Genesis 022 – Why the Monotony? (Part 2)Genesis 5:3-5 • Dr. Andy Woods • January 17, 2021 • Genesis
Why the Monotony, Part 2
“Father, We’re grateful for your truth, Your Word. We’re grateful for the book of Genesis, the book of beginnings as we get into a section of Scripture that is largely misunderstood and neglected and quite frankly, not even believed by a lot of people, I just ask that You would use this section to edify Your people in Your Word. I ask if anybody is listening that does not know You personally, that the Spirit of God might be in convicting them, and so for them, today might be the day of salvation. We just ask that You do this great work, only You can do it. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, God’s people said, Amen.”
Well, good morning, everybody. I want to welcome you to the Sugar Land Bible Church main service. If you could locate in your Bible the book of Genesis 5:3, I think we’ll start there. The title of our message this morning is ‘Why the Monotony, Part 2.’ The reason we’re entitling these two messages ‘Why the Monotony’ is [because] we’re in a section of God’s Word as we are moving through the book of Genesis verse-by-verse, thus, it seems redundant; boring; unexciting. The reason is that this is actually a genealogy. As we get into this, you’ll see that this genealogy has been strategically placed here by the Holy Spirit. There are things that you can learn in this genealogy that you can’t learn anywhere else in God’s Word, so we want to be good custodians of the full counsel of the word of God.
If you’re here for the first time or watching for the very first time, let me orient you to where we are in our study in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 1-11 is about the beginning of the human race—that first major section has four major events, the first of which is Creation itself–Genesis 1-2. [See slide on Genesis Structure] That’s where we learn that God is not the author of all of the problems in our world. God is frequently blamed for things that He didn’t cause. If you want to see what the original design of God is for humanity, for creation, you need look no further than Genesis 1-2.
Genesis 3 is where things got contaminated [The Fall]. Genesis 3, the creation itself was subjected to futility, as Paul tells us in Romans 8, not by its own accord, but by the one who subjected it. In other words, the biblical position is that evil and sin and all of the problems that are actually normal today did not come into existence through the hand of God, but through the free will of the creation in rebellion against God. The pivotal chapter where that happened is Genesis 3.
Genesis 4-5 are the after-effects of that chapter, but Genesis 3 is where everything, to use a proverbial expression, went south, awry. It’s in Genesis 3 where there is probably the most important verse in the entire Bible because in that verse is a microcosm of the gospel itself and the Creator’s intention to fix what went awry through the birth of a coming One through the seed of the woman, or Eve. God announced to the serpent in Genesis 3:15, “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.” There’s coming One from the seed of the woman, or Eve, who is going to take the serpent’s, Satan’s head and destroy it. Satan is put on notice. Really all of us are put on notice that one of these days everything is going to be made right. Everything is going to be restored to God’s original order, and the effects of Genesis 3 will be reversed.
Genesis 4 is the first murder, or Satan’s attempt to influence Cain to murder Abel so that this Messiah, Genesis 3:15, can never be born. Satan, as we have taught, reasoned that ‘The coming One is coming from Able, and so I [satan] will have Cain murder Abel.’ That explains the first murder in human history—Genesis 4:1-15. Satan thought that he had cut off the coming Messiah. And what Satan built through the ungodly line of Cain, the first murderer, and his descendants, was Satan’s New World Order. A one-world system of economics, politics and religion that excludes God. It looks like Satan has won. He’s stopped the Messiah from coming, and he’s built a world system in the place of the Kingdom of God.
And yet you learn in Genesis 4:25,26 how God got around what humanly speaking, seemed very difficult. And there was born a son named Seth as a replacement to Able, and so God started a brand new line. Through that brand new line, Seth begat Enosh and a whole line develops separate from the Canite line, the corrupted line. And through this godly line of Seth, the Messiah will be born.
And then as you get to Genesis 5, you start getting a picture of what this godly line looks like. We’re no longer dealing with the ungodly line here. We’ve got a description of them in Genesis 4:16-24, but here, we get an in-depth presentation of this godly line that will ultimately lead to a man named Noah. That’s where this chapter concludes. But then post-flood, the line will continue in Genesis 11, beginning around verse 10, it is through Noah’s son Shem, that several patriarchs come, leading to Terah, who is Abraham’s father.
