Genesis 020 – A New BeginningGenesis 5:1-2 • Dr. Andy Woods • January 3, 2021 • Genesis
Genesis # 020 –
A New Beginning — Genesis 5
Dr. Andrew Woods
Happy New Year. Take your Bibles and open to the book of Genesis 5. The title of our message this morning is “A New Beginning.” I can’t think of a better subject to contemplate and ruminate on when starting a new year. We think about a new beginning, and what we see God doing here, beginning in Genesis 5:1, is something brand new; something Satan tried to corrupt in Genesis 4, and God, as He is so good at doing, starts anew —Genesis 5.
As you’re turning to Genesis 5, I just want to make you aware that Wednesday, January 6th is a big deal in this country as electors are voted on by those in Washington, DC. It’s a time of tremendous turmoil in our country with protests that will be be going on during that time, etc. So it’s a great time just to think about 1 Timothy 2:1-4. It’s almost as though 1 Timothy 2:1-4 was written for our times; it exhorts the Christian to pray for those in authority that we might live peaceable and quiet lives so that the gospel can go forth unhindered.
So, man always has his created problems and God has His solution. So many times the solution is looking at us right in the face. It’s prayer for those in authority and prayer for those in government.
Also, I want to thank everyone, and it’s such a joy to be able to do this, not to have to come before the congregation with a financial problem or need. If you look at your bulletin, you’ll see that based on the budget and accounting, our revenue for 2020 far exceeded our expenses. That has not always been the case in this church, I can guarantee you. But this year there was a level of giving that we as the elders, quite frankly, have been somewhat astonished by. And you are doing it. You’re being touched by the Word of God. There’s no great appeal here, as you know, for funds. We don’t even pass the offering plate. Now, we do have offering boxes in the back. Maybe I should mention that. But this is a ministry, as you know, that doesn’t really make a big issue about finances and funds and money. We’re just here to teach the Word of God. It’s exciting to see that the Word of God goes out to people, and that their hearts are touched that they want to do something by way of response.
One of the things that people have done for us in 2020 is that they’ve blessed Sugar Land Bible Church tremendously—financially. I always want to acknowledge when this happens, and we want to thank you for it as an act of worship unto the Lord. Amen.
So here we are in the book of Genesis, and as you know, Genesis 1-11 is about the beginning of the human race. It has four major topics (see slide on Genesis Structure), the first of which we’ve already covered: creation itself in Genesis 1 & 2. Then something goes terribly wrong in Genesis 3-5—the fall. Lest you understand the fall and its ramifications, you can’t understand the world we’re living in, and you can’t understand our need for a Savior.
So the fall of man, as we have talked about, is described in Genesis 3, a pivotal chapter. It’s in Genesis 3 that a promise is given. After mankind falls, and God says: “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise Him on the heel.” This is the beginning of God’s redemptive program. How is God going to restore everything to where it began before the fall? The answer is that there’s coming One from the seed of the woman, or Eve, who will crush the serpent’s head. In other words, defeat Satan and restore everything to how God ultimately intended it—Genesis 1 & 2–before sin entered the picture.
From there we moved into Genesis 4 (see slide on Genesis 4 Outline), where Satan assumed that this coming One was going to come from the line of Abel. And so, when you look at all of the biblical data, he inspired Cain to murder his brother Abel. In Satan’s darkened mind, he thought he had shut down the promise of Genesis 3:15—the Messiah will never come.
What he began to construct in 4:16-24, through the line of the murderer, Cain, is a society, a new world order, if you will, that excludes God. It’s wonderful that the Bible does not stop with 4:24, because if that were the case, we’d all be in a lot of trouble.
God, as He always does, gets around Satanic ploys and strategies through the birth of another—his name was Seth. And to Seth was born Enosh, and through Enosh was born a messianic line (see slide on Genealogy-Genesis 5) that would ultimately lead to Jesus. This line, first of all, would lead to Noah, then after the flood, the line would start with Noah’s son, Shem, and lead all the way to Terah. Terah is the father of Abraham, the biological father, and through the descendants of Abraham, God would begin a new work; a new nation. Ultimately it would be called the nation of Israel, the Hebrews.
