Genesis 6 Sermon Manuscript

PLEASE NOTE: These are the notes I use to preach from, if you would like to hear them in context, please watch our YouTube channel.

-Walking, some of my favorite stories from my life came from walking.

-Walking the dog with Candy Grandma, shadowy creature on the sidewalk

-Married into a walking family, each house we’ve lived one of the first things Cara has done is find us a walking path

-Shortly after Lucy was born, we went on a walk for the first time as a family of 5 (7 if you count the dogs) Calvin gets the jiggles, dog pulls the stroller with the newborn over

READ/PRAY

  1. The Generations of Adam (5:1-32)

-Last week, Cain’s line (seed of the serpent vs seed of the woman)

-Here’s the crazy thing – reading through these 2 lists, Cain’s line looks WAY more impressive: shepherds, musicians, bronze and iron. 

-This is setting up a theme throughout the rest of the Bible: the ways of the world vs the ways of the Lord – so often our measuring sticks of worth (power, fame, accolades, prestige, wealth) aren’t even close to how God measure worth. 

-Think of Abraham – text doesn’t say anything special about him, just that he was obedient. Or David, who was the youngest and least impressive (according to the world’s standards). Or the nation of Israel, whom God says was the least impressive and the smallest of all the nations he could have picked. Or Jesus, who didn’t come in power or prestige. Or us, who were not wealthy, or wise, or prestigious, yet God still saved us. What a gift!

-Think of that song ‘Who You Say I Am’ it starts “Who am I that the highest king would welcome me?”

-Chapter 5 is one of those chapters that we have a tendency to either skip, read through quickly, or fall asleep getting through. Have you ever read Numbers? Please don’t skip through them! Every chapter, every word, every phrase and idea is in the Bible for a reason. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 reminds us “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” How much of the Bible is inspired? All. Not some, not just the parts Jesus says, not just the verse you like, ALL. Everything we need to grow like God, everything we need for human flourishing is here. That’s why we spend some much time in God’s Word when we gather together. 

-So why is something like a genealogy in here?

-We’ve seen 1 reason: to follow the seed of the woman. 

-Roots the Bible in history, reality.

-Gives the readers their place in the story of the world (this is something we often miss today in our hyper-individualistic culture, we didn’t just appear here!)

-So let’s walk through it!

-10 names, not completely sure why, but there is some reason behind it. We see the same number in Gen. 11 landing on Abram, then again in Ruth landing on David. Therefore, these genealogies are meant to show us how we read part of the OT – significant people are Noah, Abraham, David.

-Also has some same/similar names to the line of Cain, one is the true, the other is the iteration, evil cannot create, just destroy

-Do you notice the pattern? Same phrasing for all of them. Age when child was born, lived this much longer, died adding the previous 2 numbers.

-This pattern is broken in 2 places: Enoch and Noah. 

-Enoch: twice mentions that he “walked with God.”

-1 of 2 people in the Bible to not face death. Jewish writers after this said (based on the walking) that God so enjoyed spending time with Enoch that he brought him up to heaven to continue their relationship.

-Number 7 on the list, something significant about the 7th

-Then Noah, whose dad has the same name as the bad Lamech in the line of Cain. But instead of sinning, this Lamech is carrying on the seed of the woman. We should be looking for/anticipating this serpent crusher to come! Surely he’ll come soon!

-Remember last week, Jeramy shared names carried meanings in the OT, Noah sounds like the Hebrew word for “rest” or “relief” 

-Here’s the irony – we know that relief will come, but it will come through the destruction of the world, so relief only comes from 8 people, and it comes from them devoting their lives to creating a boat to save them! This is pointing to another rest/relief that will come from this line in Abram, but Abram’s rest extends to the whole world.

-These genealogies are meant to serve as a fast forward feature. Everything up until this point has been focused on Adam, gives us virtually no info on this long line of descendants. These 1000 years, instead it’s meant to just bring us right to Noah. So think of the way you USED to watch TV, with commercials, then DVR came and let you fast forward through them to get back to the storyline, the genealogy is the commercial break between Adam and Noah.

  • The Wickedness of God’s Creation (6:1-8)

-Noah introduced at the end of 5, then Moses goes back and gives some different background, and it’s weird.

  1. Sons of God and Daughters of Men (1-4)

-2 hotly debated issues in this text: sons of God vs daughters of men, and the Nephilim.