Genesis 11, concludes then where Genesis 12 will pick up: the calling of Abraham. Through Abraham and God’s special dealings with the nation of Israel, a new nation that He will raise up Genesis 12, the Messiah ultimately will be born.
So that’s where Genesis 5 fits into all of this that we have talked about thus far in the book of Genesis. So here is the outline of Genesis 5 [see slide on Genesis 5 Outline].
There is an Introduction Genesis 5:1-2, and then the line starts Adam (Genesis 5:3-5) to Seth (Genesis 5:6-8) to Enosh (Genesis 5:9-11) to Kenan (Genesis 5:12-14) to Mahalalel (Genesis 5:15-17) to Jared (Genesis 5:18-20) to Enoch (Genesis 5:21-24) to Methuselah (Genesis 5:25-27) to Lamech (Genesis 5:28-31), and finally to Noah (Genesis 5:32).
And the last time I was with you, we looked at the Introduction to this lineage. In Genesis 5:1,2 it rehearses a lot of information that we learned about in the original Creation event. But then the line starts getting discussed. Last time, we were talking about the beginning of this line, starting with Adam, so let’s reorient ourselves and reread, 5:3-5. It says, “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. 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 here begins something that is repeated almost verbatim through each of these pre-flood patriarchs, and ten times this is repeated. There’s a six-fold pattern in this repetition.
Number 1, there is the name of the pre-flood patriarch, in this case, Adam. And for each of these names, I’ll give you what his Hebrew name means: Adam means Man.
Number two, the age of Adam at the time, the seed-son, or the next in line is born. It gives you the exact age of Adam at that point, 130 years. In other words, Adam was 130 years when God continued this line through Seth.
Number 3, the additional years Adam lived subsequent to the birth of the seed-son. So we’re told here that he lived an additional 800 years.
Number four, tells us that during that 800-year time period, Adam begat other sons and daughters.
Number five, tells us how how many years Adam, in totality, lived. And you get that by adding up numbers two and numbers three. Adam was 130 years old at the time of the birth of Seth. He lived an additional 800 years: 800 + 130 = 930 years=the total years of Adam’s life.
And then each of these with one exception that’s very notable, which we’ll explain in just a minute, records the death of these antediluvian patriarchs. Antediluvian means prior to the flood. How old were each of these individuals when they died? It’s very interesting, very specific, very concrete with very specific data given for each of these ten pre-flood antediluvian patriarchs. And the last time I was with you, I said, ‘Before we look at all of the names on this list, you need to understand the significance of this six-fold pattern. Why is the Holy Spirit giving us this information?’ And I had six reasons why we have this six-fold pattern, the first three of which we talked about last time.
Reason number on: the name of each patriarch is given to show us that these are historical figures; people who actually lived in human history. This is not Jack and the Beanstalk; not some sort of fairy tales but actual human beings, many of whom are in the line leading to Christ as recorded in Luke’s gospel. So just as Jesus Christ Himself was a historical figure, so were all of these individuals we are reading about here in Genesis 5.
A second reason noted the specific information about the age of the patriarch, not just how old he was when he died, but how old he was when his seed-son was born. This very specific information reveals that there are no genealogical gaps here. And we talked about the fact that there has been a great obsession by evangelical Christians ever since Darwin’s publication of Origin of the Species in 1859. The evangelical church began to be intimidated by the scientific world with a mindset that says, ‘Well, the real science rests with the scientists. The Bible is just filled with fiction.’ And if that’s the mindset, then people have a tendency to try to rewrite the Bible to keep up with science. After all, Charles Darwin was saying at that time that the earth is millions of years old. Now today, they say it’s billions of years old, and if the science so-called is true, then we need to rewrite the Bible to keep up with science. One of the tools that was used beginning around 1890 is this attempt to find massive gaps in this particular genealogy. The last time I was with you, I showed you, as my professor Dr. Toussaint used to say, ‘that dog won’t hunt.’ The Bible does not lend itself to that type of scheme. You won’t find millions or hundreds or thousands of missing years between these patriarchal names for the simple reason that the concrete data that’s revealed gives you the age of the patriarch at the exact same time that the seed-son was born. It doesn’t just tell you how many years he lived total, and how many years he lived after the birth of the seed-son, but exactly how old he was when the seed-son was born. And that does not lend itself to vast ages of time. And so you’re really forced into a conflict here where the scientific world says one thing about the age of the earth, the Bible is saying something completely different.