And through that special nation, the Messiah would be born into our world. That’s how you fit Genesis 5 into all of this. It’s the new beginning after a satanic attempt at destruction. To continue with this new beginning, a messianic blessing, the Messiah from this new line will come. The line in Genesis 5 is the first part of it. It’s traced from Adam to Noah. That’s what we start reading about in Genesis 5. Genesis 5 has about 11 parts to it. There’s an introduction—5:1-2. Then the first in the line is Adam in 5:3-5. He begat Seth in 5:6-8. Seth begot Enosh—5:9-11, Enosh begot Kenan—5:12-14. Kenan begot Mahalalel—5:15-17 who
begat Jared—5:18-20, who begot Enoch, who took an early exit—5:21-24? From Enoch came Methuselah, the oldest man who ever lived, 969 years—5:25-27. Through Methuselah came Lamech—5:28-31; and through Lamech came Noah—5:32. Noah and his family in Genesis 6,7,8 would then be tucked safely and securely in the ark to emerge on the other side. Then this line will continue through Noah’s son, Shem, ultimately to Terah; Terah ultimately to Abraham, Abraham ultimately to our Lord Jesus Christ.
So this is how the messianic line was continued in spite of satan’s attempt to destroy it in Genesis 4.
Most people, and quite frankly, most teachers, when they get to this section, are scared to death of it. They don’t know what to do with it so they skip right over it as fast as they can, ignoring all of the details in the process. You know me well enough to know that I can’t do that here at Sugar Land Bible Church.
Now, Genesis 5:1-5 is a little slower. We may not even get through those today, but once you see a pattern, because there is a clear pattern here: 5:6-8 go by real fast, as do 5:9-11-14, etc., with a little bit of slowdown with Enoch, Methuselah and Lamech because a few details are added that go outside of the pattern.
So don’t get discouraged if we’re not moving fast enough today; we’re going to start moving very fast as this information unfolds. But notice, if you will Genesis 5:1,2 and what it says. “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.”
There’s a very interesting word that we’ve drawn attention to before: the Hebrew word, toledoth, and it is translated simply as “these are the generations of.” In fact, as you go through the book of Genesis, you’ll see this occur 11 times (see slide on Toledoth):
- Introduction to the generations
- The generations of the heavens and the earth.
- The generations of Adam,
- The generations of Noah,
- The generations of the sons of Noah.
- The generations of Shem,
- The generations of Terah,
- The generations of Ishmael,
- The generations of Isaac,
- The generations of Esau,
- Finally, the generations of Jacob.
And so this becomes a way, by looking at the repetition of this Hebrew word, toledoth, to outline the book of Genesis. And we are now on our third toledoth.
What is this, toledoth? These are actual records that were passed down through the generations: how the Hebrews actually had an awareness of how everything started in the Garden of Eden; what life was like before the flood, and ultimately prior to and after the Tower of Babel; the calling of Abraham and then Isaac and then Jacob, and then later on in biblical history, Joseph.
How was this history compiled? Written records of the people that experienced these things were passed down through the generational lines. Many people believe that Adam himself was, in fact, the author of perhaps toledoth 3, and maybe toledoth 2 as well, and maybe even toledoth 1.
So what ultimately happened to these records? Well, they continued getting compiled over time and were handed down through the generations, then they ended up in the hands of a man named Jacob. Jacob left Canaan to go to Egypt in Genesis 46. We can pinpoint the exact day when he left Canaan to go to Egypt. That date, according to standard biblical chronology, is the year 1876 BC. And why did Jacob leave Canaan to go to Egypt? Well, because there was a famine in Canaan. And the children of Israel needed grain. God had supernaturally worked in the life of Joseph by this time, elevating him to second in command over all of Egypt.
The nation of Israel left Canaan to go to Egypt to receive grain from Joseph in the midst of famine. When Jacob left Canaan to go to Egypt, he took with him all of those written records, we believe. Ultimately in Egypt, through God’s work through a man named Moses, those records came into the hands of a man named Moses, who, by the providence of God, was given one of the best educations a person could receive in that time period. That’s the whole sovereignty and providential plan of God, allowing Moses to be reared in royalty in the household in Egypt, because God had a calling on Moses to write the book of Genesis.
When Moses began compiling and writing the book of Genesis, probably about at least 1445 BC roughly, he was stitching together all of this material from these written records that had been handed down to him and delivered through the generations coming to Jacob, Jacob bringing those written records to Moses, ultimately in Egypt.
And so Moses, we believe, took these records and began to compile what we call today the book of Genesis. Now, don’t let that bother you because a lot of people are kind of upset that ‘You mean Moses didn’t just write it based on originality? You mean, he didn’t have some kind of direct vision from God and write the whole thing, like we have in the book of Revelation?’ A lot of people are bothered by that. But don’t let that bother you, because that’s how the gospel of Luke came into existence.
Luke, unlike Matthew and John, was never an eyewitness to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Yet Luke wrote an entire gospel explaining the life of Christ. So how could Luke, as a non-eyewitness, put that material together? Well, Luke tells you in the first four verses of his book when he says, “Since many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us…” In other words, there are written records floating around about the life of Christ. Then Luke goes on in Luke 1:2 about how he interviewed eyewitnesses.
One of the eyewitnesses I believe he interviewed was Mary, Jesus’ mother. And Luke says, [I’ve]“…investigated everything carefully from the beginning,” and I take his word for it, because Luke’s occupation was a physician. You’ll see that in Colossians 4. If you are a physician, you are a detail type of person. In fact, if your current physician is not detail-minded, you might consider getting another physician because that’s how physicians are.
Yet it was the sovereignty of God that allowed Luke to gather all of this data and put together the gospel of Luke. That’s how he was able to do that when he himself was not an eyewitness to the ministry of Jesus Christ.
This is exactly what is happening with Moses. He’s taking all of these records and compiling them into what we call the book of Genesis. And here with this word, toledoth, you see the beginning of a new record describing things.
It’s interesting that in Genesis 5:1, it doesn’t just say ‘these are the generations of Adam, probably authored by Adam,’ but it also says, “This is the book of the generations…” And it is interesting that when you research all of these toledoths throughout the book of Genesis, it does say these are “These are the generations of.” But only here does it say ‘This is the book of the generations.’ The Hebrew word for book is sefer, which means scroll, and so I think this is used to show that there was a first Adam, who in essence, messed everything up.
And it does say ‘These are the generations of’ over and over again. And it doesn’t say ‘book‘ anywhere else in the book of Genesis, but it does show up in the New Testament In Matthew 1:1 (NKJV), which reads, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus.” Notice it doesn’t just say ‘genealogy of Jesus;’ ‘generations of Jesus.’ It says “the book.” That’s the exact same formula that we have in Genesis 5:1.
Why is this reference to the book repeated? Because Matthew is highlighting that Jesus Christ is not the first Adam, but the last Adam; 1 Corinthians 15:45 says, ‘So also it is written, ” the first MAN, Adam,…” [That’s our fellow who wrote Genesis 5:1 originally], “…THE first MAN Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL. The last Adam [Jesus] became a life-giving spirit.”
The repetition of ‘book’ only used here in Genesis 5:1 and then again in Matthew 1:1 is highlighting the two most influential human beings in all human history: the first Adam and the last Adam. And when I say these are the two most influential human beings, what I’m trying to say is there were never two people who influenced more individuals than these two: the first Adam and the last Adam, Jesus Christ. The two most influential men in world history from Genesis 5:1, the book, and Matthew 1:1, the book, the first one, the book of the generations of Adam, the second one, the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Think about this: which two people have influenced more people than these two? There aren’t any. Adam, through his single action of disobedience eating from the forbidden tree, brought the entire world under a curse. And Jesus, through His single act of obedience and His sacrificial death on the cross, brought to the world, not a universal curse, but a universal blessing.
