hope found in a geneaology: Genesis 4:17 – 5:32

I will admit that when I found out that my second week of teaching women’s Bible study at Trinity was going to be a geneaology (from Cain/Seth through Noah), I instinctively thought – “What will I find here?!” Yet it is amazing to see that there are gems of hope and the gospel “even” in a geneaology (another word for a family tree as listed in the Bible). May you be as encouraged (and surprised) as I was at what we can find here:

(1) Even in what seems to be a godless family (Cain – murdered his brother Abel), there will be evidence of God’s common grace – the hope that we all bear the indelible stamp of God’s image upon us. AND SO, we have much to learn from one another – Christian or not. I was reading a book this week where I found the following quote – what testimony to the God-consciousness all humanity possesses!

“I am in a silent war against an enemy as pernicious and omnipresent as evil. Evil? I don’t believe in evil any more than I believe in God. But at the same time I know this: only Satan himself could have designed a disease that has self-deception as a symptom, so that its victims deny they are afflicted, and will not seek treatment, and will vilify those on the outside who see what’s happening. [the author writes about his son’s drug addiction] “

(2) Enoch vividly demonstrates the hope of walking with God and resurrection life as its reward. Seven generations from Adam, we read this terse statement about Enoch – which breaks the pattern throughout the rest of the chapter of living, having children, and dying:

And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. [Genesis 5:22-24, italics added]

Hebrews 11 expands on this commentary:

5By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Walking with God – an image of personal relationship – and then not experiencing death – a foreshadowing of the hope of resurrection life that Jesus Christ would bring to all who believe in him.

(3) As Lamech names his son, Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands,” there is introduced to this story of humanity the hope of relief from the curse of sin and death. It is clear from Noah’s life that the relief he brought was probably not the relief pictured by his father and hoped for by humanity. And yet through God preserving a family from the destruction of the flood, there is a foreshadowing of how God will save those who believe in the gospel and grace of Jesus Christ from the destruction and death/separation of his wrath. Jesus Christ is the ultimate hope and he alone will completely fulfill this hopeful prophecy spoken by a father over his son.

Who knew a geneaology could hold so much hope?!

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