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The Sons of God — Genesis Chapter 6

Updated: May 17, 2022

This blog post will cover the devotionals #41-51 for Genesis Chapter 6.

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

[41] Genesis 6:1,2

Genesis 6:1, 2 shows us that there was a distinction between the sons of God and the daughters of men. Romans 8:14 tells us that those that are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. Galatians 3:26 says, “You are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” So, we can see that the sons of God were those that were led by His Spirit and had faith in His Son. However, there’s no reason that the Spirit would’ve led them to choose worldly wives, so we get a sense of the direction those men took at that point. They lost their faith in Christ and were no longer led by the Spirit. The sons of God saw that the daughters (who weren't of God) were ‘good’—and married them. A friend of mine pointed out the parallel of this point with Eve seeing that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was ‘good’ for some things (thus, pursuing it). None of them saw anything good in what they were looking at, but they thought they did. On the other hand, they had something (or Someone) more than good, but they didn’t recognize it—and thus, didn’t pursue it. John 1:10-13 says, “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own people, and His own people did not receive Him. But all who did receive Him, He gave them power to become the sons of God, even to those that believe on His name: which were not born of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God.” They were living in a time where corruption was just starting to run rampant—and they not only partook in it but hastened it. When these sons of God saw the daughters of men, they had an opportunity to be an example to them—to point them to God, as Philippians 2:15 calls us to do: “That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the middle of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Imagine if they had heeded this commandment—how differently might things have gone?

[42] Genesis 6:3

Strong’s Concordance defines ‘strive’ as ‘rule’, ‘judge’, ‘plead’, ‘sovereign’, ‘control’, or ‘master’. Romans 8:5-9 says, “Because they that walk according to the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that walk after the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit. To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. The carnal mind is enmity against God: because it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be. Thus, they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now, if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” Genesis 6:3 says, “My Spirit will not always strive with man, because he is also flesh.” In other words, men living in the carnal flesh aren’t subject to God’s sovereignty (His power over them), and they won't have Him to maintain / strengthen their minds and characters. Furthermore, today’s dictionaries define ‘strive’ as ‘make great efforts to achieve or obtain something’ and ‘struggle or fight vigorously’. God’s Spirit is synonymous with His breath of life—and that God alone can sustain someone’s life. When God said that His Spirit wouldn't always strive with man, it didn’t mean that God would give up on them but that He would give up to them (or yield to them). If they didn’t want Him around—as we see by their choice to live wickedly—He wouldn’t keep struggling to obtain (or retain) them—and thus, His life-sustaining (and character-fortifying) power would be withdrawn from them. Hence, we see that God predicts their lifespan would be drastically shortened, from 700-1,000 years (originally designed to be eternal) to just 120 (and nowadays, we’re closer to just seventy-five or eighty). Why would this number become the new norm? In Deuteronomy 34:7 (and 31:2), we see that Moses was ‘exactly’ 120 years old when he died. Would the new death-age have to do with their new diet made acceptable after the flood (which now included meat)? Would sin continue to take such a toll on the body after ten generations of sin that it could no longer hold off the slow death that took nearly ten times the years to overtake man’s life? It’s more than likely. However, probably the most important thing to remember is that God’s Spirit would also be pushed further away. Thus, life could only last a fraction of the time it had up until that point.

[43] Genesis 6:4,11-13

We’re told there were giants in the land. At face value, we take that to mean there were large, extremely tall men on the earth. That may be true (we see more about giants when we look at people like the Philistines, etc.)—but I think it was suggesting something else. Strong’s Concordance defines ‘giants’ as ‘bullies’ or ‘tyrants’. This makes even more sense when we look at verses 11, 13, where it says that the earth was full of violence because of man. Now, it isn’t necessarily just saying literal violence, but also wrong or unrighteousness. However, I find the choice of wording interesting considering the concept of a bully / tyrant acting violently. Now to add to that, we see that the sons of God mated with the daughters of man—who became mighty men of renown. ‘Mighty men’ here is also defined as ‘tyrants’ or ‘giants’. More interestingly, [men of] ‘renown’ is defined as being ‘lofty’. I seem to recall a particular bully who thought himself to be lofty, high, and mighty. Isaiah 14:12-20 tells us about Lucifer, who weakened the nations. He said, “I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will also sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” It also tells us about how he’d be brought down and mocked: “Is this the man that made the earth tremble, and shook the kingdoms, and made the world a wilderness, and destroyed its cities, and didn't open the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations lie in glory in their own houses, but you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch…as a carcass trodden under feet. You won't be joined with them in burial because you've destroyed your land and slain your people: the seed of evildoers will never be renowned.” It’s so interesting that the very one who sought to have his name honored led these men to want their name honored using the same, evil techniques—and both are brought down in their end.