Both Adam and Jesus interacted with a tree: Adam, with the tree of knowledge; Jesus, with the Cross, which is called a tree in the book of Galatians 3:13. What Adam did affected everyone in terms of a curse. And yet what Jesus did affected everyone in terms of a blessing.
Well, how do you get anchored into the universal curse brought in by the first Adam? The answer is that you’re physically born into it. At the point of conception, we inherited the sin nature from Adam. And we are automatically—whether we like it or not, whether we agree with it or not, whether we understand it or not— born under, [all human beings], this curse, the only exception, of course, being Jesus Christ, and that’s the significance of His miraculous conception.
Had He not been that miraculous conception—the virgin birth—He would have been born under the same curse that we are. But how do I get into the blessings of universality that Jesus brought to planet earth when I’m physically born under Adam’s curse? The answer is that I’ve got to be spiritually born into this new blessing. I’m automatically and physically born under the curse of Adam. But once I am spiritually born, I’m transferred, in a sense, from that universal curse to the universal blessing of Jesus Christ. The curse is automatic. I’m born into it physically. Being born unto the blessing of Jesus Christ involves a choice. It involves a decision. A human being by way of volition, must trust in what Jesus did for them 2000 years ago. And the moment they do that, their whole identity changes from the physical curse of Adam to the spiritual blessing of Jesus Christ. This is why Adam is called the first Adam, and why Jesus Christ Himself per 1 Corinthians 15:45, is called the last Adam. That’s the whole significance of the book, only used here and one other time in Matthew 1:1. See, it’s pretty simple as far as God is concerned. Either you have never trusted Christ as your Savior and you’re still under the curse of Adam, or you have trusted Christ as your Savior. You have been supernaturally birthed and transferred from a universal curse to a universal blessing. And this is how God Himself divides both humanity and the human race.
One of the things that’s interesting when it talks about the book of the generations of Adam is this idea that Adam could write. I mean, how can you create a book unless you have some kind of inherent linguistic ability and talent, ability with writing? And this goes to show you that the idea of primitive man is what evolution teaches—you’re taught this in modern-day secular anthropology—that early men were just simpletons; naked apes; cave-type people. They couldn’t speak; they could only grunt at each other. They didn’t know what language was until they started to scribble a few things on the cave wall. And finally over a million years, they got a language. They didn’t know what fire was until lightning hit.
And yet the Bible reads so much differently, doesn’t it? I mean, here is Adam compiling this book. These are the generations of which would ultimately land into the hands of Jacob and Moses himself. Yet such a book could not have been created unless man was far more advanced than we give him credit for.
We’ve commented back in Genesis 4 on the technological advancement in the line of Cain. That line, too, was technologically advanced in terms of livestock, music, metallurgy, and per Genesis 4:22, working with bronze and iron at the same time, which is something secular anthropologists completely dismiss because we had a Bronze Age and then an Iron Age—much later, we’re told. And here they are at the dawn of human history, working with both metals simultaneously.
It is interesting that as you back into human history, you will find designs for things like the great pyramids, for example, that have almost no explanation in terms of how they were created. Well, I know how they were created. Ancient Man was far more sophisticated according to the Bible than what we give him credit for. When archeological remnants of such proportions are discovered, I don’t have to have a worldview which says space aliens seeded planet earth. Spend some time on YouTube, which I don’t recommend you do too much, and you’ll see all of these alien-type shows about ancient aliens—that’s how they explain these ancient designs. I don’t have to believe such things like that because my Bible tells me that early man was far more sophisticated than what we give him credit for being.
Henry Morris says of Genesis 5:1, “…All of these things, in addition, confirm the necessary coexistence of a written language for formal communications. This is further intimated by use of the word ‘book’ [or scroll or sepher] in Genesis 5:1.
