“Men called by the name of the Lord”
II. Vs. 25-26 The “Appointed hope”
III. Vs. 1-5 The days Adam lived
IV. Vs. 6-32 Truths about walking with God
We now move from the ungodly line of Cain to the godly line of Seth and the contrast between the two. In 3:15 God spoke of two contrasting groups of people:
The seed of the woman
The seed of the serpent
Jesus spoke of these two opposing groups after the religious leaders said “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. (faith in Christ)” (The chief difference between these two groups is that of inward character and not physical distinctives). All of humanity falls into one of these two groups but we all of us start out in the ungodly line of Cain or the seed of the serpent and are “reborn” into the godly line of Seth, (John 3:16, Eph. 2:1-10).
II. Vs. 25-26 The “Appointed hope”
Before we look at this list of names (genealogy) allow me two points:
The importance of genealogies, is not only to be found only in whom they record but that they do so along with recorded history. The names of ancestors alongside historical accounts lend credibility to what is recorded. Stories apart from this become myths.
Nine times in chapter 5 we are told that the pre-flood patriarchs “begot sons and daughters”. The world population grew explosively and by some estimates that by the time Adam died at 930 years old (5:5) around the 46th year of Lamech he would have been able to see 5 million of his own family. That means that the list of names here is not necessarily their first born sons and obviously not their only children. They were chosen based upon being the spiritual leader of their people and this would be traced eventually to the Child promised by God, Jesus. That is what Paul tells us in Gal. 4:4-5 “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
Vs. 25 Chapter 5:3 tells us that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Evidently he was born the same year that Abel was murdered, however that does not mean that he was only their third child as we are told in 4:14 that Cain is worried about his siblings killing him. The remainder of this verse tells us the reason for his name, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” Seth means “appointed or substitute” Eve recognizes two things based upon this statement:
“God has appointed”: Eve now fully understood that no matter how much she may want a person to be the redeemer, it was only to come about through God’s appointment.
“another seed for me instead of Abel”: Not Cain but Abel! Eve understood that the basis of God’s choice was to be faith in God’s righteousness, not upon man’s work and effort!
The mention of Adam here is the only time his name appears after the birth of his first two boys. Adam and eves folly had given sin and death entrance into the lives of their children thus the murder of Abel and the apostasy of Cain must of broke their hearts. They could see as Moses said the “iniquity of the fathers upon the children!”
Vs. 26 Again much time transpires as Seth himself becomes a parent and according 5:6 at 105 years of age has a son he names Enosh or “mortal” which implies the frailty of human life.
Like Seth a person first needs to be brought to the place where they realize their own frailty or depravity, then notice after this that we are told that “begin to call on the name of the LORD.” One translation says that “at this time men first made use of the name of the Lord in worship.” Whereas another translation says that they began “preaching in the name of Jehovah.” The words “call on the name of the LORD” is used elsewhere in Genesis to describe the building of an alter where by a sacrifice was to be brought for worship. This then is the first record of public worship service in scripture instead of private devotions. Seth’s lineage went from primitive to civilized with establishing public worship of God (Jehovah) and that this was relational as the name implies.
III. Vs. 1-5 The days Adam lived
Vs. 1 The words “the book of the genealogy” appear only twice in the bible the other being Matt. 1:1 where the focus is the “Second Adam” Jesus. Here we see Adam up through 10 generations of the godly line ending at the flood. The concluding statement of Adam is the record of God’s special creation in his formation as they were carved out with certain qualities and characteristics that only their creator possessed. Furthermore they functioned just as God had intended, prior to the fall.
Vs. 2 Notice in this verse that God does three things for mankind:
He created them male and female
Called them Mankind in the day they were created.
Folk’s He has been doing this ever since, only now He recreates you, He bless you in His Son and calls you to His service!
Vs. 3 Seth is mentioned in light of his link spiritually to the “Appointed” seed of promise Jesus, for they clearly had other sons and daughters, verse 4. In Luke 3:38 Seth “Appointed” shows up in the Genealogy of Jesus.
Next note the words “begot a son in his own likeness, after his image”, Seth was a duplicate of Adam in that he was a fallen man. Adam prior to the fall was created “in the likeness of God” now Seth is begotten in Adam’s likeness. Every child since Cain has been born in the likeness of Adam spiritually accept Jesus who we are told according to John 1:14 was, “the only begotten of the Father”. Thus to change our fallen state Jesus told Nicodemus that “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” And it was for this reason that “He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Vs. 4-5 This again answers the skeptics question as to where Cain got his wife. But of other interest is the longevity of their lives which averages 912 years of age. This is best explained by way of vastly improved environmental conditions, which lessened the harmful effects of radiation, which causes genetic mutations in all our physical systems. If you add up the years of this godly line you come up with 1656 years from Adam to the flood with no scriptural evidence that there were any gaps. Other historical records from ancient cultures have further supported these great ages.
What is interesting is that we are told in Isa. 65:20 that “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.” The time in which Isaiah is speaking about is during the millennial reign of Jesus upon the earth as the earth & those who dwell on it will take on pre-flood conditions.
