Year 2 Day 199
Read - Genesis 5
Message - Scott Woodburn
Every well intentioned Bible reading plan goes perfectly well until Genesis 5. We follow the story perfectly well until we are hit with a list of names and numbers in the fifth chapter of Genesis. It may be the first list like this in the Bible but it certainly isn’t the last - what are we to do with such passages that are incredibly difficult to read?
I think the simple answer is that we are to read these passages. Genesis 5 may not be in anyone’s list of favourite passages but it is the Word of God. Do you remember what the Apostle Paul said about the Word? “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3v16-17) So Genesis 5 is for our good and to skim over it is to suggest that parts of the Bible are irrelevant. Perish the thought!
So let’s look at this passage which is both incredibly tragic yet incredibly hopeful. Adam was made in the image of God and he was supposed to be God’s representative on earth (v1). If Adam had kept the terms of the Covenant of Works then he and those after him would have enjoyed eternal life. Instead Adam exchanged the truth of God for a lie, he fell into sin and through sin death entered the world. The truth of this teaching couldn’t be made clearer by verse five “thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.”
Adam lived a long life but eventually Adam died. We have no idea where Adam was buried but his grave is unimportant. Sin’s reality is seen by the fact that the first man died and tragically the story would continue throughout the list of Adam’s descendants as recorded for us by Moses. Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel and Jared…the story is the same…they live their lives and then one by one each of them died.
In chapter five we see the tragedy of the human condition. We are born in sin and life will eventually come to an end with death. But this chapter isn’t all doom and gloom. Eventually we meet Enoch who didn’t die. Enoch was a man who we are told walked with God (v24) and one day he was no more for God took him. God spared Enoch from the hand of death and so too He will spare us. The reason? Once more we write it in big letters…FAITH (Hebrews 11v5) Death had no claim on Enoch for he was a man of faith. You and I will surely die but those in Christ are born twice and therefore die only once.
As the chapter closes we hear of Lamech’s son Noah. Lamech hopes that perhaps his son will bring some relief from the impact of the curse. He declares “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” (v29) The name Noah sounds like the Hebrew word for rest and so Lamech wondered if perhaps his son would bring some relief from the toil and trouble of human life.
Noah would certainly play his part in the unfolding of God’s story of redemption but it would be the Lord Jesus Christ who would provide rest for the people of God. Christ doesn’t free us from the labours and work and trouble of human life but He has defeated death on our behalf. He does give us hope in the bleakness of this world (John 16v33) and He does make our labour significant upon the earth (1 Corinthians 15v58). Your current existence may seem a bit bleak like Genesis 5 but look again for the glimpses of Jesus. The walk ahead may be tough but continue walking with God regardless - for where He is leading us is surely worth the toil (John 14v1-4)
Q80 What is required in the tenth commandment? The tenth commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbor, and all that is his.