And we continue on with Genesis 5:1-2, which as I read it, you probably said to yourself, ‘I thought we learned that already; I thought we studied that already. I thought that was what was in Genesis 1 and 2.’ And you’re correct, this is just kind of a summary of what we learned already in Genesis 1-2.
Notice: “This is the book of the generations of Adam in the day when God created man.” In 5:2, it says, “…[He] named them Man in the day when they were created.” The Bible is crystal clear: we are, as human beings, special creations of God, going back to the very beginning. All of our lives have dignity and worth because they come to us through the special creative design of God. All of us have an obligation to treat people—even those who are unbelievers and who we may disagree with, and even those who hate us—with dignity and respect because they are special creations of God as well. One of the things that’s very troubling to watch in western civilization is the death of humanness; the death of civility—the screaming matches, the breaking out into violence that people get into today over the slightest infraction—is related to the idea that we have all lost sight of the fact that [even] the person that you’re mad at, the person you’re screaming at, deserves respect because they are just as much a special creation of God as are you. And that’s a wonderful thing to review from Genesis 1-2.
Notice here that we’re not just special creations of God, but we are different than anything [else] God has formed because we bear God’s likeness. We bear His image. To my understanding, not even the angels, as high ranking as they are—were formed in the image of God, as humanity is. That’s a review from Genesis 1:27 which says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” It’s interesting how it keeps saying “He created them”? There’s no mindset here of ‘from the goo to you by way of the zoo’ over billions of years. The Bible knows no such idea. What it says is that human beings are valuable to God because they are image bearers of God. Now you say, ‘Well, wait a minute, Pastor. I thought man fell in Genesis 3, and if man and woman fell in Genesis 3, through sin, have they lost their image bearing status?’ And the answer to that is no, they have not because in Genesis 9, [now this is post-fall; post-flood], God reaffirms who human beings are as image bearers. He says, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man, his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.”
As we get there, we’ll see that this is the beginning of human government. Human government exists to protect rights because human beings have value; as they are image bearers of God. So you’ll notice that this is a statement made not just in Genesis 1, 2,and 5; it’s in Genesis 9 and beyond that, it’s in James 3. You say, ‘Well, what’s James 3 about’? You don’t want to know what James 3 is about. Come on Wednesday night, and we’ll talk about James 3. In fact, I’ll tell you, it’s about misuse of the tongue. I’m glad the Bible is not relevant to our lives. James 3:9 says of the tongue within the context of the believing Christian community, “With it, we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;…”
Isn’t it interesting that we can be in church, and with our tongue can be praising the Lord, and then we get in the car and on the way home, criticize everything and everyone in the church? In fact, some of you might even have roast preacher for lunch. ‘I don’t like this. I don’t like that.’ Yet that’s the exact same tongue that we were using a short time ago to praise the Lord. James says, ‘Brothers, these things should not be because when you turn your tongue loose on another human being, you’re forgetting the fact that they deserve dignity because they are image bearers of God just like you are.’
What the theologians say is, ‘In man’s fallen state, the image of God in people has been effaced but it has not been erased.’ The person who is living under the bridge and hasn’t had a shower in three and a half months, who smells like alcohol—that person bears the image of God, too. The person you disagree with or the boss who’s abusing you—bear the image of God, also. And with the death of humanness, with the death of this understanding, we have become animalistic in a sense. We’re treating people like they are dogs, as if they’re of no value. And yet that shouldn’t characterize the Christian who understands biblical anthropology. Anthropology is simply the study of man as revealed in Scripture. It explains why people have value to God. People, to a large extent, get on our nerves. Many times we see someone coming, and we want to get away from them because they’re an irritation to us. But to God, human beings have value because they are the only creatures that God has ever made who bear His very likeness and image.
This is why Jesus became one of us—to die in our place— so that all people could be redeemed—because people have value.
Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man, [speaking of Christ’s own words], has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Did you know that you were lost, and that God moved heaven and earth to seek and find you; to give the gospel to you so that you could be made right with Him? Why would He do that? It relates to the fact of who we are by the design of God in the creative hierarchy of God, we bear God’s very image.
What an important reminder we need of this basic truth. Notice in Genesis 5:2, “…He created them male and female.” How many genders are there exactly? I see two. Gender is not determined by what’s in a person’s mind, or how they feel at any given time. It’s not a matter of choice. It is determined by biology. I find it very interesting that we’re living in a society today where there are 73 genders to pick from on your social media profile. People have this mindset that they can choose whatever gender they want. That’s outside of what God said: ‘two genders.’ God determines which gender you are. Biology determines which gender you are. Genetics, chromosomes, whatever you want to call it, determine which gender a person is.
Notice also here by by the way, male and female is reiterated from Genesis 1:27. This is all just review as Adam is getting ready to write about his generations. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
God also says something else in Genesis 5:2: “He blessed them.” Humanity is blessed of God. You are blessed of God simply because you’re a human being that bears God’s image. ‘Oh, Lord, bless me. Bless me.’ God says, ‘I already did; read the beginning of the book. You’re blessed. Humanity is blessed; the human race is blessed.’ Every image bearer in God’s human race, which did not evolve accidentally but was intentionally brought into existence by God, has been blessed.’
In fact, God designed this whole world in such a way that we could inhabit it. Think about this: in our heliocentric solar system, how the earth is revolving around the sun is not so close to the sun that it’s too hot or that we burn up, and it’s not so far away from the sun that we freeze to death. But there it orbits about the sun at exactly the right distance from the sun—not too close, not too far to sustain life.
It’s astounding what God has done for us. It’s astounding how we’ve been blessed in God. In fact, because we’ve been blessed by God, we are the pinnacle of God’s creation. Genesis 1:28 again; review: “God blessed them;…” And then you’ll also notice in Genesis 5:2, He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man…” Now, the word ‘Man’ there is Adam. Adam essentially means man or mankind or humanity. And I believe it is used of a personal name in 5:1; an actual human being named Adam. And now it’s being used in more of a generic sense, referring to humanity as a whole. You’ll also notice there in 5:2, “He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them, Man in the day, [look at that] when they were created.” Well, what day is that exactly? Well, that’s review. That’s day six of creation when God brings into existence, finally, on day six, the pinnacle of His created order— humanity.
This toledoth here continues, and now we move away from the introduction, which was just review to the generations of Adam himself. I want us to focus on just the second part of 5:3: “When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.” This is very interesting to observe because back in 5:1, we learn that Adam, [or Hebrew, ‘Adam’], was made in God’s image.
Now Adam has a son, and it says that son’s name is Seth, and Seth is made in the image of Adam. Well, when it says if Seth was made in the image of Adam and of Adam, it says he was made in the image of God—does that mean that Seth somehow is not an image bearer of God? The answer to that is no. Seth is an image bearer of God because Genesis 9:6 affirms our image bearing status post-flood. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.” That includes Seth. That includes Noah, me, you, and every single human being.
Well, then why in the world would it say here in Genesis 5:3 that Adam is made in God’s image and Seth was made in Adam’s image—because Seth had something that Adam didn’t have. What did Seth have? Seth had a biological father. Adam did not. Adam is just an image bearer of God. Seth is an image bearer of God, but because he is a descendant of Adam, he also bears Adam’s likeness. Well, what does that mean—Seth bears the likeness of Adam?
Well, part of this might be biological where people say, ‘So-and-so favors their father. So-and-so looks like their mother.’ In fact, when our child, Sarah was born, people saw Sarah, and they said, ‘Andy, you couldn’t deny that baby if you wanted to. It looks just like you,’ which is something I began to pray about because I actually wanted Sarah to have a better chance in life and look more like my wife than myself. But it’s interesting that when you look at Sarah from a certain angle, she favors my wife. When you look at her on the couch crossing her leg, I’ll send you all a picture—this is true, and it’s my wife that had to point this out. I sit on the couch, I take my right leg, and first of all, I put a footstool up. That’s step one. Sit on the couch. I take my right leg, cross it over my left, and sit there and watch TV. Look at Sarah sitting next to me, she’s doing the exact same thing. I mean, it’s scary. In fact, Anne had to point this out, ‘Look at that. That’s exactly the way you look.’ So keep praying for this child, please.
