Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 2: Monday
Today’s Bible reading, Genesis 4–7, spans people and events from the aftermath of the Fall (Genesis 3) to Noah and the Flood. These chapters reveal the stark contrast between those who continually choose to do evil, and the much smaller number who call upon God.
The horrific story of Cain and Abel opens Genesis 4, while the birth of Seth and his son, Enosh, close it. Cain’s descendant, Lamech, brags of his murders, while after Enosh is born, we read this hopeful news at the end of verse 26: “Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.”
Chapter 5 gives the generations of Adam, and over and over and over again, you read the phrase, “…and he died.” Only one person escapes the result of the fall, Enoch, a man who “…walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” The birth of Noah and his sons close this chapter, and the next two chapters began the details of Noah’s life.
In chapter 6 the evil of man reaches a crescendo:
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually….
“Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. ”
Genesis 6:5, 11
Only one man finds favor with God, only one—Noah. And God tells Noah He is going to destroy everyone except for Noah and his household, “…for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.” Of God’s judgment, John MacArthur states:
“Verse 6 [Genesis 6:6], “And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth and He was grieved in His heart.” God is not apathetic to the sin of man. He is not indifferent. In fact, Ezekiel said that God finds no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Jeremiah wept the tears of God over the judgment to come. Jesus wept the tears of God over the judgment to come on Jerusalem and Israel. The Lord was sorry, it says, He was sorry. What does that mean? Well, it’s sadness. There’s a reality to the sadness of God….
“I don’t want you to get the idea that somehow there’s glee with God when He has to judge. There isn’t. He wept over the city of Jerusalem because He knew what was going to happen to them when judgment fell. He wept at the grave of Lazarus because He knew what death was going to do repeatedly throughout human history and the pain and sadness and sorrow that it would cause and the judgment that it would bring about….And it was a sad thing to have to judge the world the way it would have to be judged. And part of that sorrow is not just over the condition of man, but listen to this, it is over the fact that God must do what He must do. There is no ambivalence. There is no indecision. There is no alternative….God can’t equivocate. If you sin and if you’re depraved and if you reject His salvation and you reject His Word and you refuse Him and you make your league, as it were, with the forces of hell and you live out your sinful life in disregard to God, there can be no ambivalence, God has no choice. Judgment falls and that is a grief to God.”
The aftermath of the Fall. Death, evil and then God’s judgment. Two men, I found only two men, mentioned in contrast, Enoch who walked with God, and Noah who alone was righteous before Him. As I thought about this I came back to God’s statement to Cain in 4:7:
“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
These are words I must take to heart. I’ve also seen that I cannot of myself master sin, I must have the help of God Himself. We each must, “…call upon the name of the LORD.”
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
John MacArthur: Grace to You: The Destruction of Mankind, Part 1.
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter