Genesis 6:1-8 - The First Civilization and Society (Part 4): The Corruption of the Godly Line—Co-mingling with the Ungodly Line
Remember, in Genesis 4 we saw the birth, growth, and corruption of the ungodly line of people upon earth (Genesis 4:1-24). Then we saw the descendents of Adam who continued the godly line of people upon earth (Genesis 4:25-5:32). In the first civilization and society, two streams of people were developing upon earth...
the godly stream (line) who worshipped and served God.
the ungodly stream (line) who neglected and denied God and who lived unrighteous lives.
Civilization and society were developing along two streams—two lines of people—the godly and the ungodly. The godly walked with God; the ungodly walked after the flesh and the things of this world.
Now, this passage covers the corruption of the godly line. Believers, those who followed God, married unbelievers, those who neglected and denied God and lived unrighteous lives. The result was the same as it has always been down through history: the ungodly pulled the godly down, leading them into a life of sin and wickedness. We shall soon see that the godly line became corrupted, so corrupted that God had to destroy the whole human race.
A. Fact 1: The godly ignored God and became worldly and immoral (v.1-2).
1. “It came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth…” (v.1).
a) The human race began to multiply (v.1).
(1) This, of course, refers to both the godly and ungodly families upon earth. But note: when the ungodly increase, so do sin and evil. More and more children were being born into ungodly families, families that stressed the outward and worldly rather than the inward and spiritual.
(2) This meant a terrible thing, for the ungodly always outnumber the godly.
(a) There are always more people who follow their own way in life than those who follow God. Consequently, sin and evil were increasing at a far more rapid rate than righteousness and godliness.
(b) Eventually, the godly were bound to be contaminated and corrupted unless they guarded and attached themselves to God.
The writer of Proverbs makes this clear when he says "When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall." (Proverbs 29:16, NKJV)
2. “The sons of God saw the daughters of men, they were beautiful…” (v.2a).
a) The godly fed their minds on sex (v.2a).
(1) The godly became worldly and immoral, and they fed their minds upon sex. They did not control nor deny their immoral sexual urges. This is the picture being painted in Genesis 6:2.
(a) The godly men began to look at the women of the world, at those who did not follow God. Note what they began to notice: that the women were fair, beautiful, and shapely.
(b) They focused their thoughts upon their beautiful faces and shapely bodies, and they desired them. They looked at the outward, physical appearance and forgot the inward, spiritual beauty.
(c) They did not control their eyes nor their thoughts. The result was tragic: they co-mingled with the ungodly and they engaged in illicit sex. They looked and saw, and fed their minds upon the worldly and immoral and they engaged in sexual immorality.
(2) Listen to what verse 6 tells us:
We read "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." (Genesis 6:5, NKJV)
!!!!! (3) Compare these verses:
Jesus said "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:" (Matthew 15:19, Wordstudy KJV)
Speaking about unbelievers, Paul said "When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." (Romans 1:21, Wordstudy KJV)
Ephesians 2 tells us how we conducted ourselves before we were saved, "Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." (Ephesians 2:3, Wordstudy KJV)
The writer of Proverbs says "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord: but the words of the pure are pleasant words." (Proverbs 15:26, Wordstudy KJV)
"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee." (Proverbs 23:7, Wordstudy KJV)
Our heart and out mind seem to be tied together somehow, we read "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you." (Proverbs 23:7, NKJV)
3. “They took wives for themselves of all whom they chose…” (v.2b).
a) The godly ignored and rebelled against God (v.2b).
(1) They married the ungodly. They married “all which they chose.” Jesus Christ tells us they were marrying and remarrying, marrying time and again.
He says "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark," (Matthew 24:37-38, NKJV)
(2) Lust was running wild, and note: this was lust among the godly line of believers.
(a) The picture is that believers were turning away from God and beginning to live like the world.
(b) They were drinking and living immoral and impure lives, marrying, divorcing, and remarrying time and again, remarrying whomever they wished.
(c) God’s will and demand for purity and godliness—for a distinctive line of godly believers—was totally forgotten. The human race was losing its godly line of believers.
(3) Think about this: The believer—true godly believer—must live a life of separation and holiness. We are in the world, but we are not to be of the world. We live among the unbelievers of the world, but we are not to participate in their ungodly behavior.
Paul says "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14, NKJV)
He goes on to say in second Corinthians 6 "Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”" (2 Corinthians 6:17-18, NKJV)
We are to present "our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:1-2, NKJV)
We need to get rid of any works of darkness "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." (Ephesians 5:11, NKJV)
!! B. Fact 2: God became disturbed and warned man (v.3).
