Monday: From Noah to Abraham
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(Gen. 6:5-9)

The world into which Noah was born was worse than any society that has ever existed, which means that it must have been pretty bad. With people living for almost a thousand years, it is not difficult to see how evil could become ingrained in society to the point that God became sorry that He ever created people to begin with!

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Read Genesis 6 and then answer the following questions:

1.How are we to understand the idea that God was “sorry” that He had created humanity? Why does this not mean that God had been unaware of what was going to happen? (See Deut. 31:15-17.)

2.Ellen G. White wrote that the designations “sons of God” and “daughters of men” refer to faithful men marrying unfaithful women. What lessons, then, can we learn from Genesis 6 about the church’s interaction with the world?

3.What were some of the things that these people did that displeased God, and how do these things relate to His law?

4.Look at the description of Noah in Genesis 6. What does the text say about him that helps us to understand the kind of man that he was, especially in such a corrupt world? At the same time, why did Noah need “grace” in the eyes of the Lord? What does this tell us about the relationship between faith and God’s law, even back then?

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Monday: From Noah to Abraham — 13 Comments

  1. I am wondering about the degree of evil that antediluvians practiced. In other words, how bad could have "bad" been? The Lord told Moses that the Lord is "... Lord God is, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth". But, to make sure that Moses did not get the impression that the Lord is 'only' grace the Lord added "yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished". So, from the Lord's own description of Lord's self, the human behaviour must have gotten so bad that person A was inflicting evil on person B who was inflicting evil on person C and so on and so forth.

    The whole initial human existence and the destruction thereafter, is also an excellent example of God's initial grace, then the execution of the Law.

    Like(5)
  2. Noah’s flood has always been a big question in my mind. What I don’t understand is why there was so much destruction involved? What did all the animals and plants to say nothing of the earth itself have to do with man’s sin? Why couldn’t God do a selective cleansing like he did with the children of Israel in the wilderness?

    I look at the tower of Babel and see God taking care of a situation that was basically out of control – no one died, yet the solution has lasted all these centuries up to the present time. Even though man has continually sought to control other men God has made sure that state of affairs would not happen again on a global scale as it was in the process of happening at the tower; at least not until the end of time when there will be international persecution of the righteous.

    I read about what happened during the Babylonian captivity and realize that basically God pulled His protection from His stubborn people that constantly wanted to do their thing – without God’s interference. God pleaded with those people as He did with Ephraim, "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel?” (Hos 11:8 NKJV). It is the same plea Jesus voiced concerning Jerusalem, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate” (Mat 23:37-38 NKJV) and 40 years later Jerusalem went up in smoke.

    We are told through prophesy that when probation closes that God will finally pull his protection from the earth and turn it over completely to the devil which is something that hasn’t happened yet (see The Great Controversy, p 614). The winds of strife are still being held in check until that day (Rev 7:1-3). So I ask if there isn’t a connection between all these events and the flood.

    Why do we have such a bent to viewing God as a God of war and destruction? Why can’t we discern the difference in government between God and Satan as seen at the cross or learn what Elijah learned at the mouth of the cave:

    Then He said, "Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. (1 Kings 19:11-13 NKJV)

    Like(13)
    • Tyler,
      I agree with you. God IS love. Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world. We continue to see God as one who is going to inflict punishment on those who don't love him or don't obey His "law". Is His law a set of rules that have to be punished, if not obeyed, or is His law a natural law that, if not obeyed, one will die as a result of not being in line or set right with the law of love or God. Is God trying to save us from what naturally will happen, or will he kill or destroy? Love me or I will kill you? Try that on someone you care about and see how they react. How does God treat the wicked? Since we believe that we are at the end of time, how do we, as Seventh Day Adventists make a difference to our fellow human beings in our presentation of The God of Love?
      Larry

      Like(4)
    • When we consider God is -omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and we bare witness to his creative hand, ourselves included, then surely we must acknowledge that his very being is beyond our understanding! God reveals his secrets to his prophets, like Noah, and when we have a relationship like that, we can be assured that he too will reveal his secrets to us!
      As we commune with him, and grow in his love, our love for our fellow-man will also grow.
      Jesus has given us his promise of his return, he has pointed out for us the signs of his coming in the word, we have revealed today prophecy in action. How great is the work we have as followers of the living God, as Adventists, with the message for the last days, the days in which we live, to preach the gospel and baptize them(cleanse with water) and prepare for his soon coming!

      Like(1)
      • I don’t think we will ever know very much about the physical aspects of God. As John Carter once said, “I can understand something that has no end, but how can I understand something that had no beginning?” Nor can I understand a being that can just think something into existence from the invisible (Heb 11:3) or someone that upholds everything in the universe (Heb 1:3), meaning all the sub-atomic particles which are beyond count.

        However God’s character is something we can at least have some idea of otherwise what Jesus said becomes worthless, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (Jn 17:3 NKJV). Besides, knowing God is part of the new covenant, “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying,`Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them” (Heb 8:11 NKJV). So it is that those that say they don’t know actually lie, “because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rom 1:19-20 NKJV).

