Only one righteous man?

Have you ever given thought to verse 5 in Genesis chapter 6 that states “ …every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time….” referring to the status of the inhabitant’s on the earth during the time right before the Great Flood?

I have to stop there and really ask myself the question, ‘How can EVERY inclination be ONLY evil?’  How could there not be any good thought, at one time or another, in ANY of these people?  What had occurred on the earth to cause such a degeneration of society to this degree?  We know from the genealogy in Chapter 5 that thousands of years had passed since the Creation of man and the Garden of Eden.  So what exactly happened?  Were there no good people on the earth besides Noah?  I pause to ask you to think of our country, America.  Can you imagine within our population there being only ONE good person that God finds favor with enough to spare that person from destruction while pronouncing judgment on all the rest?  It is almost an inconceivable thought.  Yet this is what is written in the Bible.

I am more inclined to believe that the idea here that is being conveyed was that man’s moral compass had degenerated to such a degree and they had no remorse for their sins or the sins of their generation, nor did they consider God in anything they did.  God was a non-existent entity for them at that time.   Very similar to what is happening in our country and countries around the world today.  What exactly do I mean?

Take a simple example when I was in high school during the 80’s.  A pregnant girl was considered shameful and you thought of her with less than good thoughts.  You simply didn’t hang around with her.  In the same way, there was a certain respect that you had for parents and teachers and adults.  To attend church was a common practice and sin was considered exactly that – sin.  You simply didn’t have torture and murder as a commonplace news item.  Today, we accept pregnant teens as “normal” and disrespect to others as “common”.  Most people don’t attend church or attempt to help those less fortunate.  Videotaping torture is something people enjoy posting to social media.  We live in a very morally sick society.  Our moral compass today has degenerated drastically from even what it was even during my own short lifetime.  So it is not difficult to believe that after thousands of years since the Creation, it is more of a moral degeneration of society that is being described here than it is that man sat around and only thought of evil thoughts.  I believe this is the idea behind the “thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” idea.  I can back up this thought process by looking at verse 11, “now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.  God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.”   And, in contrast,  God looked at Noah’s heart and realized he still had a good moral compass, and that out of all the inhabitants on the earth, Noah still had a heart for God and wanted to please God and do right – which is why Noah is written about as a righteous man.  However, even Noah had his faults and he could not have been perfectly good because we know that just shortly after the ark landing his sons find him drunk.  And while drunkenness was not a becoming quality, it was not a disqualifying character quality to condemn him to a watery grave as the others were condemned to. B48F10BA-5CB6-486A-A6EF-F798FCA3C5CB

But more so than any of this, I see in this passage how God hints to us as Noah being a pre-cursive type of savior to the preservation of the human race on the earth, just as Jesus Christ would be, but only Jesus Christ would be the perfect righteous man to save the human race for eternal salvation.

Coincidental Genealogy ?

In continuing my study in Genesis Chapter 4, I stopped to ponder the genealogyE529EA72-830F-41DA-9943-AAD0E2A3305A mentioned at the end of Chapter 4 and the beginning of Chapter 5 of Genesis.  I wonder if I just have a curious mind or if anyone else notices the incredible similarities between the names in the genealogy of Cain and the genealogy of Seth. They were brothers, but we know Cain was sent away for murdering his other brother, Abel.  So they didn’t live near each other.  And in describing the genealogy, the Bible does something very interesting, and I just couldn’t resist writing about it.

So first off, let me give you an initial visual before I show the oddities:

 

Cain’s descendants                                    Seth’s descendants

Enoch.                                                         Enosh

Irad.                                                              Kenan

Mehujael.                                                    Mahalel

Methushael.                                                Jared

Lamech.                                                       Enoch

.                                                                      Methusela

.                                                                       Lamech

.                                                                        Noah

So first I thought it was odd that the writer of Genesis goes into great detail to show how old Seth and his descendants were at the time they had a son, but does not indicated how much time elapsed between Cain and his descendants.  I also noticed the similarities in the names.  We see Cain had Enoch, Seth had Enosh – different by only one letter.  Then in Cain’s line we see Mehujael, while Seth’s line had Mahalel – close isn’t it?  Then we see on Cain’s side Methushael and on Seth’s side Methusela – again very close.  Both sides had a Lamech.  So of course my curious brain kept wondering.