[44] Genesis 6:5-7

God saw that man’s wickedness was great—notice however, it wasn’t only in themselves, but also in the earth. The earth was greatly affected by sin—corrupted, destroyed. We saw this start back with Adam’s sin and continue with Cain. Now, about a thousand years later, sin had really taken a toll on creation. It was evident that things weren’t going to get better, with the earth or with man. Every plan, thought, intention, and purpose was just pure evil all the time. That’s the exact opposite of what God had designed for us. Thus, we’re told that God repented for making man, and that His heart was grieved. However, most people don’t think deeply enough about what that would mean. Repenting is giving a response or expression of sincere regret / remorse about one’s wrongdoing / sin. God can't sin (sin is the transgression of the law, which is the transcript of God’s character). Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man that He should lie—neither the son of man that He should repent.” So, Genesis 6:6, 7 tells us that God repented for making man, but the Bible also tells us that God doesn’t repent. Furthermore, it says that He repented for creating man. If God was sorry for creating something, it’d mean that He had made it imperfectly or that He had made a mistake. We know that’s also not possible because Numbers 23:19 also says, “Has He said, and will He not do it—or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” I think that it’s so incredibly important to point out the fact that both these phrases (about God not lying or repenting like man does, and about Him speaking and doing / making it good) were put together in one verse to drive home a point. They go hand in hand, and honestly, I wouldn’t doubt if they were meant for the purpose of defining Genesis 6:6, 7 for us. God wasn’t repenting for anything, nor did He regret making something amazing. If God decided to use a flood to fix the earth, it’d also acknowledge that something He made could be made better or added to—which also isn’t the case. Ecclesiastes 3:14 says, “I know that whatever God does, it will be forever: nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken away from it: and God does it, so that men would fear before Him.” We have to see then, that God’s repentance is different from man’s repentance. It says He was grieved to His heart. God felt sorrow about the state of the world and man’s spiritual condition. He pitied creation. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow works out repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world causes death.” The flood was seemingly announced as a response to God’s repentance for creating the world. However, if God’s repentance / sorrow works for salvation, and not for death—then destroying the world wouldn't make sense. God never goes against His own principles.

[45] Genesis 6:5-7,11-13

In devotional #44, we discovered that God didn’t send the flood. In other words, He didn't destroy the world. Now we want to see why the flood happened if He didn’t send it. We’ve discussed before about how God’s wrath functions—especially in connection with Cain’s sin. God doesn’t inflict punishments upon us for our sins. Rather, He simply doesn’t stop the natural consequences of our sins (actions / thoughts) from taking place. We could look a lot closer at this in Romans 1:24-28. Genesis 6:13 tells us that “‘The end of all flesh has come before Me; because the earth is full of unrighteousness because of them; and look, I will destroy them with the earth.’” In other words, the coming end of flesh and the earth had become apparent to Him. God didn’t plot to destroy the earth, but He made it clear that He was going to allow it to happen. Isaiah 54:7-10 says, “‘For a small moment I have forsaken you; but with great mercies I will gather you. In a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,’ says the Lord your Redeemer. ‘This is as the waters of Noah to Me: because as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer go over the earth; I have likewise sworn that I would not be wrathful to you, nor rebuke you. The mountains will depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness will not depart from you, neither will the covenant of My peace be removed,’ says the Lord that has mercy on you.” In devotional #57, we’ll see the mechanics of how the flood occurred, but at least we now see that the flood was a natural effect, rather than—as insurance companies refer to such situations—an 'act of God'.

[46] Genesis 6:8-10 (Part 1)

God had stated that He was going to allow the earth (along with all flesh, including humanity) to be destroyed by a flood. Yet, He also said that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Why did he find favor with God to be spared out of all that existed? Let's look at the technical aspect. If God destroyed the whole race, without ever having sent the Savior, then He wouldn’t have fulfilled His promise from Genesis 3:15. That has huge implications because, (except for those who were converted and repented just before they died like the thief on the cross) while the people who were destroyed in the flood were obviously wicked and wouldn’t have been saved by the Lord’s ‘future’ death to save us for eternity, there were many men who lived before them that would’ve been resurrected to eternal life after Christ fulfilled His promise. Secondly, if God had destroyed everyone, leaving not one—and had decided to just create a new set of men, then the line that was—by necessity—from Adam to Jesus, would’ve been broken, not to mention that Satan could've fairly claimed so many negative things against God. Thankfully, next to the technical aspect, there's also the spiritual aspect (which we'll look at in devotional #47) which God knew existed and would allow Him to fulfill His promise. God never makes a promise He can't keep.

