Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Demon Sex? (Genesis 6)

I know the title is provocative and probably offensive to some of you. But, it’s in reference to the events in Genesis 6. Were the fallen angels (demons) having sex with humans? It’s a serious question to be explored.

Genesis 6 opens with the human race growing and expanding. Still fulfilling God’s mandate to multiply and fill the earth (Gen 1:28). The Sons of God saw how beautiful the daughters of men looked and took wives. Genesis 6:1-2 (NASB) reads

Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.

So, what’s going on here? Does the phrase Sons of God refer to fallen angels? Was it possible for fallen angels to marry humans? Were demons marrying the daughters of men just to have sex with them? Would God allow such a thing to happen to His beloved creation? Does a fallen angel having sex with humans fit in to the rest of the Bible? Is there another way to interpret this?

When you dive into the culture of this time you discover a gruesome and sickening practice. The Gilgamesh Epic describes kings as having a right to have sex with any bride being married. The husband would have no control over such tyranny. Apparently kings did this as a form of oppression and control. Pretty disgusting isn’t it? This reveals a little of what was taking place in the culture during Genesis. If you apply this horrific practice to Genesis you would see that the Sons of God, which would be kings, were picking and choosing women, brides to be, from across the land to sleep with. This would be detestable to God and surely bring a response like what is given in verse 3 (NASB) of Genesis,

Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."

So, fallen angels weren’t going around having sex with the daughters of men. Surely God would have mentioned them in verse 3 if they were. It was the kings of the land. Who knows how out of control this practice may have grown? Things must have really deteriorated for God to send forth a flood. One commentary I’ve been reading pointed out a rather interesting flow of thought through these beginning chapters of Genesis:

Genesis 3: The fall of mankind
Genesis 4: The fall of the family
Genesis 6: The fall of society

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Seth's Family (Genesis 5)

Genesis 5 focuses on Adam’s other son, Seth. Chapter 5 goes through each member of Seth’s family and gives their names and how long they lived (these guys lived for a long time!). There is a bit of a contrast between Cain’s side of the family and Seth’s. Cain’s family tree is without years, only their names are mentioned (read Genesis 4:17-22), so we don’t know how long they lived. Compared to Genesis 5, which tells us how long Seth’s family lived for, Cain’s family comes out looking less significant. There are some interesting people introduced via Seth’s bloodline in chapter 5. We meet Enoch in verse 21. God took Enoch away in verse 24,

And Enoch walked with God; and he was no more, for God took him.

We’re not told anything else. Why did God take Enoch? Where did he go? It’s interesting that Jude 1:14-15 has a direct quote from the apocrypha book of 1 Enoch (written in the time between the Old and New Testaments, possibly the 2nd century BC). Enoch supposedly was taken to heaven and given some prophetic visions. He wrote about his trip and experiences in heaven and put them in his book, 1 Enoch. He talks about the fall of Satan and how the fallen angels (demons) intermingled with humans to create a subhuman race. This is part of the reason, according to the book of Enoch, of why God flooded the earth. There’s definitely some interesting reading in the book of 1 Enoch, but God didn’t see it necessary to include this book as part of our Bible so we don’t have to worry about undiscovered truths. God has given us everything we need to know in our Bible.

If any of you are interested in reading more about 1 Enoch and its history click this link: This site provides some excellent background information.

- What are your initial thoughts over Genesis 5?
- What differences do you see between Cain and Seth’s families?
- Is there a difference?
- What are your initial thoughts over Enoch being taken up with God?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cain’s family (Genesis 4)

We left off last week with Cain being cursed by God and settling in the land of Nod, which is east of Eden. Genesis 4:17-24 tells the story of Cain’s family. Of course Adam and Eve had more children than just Cain and Abel. Apparently it was ok to intermarry; there was no other choice if Adam and Eve were the only human beings created. So, Cain married his sister (4:17, 5:4). Cain’s family has interesting roots and one can trace the development of his family and what they introduce to the world to ancient civilizations and how they developed. Here’s what we learn in Genesis 4 about the development of civilization:

- The introduction of cities: Cain tried building a city and naming it after his son Enoch (v.17). Was he successful? Was he the first to do this?
- The introduction of polygamy (more than one wife): Methushael’s son Lamech took two wives, Adah and Zillah (v.19). Did God approve of this?
- The introduction of domesticating animals for human purposes: Jabal, son of Adah, was the father of a nomadic type of people who lived in tents and raised sheep and goats.
- The introduction of music: Jabal’s brother Jubal was the father of all who play the lyre (stringed instrument used in ancient cultures) and pipe (musical, not for smoking).
- The introduction of metalworking: Zillah’s son Tubal-Cain forged bronze and iron. Were they used to help out with ordinary chores and living or for war?
- The introduction of poetry (?): Lamech writes what appears to be the first poem of our Bible in Genesis 4:23-24. In his poem he boasts about a man who attacked and wounded him and how he killed the young man. Was there some type of war between them or was it murder? The Hebrew word for killed in verse 23 is the same word used to describe what Cain did to Abel back in verse 8 of chapter 4.
- The introduction of life without God: Cain’s descendents seem focused on themselves and their humanistic efforts. There is on mention of glory or worship given to God. It would be nice to say that God was a part of what they did and their daily life, but we can’t. It’s not there. The author of Genesis introduces Cain’s family line and then moves to the more important line of Adam’s family, his son Seth.

