Daily Distinctives, February 17, 2018 – Bloodline

In my devotional today, I come across something which for me is arguably one of the most perplexing historical accounts in the Bible. Not because of the content, which boasts elements that one might find in mythology and children’s tales, though I gladly accept as divinely inspired, but perplexing because of the interpretations that are presently available in commentary and from teaching I have heard on the topic. My struggle is not deciding what I feel makes the most sense,  but with landing on an interpretation I feel confident enough to share. Godly men have theorized and come up with what seems to be reasonable explanations, but who is right? That said, my devotional today comes from a perspective which may not be the most widely accepted, but that seems most logical to me. Let the LORD give you discernment as to whether the interpretation I have accepted is right, and may He do the same for me. I preface my study today with this for two reasons: 1) It is important that we build our theology with truth as its foundation 2) as I share, I am in essence, teaching the WORD of God, and as such, I have a greater level of accountability for what I teach (James 3:1). The implications of what I share today will not render my salvation or the salvation of others void, and so I am unafraid to broach the subject; however, I do so with the knowledge that my speculations are just that, speculations. Normally, where the Bible is silent on a matter, we should be too, but I am compelled to study through the Bible and share my thoughts as I go. And so, coming to Genesis chapter 6, I find myself asking a lot of questions. Who are the characters mentioned? Is there any evidence supporting the passages in the whole of Scripture? Is there any application for me today? Beginning in verse 1 we read:

[Gen 6:1 NKJV] Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,

We know from the previous chapter that man begins to procreate and fill the earth. By all accounts, we have no reason to believe that there were any natural defects that might cause what we logically surmise to be birth defects resulting in what we now call “giantism.” But as we come to the balance of these passages, specifically in verse 4, we run into something interesting that doesn’t seem to be the result of human genetics.

[Gen 6:2 NKJV] that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they [were] beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.

The immediate question at hand is who are the sons of God and the daughters of men? We can safely accept that the daughters of men are the same daughters that were mentioned in verse 1, belonging to the human race, but the question is whether the sons of God are of human origin or other-earthly. The commentary on the question varies in two primary ways. Some suggest that these “sons of God” were from the godly line of Seth. That is, they were descendants of Seth. Still, others suggest that this is a reference to angels. I will lay claim to the latter, as I can see no reason why God would, as we will see in subsequent verses, be angry with normal human procreation. However, I could say in defense of the first that there are many accounts in the Bible where comingling with ungodly people has been seen as an offense to God. That said if the “sons of God” are of the line of Seth and are comingling with the line of Cain, that could certainly arouse the anger of God. But, as we will see in verse 5 this act grieved the LORD to the point that He was sorry He made man on the Earth, and in verse 7 commit to destroying man from the face of the earth along with every other creature that existed, saving only those we know from later chapters are spared through Noah.

And so, if the “sons of God” are indeed angelic beings, how is it that they took them as wives? We read in Matthew 22:30 that angels neither marry, nor are given to marriage. This presents a reasonable objection, but one that I think might be overcome considering that a faction of the angelic beings was mutinous and rebelled along with their leader Satan. Perhaps angels in their proper abode were not prone to engage with the women of God’s creation in the manner that the wicked hosts were. This might explain how the sons of God took for wives for themselves.

One thing we can discern is that whether they were men or angels, the act did at least three things: 1) it shortened the lifespan of mankind by 120 years; 2) it produced giant offspring, and 3) it caused God to regret having made man in the first place. Now, we can discuss the idea of God and regret as implies that God somehow made a mistake, but I won’t get into all that in this study today. I am confident that God does not make mistakes but that man who is a free moral agent can and does.

[Gen 6:3 NKJV] And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he [is] indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

Gone now were the days when men like Methuselah lived to be nearly 1000 years of age but not for this proclamation. The reason there would be no life left on earth in 120 years after this pronouncement with the exception of those saved in the Ark as because in 120 years from this time there would be a great deluge to destroy all life from the earth. From what I understand this time reference was not a limit on how long men would live at all. We see proof of this in Scripture, specifically Genesis 9:28-29, which tells us that after the flood Noah lived 350 more years, dying at the ripe old age of 950! For the longest time, I thought that this was a proof-text for shortening of the human life-span, when in fact it was a countdown to extinction.