[47] Genesis 6:8-10 (Part 2)

Genesis 6:8 says that Noah was just, perfect, and walked with God (like we saw with his great grandfather, Enoch). God didn’t just decide to destroy everyone, regardless of their righteousness (or lack thereof). God saw that the earth was self-destructing, along with all but eight of its inhabitants. He allowed it to happen because they’d rejected Him. God’s presence is only kept in a place where it’s wanted. Ezekiel 22:30 proves this. “And I searched for a man among them, that would make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” It doesn’t get any clearer than this. God doesn’t want to destroy the land (aka, let it be destroyed), but He needs at least one man there, pleading for the saving of the land. This is what Abraham did with Sodom and Gomorrah—begging for its salvation if even as few as ten righteous men could be found there. God agreed to his petition, but sadly, not even ten were found. Noah had eight (though they apparently weren't righteous—they were connected to him that was, and would've been the only method to repopulate the earth and provide a line for the Messiah to come), and while God didn’t prevent the earth from being destroyed by a flood, He did prevent Noah's family from being destroyed (and maintained the earth enough to support life again). Even Jesus shared this principle. Matthew 13:58 says, “And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Don’t you think that God keeping the world from falling apart and self-destructing (even down to just sustaining the life of a creature) is an absolute miracle? What else in the universe could do such a thing? Now, if Jesus was rejected and disbelieved in Nazareth—His (comparatively) small home-town—therefore, rendering His hands tied to do mighty things on their behalf, try to imagine an entire planet of people rejecting their Creator and Sustainer. Yet, God wasn’t rejected by Noah. God was still allowed to work a mighty miracle on his behalf. Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being warned by God of things not yet seen, moved with fear, prepared an ark to save his household; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which comes by faith.” Strong’s Concordance defines ‘condemned’ here as ‘distinguished’. Acting out of faith in God’s warning (obeying His commandment) set Noah apart from the rest of the world. The result of what Noah did in a hundred years could’ve been attained by any person in the moments it would’ve taken them to board the ark. The mocking that Noah endured for a hundred years would’ve lasted any other person just the few moments / days they sat in the boat before the rain started. What was done by Noah didn’t gain him righteousness or salvation—it proved that he had it. What the rest of the world failed to do didn’t make them unrighteous or lost—it proved that they were. That's why Hebrews 11:7 told us that Noah became an heir of the type of righteousness that only comes by faith. We know that this is opposite of the type of righteousness that the Pharisees (and so many like them) thought they could gain by their actions (aka, righteousness by works). Let me tell you—Noah worked. He pounded, preached, and pleaded for a hundred years. 2 Peter 2:5 called him a ‘preacher of righteousness’. Even if Noah never spoke a word—every bang of the hammer, every step through the mocking audience—was a sermon on righteousness, an altar-call, an invitation to step into Christ and be saved. But despite all Noah did, he was only righteous—by faith.

