Day 2: Genesis 4-7; The Flood

It always makes me think when I read some of the genealogies in the Bible, especially this first one, what it would be like to live for 900 or more years.  What would you do with all of that time?  I’m trying right not to conceptualize having kids at the age of 150… or in Noah’s case, at 500 years old.  I can’t imagine my roughly 90 year old grand parents having kids at their age.  Likely it is that people back then didn’t age as we do now as is seen in God’s statement in Genesis 6:4 “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.”  Some have also suggested that there most likely wasn’t a great deal of genetic abnormalities and diseases back then either.  In any case, it seems that something changed when God said what He said.

Looking a bit closer at that statement, it also seems like there is some sort of a connection between the presence of God’s Spirit in us and our ability to be alive in general.  The Hebrew word for Spirit is “ruach” (where the ‘ch’ is more of a phlegmy sound) and actually translates to meaning Spirit, Breath, and Wind.  So it would be appropriate to think about the Spirit of God dwelling in us as being related to the “breath of life” that God blows into Adam at the time of creation (Genesis 1-2).  We actually affirm this in the Nicene Creed when we say “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life…”

Taking this to its next logical step then would infer that the Spirit of God, the Breath of Life as it were, is present in all living creatures at all times.  If it wasn’t, they would not be alive.  When I think of this I am in awe of the means by which I exist.  God, through the Holy Spirit is sustaining my every breath, my every movement, me.  This, I think, sometimes creates a conundrum for us: How is it that God, who is Holy and beyond all measure of good and righteousness, can sustain us as sinful creatures?  Wouldn’t this make God at fault for the sin that happens in the world?  I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to fully answer this, however we took a stab at it in one of my theology classes last semester… this is what we came up with:

God is good.  Humanity is sinful, sinning by virtue of the free will that God allowed us to have.  However, in God’s continuing act of creation, which we call providence, they way by which God provides for and governs all life, God sustains all creatures however sinful even if He does not applaud their actions or the results.  God must be sustaining us for if He didn’t we would simply cease to exist as we believe that all creation was created by the will of God.  We believe that God continues to sustain us by virtue of the fact that we continue to exist.

While this seems to circle around the subject, it does make sense… and it is a comfort to us because we know that God is continuing to work in creation.  His work toward the eventual redemption and renewal of creation at the end of time is far beyond our ability to know and understand, but we trust that God is God, His ways are higher than ours… and His ways are good.

6 Responses to “Day 2: Genesis 4-7; The Flood”

  1. […] God’s eternal faithfulness towards us and the fact that He goes with us, supporting and sustaining us, even carrying us.  There is beautiful imagery here that is caught up in the […]

  2. […] Sometimes I just have to wondering then, what it would take to convince this rabble of complainers we call Israel that God is all powerful, in control, and will take care of them.  To date, they have seen the wonders of God through the plagues that led to their freedom, walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, got water from a rock, mana and quail to eat, seen God’s presence as they moved, on the mountain, and around the Tabernacle.  God has helped them to defeat attackers, and forgiven them more times than they’ll ever be able to count.  And yet, still they complain and worry about these people.  We hear that the land is great, but the cities are so fortified and the people are large.  One of the phrases used to describe these people in verses, is that they are the Nephilim, the sons of Anak.  This would have made sense for us, but for a reference we have to go all the way back to Genesis 6.  The word Nephilim means “giants” and, if we read Genesis 6 we see that they are the product of the union of “the sons of God” and women of the earth.  They produced “the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.”  One of these is apparently Anak and clearly is renowned.  Not much is known about what this really means.  Some scholars contend that they were angels or fallen angels.  In any case, the it was not good and led eventually to the flood. […]

  3. […] & 2 would come rushing back into their minds.  Perhaps they would be reminded of the story of Noah and the great flood in Genesis 6-9 or of Moses and the 10 plagues that so vividly displayed […]

  4. […] have talked about this before; it is a conversation that goes all the way back to Adam and Noah.  God created the world and He is intimately involved in all that goes on in it.  God’s […]

  5. […] draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.  By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the […]

  6. […] Genesis 6:5 – The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. […]

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