And that’s why I praise the Lord for men like John Whitcomb and Henry Morris, who came along with The Genesis Flood, a seminal book. They reversed the evangelical strategy because prior to that point in time, from about 1890 to 1960, the only thing the church knew how to do was to rewrite Genesis. They said that there’s a more excellent way in the Genesis flood. ‘Let’s go out and challenge what the so-called scientific world is saying.’
It’s interesting how in 1 Timothy 6:20, in the King James Version, it talks about science falsely called. Whitcomb and Morris showed us that there are a lot of things being advocated in the name of science that are really nothing more than human philosophy, so there’s no need to rewrite the Bible to keep up with human philosophy. They began to expose that there is no missing link in the evolutionary system. The missing link is still missing. They began to expose the problems with carbon-14 dating. A lot of my friends in creation science ministry today talked about soft tissue amongst the remains of dinosaurs, indicating that those dinosaurs’ skeletal remains have not been around for billions and trillions of years but are much younger.
The fact that the age of the patriarch is given at the exact moment of the birth of the seed-son is evidence that there are no missing gaps in these particular genealogies. So let’s stand on the authority of Scripture and hold hostage what is falsely called science. Consequently, evangelicals today are doing one of two strategies. They’re either going back to the old strategy of rewriting the Bible—that’s where the day age theory comes from, and I believe that’s the root of the so-called gap theory. Or let’s do something different—let’s stand on the authority of the Bible and hold hostage to the Bible the beliefs of so-called science, which is really false knowledge. That’s why I bring up that second bullet point there.
And then third, we looked at the fact that these genealogies all indicate that after the birth of the seed-son, that particular patriarch begat other sons and daughters. The Bible tells us that because it’s an explanation of the population explosion that was taking place during this time period. By the time of the flood, there were probably about 7 billion people on planet earth. And it also helps us understand all kinds of other issues, such as why Cain, when he complained to the Lord about his punishment, afraid of vigilantism from others? Where would these other people come from? Or where did Cain get his wife? Or, why does Genesis 6:1 say, ‘When men began to multiply in number in those days,’ people puzzle over those types of questions. But if Adam and all of these patriarchs are living into their eight hundreds and nine hundreds and having other sons and daughters, when you just do the mathematics, you can see where this giant population explosion ultimately came from.
We pick it up here with the fourth reason why this six-fold pattern is so significant. The long patriarchal ages at the time of death indicate the type of conditions which existed in the world just prior to the flood. Now, when you look at these ages in which all of these patriarchs died, it’s stunning how long they lived. Adam lived 930 years; Seth lived 912 years; Enosh lived 905 years; Kenan lived 910 years; Mahalalel lived 895 years; and Jared lived 962 years. Now it’s interesting that Enoch’s life was cut short because God took him. He lived 365 years. The oldest living man that we have is Methuselah who lived 969 years. And that’s a testimony to the character of God, as we’re going to explain as we work our way through this genealogy. Lamech lived 777 years, and Noah lived 950 years.
Why is it that people were living to such great ages prior to the flood? I believe a lot of the answer to this relates to what is called the canopy theory. Now, I want to be clear on this: not every literal creationist today believes in the canopy theory. A lot of good people would reject this. I guess I’m just sort of simple and naive enough to accept it. So this is not something I would probably start a new church over. There’s room for discussion on this, but it’s just a model. And when you adopt a model, you adopt a biblical model based on what model answers most of the questions or the objections.
At one point in time, according to the canopy theory, our world was surrounded by a ball of water that probably looks something like this in this picture see slides] or over here in this particular picture. And you say, ‘well, where does this idea come from?’ Well, it comes from the book of Genesis 1:6,7. And when we were in Genesis 1, I made reference to this, “Then God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” God made the expanse and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.”
