SHABBAT, 29 Heshvan 5778 — יוֹם שַׁבָּת כט חֶשְׁוָן ה' תשעח Saturday, 18 November 2017
Genesis 5 (Part 12 in Series)
Origins/Genealogy (Part 2)
Those Who God Blesses

I was reading an interesting article in Time Magazine last week. Evidently there has been a big increase in Protocol and manners classes, parents in increasing rates, having their children take etiquette classes. Parents are becoming very concerned over the behavior of their children. More and more, parents are becoming less concerned over little Johnny's reading ability, and more concerned about why he is such a brat.

Reading from the article:

Children are behaving badly, and disrespectfully, and selfishly, why? I think because that is what they are seeing modeled by their parents and society around them.

Children are formed. Tonight, one of the things I want to talk about is the form God has wanted us to become as our father, the image and likeness of himself that he wants to be passed down from father to son.

Tonight, we are on our 2nd message out of Gen. 5, and our third total dealing with the genealogies. You can breathe a sigh of relief after this. No more genealogies after tonight. Shari is talking about Father's day next week, then we are off a Friday night, Joseph's Bar Mitzvah, and then we will begin our summer series in Philippians.

Genesis Chapter 5 is basically transporting us in time from Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel to Noah and the flood. But as we discussed before, perhaps in painful detail for some, it is not just a quick list of names, but rather the genealogies themselves are there to teach us things. Genesis, the book of origins, is setting things up for later, helping us understand how we got to where we are today.

Rather than read the whole chapter as we did a couple of weeks ago, I will read the first 11 verses, and then last five.

Genesis 5:1-11

1This is the written account of Adam's line.

When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.

2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man."

3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.

4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.

5 Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.

6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh.

7 And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters.

8 Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died.

9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan.

10 And after he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters.

11 Altogether, Enosh lived 905 years, and then he died.

Genesis 5:28-32

28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son.

29 He named him Noah and said, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed."

30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters.

31 Altogether, Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died.

32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

The verses of Chapter 5 follow a general refrain.

5:6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh.
5:7 And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters.
5:8 Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died.

When Seth or whoever had lived so many years, he became the father of so and so.

Then Seth or whoever lived so many years and had other sons and daughters.

Altogether, this many years and he died.

So a particular man is mentioned. As I said before, I think the genealogies are very selective, in both generations and people mentioned. As you can see in the basic structure, there were many sons and daughters, but I am only going to mention this one in particular.

This standard structure of Genesis 5 has three departures during the chapter. Generally, when there is a repetitive structure anywhere in the Bible, look for the break in the structure for that is where the action is.

Here, there is a break at the beginning, in the middle with Enoch and then at the end with Noah.

I am first going to speak of these three breaks, then, tonight we are going to center on these first few verses as we think about their implications for the rest of the Bible and for our lives today.

BREAK 1

The first break is not really a break, because is appears at the start of the chapter. But, it is still a deviation. It is actually more of a prologue.

The prologue is worth noting.

Genesis 5:1-3

1 This is the written account of Adam's line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.

2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man."

3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.

This is the written account of Adam's line. Most translations use the [Hebrew] word 'Toledot'. It comes from the word 'Yalad', or to bear, like 'yeled', child.

The generations of ones born. Throughout Genesis, this word begins lists of names and serves as transitions. The last time this word appeared was at the close of Creation at the Start of Gen. 2

Now, here again in Genesis 5, we find ourselves back at Genesis 1, When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God; He created them male and female.

God blessed them. This is of note, as I spoke of this being a line of Great men of God: men whom God blessed with long life, as opposed to the line of Cain.

And it specifically says, he called him, "Adam." The NIV suddenly decides to switch to translating it as man in the generic sense, which is frankly a puzzle to me. Adam can either be a generic term for man, or the name of the first man. In verse 1 and 3, it says Adam's line, Adam had a son, then it says, he called him "man."

Anyway, he called him Adam. This is important, because he never calls him Adam in Genesis 1 and 2, he simply was Adam.

This calling him something is significant to the Chapter. Because, in the next verse Adam calls his son, Seth. At the end Lamech calls his son Noah.

Why is this important?

The effect is to cast God as father and Adam as son. Adam is then in the image and likeness of his father, God. Then, Adam has a son Seth, and it says specifically, "in his own image and likeness".

God is depicted as a patriarch over a family. The family of God, down the generations.

We are going to return to this thought in a little while.