-I’ll talk about this further in tomorrow’s sermon scraps, as this isn’t really the point of this text, just meant to provide background, but I’ll give a couple brief comments.

-First, sons & daughters. 

-3 options: godly line of Seth, angels, or heroes from the mythical past (think like a Hercules) It’s important to note that one of the themes in the beginning of Genesis is which domain of authority is given – remember days 1-2 are God’s domain. Continuing the theme of domain stealing is this section, so God limits their lives.

-Second – the Nephilim. 

-lit. giants/fallen ones (only here and Num. 13:33)

-Read the text: “in those days and also aftwerward.

-Nephilim, therefore, are not the “sons of God” just men, Moses is demythologizing the Nephilim, saying they’re ordinary dudes. 

-That’s all we’ll say about that! Next, things keep getting worse in the world

  • Evil and Regret (5-7)

-Remember back to Gen. 1 – the Lord saw that everything He made was good. This time what does the Lord see? Exceeding wickedness and evil.

-Look at all the descriptions: wickedness was great, every intention of thoughts of his heart ONLY evil continually. Going on and on about the depravity! Could you imagine? Complete unrestrained evil – no one caring about God or each other.

-Play on words here with “intention” in the Hebrew is yeser, pointing back to Gen. 2:7 when God formedAdam yasar. As we walk through this account of Noah and the ark, we’re supposed to see it as God re-creating the whole world. So where God’s heart and intention in creation was to bring about good, since the fall, every intention, every thought that humans form is only evil.

-Vs. 5 tells what was going on, the domains being distorted, then vs. 6 tells of God’s pain, and 7 tells of His plan. 

-The pain was so great, God regrets making humanity, and it grieves him. Really briefly, if God is good and can do nothing wrong, why does He suffer regret? Getting to 2 theological issues known as immutability and impassability. Immutability is the reality that God never changes, He has no need to! Impassability is the belief that God is incapable of suffering harm in that he can’t be changed or harmed by anything outside himself. Where we often mistake that is to mean he doesn’t have emotions, which is not true! Again, longer discussion than I have time for today! Just note that God iso facing regret for His creation of humanity, so He has a plan:

-To destroy everything he created. Almost start to feel like God’s overreacting, right!? There’s no hope, God’s plan is set in stone, so long world! 

-I’ve shared this before, one of the most important words in the whole Bible: but. 

  • But Noah (8)

-The whole world can be going to hell in a handbasket, but God still shows grace! 

-Think of a place like Ephesians 2 – you were dead, but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead made us alive with Christ.

-See, this should encourage us! Because no one and no group is too far from God’s mercy and love. As long as we’re still on this earth, that “but” still exists. Even as the world passes away, “But God” So at this time, God had and used Noah. It says Noah “found favor” with the Lord. 

-Look at the rest of the way the text describes Noah:

  • The Generations of Noah (6:9-21)
    • Noah and God (9-10)

-Similar to the start of 5 “these are the generations of…” So we’re starting to see that maybe this seed of the woman the is promised one! Maybe Noah can restore all the brokenness the fall brought, can finally bring the coming rest! 

-First thing, Noah is “a righteous man.” 

-How do we reconcile that with Rom. 3:10 “none is righteous, no not one.” It wasn’t because of something inherently good in Noah, instead, he was living in accord with how God had commanded/ordered the world. Unlike the rest of the world, he was obedient. One commentator said Noah “acted in conformity with creation norms.” I like that phrase, because when we sin, we’re acting OUT of conformity with creation norms.

-Blameless in his generation, certainly not perfect! But compared to everyone else, he was a standup guy! Both of these descriptions are dependent on the third:

-walked with God.

-We’ve seen a couple instances of this already in Genesis. Back in 3:8 after Adam & Eve sinned, it says God came to walk in the coolness of the garden, not a stretch to think this was a daily thing, with God coming to walk with his creatures. Those of you that have dogs, you know what this is like! In order to best take care of them, you’re supposed to make sure they’re getting exercise, so “in the cool of the night” you’ll take them out and walk with them.

-Then we saw in Gen. 5 that Enoch “walked with God, then was no more” 

-Lands here with Noah! 

-Is that description true of you? Are you a man or woman who “walks with God.” Now, what does that mean? Hold on to that question, because it will be answered for us in the last verse of this chapter! Before that, back to the earth.

