Epistles to the Cyberchurch - Su Min

To: en & others
From: Su Min
Subject: Noah

My dearest lambs

Genesis 5 zips through 10 generations from Adam to Noah. Whether each line of descent is continuous or whether there are some steps missed out is contentious. But for sure, the creation of Man is recapitulated in Gen 5:1, and Noah is a direct descendant from Adam (10th by our reckoning). We learn that they lived from 130 years to nearly 100 years each, Methuselah taking the record at 969 (Gen 5:27).It seems logical to accept that each of these years were the same duration as the calendar years that we experience.

Methuselah's dad Enoch deserves some noticing (the good Enoch as the same name as son of Cain Gen 4:17, but these two guys are not the same person. First mentioned in vs. 18 as the son of his father, the important qualities of this good Enoch are described in vs. 22, that he walked with God 300 years. It would appear that this was not a common trait: Gen 6:5 notes how great was the general wickedness of mankind. Enoch and Noah were rare God-fearing exceptions. Altogether Enoch lived 365 years; then he was no more because God took him away (Gen 5:24). We assume that this was a supernatural transmission for Enoch, direct from Earth to heaven, bypassing mortal death. Enoch is recognised in the NT, Hebrew 11:5 (one of the "by faith" examples) and Jude 14, quoting a prophesy of Enoch. Anyway, I think the important message here to learn is that we should emulate the example of Enoch and walk with God daily.

Progressing down the text we come to Gen 6:1-4 where it seems that the descendants of Adam began to intermarry with "the sons of God" (Gen 6:2) and the giants (Gen 6:4)(NIV reads Nephilim for giants). My bible commentary does not shed much light on this, but suggests that "the sons of God" may be angels. This may be one of the mysteries that we are allowed to unravel when we finally reach heaven! God limits lifespan to 120 years in Gen 6:3, perhaps related to the progressing wickedness, or perhaps lest the association with angels brings an eternal life to the offspring.

People grew from bad to worse (vs. 5). People were corrupt and violent (vs. 11). This hurt God very much (vs. 6) and he decided to wipe out all of mankind: (vs. 7). But Praise be to God, He saw Noah, and recognised that Noah was a righteous man (vs. 8), blameless among the people of his time and he walked with God (9). So Enoch walked with God and Noah walked with God.

Noah walks with God and God is able to converse with Noah, giving Noah specific instructions to build an ark of cypress wood and coated with pitch, three decks and a door in its side, not a tiddly little one (Sunday school picture of tiny yellow ark with giraffe sticking its head out) but a great structure 300 cubits long = 140 metre long (three Olympic sized swimming pool lengths) 50 cubits wide (23 metres) and 30 cubits high. God revealed how He would let his wrath will pour upon the earth with a great flood that would destroy all, yet covenanting with Noah to protect Noah, his family and the selected living creatures (vs. 18-21).

The concept of covenant is important: God's covenant with Noah before the flood 6:18 and after the flood (Gen 9:9): Jesus the new covenant (Hebrews 12:24), underlying how deep and powerful is this sense of promise in a covenant, and making more precious our covenant is when we covenant in marriage. for better for worse, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others!

Vs 22 says a lot. For Noah heard and obeyed, and did everything just as God commanded him. Are we in tune with God? Do we walk with God? If we heard God talking to us would we listen? If we listened would we understand? If we understood would we obey? I pray that God loves us enough to soften our hearts, that we would hear and obey.

'nuff for today God bless love, dad

For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min

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