It’s a very interesting section of Scripture very early on in biblical history in the creation week itself. There is an expanse called sky; waters beneath the expanse, which would obviously be ocean. But then it makes a specific reference to the waters above the expanse. What were those waters above the expanse? In fact, there may be a reference to this in Psalm 148:4 which says, “Praise Him, highest heavens.” In other words, in Psalm 148, the various elements of creation are personified as praising the Lord. Psalm 148:4 says, “Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens!”
So this canopy that at one time surrounded our world, I think, is potentially alluded to in Genesis 1-6,7 and in Psalm 148:4. And if that is true, it explains an awful lot. It would explain why all of these pre-flood patriarchs are living such long lives into their seven, eight and nine hundreds, etc.. Adam is going to live 930 years. Methuselah, the oldest living man that we have record of, is going to live 969 years. Why were they living so long prior to the flood? Well, the canopy theory would explain that because this giant ball of water filtered the sun’s harmful rays, thereby allowing people to live very, very long [lives]. And with that ball of water gone post-flood, it starts to explain why man’s lifespan started to be dramatically curtailed post flood.
So you’re reading all of these names here, and they’re living into their eight hundreds and nine hundreds, and the canopy theory would be a potential explanation for that. It would also explain strange beasts that we have in the fossil record that have no parallel with animals on the earth today. In fact, there’s actually a reference to these strange beasts in Genesis 1:24,25. It says, “Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind;” and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.”
We’re sort of hung up on the word dinosaurs. It’s interesting that the word dinosaur itself wasn’t even used by anybody until the 19th century. But if you want to use the word dinosaur, fine. There were, in Eden, beasts of such a caliber that we have no reference to them or parallel to them today. Why is that? Why do we find this in the record? Because there was a time in history where things lived longer and grew bigger than what they are today. Well, why is that? Because at one time, this entire planet was surrounded by a giant wall or sphere of water which filtered the sun’s harmful rays. So there was a time in history where things were larger and people lived longer than today. That’s an explanation for these strange beasts in the fossil record.
In fact, the book of Job talks about two such beasts. Job 40-41 talks about the leviathan and the behemoth. And people say, ‘Well, that’s just a hippopotamus or something.” Kind of a strange looking hippopotamus when its tail is like the cedar tree. So it’s obviously describing something that we don’t have a parallel with today. Well, I believe that Noah brought into the ark some of these strange beasts. They were probably infants or hibernating, and they got out into the post-flood world, and consequently tried to live in the post-flood world. Maybe they lived successfully for a period of time, but then they began to die out. And that’s what Job was seeing in Job 40-41. And that’s why you have records all over the world, whether it be Josephus, Herodotus, Marco Polo — of strange animals called dragons that we don’t have any parallel with today. I bring these things up because I ran into some statistics about the number one reason why children reject the Bible is because we have no explanation for dinosaurs. We think it’s the scientists that have the explanation, and our Book is just a book of fiction. And yet, when you actually begin to grapple with this issue, you see that we do have a reasonable explanation for dinosaurs, and we should come up with or wrestle with an explanation, if that’s the number one reason youth are indeed leaving the faith.
So this canopy theory would explain these strange animals. It would also explain Genesis 2:5,6 which says, “…for the Lord, God had not yet sent rain upon the earth.” Genesis 2:6 says, “…But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.”
So if I’m understanding my Bible correctly, prior to the flood, there was no such thing as rain. And you start to understand this and why Noah is recorded in the Hall of Faith. Think how foolish he looked building this ark, presumably warning of a great global flood, when the pre-flood world didn’t even know what rain was because water came up from the ground to give moisture. So where did these floodwaters come from, this flood that covered the entire earth? Well, a simple answer to it is that God simply released the canopy that surrounded planet earth. And, it’s funny, people today ridicule the idea of a global flood. ‘What a ridiculous idea!’
