Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Noah and the Sons of God

In Genesis 4:26 God states that there was a time that His people began to call themselves by the name of the Lord. This was the Old Testament version of calling themselves Christians. Christian did not exist as a word in the Old Testament because the Christ had not yet come. Yet in the OT there was a phrase that was used and that was “Son(s) of God”. Apparently this started in Genesis 4:26. Adam was clearly the most direct human descendent of God and God refers to Adam as a son of God in Luke 3:38.

Another place where the term “son(s) of God” was used was in Genesis 6:2. “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” There are many thoughts about what this text means but in its simplest understanding this verse simply replays a concept that God has instructed His people about all through the Bible. That is do not become unequally yoked with a non-believer. II Corinthians 6:14. If one becomes unequally yoked with a non-believer the almost inevitable result will be that they non-believer will usually turn the Christian to sin and against God.

Now every body will immediately come up with the exception to the rule of believers getting turned away from God by non-believers. Notice that in the Bible, Jesus never says, that believers should go out and marry non-believers to help them become Christians. So the principle stated in a positive manner does not occur. God always speaks the principle in the negative form – do not marry unbelievers for they will turn away your heart from God. Deuteronomy 17:17.

But back to the Son of God portion of the story. God wants His people to perceive themselves as sons of God. To perceive oneself as a son, or a daughter of God, would indicate that you have become part of God’s family. That implies that He has interest in us and wants us to be a part of His family. God seems to like the idea of our being His sons and His daughters. He is not ashamed to call us His brethren nor is He ashamed to be called the God of humanity. Hebrews 2:11; 11:16 He wants to be known as the Father of mankind for that is the truth of the matter. We are His children, we are His sons and His daughters.

In John 1:12 God says “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” This text clearly states that when we receive God, He gives those people who receive Him the power to become God’s sons and daughters. Those who believe on the name of God and believe on His character have chosen to enter into a special relationship with Him. They have been born again into His family and are no longer His enemies. They believe on Him and have faith in His character. These people believe that the infinite God has a personal interest in them. That very belief changes all of the dynamics and allows them to enter into His personal family and will be called sons and daughters of God.

I John 3:1-3 also describes this process. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” Again the issue is that because God has bestowed His love upon us He grants us power to change from carnal heathens into God loving children. He says that when this happens to us the world will no longer know us but God will. The world rejects anything of God and pretends that God does not exist. But God says that when we have this loving relationship God identifies us because we are like Him. Our characters, and His character, will get along, no matter how long we are together, it will be good. God also says that as a result of this relationship that purification will occur and sin will have to go. God and sin do not exist in the same place at the same time, one of them has to go. God wants sin to depart from us that we may stay united in God as one.

With the above in mind, Noah was a son of God. He believed in God, he surrendered to God, and he obeyed God. God recognized Noah as one of his special children. But we to can have these same experiences. If we believe, if we cooperate with God, and if we allow Him to be reproduced inside of ourselves, we too will become sons of God.

We know that Enoch depended upon God for everything. Enoch walked so well with God that one day God took him to heaven with Him. What a wonderful testimony that must have been for all of the Earth to know that God loved Enoch and took him to heaven with out seeing death. Praise God that He has left us with stories of translation so that we to can ask for this gift in our hearts. It is our opportunity to ask God to make us sons and daughters of God so that we may have happiness to the fullest. I pray that we might learn the lessons needed to prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus. I pray that you will allow God to do wonderful things in your and for you, that you may become a son or a daughter of God, just like Noah did.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Noah and the Bible

In the Bible one of the major principles is the man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3. In Noah’s case there was no written word of God. But it is clear from the Mosaic account that the Word of God had been given to Adam. All of which is recorded by Moses, in the book of Genesis, was clearly from God and much of that which makes up the book of Genesis was spoken by God and was recorded in the mind of God and which would have been available to Noah. It is my purpose to express a line of reasoning that would allow the Word of God to be available to Noah and to all of the people of the world before, and after, the flood.

Today we know that the average person in the United States of America is about 5 feet 9 inches tall. The average IQ of people in the United States is 98 with the highest average IQ of 107 in Hong Kong. This would indicate that sin has made massive inroads into the physical functionality of people. In the creation of man God made man “very good” Genesis 1:31. Now the great question is what was man like in the Creation?