BREAK 2

Then, the text continues listing this line of the sons of God, with a repetition in pattern until we come to the 7th generation. The line of Cain ends at number 7 with Lamech and his vengeance; but here again, number 7 is special, because it says,

Genesis 5:21-24

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.

22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.

23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years.

24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

Enoch, walked with God for 300 years. He walked with God, and he was taken.

It never says he died. In the later genealogy from Noah to Abraham the generations are almost the same. He gave birth, lived so many years etc., but it doesn't say "and he died," it just says he lived so many years.

Perhaps it mentions specifically the death of all these men, to shed special light on Enoch the one who did not die, but walked with God.

This, again, to stress that even after the curse and death is in the world, man can still find life, he can find grace and blessing from God, even in this broken world.

But we talked about Enoch extensively a couple of weeks ago.

BREAK 3

Then as we return to the next generations, we come to Noah, the third break in the chapter. The chapter ends with the 10th generation of Noah, and his three sons. In the same way, the line of Terah in Chapter 11 ends in the 10th generation with three sons, of which Abraham was one.

Noah and Enoch are the only ones not listed as dying here. Both were saved by supernatural causes, Enoch was taken up, and Noah was saved through the flood. Although he did die later. They are also both described as walking with God, Noah in the next chapter.

But what makes Noah stick out, is that his Dad, Lamech speaks, he gives a little speech in his naming of Noah, the only time any of these names listed speaks in this chapter. Everybody is simply listed by name, then, here, Lamech is listed, and it says, he speaks.

Again, most often the break from the normal repetition is where the emphasis is supposed to be seen. Since no one speaks, it is important to look carefully at the one who does.

Gen. 5:29 He named him Noah and said, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed."

He named him Noah, for he will comfort us. 'Noach', for he will comfort, or 'Nachum', the first two letters the same, it's a play on words. The point being this one will uniquely comfort us. Lamech knew life was hard, the ground was cursed, living under the fall, and he hoped Noah would be a comfort.

And he was, but not in the way Lamech was thinking. For man's wickedness was a curse and a grievance for God, and Noah would be his tool of comfort.

It is also interesting, that it says Noah was 500 years old, when he gave birth to his three sons. He doesn't give his age at each of the births of his sons, but all at once. It's just another reason to see these years as estimates, as compacted for meaning.

But I do think the years given for Methusaleh and Lamech do merit a quick look.

Methusaleh

• 187 - Lamech born
782 more years after Lamech's birth
• 969 total years

Lamech

• 182 years ΠNoah born
• 595 years Πyears after Noah's birth
• 777 total years

Noah

• 500 years ΠShem, Ham and Japheth
• 600 years old the flood came.

It is easy to shoot right past these years.

Since Lamech lived 595 years after Noah, he died 5 years before the flood which happened when Noah was 600. So he did not face that judgement.

And Methusaleh, the oldest man at 969: was he alive at the flood? Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and Methusaleh 782 years after his birth. So he outlived Lamech by 5 years. The same 5 years it was to the flood. So he could not have lived any more years.

I am not sure what that is to communicate to us, but I do believe we are to make note of it. Perhaps it means he died in the flood, or that he died just prior to it.

If my theory on these old ages, being signs of the blessings of these men of God in the line of Seth, I like to believe it means just before the flood. The godly were spared the Judgement of the flood. But you see Lamech could not possibly have lived even one more year: 969 years, tops.

GOD OUR FATHER

But, now I would like to return to our main issue of the day, those first few verses of this chapter.

The Main point of Gen. 1-2 was that man was created in the image and likeness of God.

Now, God did not name Adam specifically earlier. The scripture just uses the term Adam or man. Here God calls him this [specifically].

As I said, or really John Sailhamer says, The effect is to cast God as father, and Adam as son, with a son in his own image and likeness.

God is depicted then as a patriarch over a family. The family of God, down through the generations.

I had overlooked that at first; never saw it, but as I look at it now, it seems clear. God is placed at the top of the list, as the first father, giving birth to his special son Adam in his likeness; then Adam, in turn, gives birth to Seth, in his own image and likeness. The image of his father.

And the image is then passed down from father to son.

It makes me think of the genealogy of Yeshua in the book of Luke, the last few lines.

Luke 3:38

38 the son of Kenan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Luke is clear to trace the genealogy of Yeshua all the way back to Adam, the son of God, and thus to God himself. Probably carrying on the thought here from Genesis 5.

Yeshua is now portrayed as that ultimate son. The ultimate child of this Godly line.

But, the key again in our Genesis 5 text, is that God is not just the creator from Genesis 1, but he is also your father. This is a critical concept to the revelation God was later to give to the Israelites.