        Like(2)
  3. In E.G.White Notes on the lessons she states "The nature of man unrenewed by grace is not changed in our day from what it was in Noah's time. Christ has said a similar state of things would be prior to his second coming as existed before the flood. In the days of Noah men followed the imagination of their own hearts, and the result was unrestrained crime and wickedness...........One marked feature of Noah's day was the intense worldliness of the inhabitants....This constant indulgence of their sinful desires corrupted them and defiled the earth under them.....Many will resist God's warnings and array themselves against his law because their sinful life cannot harmonize with the pure principles of God's moral government. They consider it too hard work to reform their lives, therefore they endeavor to make the law of God meet their low standard of morals."
    When I read this it really made me think. Things that used to be immoral are now acceptable in the society in which we live. It is ok to have children out of wedlock, swearing is commonplace and accepted in all circles. We as Christians need to be aware time is drawing to an end.

    Like(4)
    • When discussing human sinfulness and freedom of choice,There is a distinct difference between the sin of Adam and that of humanity after the fall. The only human being who had a choice whether to sin or not was Adam. He alone held the future destiny of mankind in his hand. After Adam no other human had that choice except Jesus! The cross proves that! The bible makes it clear that Jesus came as Adam before the fall not Adam after the fall. After Adam, all have sinned and come short of the mark.

      The antediluvian's were not destroyed because they sinned. They had no choice! Adam made the choice for them (Rom.5). It is the same way it will be for those how will be lost in hell, it's not because they sinned, but because they refused God's grace. Noah was saved because he accepted God's grace (Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord Gen 6:8) The antediluvian's lost their lives because they refused God's offer of grace.

      After Adam exercised his freedom of choice and choose sin, putting all humanity on a collision course with hell, the only way for man to be saved is by faith in God's grace. Noah found that out for himself and obeyed God by building and getting into the ark with his family (Gen 7:1). The ark was the physical manifestation of God's amazing grace.

      Let us remember that like Nineveh, when God says He is going to destroy man's wickedness, it was a warning call for the antediluvians to change. God's Grace and mercy always precedes His judgments. The ark was big enough.

      At the end of time, the National Sunday Law will be Gods last act of mercy towards mankind.

      Like(2)
  4. Greetings saints of God. May someone who understands the explanation behind God being sorry that He had created humanity elaborate it to me plz..i am confident in the concept that God is not double minded..i just need clarity on what the verse above referred to.

    Like(0)
  5. Jovin: I understood it to mean that He loved man so much that it grieved Him to to the heart to see man in such a depraved state. He didn't hate man but He knew that judicial retribution was necessary, and He did not relish the task.

    Like(6)
  6. I love being reminded of the wonderful and loving God we serve. If God had been aware if the extent of sinfulness of the antediluvians after the fall of Adam to the time of Noah, why didn't He just end the lives of Adam & Eve and created new beings and not allowed Satan to enter the garden of Eden and all would have still been perfect? As well as death entering the garden of Eden as a result of sin, so did new life - the first pro-creation and off springs of Adam & Eve. He allowed mankind to prosper despite sin. Despite breaking His heart. I like the part when God kills an animal to cover the frail little naked bodies of Adam & Eve (Gen 3:21). It reminds me of a loving parent who picks up a fallen child and hurts with the child and shows that he still cares. He still does that to each and every one of us every time we choose to fall from His Grace. God had not only loved us but believed in the human beings He created. He saw that by giving us the power of free will and choice, God stood the risk of losing man to sin and ultimately His judgment, but still chose to do so. God must have had a salvation plan from the beginning by allowing Satan into the playing field to contend for man’s liberty of choice at the garden of Eden. If God wanted a perfect world without sin, He could have destroyed Satan and the fallen 1/3 of the angels – but He didn’t. But He will one day destroy Satan and all who choose to follow him (Rev 20:10).
    The role of God’s Law from the beginning of creation until today was to ensure that man used that power of choice correctly and for God’s Glory. If man chose to go against the Law of God, he ultimately went against God (God’s laws define His character). Just like Lucifer who rebelled against God in Heaven, still works very hard to turn mankind against God – he detests that God would still find Grace and offer salvation to a fallen race he’d work so hard to deceive.
    But throughout the ages of time since fall in creation, there have been men and women of faith who proved to God that mankind was still worth saving – the patriarchs and prophets, etc. Hence, God remembered His salvation plan and covenant with mankind and sent His ultimate gift of Grace (John 3:16) – our Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins on Calvary. That is why throughout the ages, God has always called out a group of remnant people whom He entrusts with keeping His Laws and Commandments amidst great apostasies throughout history of mankind. Thank you Lord!

    Like(4)
  7. As was the days of Noah so shall it be in the end .....After reading Patriarchs and Prophet ,it is clear to me what that statement means. God watched as these antediluvians used his rich gifts to glorify themselves ...how they gave way to idol worship and polygamy . But God found favour in Noah and that oh !!! he can find favour in us as we traverse this world where we are giving ways to disobedience to his laws and precepts

    Like(1)
  8. Gen 6:9 says that "Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations."

    Considering what we know of Noah in the rest of the story, would we have said the same of Noah?

    How does God judge that a man is "just" and "perfect"?

    Like(0)
    • Good question, Inge. Also how could God say, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright” (Job 1:1 NKJV) when scripture clearly says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23 NKJV) and “There is none who does good, No, not one” (Psa 14:3 NKJV) along with “we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isa 64:6 NKJV)? If we look toward the end of Job we see God chastising Job almost as must as He did Job’s three friends. In fact the only one that escaped criticism was the fourth younger friend, Elihu. “So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God” (Job 32:1-2 NKJV)

      So how does God judge and end up calling anyone “perfect” and without fault?

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