[Gen 6:4 NKJV] There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore [children] to them. Those [were] the mighty men who [were] of old, men of renown.

Now, I am a big fan of modern cinema, and when movies like The Lord of the Rings, and Narnia make it to the silver screen I am usually one of the first to enjoy them. In these tales, we see things like giants and monsters and such and while they are fantastic, in the sense that they are out of the ordinary, they are presented in a mythical way. But right here in the Bible, we read that there were giants on the earth. Immediately, I think about men like Goliath and his brothers who stood as giants compared to other mere mortals. Even today I have seen men who are giants in stature. I think of one of my wife’s friends, whose husband towers over most men, or the gentleman whose child attends the same school as my kids and has to duck down to go under thresholds. Then there are these men who play professional basketball that are by today’s standards, nothing “short” of giants. Even in recent history, we have accounts of men like Robert Pershing Wadlow (February 22, 1918 – July 15, 1940) who stood 8 ft 11.1 inches tall!

And so from this verse, we see there were giants at this time, but the very next part of the verse says, “and also afterward.” And so we know that there was something in the genetic code of humanity that had to have been present even after the flood in order for giants to once again roam the earth. Whether these giants post-deluge were of the demonic strain or simply abnormally large men, I cannot say. But supposing that these sons of God are indeed angels in human form, can we say with any certainty that they were endowed with the human ability to procreate, to begin with? This leads me to think that the mutations prior to the flood were the result of demonic possession and that perhaps as a result of the possession they were disfigured, that is, made into giants, still maintaining their ability to procreate. But as we saw in verse 3, God said that His Spirit should not strive with man forever.

[Gen 6:5 NKJV] Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every intent of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.

Not only was there the sinister perversion of man through the procreation of angels with human women, but the people of the earth were becoming more and more wicked. Satan apparently attempted to pollute the bloodline of mankind in order to somehow thwart the lineage of Christ, but it was mankind’s own wickedness that would seal the deal and make God regret that He had ever made man.

[Gen 6:6 NKJV] And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

Again, I don’t want to get into the question of can God regret or change His mind. His WORD says that He is immutable, that is, unchanging and His character is such that He does not flip-flop like men do. But because we are free agents with regard to our will God sets forth mandates that come along with consequences for failure to comply. While God wants to see His creation comply with His moral code and laws it came as no surprise to God that they would fail. This does not remove the penalty associated with the failure though.

[Gen 6:7 NKJV] So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

We know that God cannot lie. If He promises that the Messiah would come, you can rest assured God will make a way, and that is exactly what He did through Noah. Though the devil did his worst to try and contaminate the bloodline that the Christ would come from, God spared a remnant. One of the joys of my walk as a young believer was the discovery of this remnant principle. God preserves and sustains His WORD and His promises through the faithful few. I find it a privilege to be numbered amongst them. While I may be no one special in the eyes of men, I know that I am a part of an elite group of people, not by personal merit or anything that I can do other than to remain faithful to the One who gives so graciously.

[Gen 6:8 NKJV] But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

That there was one man amongst all of the human race that God would bestow grace, Noah, gives me great joy as I am a product of Noah as are the rest of us. And we will learn more about this man, LORD willing, in subsequent devotionals.

Prayer: LORD, thank You for raising up godly men and women who love and honor You by the way they live. Thank You for blessing me to amongst them. Father, I want to lift up my pastor and his family to You today and ask that You would bless him for his sacrifices. I pray, LORD, that You would protect his family as they travel and that You would allow them to discover what they need to while they are away. I pray for Your favor to be upon his wife and daughter. You know LORD. Bless this family that so obviously loves You and is about Your business. Bring healing and restoration LORD and a good report. I pray for peace for my pastor as his family is away. Help him to turn concern into prayer, and quell any fears that he might have. I could see the emotion in his eyes today and his deep love for his family. I could see the joyful countenance of his wife in service today. I trust the same for his daughter, that You would touch her and heal her. LORD, You are good and gracious. Because of this, I ask that You would shower this family with Your mercy and grace. I ask these things in Your name and I pray that my requests are in accordance with Your will for them. Thank You, LORD. It is in Your name I pray. –Amen

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