Genesis 5:1-6:6 – Generations
Chapter 5 simply lists the generations from Adam to Noah. Don’t take the temptation to only scan over it. It’s full of interesting information.
Notice how long everyone lived in those days! As we discussed in Chapter 1, the earth was surrounded by a layer of water, allowing all of nature, including man, to be protected, and live long, healthy lives.
If you draw a timeline and do the math, you will see 9 generations were alive at the same time! In fact, Noah is the first generation mentioned which came after Adam died. Amazing! If I trace one branch of my family back 9 generations, it would be 1677 in Long Island, New York. Can you imagine knowing your 6-great grandpa? I have no idea how many people have descended from those 9 generations in my family. I can only imagine how many were in Adam’s family tree when the parents could conceive and bear children some 7-800 years instead of only 20-30! That is truly mind boggling.
One of the interesting characters in Adam’s genealogy is Enoch. It says, “Enoch walked with God, then he was no more, because God took him away” (vs.23). He simply disappeared into the presence of God. When we die, we will walk into the presence of God just like Enoch did. There is nothing to fear except possibly the process of dying. Enoch didn’t experience that process. Wouldn’t that be awesome?!
As the generations grew and people spread out across the land, their love for God faded away. Lost in their own lives, they forgot their Creator (6:5). The Lord was watching, and saw how wicked the world had become. In Genesis 6:6, we find one of the saddest verses of the Bible. “The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.”
I think this verse shows one of the most personal glimpses we have into God’s heart. It hurt Him that His creation no longer loved Him. He created everything they would need. He loved them from the moment they were born. But they didn’t love Him in return.
When I read this verse, it tears at my soul. I don’t ever want God to look at me and be sad that He made me. I don’t want to fill His heart with pain. But I know I do sometimes. He provides everything I need. He loved me since the moment I surprised my 45 year old dad and 40 year old mom with my birth! Why would I ever want to disappoint Him?
Honestly, I’m tempted in the same way all of Adam’s descendants have been tempted. It’s the pride of living my own way instead of following His guidelines. I want things I shouldn’t have, or try to get them before God provides them. I grumble when things don’t go my way. It grieves God’s heart.
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and com-passionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:30-32)
Questions for thought:
1) For discussion: What should we do when we realize we have filled God’s heart with pain? Do you believe God gives up on us?
2) For thought: In what ways are you grieving God’s heart? Are you seeking forgiveness?