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I Will Wipe Out Mankind

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An understanding of God right and history of judgment in order that we might consider His judgments coming.

I Will Wipeout Mankind
Genesis 6–8
“I will wipe mankind . . . from the face of the earth” (Gen. 6:7).
Pulpits around the world today are speaking of the new year, 2023, and possibilities for you and me. They are beating an upbeat drum that speaks of the hope and grace that our Lord is to be remembered for.
Yet not everyone is hopeful or upbeat about this new year.
I can think of some who aren’t. Certainly, the Hays’ family in Mitchell aren’t after the son shot and killed his father and then tossed the body outside to freeze.
Or there were the Indianapolis police who found a baby (thankfully alive) left in a car stolen from Columbus, Ohio. The woman who stole the car never gave the baby a second thought.
Even this past May, as Lake Mead dropped to record levels, police found the skeletal remains of someone placed in a barrel and shoved into the water.
And today, I think about our Creator who has watched his original creation be blighted by human sin and atrocities. How does He feel about that young woman and the grieving wife? And more, how does He feel about that rapist and thug who committed those acts of violence?
As we begin this new year, I want us to understand a principle that echoes throughout scripture. It is this: God is the true moral judge of His universe. No one else even comes close.
And God will not shrink from His responsibility for injustice. God will punish those who violate His will. It’s going to be an interesting message.
To understand how God feels about the sins of mankind, you have to go back to the Garden of Eden to that very first sin.
When we get to heaven, we are going to meet some these people spoken of in the scriptures. I know that I have questions that I am eager to ask.
But I don’t know what I will say when I finally meet Adam and Eve. What do you say to the ones who started it all?
Yet I am sure that no one has grieved the sins of Adam and Eve more that Adam and Eve because they knew firsthand what they had lost.
Remember, they knew what it was like to walk with God in the cool of the day. They knew His unadulterated love and wanted for nothing. What’s worse, they saw the consequences of their sin played out in the lives of their sons.
And it began with their one son killing their other son. What kind of justice does a mother and father asked for when the living son is the murderer? But that was just the beginning of their pain and regret.
Following Cain’s murder of Abel, Humanity declined rapidly into greater sin, to such an extent of wickedness in the eyes of the Lord that people are described in this way: “Every intention of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil all the time(6:5).
Thankfully, in His mercy, Adam and Eve did not live to see how reprobate their descendants would become.
There are two words that are used to characterize the sins that brought man to the point of God’s judgment in Noah’s day.
The first is wickedness or rasahʾ, criminal acts committed against others that violate their rights and profit from others’ pain.
An example today of such wickedness is seen in the corporate greed that buys up housing so as to price the average man and woman out of the market, and then rents to that man and woman at inflated prices.
The second word is violence or hamas, willful destructive acts intended to harm others. We have watched over the last three years as violent crimes have escalated and it becomes unsafe to walk the streets.
Just ask the families I told you about.
When any society is marked by such continual expressions of wickedness and violence, you have to ask when is that society in peril of divine judgment?
But I get ahead of myself. I want to go back to a famous display of divine judgment so that I can understand how God looks on our world today.
I must go back to the times of Noah and the Flood. To a time when the Almighty said, “I will wipe mankind off the face of earth.”
What would move the Creator to such an action? Why would He destroy what He had made with His own breath?
Let me begin with one word: “Nephilim” Gen. 6:4.
The meaning of the term is uncertain. Some take it to mean giants, produced by a union of fallen angels (“sons of God”) and human women.
It appears that certain angels (Job 1:6; 38:7; Dan 3:25) had, in rebellion against God, taken human form and co-operated with some of the worst people in trying to produce a race of ‘super-humans’ who would be unconquerable and immortal. Creatures of legend.
In response, God would remind these creatures that they were mortal, kept alive only by his spirit within them for outside of God, there is no life.
What you may not know is that their arrogant rebellion cost you and me even to this day.
In punishment for their attempt at immortality, God reduced the human life span from its former length to approximately 120 years (6:3).
That same arrogance is seen in some who today believe they can extend life indefinitely. Who offer that same lie spewed by Satan…’surely you will not die.’
