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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

May 13, 2015

Genesis 6:1-9

  1. Right off the bat, I would like to correct a teaching that I think is incorrect. Many teach that these men “giants” in this text is talking about real giants. I believe that this text is only speaking about men who were great in name and power not the offspring of women and angels. It has often been claimed that the “sons of God” in this passage refers to fallen angels and that the giants (often called Nephilim) who walked the Earth in ancient times were the offspring of the angels and the women. Those who hold to the belief that angels mated with humans use the argument that the phrase “sons of God” only refers to angels in the Old Testament (OT), using the book of Job as their proof [Job 38:4, 6-7]. They are correct that the phrase “sons of God” is talking about angels in Job, but a closer examination of the scriptures shows that Genesis 6 is NOT talking about angels. It is referring to humans and this truth can be deducted from the principles and context of what the Bible teaches. I will highlight a few points from the Bible as proof.

    1. Point 1: Sons of God are humans who follow God. This is shown in both the OT and the New Testament (NT). In the OT, [Exodus 4:22-23, 2 Samuel 7:14-16. When we look at the NT, we are plainly told that believers are the sons of God– John 1:12, Romans 8:14, 1 John 3:1). Now if we go back to Genesis 4, it establishes the context for chapters 5 and 6. At the end of Genesis 4, we are shown that two families of men are emerging in the Earth–Cain’s descendants and Seth’s descendants. It was Seth’s descendants who “call upon the name of the LORD,” [Genesis 4:26]. In other words, Seth’s descendants were those who worshiped God and their lineage is highlighted in Genesis 5. Since they worshiped God, they were considered sons of God and were the sons of God in Genesis 6. It was Cain’s descendants and other unbelievers who were the “daughters of men.”

    2. Point 2: Fallen angels are never called sons of God. Satan, who is the fallen angel Lucifer (see Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-17), first appears in the garden of Eden in Genesis 3. We must also take into account that Satan, according to Revelation 12:4, convinced 1/3 of the angels in heaven to follow him in his rebellion against God as he started a war in heaven. Revelation 12 also tells us that Satan lost the war and was kicked out of heaven with his angels (2 Peter 2:4 AND Jude 6). Since these angels “kept not their first estate,” they lost all the privileges and benefits they had in heaven, including the right to be called the “sons of God.” Because Satan is present in Genesis 3, we know he has already been kicked out of heaven with his angels. So by the time Genesis 6 comes around, neither Satan nor his angels would have been referred to as the “sons of God.”

    3. Point 3: God did not create angels with the ability to procreate with each other or with humans. God, who knew from the beginning that he would be betrayed, established at the creation of the angels that angels in heaven would neither marry nor be given in marriage (see Mark 12:25). He created them without this capability so that even when the fallen angels rebelled, nothing they could do would ever change this fact. This is why the fallen angels who were not yet placed in the chains of darkness in hell, and who roam the Earth freely, can only go so far as to possess unbelievers. If the immortal fallen angels could procreate, they would not waste their time possessing people since procreation would be a more direct route of affecting and infecting humanity for their evil purposes. Even when they possess unbelievers, their possession cannot affect the reproductive cells of the man or woman they possess so that they can spawn children. This is also why unbelievers in the Bible who are called “children of the devil” are only considered his children in the spiritual sense and not in the physical sense.

    4. Point 4: God only complained about mankind in Genesis 6. The Lord makes several statements in Genesis 6 that prove he is upset with humans, not angelic beings (Verses 3-6). God was clearly angry by what he saw. If fallen angels were actively participating in these events, why would he just focus on punishing men and not the angels who were involved? Throughout scripture we see how God places boundaries on what fallen angels can do and how he rebukes devils when they go too far (e.g. the serpent’s judgment at Eden, the story of Job, Michael’s dispute with Satan over Moses’ body, Jesus casting out devils, Gabriel and Michael’s fight with the Prince of Persia to get to Daniel), so if they were involved here, why is it that there is no mention of him saying he would punish them? He didn’t mention them because it was only humans involved in this situation.