  • The World is Bad (11-12)

-God saw, same as in vs. 5, same as in Gen. 1 each day of creation. All flesh/humans had corrupted their ways. But because of the corruption of humanity, even the animals will bear the consequences with them. 

-Everyone and everything had become corrupted. God regretted His creation, He is grieved at how they’re acting, so God decides to let Noah in on His plan:

  • God’s Plan and Command (13-21)

-God is going to destroy everything He created. Well, most everything! Noah, his family, and some animals will be saved through Noah’s work.

-This would be a HUGE boat! 450’ long, 75’ wide, and 45’ high. (cubit is 18”) There’s a roof 18” above the boat itself, letting light in. There’s a door on the side of it. 3 decks to it. Why are they supposed to build a giant boat?

-God tells Noah that his method of destruction will be a flood. God says EVERYTHING will die! And there’s that word again, BUT – God will establish a covenant with Noah. What’s a covenant? 

-Really simply – an agreement between 2 parties. This is the first time this word appears in the Bible, but it plays a huge role in the unfolding of human history, and in God’s story. The covenants are the means by which God will continue “walking with” his people. Again, don’t have time to dig further, do a word search on “covenant” in the Bible this week, it’s fascinating!

-Now it’s not just Noah’s family that will be saved. Noah is the means by which the rest of the created order will be saved from the incoming judgment through flood. They are to take 2 of kind: bird, animals, creeping things 1 male, and 1 female. 

-On top of that, Noah will have to bring in food for the animals and his family. Almost feels like a tag on! Think of Noah writing all this down – you said how big is this boat? And you said to make sure it floats??? Oh, and enough room for animals, that makes sense of the size, oh, AND food! And what’s my deadline? 

-Think of the faith that would have required!! Noah, 1 guy, with the help of his family, had to put build this giant boat, track all the animals and get food!

-Text doesn’t say how long this task took, but I can guarantee it took him longer than a week, or even a year! Yet in spite of that, Noah trusted God and got to work!

  • The Obedience of Noah (22)

-Remember how I told you we’d see how we can “walk with God.” This verse tells us how. That whole long list that God gave to Noah, “Noah did this.” Hebrew, it says “Noah did…so he did.” Again, think back to Gen. 1“And it was so.” God says, and it’s so. 

-Where Adam tried usurping and taking over God’s domain, Noah is righteous, conforming himself to the way God commanded humanity to live.

-Where the rest of the world is wicked and evil, Noah is righteous and obedient to do “all that God commanded him.” 

-That is exactly how we today can “walk with God” that is by doing everything that God commands us.

-Can you think of anywhere else in the Bible where we’re commanded to obey God? I’ll give you a hint – I preached on it when I candidated here! The Great Commission in Matthew 28. 

-All authority belongs to God and God alone, how often do we try to do things in our own authority? 

-As you go. God sends us out, that’s the reason we do a benediction here every week, we’re sent back out into the world!

-Make disciples. The mission of every church in the world! 

-Teaching – we must be teaching each other, and others!

-ALL that I have commanded you. 

-One time got into a debate with a youth pastor over LGBTQ issues. He wanted to argue that the church has gotten SO many issues wrong in the past (Crusades, gender issues, environmental concerns) and I don’t think he had studied the issues very carefully. Someone yesterday sent me a screenshot of his latest post where he says he, and his church, hasn’t “turned our backs on thousands of years of church tradition.”

-How many of our modern-day issues are because we’re not obedient to how God has commanded us to live? We’re back to the garden, “Did God REALLY say?” 

-Brothers and sisters, this isn’t just a world issue, this is a church issue too. How often are we quicker to run to our partisan political talking points instead of the Bible? Why do we only spend time with people that look and think like us when God has commanded us to GO! Why do we act as if the world will stain/corrupt us when God has purified us? Why do we separate and isolate ourselves when there’s people from all nations that need us to be faithful in making disciples? Why would we rather talk about the weather than the Bible verse we’re meditating and memorizing? Why do we settle for cheap novels instead of drinking from the fountain of life in God’s Word?

-Here’s what just blows my mind. God Himself dwells in us. Anytime we walk, we’re walking with God. Anytime we talk, we’re talking with God. Anytime we breathe, we’re breathing with God. This is part of the New Covenant that we’re in today!

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