A World Gone Wrong

The Wickedness Of The World

world

 

God saw a world of people who were inwardly corrupt, outwardly violent, and upwardly rebellious. Noah was the tenth generation from Adam. It didn’t take long for sin to spread in the human race. When the world is again as it was in Noah’s day, watch for the return of the Lord.

 

After chapter 3, Satan isn’t mentioned by name in Genesis, but he and his demonic hosts are at work doing their utmost to keep the promised Redeemer from being born. This was Satan’s purpose throughout all of Old Testament history. After all, he didn’t want to have his head crushed by the Saviour! God had declared war on Satan and the deceiver intended to fight back.
One of Satan’s most successful devices is compromise. If he can delude God’s people into abandoning their privileged position of separation from sin and communion with God, then he can corrupt them and lead them into sin.

 

Before the Lord relates the story of His judgment on the earth, He gives a brief description of the corruption of man. He didn’t have to do that. He wanted us to know that this was not an arbitrary action but an act of justice on those who were destroyed and mercy on the human race yet to come. If the Lord hadn’t destroyed these wicked people, there wouldn’t have been a virgin left on the earth through which He could have fulfilled His plan of sending His Son.

 

Let’s continue with the story…

 

Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them.  The sons of God saw the beautiful women and took any they wanted as their wives.

 

Genesis 6:1-2
New Living Translation (NLT)

 

Most commentaries that I read believe the term “sons of God” is referring to the godly men of Seth’s line as opposed to the ungodly line of Cain that had been cursed by God. The “daughters of men” refers to the women born in Cain’s line; hence these were mixed marriages or relations (2 Corinthians 6:14).

 

What was Satan’s plan for defeating God’s people in Noah’s day?

 

To entice the godly line of Seth (“the sons of God”) to mix with the ungodly line of Cain (“the daughters of men”) and thus abandon their devotion to the Lord. It was the same temptation that Christians face today:

 

 

Of course, this could lead to being “condemned with the world” (1 Cor. 11:32). Lot is an example of this danger (Gen. 13; 19).

 

Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.”
 

Genesis 6:3
New Living Translation (NLT)

 

It is only by the influence of the Spirit of God that the carnal mind can be subdued and destroyed; but those who willfully resist and grieve that Spirit must be ultimately left to the hardness and blindness of their own hearts, if they do not repent and turn to God. God delights in mercy, and therefore a gracious warning is given. Even at this time the earth was ripe for destruction; but God promised them one hundred and twenty years’ respite: if they repented in that interim, well; if not, they should be destroyed by a flood.

 

Man’s sins had been consistently decreasing his life span. If the Lord hadn’t placed this limit on when they would die, it wouldn’t have been long before they would have been dying less than 100 years old. But the Lord was saying He allotted man at least 120 years of life. Of course, people could die younger than that through murder and other things, but that was the length of life at that time.

 

Later Moses said the length of a man’s life would be 70 years. (“The days of our lives add up to seventy years, or eighty, if one is especially strong. But even one’s best years are marred by trouble and oppression. Yes, they pass quickly and we fly away,” (Psalms 90:10). Yet in that very verse, Moses said we can lengthen that span by reason of strength. That shows that the 70 years was not a maximum either but, rather, a minimum. Moses, who wrote Psalms 90, lived to be 120 years old (Deuteronomy 34:7).

 

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.
 

Genesis 6:4
New King James Version (NKJV)

 

The word “giants” is a translation of the Hebrew word nephilim, which means “fallen ones.” Some who follow the “angel theory” of chapter 6 make the nephilim the fallen angels whose children became great leaders. If these nephilim were angels with human bodies, then they either survived the Flood (because the Hebrew spies saw them in Canaan; Num. 13:31-33), or there was a second invasion of “fallen angels” after the Flood. Both ideas seem incredible.

 

The most likely interpretation is that God saw the people of that day as “fallen ones,” while men saw these people as mighty leaders. Even today, much of what is admired by the world is rejected by the Lord (Luke 16:15). When the Sethites compromised by mingling with the Cainites, they fell from God’s blessing. God was grieved that they married godless Cainites, choosing wives as they pleased without considering God’s will. In doing this, they endangered the fulfillment of the Genesis 3:15 promise;

 

For how could God bring a Redeemer into the world through an unholy people?

 

The people of that day “married and were given in marriage” (Matt. 24:37-39) and thought nothing of the warning that Enoch and Noah gave about the coming judgment. Human history was now at the place where only Noah and his family—eight people—believed God and obeyed His Word. God’s Spirit was striving with lost people, but they resisted the call of God; and God was grieved at what man was doing.

 

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.

 

Genesis 6:5
New Living Translation (NLT)

 

What a terrible thing. Mankind, whom God had created in glory and made to fellowship with, had degenerated to the point that everything inside them was evil. The imagination of the thoughts of their hearts was evil continually.

 

So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.

 

Genesis 6:6
New Living Translation (NLT)

 

What a terrible statement! Our loving God, who created such perfection, was grieved by His own creation. The New International Version says, “His heart was filled with pain.” The Living Bible says, “It broke his heart.” This should never have been. God, forgive us for grieving You. Praise the Lord! That is exactly what He did through Jesus. Thank You, Jesus!

 

The fact that the Lord took man’s apostasy personally shows how interested and involved with man He is. He is not a removed and aloof God, as some have theorized. God loves the world (John 3:16).

 

And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.”

 

Genesis 6:7
New Living Translation (NLT)

 

The Lord certainly wasn’t unjust to do this. As Creator He could bring judgment on His creation anytime He pleased. But this is unusual. As a general rule, the Lord didn’t impute mankind’s sins unto them until the time He gave the Law through Moses (Romans 5:13). Here, we see a notable exception; another is the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19). But these were exceptions, and it could be argued that as harsh as the judgments were on those receiving them, they were actually acts of mercy on the human race as a whole.

 

Those who received this judgment were so vile that it was like a cancer that had to be cut out. Sometimes, in an effort to save an individual, a limb or part of the body will be amputated to save the whole. That is what the Lord did here, and it worked. Jesus said that God’s future judgment at the Second Coming would occur only when the level of corruption approached the same level that was present at the time of the Flood (Luke 17:26).

 

PURSUING HOLINESS

God is holy – pure, perfect, and wholly separate from sin. Sin separates us from God, necessitates judgment, and grieves God’s heart. Genesis teaches that we must love God and hate sin.

 

Pursue righteousness. In a world confused and wicked, Noah found grace and was saved from the flood because God counted him “righteous … in this generation.”

 

References

Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary
Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Basic

 

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