Last Call: The Downward Cycle of Sin -Bob Caldwell

The Downward Cycle of Sin

 6:5-6 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

When we compare the beauty of the Garden of Eden before the fall with a society whose hearts were continually filled with thinking of ways to sin, there could not be a greater picture of sin’s tragedy.

For God to let this go on would be ultimate cruelty. Love demanded that this downward cycle be stopped. In this we discover something about God’s heart. He was motivated to take action out of a deep sorrow and grief at all humanity had lost.

Humanity had lost sight of God in whose image they were created. In losing that, they began to live more like animals and less in harmony with God. They were now driven by impulses of sin that violated everything that they had originally been made to be. This same fallen nature has continued to leave in its wake the sorrows of sin for us all because we are much more than animals that simply live by instinct and survival by the most dominant. Love, truth, and reason are to be driving forces of our lives.

The ravaging impact of sin grieved God then, and grieves God still. It is why He sent His Son. In Jesus Christ the curse and power of sin is broken and a new life is given. A new life that reverses the tragic downward cycle of sin. A new life that is bringing us toward the restored image of God.

Genesis 5:21-6:7

 1 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

25 Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. 26 After he begot Lamech, Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years, and had sons and daughters. 27 So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died.

28 Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. 29 And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed.” 30 After he begot Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years, and had sons and daughters. 31 So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died.

32 And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

v. 21 EnochChanokh (Heb.) means dedicated.

v. 24 walked with God – This involved a strong faith in God as recognized in Hebrews 11:5-6 where Enoch is given as an example of one who believed in the only true and living God. Enoch knew God responded to loving faith with rich blessing toward all who put their faith in Him. The picture of walking with God conveys the idea of abiding fellowship and intimacy, having a life that is lived in harmony with the character of God.

he was not – This phrase denotes being translated from one place to another. It is clear that Enoch’s fellowship with God was so rich that God literally moved him from the physical world to the spiritual. This was also the experience of Elijah (2 Kings 2:11).

v. 25 Methuselah – Some Bible commentators find in the name the meaning “when he is gone it will come,” or “when he dies [there will be] a sending forth.” If so, it would follow that Enoch had named his son Methuselah based upon his prophetic knowledge about future events. The fact is that the year Methuselah died is also the year the flood came (1656th year after Adam). It is important to keep in mind that Methuselah lived longer than any other recorded person. This is evidence of God’s long suffering in extending his life as long as possible and thereby holding back judgment.

Noah – His name means comfort. This name reveals a lot about the life and ministry of Noah. Though the ungodly line of Cain had the predominant emphasis on society, Noah was a comfort to those who hoped for God’s will to be restored in the human race.

Genesis 6 The Wickedness and Judgment of Man

1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.

3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.


The Wickedness of Man (Verses 1-7)

v. 1 multiply – The population by this time, due to longer lifespan and the likely probability of more births per family, could have been in the millions.

v. 2 sons of God – A lot has been written and debated on whether these “sons” were the godly line of Seth or angels. Below is a breakdown of the main arguments for both views:

Sons of God as Angels

1.    If they were not angels, where is the explanation for their offspring being giants?

2.    The expression “sons of God” is used for angels and Christ in Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7; and Daniel 3:25.

3.    Though angels do not give themselves in marriage in heaven, it may be possible they can take on physical characteristics of man while on earth.

4.    The mythology of ancient Greece and other ancient cultures where spirits and “gods” are involved in the functions of man are rooted in these ancient events.

5.    Jewish writers felt this was a reference to angels (Philo, Josephus).

Sons of God - The Godly Line of Seth

1.    The term “sons of God” is often used to refer to believers, not only angels (Deut, 32:5; Ps. 73:15; Ps. 80:17; Hosea 1:10).

2.    The context of the earlier chapters deals with the development of the line of Cain (the “sons of Men” or ungodly) and the line of Seth (the “sons of God” or godly).

3.    There is no direct reference to angels, but there are several to men in this section.

4.    That they were angels is rooted in the influence of ancient mythology, like that of the Greeks and Hindus.

5.    In Matthew 22:30, Jesus clearly says angels do not marry.

6.    This intermarriage is in fact referring to the men from godly families falling into lust and unbelief as they are united with these ungodly women.

7.    There is no scriptural evidence that spirits are sexual beings capable of intercourse.

will not strive – There was a downward cycle occurring that was bringing the human race to what Paul, in the New Testament, called a “debased mind,” or “vile passions” (Rom. 1:26). They would not respond to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in drawing them back to God no matter what God did (Rom. 1:18-32).

one hundred and twenty years – God warns of the actual timing of judgment but no doubt people responded to this warning as many do today in regards to the second coming of Christ and the accompanying judgment that will follow (1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:3-4, 8-9).

v. 4 giantsnephilim (Heb.) means to “fall” or “the fallen.” It is often associated with violence. This word is used at times to refer to mighty rulers or abnormally large warriors who were cruel and violent. It also, in ancient times, had at times referenced the offspring of large harems that produced rulers that served as enforcers of the king’s rule. Those that believe angels married women during this era feel these giants were the result of that unnatural union.

5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

v. 5 every intent of…heart – The attitude of the heart was completely absorbed and obsessed with evil. The heart, or inner being of a person is the source of their actions, (Luke 6:45) thus we are warned to keep our hearts with all diligence (Prov. 4:23).

v. 6 wickedness of man was great – This carried the idea of being multiplied or growing out of control.

the Lord was sorry – The word for sorry is yennahem in Hebrew and means to pant, lament, or grieve because of misery. This is a statement of love in response to the tragedy of what sin was doing to the object of God’s love. God, being all-knowing, knew what Adam and Eve’s rebellion to God would bring. However, that did not change the sorrow sin caused within Him (Also see Amos 2:13; Is. 43:24; Ezek. 6:9; Ps. 95:10).

v. 7 I will destroy man – This too was an act of love. Love demanded that justice and action be taken to stop the emotional, spiritual, and physical carnage that was resulting in the continual evil of the human race.

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