The Wonderful, Amazing, Breathtaking, Incredible, Beautiful, Gracious Word of God
Text: Genesis 5
Proposition: In one chapter of continuous genealogies God reveals the age of the earth, His method of a chosen line, the reliability of Scripture, the decline man’s lifespan and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Introduction: Isn’t it amazing that we can see something that looks simple or has become very familiar to us and yet what it actually is goes beyond our understanding. Take lightning for instance, as a cloud becomes electrically charged by water molecules, the bottom of the cloud gains a negative charge and the top of the cloud becomes positive. The cloud literally develops an electrical field which becomes so intense that the electrons at the earth's surface are repelled deeper into the earth by the strong negative charge at the lower portion of the cloud. This causes the earth's surface to acquire a strong positive charge. The bolt of lightning that occurs is hotter than the surface of the sun and literally causes the air around it to explode sending out a shock wave that travels at 4.5 miles per second…thunder. The word of God is like lightning, it can seem so common to us, even simplistic and yet what it contains is phenomenal. This chapter we are about to examine this morning is like that, turn with me to Genesis 5 and as you do have a look at the chart included in your bulletins. I’m going to read Genesis 5 but I’d like you keep your eye on the chart that depicts this chapter.
I. The Genealogy of Adam Is Continuous. What I mean by this is that there are no gaps in it, it flows as one might expect any genealogy to, from person to person. That might seem like a simple statement but when I agree with this premise then a number of details begin to unfold.
1. There are ten Patriarchs, or male leaders, shown here. The descending yellow blocks list their names and when it was that their next in line was born.
2. The ten Patriarchs cover a 1700 year period of time, from the creation of Adam to the flood.
3. The life span of each Patriarch is astounding, Adam we are told lived for 930 years. In fact the average life span seems to have been at least 850 years. Just consider what that might have meant in terms of population explosion. If the average woman had just one child every ten years and stopped bearing children after she was say 400 years old, then she would have had 40 children in her life time. Multiply that number by the exponential growth of the population over 1700 years and you have an exploding population curve and not just rapid growth in population but also civilization, knowledge, skill, culture, entertainment, aggression and depravity.
4. The life span of each Patriarch, with the exception of Noah, ends before the 1656th year. If the reason for this was the global flood spoken of in Genesis 6 then Lamech, Noah’s father dies about 5 years before the flood and Methuselah, the oldest of all the Patriarchs, dies just before the flood occurs.
II. The Continuous Genealogy Is a Lightning Strike of Information.
1. We gain insight into the age of the earth. From Creation to the Flood was about 1650 years, from the Flood to the birth of Jesus is about 2350 years and if we add on the 2010 years since the cross we have about a 6000 year age for the earth.
2. We gain insight into the reliability of the Genesis account. Have a look at the chart again, you’ll notice that Lamech, Noah’s father, was alive at the same time as Adam, in fact there is a 56 year overlap. If we again look at the chart and drop a line vertically from the death date of Adam downwards then you’ll see that all of the Patriarchs, except Noah, were alive at the same time as Adam. This means that the details of what Adam experienced were able to repeated, clarified and detailed through the life of each Patriarch, even to Noah and from Noah onwards. The reliability of Scripture, especially of the Genesis record is affirmed by this.
3. We gain insight into God’s methods of having a chosen line. Though each Patriarch had many children, God always chose just one through which He would reveal Himself in a deeper way, pointing eventually to Jesus as His final One.
4. We gain insight into the rapid decline of man’s life span. Something that happened at the flood radically affected the longevity of man. Have a look at the flip side of that chart. The life span decreases dramatically and when we look at Genesis 6, 7, 8 we’ll consider some of the possible reasons for why that happened.
5. We gain insight into the gospel through the names of men chosen. In Hebrew the name of a person had a meaning so consider for a moment the names of those ten Patriarchs. Adam – means ‘Man’; Seth – “Appointed”; Enosh – “Mortal” ; Kenan – “Sorrow” ; Mahalalel – “the God Who is to be Praised” ; Jared – “Shall Come Down” : Enoch – “Teaching” ; Methuselah – “His Death Shall Bring” ; Lamech – “Despairing” ; Noah – “Rest or Comfort”. Perhaps the names if put together would say, “Man is appointed mortal sorrow but the God Who is to be praised shall come down, teaching that His death shall bring the despairing rest.” ( from The Six days of Genesis by Paul F. Taylor, pp134, 135) That is the gospel, it speaks not just of the first coming of the Messiah but also of His second coming.
In one chapter of continuous genealogies God reveals the age of the earth, His method of a chosen line, the reliability of Scripture, the decline of man’s lifespan and the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is The Wonderful, Amazing, Breathtaking, Incredible, Beautiful, Gracious Word of God.