They say that there’s not even enough moisture in the clouds to flood the earth. And they’re assuming that God used the clouds. The Bible doesn’t say He used the clouds. What it says is waters from above the heavens came upon the earth. And if that weren’t enough, waters from underneath the earth came up. And a ball of water that surrounded the earth, allowing people to live to extremely long ages—having that released would explain where the floodwaters came from.
So Noah had to completely and totally walk by faith and not by sight when he was warning of a coming deluge and was building an ark because most likely he had no concept of what rain was like. Most likely he was laughed at and ridiculed by the natural man until the moment that he stepped foot in the ark. The whole thing seemed absurd. And yet Noah made a decision to walk according to the Word of God, not [according to] what he could trust or see through his five senses around him. That’s why Noah is so prominent in Hebrews 11 as someone in his age and his day that walked by faith.
The canopy theory would also explain why man’s lifespan after the Flood suddenly gets shortened. You look at when the flood occurred and you see people prior to the flood living into their late seven hundreds, eight hundreds, nine hundreds. And is it an interesting that once you get post-Flood, the ages of human beings start becoming reduced dramatically? For example, in Genesis 11:24,25, which is genealogy after the Flood, it says, “Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and became the father of Terah; and Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years after after he became the father of Terah, and he had other sons and daughters.” Notice the ages are given again.
It’s very similar to the Genesis 5 genealogy, where there’s an age given at the time of the birth of the seed-son. The additional years that the patriarch lived are given and how old the patriarch was at the time of his death is given, and you don’t see 800 or 900 or 700 years. You see those numbers rolled back. And in the Bible, they continue to get rolled back to what it’s like today. Psalm 90:10 makes a reference to the fact that if you’re fortunate today, you can make it to 70 or 80 years. But there is no more record of people living into their seven hundreds, eight hundreds and nine hundreds.
Why is it that man’s lifespan gets curtailed post-Flood? Because the protective canopy around the earth is gone, and there’s nothing left to filter the sun’s harmful rays, and consequently, the lifespan of people is curtailed. And so am I a canopy theory advocate, because I believe that you have to believe in the canopy theory to go to heaven? No, I’m not. I’m not saying that; it’s a reasonable area where Christians differ. But I’m a believer in this for the simple reason that it’s a model, and I adopt this model because, to my mind anyway, it explains so many things. It explains the long life of the pre-Flood patriarchs. It explains where so-called dinosaurs came from. It explains where the floodwaters themselves came from. And it explains why man’s lifespan got cut short. It explains what Genesis 1:6-7 is in reference to.
Now, I’ve made reference to the fact that not everybody believes this, and so it’s always comforting to find people that are of far greater intellectual countenance than myself that do believe in the canopy theory. Notice this quote from Dr. Henry Morris in his The Genesis Record. Dr. Henry Morris, I made a little reference to this earlier, is the father of what we call the young earth creationist movement. And he writes this concerning the canopy. He says, “…the upper waters would provide a sort of protective canopy, (‘a tent to dwell in‘) for earth’s inhabitants, and the space between would provide an atmospheric reservoir to maintain the breath of life… The ‘waters above the firmament’ thus probably constituted a vast blanket of water vapor above the troposphere and possibly above the stratosphere as well, in the high- temperature region now known as the ionosphere, and extending far into space. They could not have been the clouds of water…there was no ‘rain on the earth’ in those days (Genesis 2:5), nor any ‘bow in the cloud’ (Genesis 9:13), both of which must have been present if these upper waters represented merely the regime of clouds which function in the present hydrologic economy.“
Morris goes on and he says, “The concept of an antediluvian water canopy over the earth has appeared in many writings, both ancient and modern…Furthermore, a vapor canopy could be more easily maintained aloft and would serve more effectively as a marvelous sustainer of vigorous life conditions on the earth…Since water vapor has the ability to transmit incoming solar radiation and to retain and disperse much of the radiation reflected from the earth’s surface, it would serve as a global greenhouse, maintaining an essentially uniformly pleasant warm temperature all over the world…The combination of warm temperature and adequate moisture everywhere would be conducive later to extensive stands of lush vegetation all over the world, with no barren deserts or ice caps.”