As I continued to look, I couldn’t help but wonder if the writer of Genesis got it correct.  The spellings are so incredibly close that it is either a huge coincidence, error, or God wants us to see something.   But the oddities didn’t stop there.

If I take off the first four names on Seth’s side and start with Enoch and match up both sides like that, it gets even weirder.  You have this:

Cain’s side                    Seth’s side

Enoch                         Enoch

Irad                            Methusela

Methushael              Lamech

Lamech

If I eliminate Irad from Cain’s side then we have:

Enoch.                        Enoch

Methushael.             Methusela

Lamech.                     Lamech

Furthermore, in Cain’s geneology after Lamech it states Lamech had three sons and one daughter.  Odd, isn’t it that they list the daughter?  Her name was Naamah and guess what the name of the descendant on Seth’s side from Lamech was?  Noah.  So here we have:

Enoch.                       Enoch

Methushael.             Methusela

Lamech.                    Lamech

Naamah.                  Noah

So, since the writer did not mention the time lapse on Cain’s side, we have no idea if the time lines match up or not, but the oddity is too much for me to overlook.   Why are the names on both sides so similar?  Why did the writer include a time line for one and not the other? Why did they mention the daughter?  What was her importance? They did not consider women as heirs,  so why list her?  She obviously was well known for something or she would not have made it to the Bible. But, we do know that Noah, the last in our list here for Seth’s descendants, would go on to save the animals and a few human beings from the flood.

So in conclusion, this could all be coincidence or it could have a greater importance that God wants us to examine.  I just know one thing, the Bible is amazing and every time I think that there is nothing new there, I see something like this!

The Mystery of Cain’s Wife

Have you ever wondered where Cain’s wife came from?  Have you, like me, sat thru church services listening to different explanations for her existence but you never quite agreed?  I have given over a month’s time in thought to this.  After studying the Bible passages over and over, I finally think I have come to a conclusion that makes more sense to me than what I have heard before.E0280621-3D8F-4445-8710-754476216464

Chapter 4 of Genesis states that “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. ….Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.”  I believe there is one word here that is the most important word to understanding this mystery.  The word LATER…… ‘LATER she gave birth to his brother Abel.’

We have all been taught to believe that there was ONLY Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel.  But the Bible is not definitive in that assumption.  It is entirely possible that there was a great span of time between Cain and Abel.  The Bible NEVER states that there were no children born between Cain and Abel.  It simply states, Eve had Cain and later she had Abel.  It does not tell us how much LATER that was.  Maybe it was 400 years later. There is no way to know.

What I do know is that even God acknowledged that there were others around when in verse 15 of Chapter 4 He states, “Not so; if ANYONE kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.  And so the Lord put a mark on Cain so that NO ONE who found him would kill him.”  So logic then leads me to believe if there were no other human beings on the earth at that time, this conversation between God and Cain would not have taken place.  The only people around to kill Cain under that assumption would have been his parents, Adam and Eve.  So that simply cannot be the case.  There were others, and the only way for the others to come into existence would have been thru Adam and Eve and then for those offspring to continue to have offspring.  And hence we have a pool of people from which the wife of Cain would come from. So therefore those facts lead me to believe that the wife of Cain was a relative – maybe a sister or a niece or a cousin.

The other way I can justify my reasoning is if I look into Chapter 5 of Genesis and follow the family line of any of the people listed you can see that the Bible only picks out certain individuals at certain times.  For example, Seth was 105 years old when he became the father of Enoch.  Do you honestly believe that Seth didn’t have ANY children prior to being 105 years old?   The Bible is only listing the person in Seth’s line that would eventually lead to the birth of Christ.  Just as the only two “important” children of Adam and Eve that would make it to the Bible were Cain and Abel even though we know from the Bible that there were other children born to them, because it states they had “other sons and daughters”, but you don’t know anything about them because they were not the focus for the information that God wanted to reveal to us thru His word.

So Cain’s wife is not really a mystery.  The bigger mystery to me is who would have agreed to marry him knowing he was a murderer and had some kind of a “mark” that would designate him as such.