So when it says that Seth bore the likeness of Adam, it could be biological that Seth looked a lot like Adam. But I think it means something else: Seth inherited something else from Adam besides biology, genetics and looks. He inherited a sin nature. Humanity is born into this world, not just as image bearers of God who deserve worth, value and dignity, but also with a nature that we inherited from Adam who is at war with God Himself.
Now with Sarah, we never had to sit her down and say, ‘Okay, we’re going to teach you how to sin today. You’re ready? Here’s how to be impatient. Here’s how to be selfish.’ She obviously picked up all of those traits from her mother. That’s just a joke. But we have a nature that is at war with God. We don’t have to be taught to sin. We sin naturally. I don’t have to be taught to be selfish and self-centered. I have to be taught the opposite. I have to be taught how to share with other people. I have to be taught how to respect other people because it does not come to me naturally.
That’s part of our condition in Adam. Adam was made in the likeness of God. Seth was made in the likeness of Adam. Meaning what? Seth was an image bearer of God, but he inherited something else from Adam: biology, but also a sin nature. And if the Bible is clear on anything, we have both. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 that says, “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ, all will be made alive.”
What Adam did contaminated all of us in terms of a proclivity for sin that ultimately lead to physical death itself. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—.” That’s Seth’s problem. And your problem. And my problem.
Genesis 8:21 says, “…the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth;…” This idea that children are born into the world innocent—obviously, people who think that have probably never had children of their own. We are not born into this world innocent. We are born into this world guilty. We are born into this world as God-haters because of what we have inherited from Adam, and we receive that status at the point of conception.
David says in Psalm 51:5, ”Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity. And in sin my mother conceived me.”
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart... [That’s our human heart] is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”
Jesus, when he was criticized concerning the fact that His disciples were eating on the Sabbath, makes a tremendous anthropological statement in Mark 7:20-23 when He says, ‘it’s not what comes into a person that defiles him’ it’s what comes out of his heart.’ “And He was saying ‘That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.’”
So here is God looking at human beings who have value because they’re made in His image. And at the same time He can’t have a relationship with them because of their sin nature. And what does God do to fix this problem? He dies in our place.
You know, it’s interesting that in the world of commodities, economics or buying and selling, you determine value based on what the buyer is willing to pay. The greater the amount the buyer is willing to pay, the higher the value of the commodity in question. Taking that simple formula, what do you think you are worth? You must be worth an awful lot because look at what God did to restore that broken relationship. I mean, there must be something that God sees in people of infinite, inestimable wealth—that He was willing to do what He did. I can’t think of a greater cost or price. So that in turn, must mean the value or the premium that God places on human beings is magnificent and awesome.
Keep that in mind Monday morning when you’re thinking that your life is not working out or that it doesn’t have any meaning or that things in your life don’t make sense. We all have these ups and downs, or go through a season of failures and start to discount who we are. Think of what Jesus did for you.
Now today, everybody is talking about self-esteem. I think we’ve got the greatest book on self-esteem that’s ever been written because it teaches concepts like these. I mean, there’s no reason to go through life defeated, depressed, thinking that you’re not significant; that you don’t matter; that you’ll never amount to much. When you look at what Jesus did for you and at your status as an image bearer of God.
Here is what the whole generation statement says in Genesis 5:3, “When Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. Genesis 5:4, “Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.”
Now, this is a pattern. It’s got six things in it that you’ll see repeated almost verbatim for every single patriarch. You will see (see Slide on Six-Fold Pattern — Genesis 5:3-5):
- The name of the patriarch, Adam. And for each of these patriarchs, I’ll be giving you the meaning of his Hebrew name: Adam means man or humanity.