God has laid down a barrier on mankind till judgment day to restrain the wickedness of men.
A man or woman of great wealth or power may try to defy that judgment of God, but science cannot overcome what God has willed.
In his rebellion, Satan had waged his greatest efforts at these fleshly creatures whom God loved and gave His image. That’s you and me.
What was Satan’s plan for defeating God’s people in Noah’s day?
His first effort was to entice the godly line of Seth (the surviving son of Adam and Eve) to mix with the ungodly line of Cain and so abandon their devotion to the Lord.
It was the same temptation that Christians face today: first, to become friendly with the world (James 4:4), then to grow to love the world (1 John 2:15–17), and finally to be conformed to the world (Rom. 12:2), rather than remain separated from this wicked world (2 Cor. 6:14–7:1).
Satan understood that this could lead to their being “condemned with the world” and he knew that would punish the heart of God.
Even Jesus warned that, in the last days, “fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” (Luke 21:11).
Just as world conditions in the days before the Flood foreshadowed a coming catastrophe, so will world conditions in the last days of this age foreshadow an even greater catastrophe. Some of these characteristics are summarized in the scriptures. See if these sound familiar to you.
(1) Preoccupation with physical appetites (Luke 17:27)
(2) Rapid advances in technology (Genesis 4:22)
(3) Grossly materialistic attitudes and interests (Luke 17:28)
(4) Humanistic philosophies (Hebrews 11:7)
(5) Inordinate devotion to pleasure and comfort (Genesis 4:21)
(6) No concern for God in either belief or conduct (2 Peter 2:5; Jude 15)
(7) Disregard for the sacredness of marriage (Matthew 24:38)
(8) Rejection of the inspired Word of God (1 Peter 3:19)
(9) Widespread violence (Genesis 6:11, 13)
(10) Corruption throughout society (Genesis 6:12)
While we can readily see and agree with these blights on mankind, what we do not see is how they affect God.
“Grief and pain” Gen. 6:6.
Note the text does not say “anger and outrage”! God takes no pleasure in punishing those who sin. It is not anger the directs the judgments of God.
Instead, He is deeply pained—by the hurt His creations cause one another and by the necessity of punishing persons made in His own image.
The God you and I know, and love is a God of grace and mercy. Yet, we struggle to understand how He could be capable of such destruction and judgment.
What we fail to remember is one facet of His nature.
God cannot change (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29; Mal. 3:6; Jas. 1:17), nor be affected with sorrow like we are.
Instead, because of His sense of justice, He is compelled to alter His dealings with mankind, from being merciful and long-suffering, to showing Himself a God of judgment.
He had delayed for so long to give man a chance to repent but patience had cost Him. Listen to how Solomon described the behavior of mankind:
Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, the hearts of the sons of men are fully set to do evil. [1] Ecc. 8:11
Patience had only brought more pain on mankind. It was time to act, and God was about to lay down a terrible display of His justice. [2]
As David put it, “The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood” (Ps. 29:10). He was going to make clear who they were messing with.
Noah, earth’s sole righteous man, obeyed God’s command to construct a gigantic ship (vv. 9–22).
That’s right. The world had become so wicked, good men were down to Noah and his family.
Noah is one of the most impressive men of the Bible. He lived in a totally corrupt society. Yet he himself was committed to godliness and succeeded in living a blameless life.
You and I have no idea how bad this world can become. Only those who have seen genocide, death camps and war crimes can imagine what this world would like if God lifted His hand from it.
On that day when God shut Noah and his family into the ark, God layed His hand on mankind and the result was:
“Everything . . . that had the breath of life in its nostrils died” Gen. 7:22.
Many debate whether the Genesis Flood was local or universal, but the scriptures are quite clear. Three times Genesis 7 repeats it. “Every living thing that moved on the earth perished” (v. 21). “Everything on dry land . . . died” (v. 22). “Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out” (v. 23).
The Flood was not meant to be fodder for geological debate, but history’s great affirmation that God is mankind’s judge—and that God willjudge sin.
That destruction is a warning that God wants kept before the eyes of those who scoff at Him and follow their own evil desires.
Peter calls on such persons to look back—and then to look ahead. “They deliberately forget that. . . . the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:5–7).