 

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye to Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve, the Father and the Mother of all who live, are best known for their time in the Garden of Eden when they went against God’s command and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and were ultimately banished from the perfect environment which God had created for them.

The last we hear of Adam actually physically speaking was when he was blaming both God and Eve for his fall from grace.  But we know that Adam was around for a while because the book of Genesis gives us the genealogy of Adam’s line, and it starts when Adam was 130 years old.  This is the time he became the father of Seth.  Seth is the lineage thru which the Messiah would eventually come.  So from creation to the fall, we know of Adam, and then nothing about him is recorded until he was the father of Seth, and then nothing afterward. No other life events are recorded for the first man that was ever created!  However, Adam lived 930 years!  Isn’t it interesting that he is never again mentioned after the birth of Seth?  Surely the very first man to ever be created had more of an impact than just having one son mentioned in the genealogy!  Don’t you think the men and women of that time would have been asking what it was like in the Garden or what it was like to walk and talk with God?  Don’t you think he would have been like the old wise man we see portrayed in movies where people go to seek his wisdom and advice?  But nothing is ever mentioned about him again – this very first man to be created in the image of God!

Eve, on the other hand, we hear speak after her discussion in the Garden with God.  We hear her speak again when she says, “God has granted me another child in the place of Abel, since Cain killed him.”  So we know a few things about her.  We know that Eve knew full well what crime her other son had committed, because she acknowledges it .  And like any mother she would have been mourning and would have been devastated to have lost a child, especially at the hands of the other child.  We know that Cain was sent away from her also and so, in effect, she lost both her sons.  But we never see anything written about her sorrow.  We never see Cain coming back to see his mother while she was living or even at her death.  How sorrowful that must have been for Eve.  But we don’t see that recorded.  We just see that she is happy that she has been given another male child, Seth.  In addition,  the Bible never tells us how long Eve lived.  It never tells us anything else about her except, in the genealogy mentioned in the previous paragraph,  it states that Adam had more sons and daughters.  So the assumption here is that he had them with Eve, but that is not exactly stated.  Eve could have died many years before.  I find it odd also that the mother of all creation is never noted to have contributed anything except to give birth to Cain, Abel, and Seth.  Even her “other sons and daughters” are never mentioned by name.

However, Adam and Eve will always and ever be the only two creations made specifically by the hands of God.  They would be the only two creations to live in the “perfect world”.  The only two creations to hear a creature or creatures speak.  The only two creations  to know what it was like to live with the lions and the lambs together in harmony – an event that would never be again on this earth.   The only two to know exactly what the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life looked like.  The only two to know what it was like living in a sinless world for a time.

04A5FB3C-30E8-4FFB-B9CC-0C323931F314Adam and Eve may not have any further recorded history in the Bible beyond the birth of Seth, and as we say goodbye to them here, we know they contributed so much more to that time period and even into today than is ever spoken of.

 

The Human-Like Presence of God

Most people tend to think of God as some “Father Time” being that is portrayed on television – kind of like an old man with a long white beard, a long white robe, and a staff.   Or sometimes they think of Him as a Spirit type being that is incomprehensible to the human mind.  Regardless of how you picture God, did you know God was very active and physically present in a human type of way in the book of Genesis?

From the very beginning of the book, we see God speaking when He says, “Let there be light.”  And God spoke again when He gave a direct command to Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  His speaking was an audible sound.  Audible enough for Adam to hear it and, in some form of language, to communicate His purpose.  What language did He speak?  Only God knows.  But God had to also physically show the tree to Adam.  How would Adam have known one tree from another?  The Bible says the trees were “pleasing to the eye and desirable for food”, so God had to point out the “bad” tree to Adam in order to help him to understand which one he should stay away from.  God couldn’t hold Adam accountable for something he would not have known.  So I fully believe that there was a taking to and a showing of the tree, which indicates an intimate human type of interaction.