IV. Vs. 6-32 Truths about walking with God
Looking out over these 10 generations of the godly line that end at the flood two things stand out compared to the ungodly line of Cain:
In Cain’s lineage there is no mention of the length of life. In fact there is no mention of the word “lived” at all. From the Bible’s perspective that they were never alive. Oh they had children, careers and so on but there was no life. Cain had no days of life as we read that all the days of Seth had. That’s true of your spiritual life! I had no true life until I met Jesus! The Apostle John says that, “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”
There is also no mention of the word “died” in Cain’s lineage and the conclusion is that they were already dead spiritually speaking. Eight times were are told that these godly saints “died” in all but Enoch who along with Elijah never dies. To the believer in Jesus death is only a door by which we move into our new home in the presence of the Lord forever.
There is also an interesting message in the meaning of the names of these men that is a clear presentation of the gospel.
Mahalaleel The blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Methuselah His death shall bring
Or if you will to put it into normal sentence structure:
“Man is appointed mortal sorrow; but the blessed God shall come down teaching that His death shall bring the despairing rest!”
Vs. 19 This is the second time that we are told that a father out lived his son the first being Adam and Abel.
Vs. 20-24 Let’s turn our attention to this mysterious character Enoch whose name means “teaching”.
So based upon these verses we learn three things about him:
A man of faith in whose life was characterized by pleasing God.
Vs. 21-22a His walk started after the birth of his son Methuselah when he was 65 years old and the next three hundred years of his life can be summed up by the phrase “walked with God”. Twice in this short account of his life we are told that he “walked with God”. Now by these words we know that Enoch had a very special relationship with the Lord. Heb. 11:5 tells us that “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” The intimacy in this walk is clearly scene by the words “by faith”. His life was one that was centered on trusting the lord, which implies (obedience, prayer, and heart for God’s word and worship) all of which “please the Lord”.
A prophet that spoke of impending judgment upon the pre-flood world. Such was the wickedness of the world that it continually consumed the every thought of their heart. God was grieved and sorry that He had placed mankind upon the earth. (Gen. 6:5-6)
Vs. 22 Apparently Enoch received a prophecy that judgment was coming and that it was going to happen after his son Methuselah died because he named his son “His death shall bring”. If you do your math you will find out that the flood did come in the year of Methuselah’s death in fact some say in the very week of it. So in Jude 24-25 we are told that for three hundred years Enoch “prophesied about these men” (his generation just before the judgment of the flood). Saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
A man who was suddenly taken to the presence of God.
Vs. 24 It does not say that he died as did the other godly ancestors but that suddenly he was no longer on the earth. Heb. 11:5 uses the word “taken” or as the KJ versions says, “translated”. The word appears 7 times in the NT where it is translated these ways, “carried back, turning, and being changed”. So what we have here is a rapture like occurrence which is spoken of in 1 Thess. 4:17 where we read that those, “who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” The word “caught up” is “harpazo” in the Greek, which is translated into Latin with the word “rapture”. Now what is interesting, in light of the NT, is that this proceeded God’s judgment upon the earth. Enoch’s being carried back did not occur at the mid-point of God’s judgment upon the earth. Neither was he preserved, as Noah and his family was, going through the judgment. No, he was caught up and carried back being changed instantly as he was brought into the presence of God, so he is a typology of the Church as Noah is of Israel.
Enoch’s life ought to be what we see in the Church prior to God’s judgment upon the earth. That is we ought to have:
A walk that is pleasing to God
Mouths that consistently speak the Word of God
Lives that are ready to be instantly in the presence of God
How are we to be this kind of Church? Well again look at Hebrews 11:5-6 as we see Enoch’s threefold testimony:
“that he pleased God”: Enoch had a heart that consistently desired above all else desired to please God. This speaks that he only did, as Jesus says of himself in John 8:29 “those things that please Him.” A life consistently lived in obedience to the word of God!
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who”: Enoch lived a life that trusted God and not his own insight. Enoch trusted God’s character to always do what was best.
“diligently seek Him”: Lastly we see that in both of the above his heart was one of diligence. Enoch’s master passion was to seeking the Lord, in other words the Lord was fixed upon the throne of his heart.
Vs. 25 Both Lamech and his grandfather Enoch share names in common with their ungodly relatives, Cain’s descendants. Furthermore these are the only two who did not outlive their fathers and both had words from the Lord. The thought is that they were called to reach out to the Cainites!
Vs. 26-27 Methuselah has often been used as the answer to the trivia question, “Who is the oldest man recorded in the Bible?” His age and the fact that his death brought upon the earth God’s judgment speaks of God’s longsuffering in that He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
Vs. 28-31 Noah’s name prophesied that he would bring rest and comfort upon the earth.
Now remember something here, all of these pre-flood patriarch’s had sons and daughters that were part of the population that was judged by God. The wickedness in the next chapter impacted all of the world except the eight that boarded the Arch. Furthermore we are told that Noah was 500 years old when he had “Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” We are left with only two possibilities:
Noah had no children until after he was 500.
Those children he had prior to “Shem, Ham, and Japheth” choose to follow the wickedness upon the earth.
Folk’s I leave you with this thought based upon those observations, “We will either impact the world or the world will impact us!” There is no middle ground!