[48] Genesis 6:14-16

Why did God say that the ark was to be made with gopher wood? Strong’s Concordance suggests that gopher wood is the same as cypress. What’s incredibly interesting is that cypress wood is known to be decay-resistant, which makes it much more ideal considering the type of conditions the ark would face in the year that it floated on the flood waters. Furthermore, some sources have claimed to have found the ark, and if that’s true, then something would’ve had to have remained to be found—and God’s choice of materials may have contributed to that possibility. We don’t have any proof of discovery though, so who knows for sure—but to [hypothetically] have preserved it, all these years later, on Mount Ararat is just astounding (we’ll look a little deeper at this information in devotional #59). We know that the earth's roughly six thousand years old, and the flood occurred about 1,656 years after Creation. That’d put the age of the ark around 4,350 years old! That’s impressive preservation right there. God also told them to make rooms in the ark but didn’t mention their sizes. However, Strong’s Concordance suggests these weren’t large rooms, but rather, ‘chambers’ (bedrooms) or ‘nestlings / nests’. To accommodate all the types of animals (in sets of two or seven), there would’ve needed to be quite a lot of smaller rooms in the ark, even being as large as it was. We’ll also see, in devotional #51, that a massive amount of food also needed to be brought into the ark, so special space would’ve been needed just for that as well. Verse 16 tells us about a window and a door that God wanted Noah to put in the ark, but it doesn’t say their sizes. What it doesn’t say is that the door was so large heavy that no man (or even four men and four women) could open or close the door. That’s very significant and we’ll talk more about it in Genesis 7, when we discuss how the animals made it onto the ark. Now for the size—a cubit is roughly the same as eighteen inches (typically measured as the length of the forearm from the middle finger tip to the bottom of the elbow). God told Noah that the ark should be three hundred cubits long by fifty cubits wide by thirty cubits high. That's equivalent to 450 feet long by seventy-five feet wide by forty-five feet high. To give a little perspective on the possible dimensions, check out these measurements. A football field is 360 feet long by 160 feet wide. A four-story building is roughly forty feet tall. If it was forty-five feet tall, then there’s a good chance that the three stories were roughly fifteen feet tall each. This would make sense because they would’ve had to have taller stories anyway, considering that the people (and probably also the animals) living at the time of Noah were quite a bit taller than we are today. Remember though, that a cubit was based on the measurement of a man’s forearm, so it was proportionate to the height of Noah at his time (and thus, probably the animals as well). Thus, even our estimate of the dimensions could be off, pending the true size of man at that time. What a sight to behold that would be! In devotional #50, we’ll see just how important this boat would actually be, but what I truly love is that Noah’s family got to participate in their own salvation. They didn’t save themselves but cooperated with God in the process. Philippians 2:12-16 tells us to “…Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. It is God that works in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmuring and disputing: so that you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, amid a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world; holding the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, nor labored in vain.”

[49] Genesis 6:13,17

Genesis 6:13, 17 tells us that God said He would destroy all flesh on the earth with a flood. It also specifies that whatever has the breath of life would die. I think that was added for a reason. In devotional #27, we saw that Psalm 104:29 says, “You hide Your face—they are troubled: You take away their breath—they die and return to their dust.” This is setting us up to better understand the mechanism behind how God ‘destroys’. In devotional #44, we saw that it’d go against God’s principles, as well as common sense, for God to fix the world’s sin problem by destroying it. In devotional #42, we saw how men’s lives were shortened by the rejection (‘removal’) of God’s Spirit (which sustains their lives). In devotional #45, we saw that God didn’t cause the flood / destruction, but simply stepped back, removed His protective, sustaining power, and gave them over to the consequences of their choices. Their choice was to tell God that they didn’t want Him. He respected their choice and thus, by letting go of the reigns, He allowed the earth to fall apart. God takes responsibility for everything that happens—whether He directly causes it or passively allows it. Furthermore, and even worse, man places the responsibility for sin on God—ultimately because He is the One that created the first being who introduced sin into the world, and He is the one that continued to sustain the life of that same being—who has caused even more destruction and sorrow since then. You might be surprised to consider that fact. ‘You mean to tell me that, not only did God allow Satan to continue living, but He actually sustained his life?!’ We don’t think about the facts though. If God had decided either to not create Lucifer (or man) or destroyed him after doing so—just to prevent sin from coming or staying—God wouldn’t have given every single one of His creatures the freedom of choice. Would He want us to love Him as robots or out of fear of what He would do to us if we didn’t? Of course not. Just because Satan (a powerful angel) isn't human doesn’t mean he has within himself the power to sustain his own life (or that of anyone else). If God had simply removed His life-sustaining power from Satan (the way He did in the case of the flood), the same thing would’ve happened to him. However, at the point that would’ve hypothetically happened, the universe wasn't yet fully convinced that Satan’s claims about God were wrong. In devotional #23, we saw that sin (and Satan’s plots) needed to become more fully developed before it’d be apparent why sin was wrong and why God was right—and not that God was just creating random, reasonless laws to control His beloved creatures. If the amount of time needed to prove that wasn’t allowed, and God just simply destroyed or stopped sustaining Satan’s life, then the entire universe (including the unfallen worlds) would never know the truth. There would always have been doubt or fear in the minds of all God’s subjects. This would basically be immortalizing sin (or the risk of it returning)—just like we saw (in devotional #29) if God hadn’t prevented them from continuing to eat from the tree of life. Satan had to be allowed to live long enough to drive sin into extinction.

