Genesis 6:1-7 (NIV) 1 When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days–and also afterward–when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. 5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth–men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air–for I am grieved that I have made them.”
On verses 1-7: At first glance verses 1-7 read to me like a fairy tale, speaking of a whimsical, romantic time when the “sons of God” mated with the “daughters of men” (v1-2), a time when the Nephilim, known to be a race of giants, lived. According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary, what could actually be happening here in verses 1-7 is that the author of Genesis (many scholars say it was Moses) was addressing the widely held beliefs of pagan nations which taught that you could attain god-like immortality by engaging in great immorality Along this line of teaching, the Nephilim were apparently held in great esteem (v4); they were seen as demi-gods, the product of gods mating with human beings. In response to these pagan teachings, it’s as if the author of Genesis writes chapter 6 to show that:
– The Nephilim, as great as they may have seemed, were only mere human beings;
– God is not indifferent to the way people live and His heart is grieved by the sinfulness and wickedness of human beings (v5-6);
– As a first measure to curtail sin and perhaps indirectly to lead human beings back to Himself, God places a general limit on the lifespan of human beings to 120 years (v3);
– When people would still not turn back to God, as a subsequent measure to show that God would not put up with immorality forever, God decides to wipe out most of mankind (v7).
Genesis 6:8-10 (NIV) 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. 9 This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
On verses 8-10: Against a dark and wicked backdrop of people’s sinfulness, one individual shines like a star. His name is Noah. Noah is described as finding favour with God (v8), being righteous and blameless, and walking with God (v9), in addition to being a father (v10).
What can we learn from all this?
First, God cares deeply about human beings and watches closely what they do. He is grieved when they sin and delighted when they seek Him.
Second, the fact that Noah found favour “in the eyes of the Lord” (v8) suggests to me that even when all around you people seem not to care about God, God still has His eye on those who try to please Him and seek Him. Don’t let the evil, wickedness or immorality around you distract you from this truth: God is watching and He has a heart to bless, honour, protect and use mightily those who hearts are close to Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You see, You care, You rejoice, You grieve, and You respond to the way we live our lives. You are not an indifferent, emotionless God but One who cares deeply for us and desires so much that we live righteous and holy lives before You. I can’t do that on my own. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to save me and to live through me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!