May 17, 2018

The Big Picture

By: Larry Shaffer

I attended the first game of the Rockets, Warriors Western Finals playoff. It wasn’t a good game for the Rockets!

Genesis 5

From a devotional standpoint, Genesis 5 is tough chapter. Sometimes if I muscle through it and just keep writing, insights emerge. So, since I don’t like to back down from a challenge, here we go.

Cain was cursed and “went out from the presence of The Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden,” 4:16. Having departed from God, Satan moves in to influence Cain both directly or indirectly. Either way, for Satan this is like “takin’ candy from a baby” in the corrupting influence of Cain. God has abandoned Cain and Cain has abandoned God. What a sad state for Cain.

The family of Cain – it’s an Animal Kingdom

Cain marries and begins to have children. Cain begins to produce heirs and multiplication of children begins to take place. His heirs increase at a rapid pace. It is a cursed line that rejects God and lives without constraint. One of Cain’s early descendants, Lamech, took to himself two wives. We know those because it is a simple statement inserted into the description of Cain’s genealogy to show how wickedness is growing quickly within the line of Cain. God had clearly set the pattern of marriage for one man and one woman. But the statement of Lamech having two wives is inserted in the text, I believe, to reveal that Cain’s heirs did what they wanted to do without consideration of God. Or even worse, did what they wanted to do in defiance of God.  Cain’s line multiplied quickly and evolved into a population of godless individuals. This led to God making a statement that the “wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”, 6:5. This observation of God set in motion the eventual flood of the entire earth.

OK, I’m pressing on but I’m still not receiving much insight from a devotional standpoint.

The few, the proud – Noah

Meanwhile, as Cain’s heirs are multiplying, God gives Adam and Eve a blessed son, Seth, 5:3.  Following in chapter 5 is the genealogy of Adam through Seth. Eventually through this lineage, Noah emerges. Even though the descendants of Seth began as righteous people, by the time of Noah, there were very few who were righteous. Only Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives were considered believers in God. Wickedness dominated the earth. But though Noah, God maintained a remnant of a few Godly men and woman to preserve His promise of Genesis 3:15; that a seed (the Messiah) will come from Eve who will crush Satan’s head.

Hey, don’t forget about me!

Lord, sometimes Your Word gives us a view into Your macro plan even though it doesn’t seem to speak to us personally. This chapter is one of those chapters. It may not give us direct devotional meat to live by, but it does remind us that Your work always perfectly accomplishes Your Macro plan. Nevertheless, we know you still care for us individually. Your attention to details is stunning. How you give attention to Your massive, macro plans without ignoring our individual needs is truly a wonder. We are never left to chance. You are always near. You never lose the perspective of us as individuals while you are also take care of the world. How you do it, we don’t know.  But we are forever grateful. Amen.