 1:27; details of that creation are found in Genesis 2. Remember this style as your read the Bible. Often a subject or person is introduced briefly, and then details follow.

Remember also that chapter divisions in the Bible were added apart from God’s inspiration and at a much later time; and sometimes these man-made divisions should be ignored lest continuity of thought be disrupted.

1-3: A 7th day of rest, a Sabbath. Surely God wasn’t tired and in need of physical rest. What God did here, and what so often happens throughout the history of God’s directing His people, is designed to teach them a lesson about God. The 4th commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) looks back to this event as the example of resting from our labor in order that we might worship God regularly.

3: Was this 7th day of rest the conclusion forever of God’s creativity?

4-7: Do not assume that the “laws of nature” on earth have not changed. We know by experience what rain is; but there was no rain in the Garden of Eden. God, who created the earth and the “science” behind it, can suspend or change the “laws of nature” in whatever manner and for whatever duration suits His holy, wise, and beneficent purposes. Remember that God is always a “hands-on” Creator and you will better understand subsequent events. We call them “miracles”, but they are normal activities for an all-powerful God.

7: Man was but a statue of dust until God breathed life into him and man became a living soul. All creatures receive their life from God (Acts 17:25; Job 12:10, 33:4); and should God withdraw His breath, Man will die (Psalm 104:29).

8-15: The garden of Eden must have been a sizeable place.

9: Two special trees in the middle of the garden—the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

15: Man’s occupation. Is Man still responsible to dress and keep his environment?

16-17: The first commandment? Permission granted to freely choose to eat the fruit from all the trees except one. Here is Man’s free will expressed and encouraged by God. But with limitation.

17: Violation of the commandment will bring certain punishment—death. Many a child has pilfered fruit and received a thrashing—but death?

18-25: While the products of the six Creation days were declared good, and Man’s existence deemed “very good”, yet God wasn’t finished. God’s design was for male and female humans to interact in a special relationship, helping one another.

19: Adam was not a caveman. He demonstrated intelligence and verbal skills in the recognition and naming of the animals.

19-20: Many animals were available, but God would not have Man be attached to them. (Clearly bestiality is unnatural; and one wonders about those who become overly attached to pets.)

21-23: While Adam was asleep and unaware, God was preparing just the right wife for him. When God brought the woman to the man, Adam quickly (and wisely) accepted her as one with him.

24: This first marriage was intended to be a pattern for all subsequent marriages. God had united them; and He had no intention of allowing them or anyone else to break that union (Matthew 19:4-6).

24: The oneness of this union has ramifications for those who seek sexual gratification outside of marriage (1 Corinthians 6:16).

25: Nakedness and shame. Keep reading into chapter 3 to see how this changes.

Whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall not be ashamed (Romans 9:33; 10:11).

 

Genesis 3

It seems like only yesterday that Adam and Eve were comfortably settled in Paradise. And today they lose it all for a little piece of fruit.

This chapter can be summed up by the following New Testament commentary:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12 )

 

1: A talking serpent who questions God’s commandment.

2-3: And a woman who adds her own rules to God’s. Many churchmen today do the same thing—adding their own rules and regulations to God’s. See Revelation 22:18-19.

4-5: The father of lies at work. See John 8:44. First he denies the truth of God’s word, and then he suggests that God is guarding His position by denying Adam and Eve the knowledge of good and evil.

6: As we all know, the woman looked and took some of the forbidden fruit and gave it to her husband. Napoleon is reported to have said “I came, I saw, I conquered.” How much sin could be avoided if we were mindful of the children’s song that teaches “Be careful little eyes what you see.”

7-8: What newfound knowledge did they possess? That they were naked before God. That they had disobeyed God. That they should be covered. Innocence lost can never be reclaimed.

And what did they do? The tried to cover up their shame, their nakedness with aprons of fig leaves; and they tried to hide from God when they heard Him approaching—the same things that children have been doing for centuries when faced with being discovered in disobedience: they try to cover it up and they try to hide from consequences.

9: God asked this question for Adam’s sake. We need to hear God ask this question of us, too: Where are we? Are we right with God or are we in a sinful state of estrangement from our Creator?

Are we hiding in the bushes, or are we walking in the Light with our glorious God?

11-13: How often do you blame others for your sin?

 

1 Timothy 2

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

 

14: God doesn’t question the serpent; would you expect the serpent to answer truthfully?

15: The gospel in Genesis. Here is the promise that one born of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent. This “seed” of the woman is Christ, who will suffer at the hands of the serpent, but who will ultimately triumph over sin.

16: The woman will have pain in bearing children and yet it is via child-bearing that her ultimate salvation is accomplished. Further, her relationship to her husband is to be submissive to his leadership.

17: The man must now work, and work hard, to provide for his family. And the work of tending to plants is complicated by the effect that Man’s sin has had on the world around him. The easy life has come to an end.

19: Remind me where I came from…

20: All of us are from the same blood.

21: Sinful Man must be covered; but the product of his sinful hands can never be sufficient covering. The material was ill-suited and the style was corrupt.

22-23: Adam and Eve were evicted for having broken the terms of occupation—they ate forbidden fruit and now they must leave.

24. Yet God mercifully placed Cherubim and a flaming sword at the east end of the garden to keep the way back to God.

 

Genesis 1

Notes for January 1, 2012

Reading the final chapters of the Bible, and then reading the opening chapters, sets before us the unity of God’s revelation for we see how in the beginning God created a beautiful place where He could walk with Man, and how in the end God creates a new, beautiful place where He can walk with Man. Milton called it Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/milton/index.htm). The latter, eternal Paradise is far different from, and far superior to, the original.

Genesis 1
Without controversy, the Bible teaches that God ordered the creation of heaven and earth and life as we know it. While many argue about how or how long God accomplished this work, none can deny that the Bible teaches that God existed before earth and life on earth, and that He is responsible for Man’s existence.

Further the Bible teaches that this Creator God maintains control over His work and that nature is not an accident and Man is not left to conjure up his own path through life.

If we would understand the origin of the human species and why we are here, then let us begin our reading of Genesis.

1. Six days of creation, with Man being created on the sixth day. Much discussion has taken place about the length of these days. For sure, each of them had an evening and a morning.
2. Whatever else one may say of creation, God declared it to be good.
3. Something should be said about how the various plants and animals were designed to reproduce themselves without the aid of laboratories or human intervention and how life is carried forth in the seed.
4. God spoke that things should be, and it was so. Is that still the case?
5. Our concept of time is based on astronomical bodies and events, verse 14.
6. With plants created one day earlier than the sun, one might wonder how photosynthesis could take place if the creation days were actually thousands or millions of 24-hour days. But then, we know that plants can grow beneath artificial light. With light being created on the first day, it seems that our sun may also just be artificial light.
7. Nothing is stated here about the creation of the suns and moon of other planets; for that matter nothing is said here about God’s creative work relative to any place other than earth.
8. Man (verse 26) is given dominion over all other living creatures. Has God taken that dominion away from Man? (Modern theologians speak of a Cultural or Creation Mandate; and they suggest that Man is still obliged (and gifted) to subdue the earth, verse 28.)
9. Man was created in God’s image. What does this mean? Ephesians 4:24 and Colossians 3:10.
10. Originally Man and animal life was vegetarian (verse 29).
11. It was very good (verse 31). Of course it was. How could it be otherwise?