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The Forefathers — Genesis Chapter 5

Updated: May 17, 2022

This blog post will cover the devotionals #38-40 for Genesis Chapter 5.

Please note that this devotional book is for sale as a physical (paperback) &/or digital (PDF) book on my website.

[38] Genesis 5:1-32

Many find it boring to read through the extensive lists in Scriptures of ‘he begat him,’ wondering why we need to know all of that? God never wastes His breath, so why is it important that we know the genealogy from Adam to Noah? Let's see a summary, then I'll tell you! Adam lived 930 years (had Seth at 130 years old). Seth lived 912 years (had Enos at 105). Enos lived 905 years (had Cainan at ninety). Cainan lived 910 years (had Mahalaleel at seventy). Mahalaleel lived 895 years (had Jared at sixty-five). Jared lived 962 years (had Enoch at 162). Enoch lived 365 years—on Earth—he didn’t die (he had Methuselah at sixty-five). Methuselah lived 969 years (had Lamech at 187). Lamech lived 777 years (had Noah at 182). Noah (had sons at roughly five hundred years old). Using the little information we were given in Genesis 5, we could see that Noah was brought into the world roughly 1,056 years (and ten generations) after Creation (he was the great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandson of Adam). Knowing that Noah was five hundred years old when he began the one hundred year process of building the ark (Genesis 5:32 is slightly vague on the timing, but Genesis 11:10 tells us that one of the younger sons, Shem, was born ninety-eight years before the flood—which we’ll discuss more in devotional #68)—before he entered it at six hundred years old (Genesis 7:6), then we know that the flood happened 1,656 years after the world was created (around 2328 BC). This information will continue to come in handy as we trace through history to come to the point that we’re at today. It’s important because it helps to prove the age of the Earth (which isn't millions, billions, or even tens of thousands of years old). We see that the life of man (who was designed to live forever but began slowing dying after sin occurred) gradually became shorter and shorter with each generation (except for just a few men) until the point of Noah’s generation. We’ll see a much more significant drop in man’s lifespan to just 120 years, mentioned just before the flood in Genesis 6:3. If you notice, the three generations that include Enoch broke two major patterns of the previous fathers. They lived quite a lot longer than the previous men and had their children at a much older age. Was Jared just healthy or did God intervene to allow for this (and why?)? I wonder if it was so he could live long enough for Enoch to be taken to Heaven and for his grandson, Methuselah (as well as Enoch’s other children), to be fully grown and still have a father-figure around for a while. Now, looking at Methuselah, he lived seven years longer than his grandfather, Jared. In fact, he was the oldest man to ever live! He also happened to be impressively old when he had his first son—187 years old! That beat Jared by twenty-five years. That bloodline must have been great (maybe their mothers had something to do with that), because Methuselah went on to have his own son (Lamech) father someone at age 182 (though Lamech lived a couple hundred years less). Perhaps God maintained Methuselah so much longer to make up for the short comparative years that his father, Enoch, spent on Earth. We don’t know what each person died of—was it ‘natural’ causes (the slow dying that began with Adam), accidents, or murder? We’ll know someday, but for now, we can see that the three generations from Jared to Methuselah seem very significant—not just for their age, but also for their experience—which we'll look at in devotional #39.

[39] Genesis 5:18-31

Enoch maintained strict solitude, seeking God (Who spoke to him through angels). He desired to do God’s will and perfected Christian character, becoming Heavenly. Like Moses, his face shined with the heavenly light from communion with God, and people were in awe. He hated sin and avoided sinners (for fear he might be corrupted by their influence) except for when he tried to warn them of what’d come (see Jude 1:14-16). God taught him much (including the flood and His second coming / the resurrection of the dead). People sought him out to learn the truth. He wanted to be even closer to God, who decided He wouldn’t let him die. Hebrews 11:5 tells us that Enoch was translated (transported) to Heaven (without seeing death) by faith because he had the testimony that he pleased God. Then verse 6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him: because he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Angels took him away (to Heaven) in the sight of righteous and wicked (just as Christ went in His disciples’ view) to teach the difference between the two and what God can do for those who are converted. Adam’s sin (in a perfect environment) could’ve discouraged people from righteousness, but Enoch’s life and ascension restored hope that the Redeemer would come for those who chose to be faithful. Jesus’ genealogy shows Enoch as ‘Enosh’, which means ‘mortal’. That’s neat, considering that he was given immortality. I love that Genesis 5:24 says, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not, because God took him.” The people thought maybe he’d been taken to his place of solitude but understood when they couldn’t find him. Then Hebrews 11:6 says, “…he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” It says Enoch ‘was not’ (meaning he wasn’t found, or he no longer existed on Earth), and that ‘God is’ (that He exists and can be found). All of this is true because of faith. We don’t exist outside of God—we can’t be seen if we’re in God—it’s Christ that’s seen in us—through faith. Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: yet I live; however, it is not I that live, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Enoch’s name means ‘discipline’ and ‘train up’. What I think is great about this fact is he was a powerful example for his son. Psalm 127:4, 5 tells us, “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them: they will not be ashamed…” Now, the Bible doesn’t tell us anything about Methuselah (except for his profound lifespan), but his name means ‘man of a dart’, ‘missile of attack’, ‘spear’, ‘sword’ or ‘weapon’. Enoch was a mighty man of God, and, unlike his father’s experience, Enoch had his son at a much younger age (way less than half). Methuselah was quite literally an arrow in Enoch’s youthful hand that wouldn't bring shame. Isaiah 49:2, 3 says, “And He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; He has hidden me in the shadow of His hand, and made me a polished shaft; He has hidden me in His quiver; and said unto me, ‘You are My servant, Oh Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’” Just as we saw with Seth, Enos, and later Noah—Jesus’ line passes through Methuselah, so it’s beautiful to see how God could be glorified though his longevity and his seed. Outside of Christ, Enoch was one of only three specific men (including Elijah and Moses) that we know of that went to Heaven before Christ’s second coming (which is going to happen sooner than you might realize). While the New Testament mentions a special group of others, it doesn’t identify them. Enoch was also one of only two men that went to Heaven without seeing death first.

[40] Genesis 5:28-32

Recall from devotional #27 that God appeared to have cursed the ground as a punishment against Adam (though sin is what cursed the ground, not God). Then, in devotional #34, we saw that God again appeared to have cursed the earth in relation to Cain (when the ground merely gave the evidence of Cain’s sin). Both these men were to toil in the dirt with their hands due to Adam’s sin, and they’d have little rest trying to get it to produce. Genesis 5:29 says “And he named him Noah, saying, ‘This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.’” Strong’s Concordance defines ‘comfort’ as ‘repent’. We’ll see, in Genesis 6:6, that the exact same reference word was used to define the word ‘repented’ when it says, “And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.” We’re going to be looking much deeper at this devotional #44. Lamech named his son Noah, which means ‘rest’ or ‘quiet’. Isaiah 14:7 says, “The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.” Lamech seemed to have some inkling of what was to come. He knew God was going to bring rest and quiet to the earth and to humanity, and that his son, Noah, would have a great role to play in all of this. Enoch had warned his family of the flood. His son, Methuselah (Lamech’s father), listened to Noah’s preaching (as he, his sons, and his grandsons all lived during the construction of the ark)—received his instruction, and even helped him build the ark. Why weren’t they on it? Methuselah’s death would’ve lined up to the exact year that the ark was finished, and Lamech died five years earlier (thus, they both must have died before the flood, not because of it).

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