And finally, he says, “A vapor canopy would also be highly effective in filtering out ultraviolet radiations, cosmic rays, and other destructive energies from outer space. These are known to be the source of both somatic and genetic mutations, which decrease the viability of the individual and the species, respectively. Thus the canopy would contribute effectively to human and animal health and longevity…Later, when needed, these upper waters would provide the reservoir from which God would send the great Flood, to save the godly remnant from the hopelessly corrupt population of that day…”
So apparently this whole concept of a water canopy surrounding the earth is much more viable according to Henry Morris, who was a credentialed scientist than most people today would give it credit for. So I think that is yet another reason why we need to pay attention to the ages in these particular genealogies.
One of the things that people will do, and they do this a lot relative to things in the Bible they don’t understand, is they’ll just change the Bible. A lot of people say it says “years” here. ‘Adam lived 930 years, Methuselah, 969 years, etc., etc., etc..’ ‘Oh, the years don’t mean years. That really means months.’ So take out your eraser every time you see the word years, erase that, and just write over it the word months. Arnold Fruchtenbaum here in this quote explains why that dog won’t hunt. He says, “The years here [Genesis 5] are normal years. They are not months, as some have tried to make them, again, only to accommodate the assumption that no one could have ever lived as long as the Bible shows them living. If months were indicated rather than years, some of these people would have given birth to children while they themselves were children.” In other words, you run into more problems trying to make the Bible say something that it’s not.
The best approach in things like this is simply to take God at His Word, and wait for Him one day to bring in all the evidence as to why what He said is true. God cannot lie. The book of Hebrews says it’s impossible for God to lie. And so when it says Adam lived 930 years, I believe it. Now, there is a view today, and we’ve covered this in our series on 2 Peter, which we did at our mid-week service a few quarters back. Peter predicts that in the last days, a doctrine would arise called uniformitarianism. Uniformitarianism is the idea that you evaluate the ancient past by patterns that you can see in the present. You pretend that patterns you can see in the present have always been and will always be. In other words, you elevate your five senses. That’s where truth is, they say. And therefore, you evaluate what happened in the past and what’s going to happen in the future by slow processes that you can see in the present. Peter warns about that coming in the last days when he says this in 2 Peter 3:3-7, “Know, this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation…” [You see that? That’s uniformitarianism]. “…For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the Word of God, the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
Question: Is it biblical to evaluate what happened in the ancient past by a pattern you can see presently? That’s called uniformitarianism. This is what your children and your grandchildren, and to some extent, you are all being hit with. That’s where they come up with the idea that it took billions and billions of years for this slow process to work its way out so that we could arrive at our present evolutionary trajectory. And I’m here to tell you that is a philosophy that has destroyed more people’s Christian faith than any other philosophy I can think of. It is completely and totally unbiblical to evaluate the ancient past by patterns you can see in the present for the simple reason that the things happening in the pre-flood world with the canopy of water surrounding the earth and the ages of people right down to the size of animals was completely and totally different than what it is today.
Henry Morris calls this the the great greenhouse effect that our world was once in, and now that greenhouse effect is gone. And God changed the rules. What’s normal today is we don’t see dinosaurs. We don’t live into our nine hundreds. But there was a time in history when that did happen. And in fact, prior to that time in history, there was a time in history where they didn’t even know what death was. So obviously the rules changed in the Fall. And the rules changed again in the Flood, so you cannot determine what’s normative back in those days of ancient times by what you can see in the present. And yet this is how the majority of people think. Even in Christianity, people think like this, and they have been hoodwinked—1 Timothy 6:20 by King James Version, science falsely called. They think it’s scientific to go back and to erase years and put in the word months in Genesis 5. And yet it’s not scientific at all. It is that you bought into a pagan philosophy of history. And so I think this is why the dates and ages of these patriarchs is so significant.
Let me, if I could, round out our list here and give you the final two reasons why these patriarchal repetitions, genealogically, are so significant.