1. “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever…” (v.3a).
a) God had preachers during this time.
(1) Remember, there was great preaching going on during these days:
Þ Adam lived for 930 years. He no doubt proclaimed the truth of God: the perfection of the original creation, his own sin and fall, the promised Savior, and the absolute necessity of obedience and sacrifice in approaching God. Adam taught, preached, and warned his children and grandchildren and their descendents for 930 years.
Þ Enoch also preached and warned the world of their ungodly deeds and of the coming judgment of God upon all ungodliness (Jude 14, 15).
Þ Methuselah’s very name stood as a reminder of coming judgment. He was also most likely a preacher .
Þ Noah was a preacher of righteousness, warning the people up to the very end (2Pet.2:5).
(2) These are just the preachers we know about; there were probably others. But, in the final analysis, most people refused to heed the warning of God through the preachers.
(3) The people marched right on in their sinful and ungodly ways. The result: God became disturbed and He warned man. God gave man two warnings.
b) God would withdraw His Spirit (v.3a).
(1) The preachers were warning the people, and the Spirit of God was doing just what He does with people today: convicting them of sin and of coming judgment.
(a) But the people were resisting and quenching the convictions of the Spirit. They were not listening to the voice of God struggling within their hearts.
(b) They wanted to live like they wanted, to do their own thing.
(2) The result: man was about to reach the point of no return, to reach the point where he would be so enslaved to sin and the flesh that he would never repent and turn back to God.
(a) Consequently, God had no choice. God had to give man a final warning: if man did not repent, God would withdraw His Spirit.
(b) God’s Spirit would no longer strive and struggle with the soul of man. God would withdraw His Spirit and let judgment fall upon the ungodliness of men.
Paul says to "Not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30, NKJV)
Speaking about the Spirit of God, the writer of Hebrews says "Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:29, NKJV)
When David committed adultery, in his confession he said "Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me." (Psalm 51:11, NKJV)
Saul disobeyed the Lord and "The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him." (1 Samuel 16:14, NKJV)
!!! 2. “Yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years…” (v.3b).
a) God’s grace was limited: Judgment was coming (v.3b).
(1) God gave man one hundred and twenty years to repent. God warned man, apparently through Noah: His grace would flow upon the earth for 120 years more, then judgment would fall unless man repented. God would give man one last chance.
Speaking about the last days, Peter said that "Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”" (2 Peter 3:3-4, NKJV)
God is patient, but there will come judgment "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:8-9, NKJV)
Peter mentions the ungodly in his 1st epistle by saying "who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water." (1 Peter 3:20, NKJV)
C. Fact 3: Man became lawless as well as immoral in developing the first society (v.4).
1. “There were giants on the earth in those days…” (v.4a).
a) The nephilim.
(1) The word nephilim is from a root meaning “to fall,” indicating that they were strong men who “fell” on others in the sense of overpowering them.
(2) the earth had become a place where sex, immorality, and the flesh were focused upon:
(a) the earth had become a place where the powerful and the strong ruled and dominated.
(b) the earth had become lawless, full of attackers, robbers, and filled with violence.
(c) the earth had become a place where the powerful and immoral and even the lawless were the famous of the earth, the very people who were well known and idolized.
(3) Think of how much our society is like this today!
b) The sons of God.
(1) This statement is actually confusing because the subject of the sentence might refer to either of two things.
(a) “The sons of God” might mean descendants of the godly line of Seth, who according to this interpretation would be said to have married unbelieving women.
(b) Or it might refer to angels, as do the only other exact uses of the phrase in the Old Testament (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7).
(2) The thing that makes these verses so interesting is that three New Testament passages seem to refer to them: (1 Peter 3:18–22; 2 Peter 2:4–5; and Jude 6–7).
(3) The godly line of Seth: The interpretation of Genesis 6 that takes “the sons of God” as referring to the godly line of Seth is most natural since it avoids the obvious problem of how spirit beings could have sex with humans.
(4) Angels: so far as the biblical use of the phrase “the sons of God” is concerned, there is every reason to take it as referring to angels.
(a) The phrase “sons of God” (bene ˒elohim) is used only three other times in the Old Testament (Job 1:6; 2:1; and 38:7).
(b) In each case it clearly means spirit beings, twice those fallen spirits who accompanied Satan in his periodic appearances before the Lord in heaven.
!!!!!! (c) The objection to this supposed union of angel flesh and human flesh is that the angels are supposed to be sexless, since Jesus said, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matt. 22:30).