Long Lives, Sons of God, and God’s Grace to Noah (Genesis 5:1-6:8)

Adam’s genealogy includes records of the longest lives in human history, many of which were over 900 years.  It includes perhaps the longest life in Methuselah, who lived a whopping 969 years!  Then Noah was born, and was given a designation as one who would “comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.”  It seemed obvious that Noah had a calling or purpose that was evident to those around him.

Chapter 6 begins with one of the more puzzling passages in the Bible.  The allusion to “sons of God” in verse 2 has led to much speculation as to who these figures may have been.  Some speculate that these figures may have been angels.  However, other passages refer to the fact that angels are spiritual beings, heavenly creatures.  The Bible clearly states that there would be no marrying or giving in marriage in heaven.  Also, Jesus, even though he came in human form to Earth, did not take a wife or engage in sexual relations while on Earth.  Although angels did manifest themselves in a corporeal form, it is highly unlikely that they took wives and set up residence on earth.  So who are the sons of God?  Some scholars speculate that they were the most impressive princes or kings of the land, or that they were simply stronger and taller than at any other time in history due to their presumed lack of disease and long life span.  The mighty men of old could refer to the offspring of the sons of God or the sons of God themselves.  Either way, there is no other Biblical record of who exactly they were, and trying to determine that fact can only lead to conjecture and debate.  This is not a salvific issue, so I will stop my discussion here.

The wickedness of the earth was great at this time.  God was sorry He had made man.  This characterization of God is a bit incomplete.  Sure, God was grieved over the sin of the human race, but this did not take God by surprise.  The omnipotent God knew sin was coming, and had a plan to cleanse the earth and start fresh.  Noah was the righteous remnant that would carry on the human race.  “…Noah found grace in the eyes of Lord(6:8).”  That is where I want to be.  I want to be in God’s grace before God’s eyes.  Let the giants rage around me.  Let sinful people flood the space around me.  I want to live in the grace of God, and share that grace with every giant and every sinner that comes my way!

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