In the book of Samuel we find that there was a family of giants out of Gath. II Samuel 21:15-22. The most famous of this family was Goliath of Gath who is recorded as being six cubits and a span. I Samuel 17:4 At 18 inches a cubit Goliath was at least 9 feet tall and perhaps taller for he was six cubits and a span. We do not know how much taller Goliath’s father was but we can assume that the father may have been bigger.

In Deuteronomy we have the description of another giant Og of Bashan. He was one of the remnant peoples of the Rephaim. His bed is given a size in Deuteronomy 3:11 as being 9 cubits in length and 4 cubits in width. At 18 inches per cubit that would make the bed of Og at least 13 feet 6 inches. So Og was a much bigger man than Goliath. This would indicate that the testimony of Israel was somewhat true in that the giants of Canaan were so tall that the Israelites that the Israelites felt like grasshoppers next to them. Numbers 13:31-33.

The two examples above indicate that as time has proceeded the people of the earth have grown smaller. 13 ft to 5ft 9 inches is a steep decline. But if we go backward in time the evidence indicates that in the beginning mankind was significantly taller than today. The reasons for this are multitudinous. First of all when Jesus created man he was perfect. Man was created in a perfect world as well. It would appear that in the beginning that God had made the world with a significantly different atmosphere that was capable of sustaining all manner of life in a much larger form than is now possible. We all have seen skeletons of much larger animals and have been concerned about our safety if those animals had been present now. But if man was significantly larger than now the rate of size comparison would have been different. A 16 to 20 foot man would not have been intimidated by a Tyrannosaurus Rex as we would be intimidated. Mankind today is able to train and subdue even such large animals as an African Elephant, so it would not have been such a great difference of size for a larger man to be able to deal with larger animals.

But going back to the issue of why. When man was created by God, the earth was fresh, no curse from sin, and everything created in a manner to sustain life, with no hint of death at all. There is some suggestions that the earth was surrounded with a water mantel that would protect all life from radiation from the son and would create an environment where the atmosphere was twice the intensity that we experience today. There is also evidence from the Bible that there was no rain before the flood and that everything was watered by a mist in the morning. Genesis 2:6. This would indicate that the earth was like a hot house and the temperature, as well as the atmospheric pressure, as well as the oxygen content, was much higher than it is today and could sustain larger life forms.

Another question that we can not answer explicitly is does larger size equal larger intellect? That concept would be difficult to sustain by the overt Bible information alone but if one were to ask the question of whether Adam was smarter than the average human being today we would most likely say yes for there had been no sin to mar any facet of humanity as Adam came from the hand of God. For me personally I like to think of Adam as about 16 feet tall and having an IQ of about 2000 when created by God. In this assumption I believe that God granted Adam an intellect commensurate with what a child of God would have to understand and interact with God Himself in open communion. If this assumption was true then it would be reasonable to assume that Adam had the ability to have total recall, or have a photographic memory. We have seen people today who have great memories after 6000 years of sin. What must Adam’s memory been like?

All of the above brings us back to the issue of Noah and the Bible. If Adam, and his children, had not deteriorated in their longevity by the time of the flood, is it possible that the cognitive abilities of Adam’s family, including Noah, had no significant cognitive deficits by the time of the flood. If that were the case then every word that proceeded from the mouth of God would have been faithfully maintained by each successive generation all the way down to Noah. In addition, the Bible records the fact that Adam did not die until the time of Enoch. Enoch would have been able to pass on all of Adam and Seth’s sharing with Methuselah and Methuselah with Noah and Shem. This would have included all of the interactions with Adam plus all of the prophetic interactions that Enoch himself had had with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. After the flood this same information would have been passed on from Shem to all of his posterity even down to Abraham and Jacob. Thus every word that proceeded from the mouth of God would have been available and would have been clearly shared with all of the sons of God who were interested in the wondrous stories of the time of Adam and his walk with Jesus in person.

So Noah would have had all of the words of God and would have been able to learn and profit from the discussions with his fathers. When God came to Noah, to pass on the commands that God gave to him, Noah would have had a firm basis of Scripture – the Words of God – to compare against and be ready to respond to the new instructions of God. This information would have been passed on to his children and especially to Shem through whom the lineage of Messiah would have come through.