What are your thoughts on Genesis 4:17-24?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cain (Genesis 4)

Genesis 4 is about life outside of the Garden (for a picture of how life looked inside see Genesis 2). Adam and Eve are building their family and bring forth two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain is a farmer and Abel a shepherd. They decide to bring God offerings of their work. Cain brings forth fruit and Abel brings forth fat portions from his flock. God looks with favor upon Abel and his offering, but not on Cain’s. This causes Cain to burn with anger and pout. God shows up on the scene and begins to reason with Cain. God even advises Cain that if he will do what is right he’ll be accepted. But if he saturates in his anger, the desire to sin will overtake him.

Cain ignores God and takes matters into his own hands. “Maybe if Abel is out of the way I won’t have to worry about the competition in pleasing God,” he thinks. So, Cain murders Abel in cold blood. God, like He did with Adam and Eve, seeks Cain (the sinner) out and inquires about his brother. Cain responds that he isn’t in charge of his brother and has no clue where he is. God, being all knowing, confronts Cain and curses him and he becomes a wanderer of the earth.

Reviewing Cain’s actions we see that:
- He became angry (maybe jealous?) because God looked with favor upon his brother’s offering
- He ignored God’s advice
- He devised a plan to murder his brother and followed through with it
- He lied to God to cover up what he had done
- He showed no remorse

Now, what lies behind Cain’s actions is his heart. From the heart the mouth speaks the Scriptures tell us. What else comes from the heart? Our actions. Everything Cain did was a matter of his heart not being right with God (a consequence of the Fall and his own choice). God tried reasoning with Cain to reveal to him this truth in Genesis 4:6-7. But Cain ignored God, which tells us that he didn’t want anything to do with God. A conscious choice made from his heart. Cain’s heart wasn’t open to receiving the Word and as a result, sin consumed and led him off to murder his own flesh and blood.

I dare you to stop and think about the things you do (good and bad). Have you ever done that before? If you do, try and trace them back to their source. If you follow the footprints long enough, you’ll discover that they lead back to your heart.

- How’s your heart these days?
- Is it open to receiving God’s Word?
- Do you believe our actions come from our heart?
- Why or why not?

Thoughts on Genesis

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Genesis 3 (Wrath against sin)

Is there consequence for sin? According to God’s Word there is! After Adam and Eve give in to the Serpent’s trickery and hogwash that plays on their own desires, something terrible happens. Adam and Eve sinned by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; a tree declared off limits by God in Genesis 2:17. However, their sin goes deeper than just action, it involved their will/heart. They decided God was wrong and holding something back from them, they decided they knew better than God. They made a conscience decision from the heart to disobey God. The saying the rest is history should be changed to the rest is our history because their sin has damned the human race. Is there hope?

If we didn’t have the New Testament Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) we might consider our situation hopeless and grim. But, God’s gift to us was His Word and that Word (made flesh, John 1:14) helps us see hope in God’s plan of redemption. The New Testament helps in our understanding of the Old Testament, especially here in Genesis 3. We know from the Gospels that God sent Jesus to proclaim the Kingdom of God among us, to show His love to world, and to die for humanity’s sins so a proper relationship could be restored between God and man and man and man. The New Testament actually helps us see God’s plan for the coming Savior in Genesis 3. How?

In verse 15 God talks about woman’s seed and the enmity between this seed and the serpent. The word seed used here is interesting because it is singular and not plural. We can deduce two things from this:

1. All of humanity is at enmity with Satan and his minions. From the first children (Cain & Abel) to everyone born today. John mentions the hatred of Satan towards humans in Revelation 12:17.

2. We can also see a prophecy and a sneak peek at God’s plan of salvation. When the Hebrew people were passing this story on to their families, there would have been some expectation of a coming redeemer, king, or messiah when they heard the word “seed”. The deathblow to Satan and his power over death is mentioned in verse 15, “He shall crush you on the head.” Which is certainly what Christ did when He arose from the grave on the third day. Paul writes of this in Romans 16:20.

Even though Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for their sin, God still shoveled love and mercy upon them. He could have killed them on the spot for their disobedience, but He didn’t, however He did not stop the natural consequences of sin from taking their toll on their lives and offspring. Even though all of humanity has been kicked out of God’s presence from birth, He has shown us love and mercy in sending us His Son. A gift offered to all willing to receive Him. God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). Any thoughts?