Later in Chapter One and then in Chapter 2, we see God creating and “operating”, so to speak,  on Adam when he takes a rib from him to create Eve.  How did he cause a deep sleep to come upon Adam?  Was it induced by some type of medicinal plant?  Was it supernatural?  The Bible doesn’t tell us.  But it does say, “and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.”  So it is a physical type of surgery.  And it is a surgery that Adam knew about.  He didnt’ just wake up and there was the woman and he went on with his day.  Adam is noted as saying, “she is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.”  Indicating that he knew full well what had occurred.  So either God told Adam ahead of time what He was doing, or after Adam awoke and saw the woman, God must have told him what had occurred.  Either way, God is the “surgeon and creator” here, another intimate type of human- like interaction with His creation.

Then, in Chapter 3, we see God walking in the garden.  We know He was physically walking because the Bible states “the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking.”  In order to hear something, two surfaces must come into contact.  So maybe it was God walking against the brush, or stepping on a twig.  Again the Bible is not clear on how they heard Him, it just says, they “heard him walking in the Garden in the cool of the evening.”  So God was in a physical type of form walking to find Adam to have a personal conversation with him.

Later in Chapter three, we see God making garments for Adam and Eve, which means he had to put to death an animal or two in order to use their skins for clothing.  How did he do that?  Did he physically kill the animal, or simply cause it’s heart to stop beating?  The Bible, again, doesn’t tell us. But God had to kill the animal, skin the animal, dry the skins, in order to use the skins.  He didn’t simply wrap Adam and Eve in the bloody hide of the animal He had just killed.  This was a process.  So here we see God in a laborer type of role.

So, you are probably asking yourself, what is the purpose of these examples?  The examples are here to show the intimate type of relationship that man once had with God, to show that God walked and talked with man.  To also show that God created man for His pleasure, and He desired to be with His creation.  But because of man’s sin, God could no longer physically dwell with him because God cannot be a party to sin.  And so, He sent them away from His perfect creation and put cherubim to guard the entrance so they could not return.  But this was not the original plan of God.  Man had altered that plan and had changed the perfect to the imperfect.  Never again would this type of relationship occur.  But God was not done with man.  God had created another way for man to have an intimate relationship with him.  And that was thru the birth, death, and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ.

 

Bone of my Bone, Flesh of my Flesh

The creation of Eve calls into question why God chose to make her from Adam’s flesh, when He could just have easily created her in the same manner in which He created Adam – from the dust of the ground. How is it that the creation accounts of Adam and Eve are so very different, yet the Creator is the same?

Looking at the verses in Chapter 2: 18-20, we see that Adam was busy naming the animals that God had caused to come to him after He formed them out of the ground. Did you catch that?  Did you catch that God formed the animals in the same manner in which He formed Adam – from the ground?  And although God formed C9B1223D-E781-4A66-AD49-49DA315DF24Bthe animals from the ground, the Bible never tells us that ‘He breathed into their nostrils the breath of life and they became a living being’ , as it does for the Creation of Adam.  So what gave the animals their life?  The Bible doesn’t say.  It simply says they were formed from the ground, and as living creatures, they were brought to Adam for him to name them.  So God could have breathed into them, or He could have caused life to come into them in another way.  We simply don’t know.

But what does it say about Eve? Is the Bible telling us that her creation was somehow inferior since she was not formed in the same unique and creative manner as Adam and the animals?  Far from it.  When a rib was taken from Adam to create Eve, God was using the very DNA from his best creation, His perfect creation of a human, and replicating that in the woman.  Yet, he was doing more than that.  He was showing the woman that without the man, she would not be in existence, and therefore, creating an order for the family.  Just as a woman is very protective of a baby that comes from her womb, I think that by creating woman from man, God was creating something for Adam to care for, love, and protect.  It was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.  Just as an infant is that to the mother and the bond of love in an unbreakable one.

The part of Genesis Chapter two that is most intriguing is in verse 24, when it states “for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife…”  Why would this be here in this spot?  There were no fathers and mothers at this point.  In fact, if we believe the Creation account, there were no other beings on the face of the earth except for Adam and Eve.  And while I believe every word in the Bible is inspired from God,  there is also a human element to it.  And here is where I believe that is evident.   For how can it state anything about fathers and mothers, and leaving them to be with a wife? There had been no marriage?  Therefore, there could also be no wife.   There was simply man and there was simply woman.  The terminology of wife and marriage had not yet come.  And to me, the placement of that sentence here makes no logical sense because immediately after the statement, the writer turns his writing back to the creation saying, “the man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”

Regardless of the reasons why the writer placed that there, this part of the Chapter is dedicated to woman being created to be a suitable helper for man.  And I think it is setting up the “fall” in the Garden of Eden, because as we will see next time, Adam is with Eve in the Garden when she eats of the fruit.  He did not intervene, did not protect her, in fact he joins her, and that is why God also punishes him.  And the animals?  Well they would also have to suffer because of man.