The the fifth reason we have to pay attention to this is because of the repetition of the expression, “and he died.” All of the deaths of these patriarchs, with the exception of one: a man named Enoch, with with the exception of him, every single one of these individuals died. Now, they didn’t die into their seven hundreds, eight hundreds and nine hundreds, but they died. Why does it keep saying over and over again as we move through Genesis 5, “and he died and he died and he died?” Why do I have to know that? I have to know that because it’s an outworking of what God said would happen. Did not God, all the way back in Eden, say, even before Eve existed, as He was speaking to Adam—did God not say, “‘…From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day…” [Now, ‘in the day’ there, I think, is better translated ‘when’] “…[when] you eat from it you will surely die (muwth).” And guess what? God was right. All of these patriarchs, beginning with Adam at the age of 930 died.
Genesis 3:19 explains the consequences of what Adam and Eve did by eating from the forbidden tree. Genesis 3:19 says, “By the sweat of your face, you will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” It happened. What God said would happen as a consequence of rebellion—physical death—happened.
So when it keeps saying here, “and he died and he died and he died,” it’s like saying God was right. God’s opinion was not the only opinion on the table. Remember what the serpent said? Genesis 3:4, The serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die.’ In fact, it doesn’t even say that. It says, “You surely will not die!” And in the New American Standard Bible, there’s an exclamation point after the word die. God said they would die. The serpent said, ‘Oh, you won’t die.’ Who ended up being right here? You’ve got two opinions on the table. They’re saying opposite things. Whose opinion or perspective do you go with at the end of the day? I hope you understand this much about Satan: he is a liar to the absolute core of his being. He will lie to you and tell you things won’t happen when God said they will happen.
Jesus, in John 8:44, says of the Pharisees, “You are of your father the devil and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” And doesn’t Genesis 5 vindicate that? God said, “You will die.” Satan said ‘You won’t die.’ History always vindicates God because God cannot lie. And so we’re living in a world with death in it. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, so death spread to all men, because all sinned—.”
Death is everywhere. And it started right here in Genesis 5. Of course, they live longer for reasons I’ve tried to explain, but other than Enoch, death got every single one of them. Romans 5:14 says, “Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses. Even those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who was a type of Him who is to come.” Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death,…” Hebrews 9:27, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after that comes the judgment,…”
Isn’t it interesting that even in this godly line, we’re not even dealing here with the Canite line? We’re dealing with the Sethite line—that death is so pervasive that other than Enoch, it got every single one of them. The mortality rate is still 100% even though you are blood-bought and you love Jesus. If we’re not the Rapture generation, you’re going to die, too, and so am I. James 4:14 says, “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”
You enjoy a life of energy and productivity, 70 to 80 years if you’re fortunate; and yet, if we’re not the rapture generation, every single one of us is going to die.
But there’s someone in this line that didn’t die. His name is Enoch. And it holds out hope that this curse, one day, will be curtailed. Paul explains [in 1 Corinthians 15:51], “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,…” There’s coming a generation on planet earth that will not die. We call that the Rapture generation. And when God finally makes all things new; restores everything to its original condition just like they were in their normal original condition in Genesis 1-2, what is going to be absent? Death will be a thing of the past.
If you want to know what’s normal, don’t look at today. Look at Genesis 1-2 before death and evil existed. Look at Revelation 21-22 after death and evil existed. The day is going to come where [Revelation 21:4] “…He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Yeah, it’s terrible to read about all of these deaths here, but it’s heartening to read about Enoch, and in Enoch comes hope that the curse itself is going to be done away with.
The day in history will arise when death itself will be a thing of the past. But we have to pay attention to this genealogy because this genealogy is a record of what God said would happen, being fulfilled in history and how the serpent was wrong right out of the gate in promising that they would not die if they ate from the Tree of Knowledge.
One more [reason] here on the significance of the genealogy. This is number six, and it is simply this. Why the monotony? That’s why I’ve entitled these two sermons, Why the Monotony? Well, number six, monotony allows for easy memorization, and it immediately draws attention to deviations. That’s why it keeps saying the same thing ten times. That’s why the six-fold repetition of the numbers keeps happening over and over and over again. And you read through this and you say, ‘this is boring. This is monotonous.’ But you discover that there’s a reason for the monotony.