  2. Verses 1-4. Now that we have a good background let us deal with the text. What we are supposed to see is that this chapter is the continuation of chapter 4 and chapter 5. In chapter 4 we were told of the descendants of Cain, and in chapter 5 we were told of the descendants that Adam had after Abel was killed. The reader was supposed to see that Cain’s descendants were not a godly people, while the other descendants of Adam were people who began to call on the Lord as referred to at the end of chapter 4 going into chapter 5. At the beginning of this chapter we are really shown that over time, these sets of descendants, Cain’s and Adam’s began to marry each other and over time God was not pleased with how they were living. Up till this moment, the people in Genesis are grouped into two peoples, the descendants of Cain, and those of Adam. Notice how the text consistently refers to the people who will be judged as “humans or humankind” Adam’s descendants Abel would be called sons of God, and Cain’s descendants would be called the daughters of men. It appears that some of Adam’s descendants instead of marrying women who knew God they began to marry women who didn’t know God. This ultimately led to a society of depravity, so bad that God could not stand it anymore. The Lord’s displeasure had to do with how long the people lived. Apparently the longevity of life in the flesh perpetuated sin, thus God declares that he will cut their lives to a limit of 120 years.( It is believed that the worldwide flood may have altered the atmosphere to limit our lifespans.)

  3. Verses 5-7. The Lord hates what he sees, and decides to send a flood on the Land to wipe away those who have become so sinful. The text highlights that the thoughts of men were so impure that it grieved God. The picture of the flood is a sign of God’s judgment and salvation. The same flood that judges sin also saves the righteous. Our text tells us that God was sorry that He had created man on earth and was grieved in His heart (6:6). As a result, He determined to blot out man, along with every breathing creature (6:7). Is this verse telling us that some unforeseen event caught God by surprise? Is Moses telling us that God realized that He had made a great mistake? Far from it! We see, once again, that God is intimately involved with His creation and that He cares about it passionately. God created all things, including mankind, knowing that man would fail the test in the garden. It was through the fall of man and the entrance of sin into this world that God was able to manifest His marvelous attributes (Exodus 34:5-7). It is only in the context of sin that God’s grace can be seen for all that it is. It is in contrast to the wickedness of men that the righteousness of God stands out so sharply. The misconception that many seem to have is that if God is God, then He will not allow anything to happen which causes Him sorrow or pain. We can only imagine what kind of pain God experienced as He poured out His wrath upon His Son at Calvary, as He died in our place, bearing our punishment. And yet we also know that this was a part of God’s plan that was established in eternity past (Acts 2:22-24). The point is that God purposes some things that He knows will cause Him pain. The fact that God experienced sorrow because He had created man does not mean that He did not know mankind would fail miserably, causing Him grief. Any married couple who decides to have children should do so knowing that there will be times of great sorrow, and not just for the woman in her time of labor. God was sorry that man had become so wicked, but being sorry does not mean that He did not know the outcome of His act of creation.

  4. Verses 8-9. The line of Cain went from bad (Cain) to worse (Lamech). The line of Seth held some promise. It was in Seth’s days that men began to “call upon the name of the Lord” (4:26). Enoch, one of Seth’s descendants, was a man who “walked with God,” and he was taken up into heaven (5:24). With the birth of Noah, there was a sense of expectation; his father expressed the hope that this son would bring about the reversal of the curse (5:29). He was used of God as a deliverer, and as such, he foreshadowed the great “Deliverer,” the Lord Jesus Christ. We will talk about this later on. We are told that Noah was a godly man; in the midst of a corrupt society, Noah stood out, stood alone, as a man of God. He was “blameless among his contemporaries,” a man like Enoch, who “walked with God” (6:9). This is not to say that Noah was a perfect man, a man that God spared because he was without any sin. Noah was a sinner, whose deliverance was a matter of divine grace, rather than of human merit: But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). It was God’s grace that saved Noah. And he, like all the saints – Old Testament or New – was saved by faith (Hebrews 11:5-7). In contrast to Adam, who disobeyed God, Noah’s faith was evident in his obedience to the commands of God. While Adam’s disobedience took place in a moment of time, Noah’s obedience was demonstrated by countless years of constructing the ark.

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