- The age of the patriarch at the time, his seed son, which I think is maybe his first-born. I mean, exactly how old was Adam when he became the father of Seth? The Bible tells you exactly how old he was—130 years.
- The additional number of years that Adam lived after the birth of Seth. The Bible tells us— exactly 800 years.
- What did he do during that 800-year time period? He begat other sons and daughters.
- Exactly how old Adam was when he died—930 years and you can get that by adding up number 2 with number 3—130 years when Seth was born, he lived an additional 800 years; 800 plus 130 equals 930 years. And did he die? He died.
And then it’s going to do this with the next patriarch. And the next one. And the next one and the next one, it’s going to do it so frequently you’re going to get bored. Why does it keep doing that? Why does it keep saying the same thing over and over again? Here’s one of the reasons:
The Hebrews committed vast volumes of material to memorization. Experts tell us that we only use a small fragment of our minds. But as you go back in time, you see the art of memorization. You don’t see distractions from cell phones, Netflix and YouTube. You see people who were very involved with the written page who committed vast amounts of information to memory. And when you repeat something almost monotonously over and over and over and over and over again, it’s easy to memorize. And here is what else is very interesting. You see the pattern repeated: “He died.” Repeated. “He died.” Repeated. “He died.” And then all of a sudden, it says, “And he was no longer because God took him.” Whoa. Why would that even jump off the page to me? Because it’s outside the pattern. It’s outside the monotony. So the Holy Spirit is using monotony to say, ‘Wake up here. Pay attention. Because God just did something outside of the pattern.” That’s why this pattern is here.
So the next time I’m with you, I want to show you the significance of this pattern. I’ve revealed a little bit of it already. Why is the historical name such a big deal? Why do I have to know the age of the father at the time the son is born? Why do I have to know he begat other children. Why is that so significant? And why are these people living into their nine hundreds?
Does that bother anybody? Why is that going on, and how come that doesn’t go on today? And how come in the subsequent genealogy in Genesis 11, they’re not living into their nine hundreds or eight hundreds anymore? What happened? And why does it keep saying, “He died?”
All of this is highly significant. And so now that we’ve seen the pattern, we will be filling in the gaps next time, and once you see the gaps and the pattern, then it’ll start to move very fast until we get to Enoch because something abnormal happens.
And then we’ll get to Methuselah because something abnormal happens, and then we’ll get to Lamech naming Noah because something abnormal happens. How do I know those things are abnormalities that the Holy Spirit is drawing my attention to? Because they deviate from the pattern. Unless you can appreciate the monotony, you can’t clearly see the deviation, and the Holy Spirit is saying, ‘Look at this. This is a big deal here.’ So we’ll cover that next time.
Just by way of closing, if you’re here today, and you don’t know Christ personally, going back to the two Adams: the first Adam and the last Adam, our exhortation is to trust in Christ and Christ alone now. “Today is the day of salvation,” the Bible says. And once you trust in the finished work of Christ, something that we celebrated by way of symbolism at the Lord’s table, once you trust in that by itself, sola, alone, is the moment your jurisdiction just changed legally from the first Adam to the last Adam. You’re no longer under a curse, but under a blessing. And you can change your whole eternal destiny in a nanosecond, simply by believing or trusting in the work of the last Adam. It’s something that you can do right now as I’m talking. It’s not something that you have to give money to do, join the church to do, walk an aisle to do. It’s a matter of privacy between you and the Lord, where you come under His conviction and trust in what He has done for you, and your whole destiny changes. If it’s something you need more explanation on, I’m available after the service to talk.
Shall we pray? “Father, we are grateful for these ancient records, and yet they’re really not ancient because the Word is living and active, and it speaks into our lives today. Help us to be a good steward of this section of Scripture that we’re moving into. Most people just rush right over it, but you put it here for a reason. Help us to learn what we’re supposed to learn here and then to apply it to our lives. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said, AMEN!”