Welcome to The Sofa Series. Our ultimate goal in the series is to not just understand more of the Bible, but through the series, get to know who God really is. Here on the sofa, you’ll pull up your comfiest chair, tuck your feet under your Snuggie, and dig into God’s Word. Here, we’re informal yet unafraid to dig into the hard-to-understand things in God’s Word. Here, all are welcome, regardless of how much you already know (or don’t!) about the Bible. Are you ready?
The Reading Plan: Week 1
We study: The Creation, Eden, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Lamech, wickedness, Noah and the Ark, the Flood, the Tower of Babel and covenant with Noah
Day 1: Genesis 1-2
Day 2: Genesis 3-4
Day 3: Genesis 5-6
Day 4: Genesis 7-8
Day 5: Genesis 9-11
In chapters 1-4, we read so much it was like an entire season of a soap opera, crammed into two days. In chapters 5-11, we slow it waaaay down, while we simultaneously span over a thousand years and read about the lineage between Adam and Noah. One thousand fifty six years (to be exact!) pass between the birth of one and the birth of the other. It’s tempting to look at chapter 5 and skip right over it. Babies, babydaddies, bla bla bla. But, not so fast.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
So maybe we don’t yet understand why there is a need to understand who begat whom, but if all scripture is useful, it would be in our best interest to not skip over it, right? Right! So let’s get to it!
Day 3 Reading:
Methushael and Lamech and Lamech and Methuselah: The beginning of chapter 5 starts with a single sentence:
This is the written account of Adam’s family line.
But in fact, it wasn’t Adam’s entire family. If you remember, Adam had three sons. One murdered, one exiled, and a third son, Seth. Adam and Eve also had other children (including daughters which meant that in Genesis 4 when Cain took his wife and moved away, he had in fact, married his sister.)
Slim pickins when you’re the first humans on earth.
Cain and his ever-barefoot-and-pregnant wife populated his corner of the world, with children, grandchildren, on down to great-great-grandchildren. His children introduced music (verse 21) and metalworking (verse 22) along with a mastery of carpentry and masonry. Sadly, his great-great-great-grandson Lamech also introduces polygamy (Gen 4:19). Cain’s blood line was filled with lists of who “they” were and what “they” did. But in Chapter 5, we read about the line following Seth.
Chapter 5 reads so simply – someone was born, they lived a long, happy life, had sons and daughters, and then they died. But notice the difference in the writing style between chapters 4 and 5. Seth’s family line noted the length of time the person lived. Remember that God instructed them in Genesis 1 to be fruitful and multiply. With a long life, a man would have plenty of time to honor God and do as He had instructed.
Note: Some folks believe that not all men and women came from Adam and Eve – that God went on to create more humans to populate the earth. But the bible contradicts that with two verses.
Gen 3:20: Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
Gen 1:28: God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number…”
If God was planning to populate the earth, He wouldn’t have told Adam and Eve to do it. (No pun intended, haha.)
So we mentioned above that with Cain’s family, there was quite a bit of talk about what they mastered. But when we read about the line from Seth to Noah (including a second Lamech!) we read things like, “Enoch walked faithfully with God” and Lamech named his son Noah (comfort) in hope that he would comfort them after the Lord had cursed them. So what does that tell us?
It tells us which is more important to God. Not titles. Not jobs. Not things we master. But whether or not we follow Him. The lineage that God would save was the one that followed Him, not the one that mastered their careers.
It also tells us that the lineage from Adam to Noah was important to God because it was the line that continued on to Jesus! Adam’s son Seth would be an ancestor of both Noah and Abram, and we can follow Abraham (Abram) all the way to Jesus in Matthew 1 of the New Testament.
Speaking of Noah, by the start of chapter 6 Noah has been born, and mankind (gifted with the choice to follow God or not) opts to pretty much do as they please. Men who followed God (Seth’s line) married those who did not (Cain’s line). Their devotion to the Lord blurred as the generations passed until finally, in verse 5,
Every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
Why would a loving God choose to wipe out all of humanity? Worse, why would God say that he wished he’d never created man and animals to begin with?
We’d seen how in the beginning of time, God created man, took care to create a future for them and planned for them to be successful. Yet He was willing to throw it all away? Because a few people didn’t follow Him?
Now I’m going to try not to step on toes here, because I’m just not a toe-stepper-onner-kinda-gal. But bear with me.
From childhood, we paint God as our friend. As love and goodness, and we see pictures of Jesus all smiley with children in His lap on the church walls. And those things are right – God is love. God is joy. God is goodness.
But we forget sometimes that God is Holy. We forget that God is sovereign. We forget that we base decisions on only what we see, when God makes decisions on what He knows and what He sees, to depths far greater than what we can understand. We forget that this is a God who created mankind from dust, who created angels and the heavens.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation … and all the angels shouted for joy?” He asks Job. (Job 38:4,7)
We look at situations and think, How can God allow that?” When what we really mean is, “If I were God, I wouldn’t have allowed that.
But we are. Not. God. We cannot understand His ways, nor can we even begin to understand how a God can be so great as to create an entire world, yet be so loving that He desires a relationship with each individual person on that earth. What we can do is look at scripture.
Verse 11 begins, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them.”
The earth had to have become so corrupted that the only solution God saw was to start over. God looked deep into the hearts of man and determined that only ONE man and that man’s family was worth saving, because every other human on earth had become evil, and that they had no desire to repent.
Point to ponder: When we look in the news and see so many things going on in the world today, you have to know it grieves God’s heart. We can ask ourselves again, “How can a loving God allow this to happen?” but imagine with me that instead of asking to no one in particular, we actually ask this of God.
How can you allow this to happen? What is the matter with you? What are you going to do about it?
At the root of our question – does God care for humanity – is the very same question He would ask in return.
You are the people here on earth. You are my representatives. You are the good there is in the world. Don’t you see the things going on around you? What are you going to do about it?