Intro: Tribes from east to west Africa, Scandinavian lands to the pan pacific all have a tribal story of a flood matching this passage in Genesis in many ways.
Moses, the writer of Genesis, is transitioning from one era to another – the era of Adam now to the era of Noah. That is what is going on in these genealogy passages placed right here.
The Big idea. Only God’s grace can overcome his certain judgment of sinful humanity.
I. Make sense of the confusion in vv1-4
What is going on with angels or demons taking human wives? These are the defendants of the two seeds in Genesis 3. Moses is telling us that things have gotten so bad spiritually that people are marrying whomever they want – even godly descendants of Adam marrying the ungodly daughters of Cain for their beauty because they can.
Marriage was God’s first institution. God had established marriage to show us Christ’s love for his own (Ephesians 5). We have a bad, default tendancy that says we are smarter than the program. Samson’s downfall was he thought he could marry whomever he wanted. What was Solomon’s downfall? He marries hundreds of wives, foreign and domestic and his heart was turned from God as a result. We are not free to redefine marriage anyway we want. We are told not to be unequally yoked with those who do not believe in Christ. God thought up marriage. We do well not to live in a way that smacks of we are smarter than him on this or any matter.
II. Our rebellion is never anonymous. Vv 3, 5a
God, unlike Greek mythology, is not capricious and moody every other day. Rather, God’s actions are in response to our wicked deeds deserving judgment. In Revelation 20, what is the basis of the judgment of God? What we have done and what deeds are written in the books. Or, as followers of Christ, he gets our sin on the cross and we are judged by his perfect record.
III. We sin because we are sinners. V5b
Are we sinners because we have sinned? Or do we sin because we are sinners? The latter. Are human beings basically good? According to the Bible we are basically evil. No one likes to be told that they are sinners. No one likes to be told that they will be held accountable before God for actions. This passage says that man was evil only doing evil continually. Christ also makes this point that it is out of our heart that the mouth speaks evil. We say bad things because our hearts are black. Our words betray what is in our hearts.
IV. The certainty of God’s grieving judgment. Vv6-7
Anthropopathism. This word means we ascribe a human emotion to God. Here we read that God is sorry and grieved he made man. When we say something that we normally mean that we have made a mistake. The perfect love of God will always morn rebellion and loss. We see that clearly in the life of Jesus standing at the tomb of Lazarus. The sin and death in this world are not how it is supposed to be. That is what is being said in Genesis.
God is not indifferent to sin and brokenness. He grieves over it.
V. The conjunction of grace. V8
Mankind is without hope. God is going to blot out man and all animals. BUT. As the puritans would say, grace is like water – it always flows down to the lowest place.
Be careful of the order: grace comes first, then the righteousness and blameless of Noah comes second. Because Noah has received the grace of God and radically changed his life, he is then a blameless man. This is next week’s sermon.
What about you? If you think you can do the right things and then God will count you blameless like Noah, that is religion. Rather, the perfect record of Christ and his perfect obedience counts for us. That was Noah’s hope. Is that your hope?
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