 

 

The Creation of Man

Just writing the title for this Blog stirred in me all the scientific hub bub I have heard thru the years about how man came into being.  From the Big Bang creating the earth and seeding the planet for life, from fish leaving the water to live on dry land, to alien beings experimenting with animals to create a race of slave laborers.  I have heard quite a bit!  And I believe none of it.

It isn’t that I am just closed minded.  I look and listen to the other theories and there are just so many things that don’t have answers in order for me to believe it.  For example, how many fish have you seen in your lifetime that suddenly decide that it is time to stop swimming and crawl or swim up to shore, take a deep breathe of that rich oxygen atmosphere and begin a new life?  I am 51 years old and haven’t seen it happen in my lifetime.

Besides, if the fish did decide to do that, and if it were even possible for them to breath until their little fish lungs evolved to accept oxygenated air, how would they have procreated?  Did their entire body suddenly morph into the bodies we have today? Not likely, in fact, not even possible.  The human body is so complex in each and every area that we have doctors who specialize in one particular area and still say they don’t know about some things.  And take the issue of human procreation.  Do you know how many things have to go right and match up exactly in order for a child to come into existence?  In fact, it is surprising there are not more miscarriages.  If you ever really studied how life forms, it would change you evolutionary view forever.  Everything works together in such a way that there had to be order to the design.  The only way to have order is to have someone put things in order – a Creator.

So in Genesis Chapter 1 verses 26-31, we see God’s creation of man.

408213BD-455B-439C-A3F4-DB5B2B9ECCFE
Michelangelo – The Creation of Adam – Sistine Chapel

 

I want to focus on the first thirteen words in verse 26.  ‘Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, …”   Do you remember one of my earlier blogs when I wrote about Genesis Chapter 1 verse 3?  If not, I focused on the first three words, “And God Said….”  We know from that verse that God was speaking to be heard by someone.  He was not alone.  And here we see God saying, “Let US, make man in OUR image, in OUR likeness…”

Most scholars believe this is an indication of the Trinity being present at Creation.  Do you notice the template that God uses for His creation of man?  –   “OUR image, OUR likeness.”

You are the descendent of the first man, Adam, who was created as a replication of God’s image and God’s likeness.  In fact, you are a replication of that same image and same likeness.  So what is the “image”?  What is the “likeness” ? Many believe this  means that man possesses the elements of personality similar to those of God, such as thinking, feeling, and having a will, and that man has a moral nature, and is made up of a body, soul, and spirit.  Others believe that is refers to the physical attributes of man.  I think it is a combination of both.  But is this really a point of debate? Whatever God’s image and likeness is, is better than anything I could imagine or create on my own.

It doesn’t really matter to me which is actually correct, or if either are correct.  I am not sure in our finite minds that we can even understand the wisdom that had to go into the creation of man with all his intricate parts, both physically and mentally. I know that there is not one person, living or dead, that can take dust from the ground and created a living being.  We can take from a living being and create another living being, but we cannot take from the non living and create the living. The fact that is important to me is that I was created, in some form, from the template of a Holy God and that He caused me to come into being and breathed the breath of life into me as Genesis chapter 2 verse 7 states, “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, AND man became a living being.”

This conjures up an image in my mind of doing CPR on someone who is non responsive and not breathing on their own.  You use your breathe to circulate and oxygenate their lungs.  You are helping to keep them alive.  But God’s breathe created the life.  It brought it to life.  And that is an awesome thought!

I will leave you with a little joke I heard once that puts things into perspective for me.

So man, in his arrogance, decided to challenge God because man did not believe that God could create a better human than him.  So they both decided to start from scratch and create the “perfect” man.  So God reached down and grabbed some dirt from the ground and man began to gather some dirt from the ground.  Then God said, “Wait a moment.  Go create your own dirt first!”