In conclusion the Word of God was available to Noah and family. This information would be passed on to His children through Shem, and on to the time of Moses. We do not know what information came to Moses from word of mouth but we do know that God Himself communicated enough information to Moses for him to write the first six books of the Bible – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Job. So we should not believe that the people in the time of Noah were deficit of instruction from God for that would be unlike God, to send people out into the world with no instruction. God wanted His instructions to be carried on all through history and would be repeated and amplified through subsequent revelations from Him. So let us remember that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Noah and Enoch

In Genesis 4:16-17 we find that Cain, leaving the presence of God and of the land of his father Adam, went East to get away from the memories of his experience with Abel and to keep away from the influence of his family. He founded a city and named it after his first born son – Enoch. The name Enoch can mean dedicated, beginning, initiated, instructor or set apart. Cain apparently wanted to have a new beginning apart from God. Through this experience Cain did something that had never been done in history, up to his time, and that was he established a city – an environment of concentrated people at some distance from the country living that God had ordained by placing his family in a garden/farm.

In Genesis 5:21-24 we are introduced to the second Enoch the son of Jared, the 7th generation from Adam. It is this writer’s opinion that Enoch, as the representative of the 7th generation of mankind was to epitomize what God wanted to do with mankind. The tenth generational representative would be of Noah, the representative of the world of mankind.

It is interesting to note that both Adam and Seth were both alive at the time of the birth of Enoch and both may have had an opportunity to share their experiences and insights with Enoch. It would appear that Enoch, through decision making, genetics, and training was to be a set apart individual for special things from God.

Our first intimation of a special quality about Enoch was that when he had his first recorded son Enoch named that child Methuselah. The marginal reference indicates that the name Methuselah means – At his death the sending forth of waters. That Methuselah died in the same year of the flood would either be a coincidence or God, speaking through Enoch as a prophet, would have given a time prophecy. That from the time of Methuselah’s birth there would be a special event in 969 years. Jude 14 also confirms that Enoch was a prophet as well. Enoch was granted a picture of the second coming of Jesus and was granted the awareness of the judgment on the wicked, the violence of the final events, and the resurrection of the saints and all of the events that would transpire at the second coming of Jesus. These events would solidify the fact that Enoch was a special man with a special calling of God. These messages, along with the revelations of God granted to Adam, Abel, Seth, and all of the followers of God would make us the messages that Enoch would share with mankind.

Enoch has the blessing of being with the Sons of God – those who followed God by faith in Jesus. John 1:12; Genesis 4:26; Hebrews 11:5,6. Enoch must have had the opportunity to go to the gates of Eden and see the angels standing guard over the way to the Tree of Life and pray for the opportunity to one day be restored to the Garden that His grandfather Adam had once been able to participate in. What a wonderful heritage to be able to see this structure and to hear of the personal interactions that Adam had with Jesus, the Creator of the World. We can assume, by faith, that those special times with God, as he worshipped with his fathers, that the Holy Spirit was working wonders on his mind and heart and he must have decided to follow Jesus at a young age and to start his walk with God. Genesis 5:24. It is recorded in Hebrews 11:5 that he pleased God so we also know that he was a commandment keeping son as well. In addition he must have wanted to share his experience with others, both bad and good, for that is what Jesus did and what all of His children would do as well.

We know that after Enoch had Methuselah he lived another 300 years and he had more sons and daughters. So it would appear that Enoch was a good father and a consistent father as well as any God fearing father would be who walked with God. Enoch’s care for his children would also help him to have an appreciation for how much His Father in heaven wanted to care for him.

One of the tragedies of life that Enoch had to deal with was that the great patriarch Adam died during the life of Enoch. What a tragedy to see this great hero of God finally pass to his grave. But with the vision reported in Jude 14 what a comfort Enoch must have been to tell all of the people that God would take care of His own at the second coming of Christ.

As Enoch continued to walk with God, God testified that Enoch pleased Him. Hebrews 11:5 This testimony would indicate that Enoch knew of the laws of God and that he was willing to surrender to them. He did not treat the laws of God as His great uncle Cain did. We do not know for sure but it is possible that Enoch talked with Cain and may have discussed Cain’s experience and learned from him directly and seen the mark of Cain that God had placed upon him. But we do know that Enoch was steady and followed God in all of His commandments.

After 365 years Enoch’s walk with God produced an unusual response. God translated Enoch to heaven to be with Him forever. This must have been a shocking and a confirming experience for those left behind. To have Enoch translated would confirm again that God was real and that He has special plans for all of His children. These special plans will be manifested now, or in the future, but all of those who walk with God will receive His special blessing. Enoch would be a blessing for his experience testified that by faith God will take all of His children home with Him.

Praise God for such wonderful stories as that of Enoch. May we each learn from him and by faith hold on to the promises of God.