One of the things we need to understand about the ancients is that they committed vast volumes of material to memory. They used their memories and their ability to memorize things far more than we do today. In fact, I don’t even have to have my wife’s cell number memorized. All I do is push a button and the phone call goes right to her. Then the phone breaks, and I’m using someone else’s phone, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Well, what is my wife’s cell number?’ You see how technology has has destroyed, over the course of time, things we used to automatically commit to memory. That’s what the ancient world was like. They committed vast volumes of material to memory, and the reason for the monotony is so they could easily memorize a pattern. You just memorize the pattern and then you substitute the new data into each time the pattern recurs. And something like this is conducive to memorization, and it also is conducive to showing you deviations. It keeps saying, “and he died and he died and he died and he died.” Then you get to Enoch, and it says “God took him.” And you say to yourself, ‘Well, that’s not in the pattern.’ And the reason is because the Holy Spirit has primed us to the pattern so that when the pattern is deviated from, you say to yourself, ‘Oh my goodness, this must be important.’
And when you get to the last three names in that genealogy, Enoch, Methuselah, and Lamech, you’re going to see the pattern deviated from. And so obviously, the Holy Spirit, by allowing the pattern to be deviated from to the point where we recognize it, is trying to teach us something very profound in those three names. There is something of inestimable value and worth that God wants us to understand happening through Enoch, Methuselah and Lamech, who was Noah’s father.
And so as we go through this material, we’re going to be paying particular attention to those three names because they are outside the pattern. That’s the reason for the monotony so that we could memorize this if we were living in the ancient world, and so we could see the deviations that the Holy Spirit is trying to call to our attention.
This, beloved, is just a majestic part of the Bible, and the only thing I’ve done in our prior two sermons on this is to give you some introductory information. But the points we covered today is that the long patriarchal ages are there for a reason. The repetition of “and he died” is there for a reason. And the monotony is there for a reason.
And so when I’m with you next time on the next Lord’s Day, we’re going to pick it up with Seth, and you will see how we’re going to start moving very fast now. Seth is going to give way to Enosh. Enosh is going to give way to Kenan to Mahalalel to Jared, and it’s going to move fast. But then with Enoch, we’ve got to slow down because something special is going on there. And then to Methuselah, we’ve got to slow down because something special is going on there. And then to Lamech, we’ve got to slow down because something very special is going on there. So that’s where we’re headed.
By way of closing, we talked about how the wages of sin is death, and this is why Jesus came into the world: to reverse the consequences of death. I don’t have to fear death, even though death is now a reality in the human race. Because Jesus died in my place. He came into the world to bear in His body the consequences for my sin and your sin, which is death. And so to escape those consequences and forces which are eternal, Jesus asks us to trust in what He has done for us in our place, not what we do for ourselves. You may be the most religious person on planet earth, but the fact of the matter is death is going to come knocking at your door just like it’s going to come knocking at my door. It’s inevitable. And yet how wonderful it is to learn that this Man, Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15, came into the world to bear the consequence of our sin in our place, which is death, and consequently, when we trust in Him, we need not fear death because He overcame death, the last enemy in our place. Our exhortation to anybody listening by way of live streaming or anybody listening to this or viewing it by way of archive after the fact is to respond to this gospel message, meaning good news, and it’s good news because Jesus did everything for us, and He wants to give us this good news as a free gift. The only way to receive a gift from God is not to work for it, but simply to believe in the One He has sent. What must we do to do the works of God? is a question on the minds of people in John 6:28-29, and Jesus answers so simply, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
So in your heart of hearts, the best you know how, as the Spirit of God places you under conviction, trust which is a synonym for believed; trust in what Jesus has done for you, and be ushered into the glories that He has for you.
If it’s something you need more information on, I hope you’ll put a notification there on social media or send us an email here at the church because we’d love to talk to you as you move into a relationship with the God that made you. Shall we pray?
Father, we’re grateful for Genesis 5. Even today, not covering much ground, but laying the foundation, I pray that You’ll be with us as we progress now a little bit more rapidly through this very important section of Scripture. Help us to take these things to heart because they are realities that You have for us. 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!”
Thank you for watching.