Deuteronomy 32:6

32:6 Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?

Is He not the one who created you, your father?

Your creator is also your father. What an implication for the Israelites; what a view of God!

Earlier, in our studies, we had seen the similarity in language between the language used in the redemption out of the land of Egypt and the Law, with the language of creation.

In effect, to communicate to the Israelites - the God who redeemed you, and has revealed himself to you, is your creator, and the maker of not just you but of all things.

He is the magnificent transcendent sovereign, all powerful, who formed the very heavens and the earth, there is no God besides him; worship none other.

But, now, it is striking to see that he is also your father. He made you, he loves you, he longs to bless you. He is 'Avinu Malkenu', our father, our King.

I think when we get ahead to Gen. 6, to the very controversial verses at the start about the sons of God going into the daughters of men, it is not quite so hard to understand, because here in chapter 5, he is speaking as a father, and these as his sons.

And then as this line of blessing continues later from Noah to Abraham, and then to Abram he says,

Genesis 17:4-5

Gen. 17:4 "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.
Gen. 17:5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.

Abraham now is the father of not only Israel but also many nations. He will be a blessing to the nations. He is going to be the father to these children of God.

In a sense, now, Abraham is carrying on the fatherhood of God. Abraham comes at the tail end of these two genealogies of the sons of God, from Adam to Noah, here, then later Noah to Abraham. Now Abraham becomes the father of Israel.

He is Abraham, our father, carrying on the lineage of God.

SLIDEThis actually makes the Akeda in Gen. 22 all the more shocking. God said to take your son, your only son. Isaac. Not just Isaac, but your son Isaac, stressing his relationship to him.

Then later Isaac speaks up.

Genesis 22:7

7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"

"Father, Father"; "yes, my son."

It is that relationship that makes the narrative so compelling.

In the Scripture, a father is not just speaking of loving tender care and of the transferring of God's image. But, it speaks of commitment, and inheritance. A son inherited all that was his father's.

In [the movie] Ben Hur, the main character, Ben Hur was adopted by a Roman citizen. He then became known by his name, and all that was the Roman citizen's, would become his.

But also in Gen. 5:2, it says, God blessed them: the father blessing his children.

God now blessed them; this is also a big theme in Genesis, Noah blesses, and Isaac's blessing over Jacob and Esau; Jacob's blessing over Ephraim and Manasseh, and all his sons. God blesses Adam, as a Father blessing his children.

And, then, throughout Genesis, God is seen as renewing his blessings to each generation.

Genesis 1:28

1:28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Genesis 5:2

5:2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man."

Genesis 9:1

9:1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.

Genesis 12:2-3 To Abraham:

12:2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

Genesis 25:11

Gen. 25:11 After Abraham's death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.

God's blessing to be carried down the generations. But the key blessing coming in Genesis 12:3.

All the peoples of the earth will be blessed. The world would be blessed from the seed of Abraham.

God's original plan of blessing was thwarted by human folly, but it is ultimately restored by the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham.

This is the theme that is picked up in the New Testament.

Ephesians 1:3-5

1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Messiah, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Messiah.
1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In loveEph.
1:5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Yeshua Messiah, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

Praise be to the God and Father Of our Lord Jesus, picking up the father to son imagery - Jesus being the ultimate son, picked up by Luke, who traces his lineage to God. Again, this is imagery, this is Jesus' earthly lineage, and other places in NT it talks of his Deity.

But, the key to pick up here, is that through this son, we have all received the blessing. A blessing God has been looking to give throughout the Bible. Here it is, "every Spiritual blessing."

In verse 4, this was being planned and laid out from the creation of the world. When God made his statement to the serpent, when he created Adam, when he made his promise to Abraham, he had this blessing in mind.

In verse 5, we are now adopted as sons. We have been grafted in to this Godly line. We can now call God, our father.

Romans 8:15 - abba father

Ephesians 1:13b-14

13b Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.

So, now as sons, we too have an inheritance. All that is our fathers will be ours. Now we are back in the Genesis 1 and 2, caring over our Father's estate.

And now, even more, the New Testament talks about our need to be renewed to the image of God. The image we were created to have: that has now become broken.

2 Corinthians 3:18

3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Romans 8:29

8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to become] conformed to the image of His Son,

Col. 3:10

3:10 (We are told to) put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

So now we are to be conformed to the image of our father: so, that again, we might be bear his image and likeness, so, that we might now represent him here on earth, and enjoy his blessings and look forward to our eventual inheritance in heaven.