[50] Genesis 6:18

In devotional #46, we saw that God’s gospel promise to Adam and Eve from Genesis 3:15 had to be fulfilled through their original line—and thus, the entire human race couldn’t have been destroyed / lost. And in devotional #47, we saw that God didn’t arbitrarily choose to preserve Noah (and his family) just to keep His promise, but that Noah and his family ‘preserved themselves’ by their faith in God. Thus, God said that, despite the destruction and death that was about to come upon the earth, “I will establish My covenant with you; and you will come into the ark, you and your sons, and your wife and your sons’ wives.” I think it’s beautiful that the very element that God allowed to destroy the life of nearly every living thing was the same means by which He saved the few righteous. What do I mean by that? Well, 1 Peter 3:20 tells us that “…the patience of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.” Did you notice that it said that eight were saved ‘by’ water, and not ‘from’ it? This is incredible. By getting on the boat, the water was their salvation—not their destruction. It’s the same way with Christ and His return. By being in Him (our ‘Ark’), we'll be saved for eternity at His second coming because of His death. However, those who aren’t in Him will dread the day He appears. How can so many things in the spiritual realm give such completely opposite results, simply based on the condition of your heart? Not only were the flood waters salvation for Noah’s family, but they were a blessing—an inheritance! Noah was laughed at for years while he built the ark and warned of the coming flood. 1 Peter 3:15 says to “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and always be ready to give an answer to every man that asks you for a reason of the hope that is in you—with meekness and fear.” Imagine being just a small minority in the face of such a large, opposing majority. The Antediluvians had no reason to believe that rain would fall on the earth and that a flood would sweep them away. They’d never seen rain before. Noah gave a reason for his hope of survival, but they didn’t trust God’s Word. 1 Peter 3:9-21 discusses much about how we shouldn’t return evil for evil. Though we suffer for the sake of righteousness—we’re mocked and taunted for doing right but will be rewarded for it (we could do an entire study of parallels between this point and Romans 8:17-39!)—they’ll be ashamed for their speech against us and will suffer more greatly for doing evil. Though we’ll die to the flesh—we’ll be brought to life in the Spirit, whereas they’ll die in the flesh—not to be renewed in the Spirit. I guess you could say that this is a difference between baptism by water and baptism by fire. Baptism by water (like what Noah experienced, symbolically) is putting away filth in the conscience, whereas baptism by fire will put away filth in the flesh, once and for all. We're told, in 1 Peter 3:12, that “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” This was certainly the case with Noah—they were the only ones that didn’t turn their faces away from God—and thus, constantly maintained His watchful gaze.

[51] Genesis 6:19-22

Two of each living creature (a male and a female of all the land and air animals) would be taken into the ark. In verse 19, God tells Noah, “You will bring two of every living thing…into the ark, to keep them alive with you...” However, in verse 20, He clarifies that Noah wouldn’t be the one gathering them up. “…Two of every kind will come to you, to keep them alive.” When we get to devotional #55, we’ll see that God makes another distinction on the numbers of each type of animal that would be accepted in the ark, along with the fact that Noah wasn’t given the responsibility of gathering the animals, and for good reason. God had a greater purpose for the creatures than just repopulating the earth. Noah had a monumental task in building the ark and warning the people—could you imagine him having to also wrangle up hundreds, if not thousands, of wild animals and get them all into the boat as well? That was a job for the angels. God isn’t unreasonable, but He does have high expectations, so what Noah did need to gather was every type of food that was eaten. God said that would be the food for Noah’s family and the animals. Recall, in Genesis 1:29, 30, that God said, “I have given you every herb-bearing seed that is on the surface of the whole earth, and every tree—in which there is the fruit of a tree-yielding seed; it will be food for you. And I have given every green herb as food to every animal of the earth, and every bird of the air, and every little creature that crawls on the earth—in which there is life.” We might think God was just preparing them for their year in the ark, but I believe He was thinking further ahead than that. Why? Well, God could’ve told them to gather up a year’s supply of food to last for all the animals and themselves, but He didn’t. He simply said, ‘Gather from every type of food.’ Not only was God providing for their ‘trip’ but also for the replanting of the ground. This means that, through the ark, God kept a minimum supply of humanity, creatures, and plant-life for the purpose of replenishing the earth. He could've created it all over again, but He decided to keep going with what He had started—with us.

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