The Genesis Flood is history’s grim reminder that sin merits divine judgment, and that sinners will be judged. You have His Word on it.
So know this about God and His Judgments.
God is able to judge in whatever manner and time He chooses. (Job 34:23)
God is the ultimate authority and the final word. (Psalm 9:7)
God will judge all people as He chooses. (Ecclesiastes 3:17)
God will hold people accountable for their actions. (Ecclesiastes 11:9)
God will also judge everything done in secret. (Ecclesiastes 12:14)
God will rule that wicked people are guilty (Malachi 3:5)
God will judge by us the words we speak. (Matthew 12:36)
God will not judge by appearances but by the truth. (John 7:21–24)
Let your blood run cold as you listen to His words on how He will judge the wicked. (Malachi 3:5-6)
Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the enchanters, against the adulterers, against the false swearers, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and who turn aside the temporary resident from his right and fear not Me, says the Lord of hosts.
For I am the Lord, I do not change; that is why you are not yet consumed. [3]
But there is more:
God will judge Christians personally as we stand before His judgment seat and be held accountable for our actions. (Romans 14:10)
We will be forgiven but we will still stand before Him to account for our lives.
Know this: All that God does is right. It is always done according to divine truth. And because God is that truth, it is impossible for him to say or do anything that is not true.
But when it comes to man’s judgment, it is always distorted in some way. Our judgment is so distorted that we cannot even accurately judge ourselves.
When man judges’ man, he always judge according to his own distorted view of things. He passes judgment based on what he sees, hears, tastes, feels and/or smells.
But the five senses do not always give us an accurate understanding of the situation. In fact, it is flawed at best.
But when God judges, he operates out of his divine attributes. No anger. No outrage. He sees and knows everything, even our thoughts, motives and attitudes.
There are some people who feel themselves morally superior to others but they do not see the condition of their hearts. None of us can throw stones.
In one of the more frightening prophetic dreams which God gave Daniel is a graphic picture of the Divine judgment court that would bring judgment upon the wicked nations of the world.
Our verse comes from such a scene. It describes the character of judgment, the carrying out of judgment, the certainty of judgment, and the criteria of judgment.
“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” (Daniel 7:10)
Divine judgment upon wickedness will always be connected with fire. This ought to make evildoers shudder. Hellfire is no joke. If there is anything you want to miss, it is the fiery judgment of God. But that is just the beginning.
“Thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him”
These are the angels who will carry out the judgment decreed on the wicked. Like the law officers in a court room, they will snatch the sentenced person to their judgment without delay once that judgment is pronounced.
But what about the rainbow and God’s promise: “Never again” Gen. 8:21.
After a year in the ark, God made a solemn commitment never again to destroy all living creatures “as long as the earth endures” (v. 22).
But one day this earth will come to its end and God has promised a complete and cleansing judgment reserved for history’s end.
So how are we to come to terms with this eventual judgment of God on mankind?
First, give thanks for the salvation given you in the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior.
Then, remember the following account:
In a novel by the British mystery writer P.D. James, a detective shares a common sentiment, saying, “I don’t go for all this emphasis on sin, suffering, and judgment. If I had a God, I’d like him to be intelligent, cheerful, and amusing.”
In response, her Jewish colleague says, “I doubt whether you would find him much of a comfort when they herded you into the gas chambers. You might prefer a God of vengeance.”
Todd Billings added this thought:
A God without wrath is a God who whitewashes evil and is deaf to the cries of the powerless. A student of mine who grew up in a gang culture and had many whom he loved taken from him by violence told me with profound honesty that “If God will not avenge, I am tempted to avenge.”
Precisely because God is a God of love, He is also a God of holy wrath. Just make sure that you are not on the receiving end of His justice.
And, oh, I almost forgot. Happy New Year!
[1] The Amplified Bible (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1987), Ec 8:11. [2]David Brown, A. R. Fausset, and Robert Jamieson, A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, on the Old and New Testaments: Genesis–Deuteronomy, vol. I (London; Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Company, Limited, n.d.), 90. [3] The Amplified Bible (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1987), Mal 3:5–6.
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