Scripture: Genesis 5-6, Psalm 12, Ephesians 3
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The thought never occurred to me to read Genesis alongside Ephesians. But here it is, this beautiful connection between the travesty of the human race, hell-bent on destruction, and the grace of God and new life through Jesus Christ.
We are taking a very high overview look at the text through my daily devotions, and I intend on popping down for closer looks from time to time. One instance here is to take a look at the limitations of days. In God’s grace, he limits the lifespan of humankind. Why is shorter, better? My friend John Nugent would argue that the shortening of days is all a part of God’s redeeming plan to protect creation. A possible way God keeps his creation from running in the direction of destruction is to limit the power and lifespan of humankind.
We see the “sons of God” taking women to be their wives. The jury is out on who these individuals are, and a google search will run you down several contradictory theories. The simplest and best answer to me is that the “sons of God,” were powerful men, who took what they wanted. They were perhaps kings, “men of renown.”
That of course is speculation, and the best we can do with the information we have. But it stands to reason that this is a good limitation, that powerful people would be limited in their days. If someone like Hitler could live and rule for 800 years, we’d have some very serious problems on our hands.
God graciously limits lifespans, to protect all of creation.
We hear of the corruption of the human condition, as well as a genealogy. And we are told of faithful people like Enoch, and Noah. We don’t know much about Enoch, he doesn’t appear to die. And then we have Noah, who walks faithfully with God.
He is commissioned to build an Ark. God’s rescue plan. God is ready to do away with all of creation. But he doesn’t, because He sees a faithful man in Noah.
Psalm 12, highlights again the problem of the human condition. “Human depravity is celebrated.”
We often think that today is worse than yesterday. That the depravity of humanity is much worse than it could have ever been. But the Bible reminds us that is not the case. The days of Noah, the evil and depravity was so great, God’s only response was to start over.
Hear Paul’s encouragement:
“7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.”
God dealt graciously with Paul, that he might preach the boundless riches of Christ.
And having the genealogy fresh in our minds, it really stands out in my mind and heart:
“14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
There is so much there to reflect on, but at the heart of it all is that the depravity of man is not greater than the boundless riches of love, found in Christ Jesus. God’s means of helping creation is to give us His heart and his boundless love. God’s plan is to redeem and save.
Let every generation give God Praise!
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.