Genesis 5 Devotional
Pastor Mark Hudson
The Bible is full of genealogies, a literary form that we are not familiar with. We begin with a description of what will follow. God is viewed as the Father who creates in His likeness. The author emphasizes male and female, His blessing and naming. Naming is an expression of authority. The blessing is a constant theme throughout the entire Bible. How God longs to bless His children and we read in v. 2 that God once again blesses His people.
It is not hard to understand why Christians can’t support the transgender movement. God did not just create humans. He created male and female humans. He made us in His image (Gen 1:27) and that means woman are made in the image of God and men are as well. We must not attempt to change how created us.
Now we will see a pattern in this chapter. Not every person follows this but almost everyone:
Person lived so many years and had a child.
Person lives so many years after the child.
Person has other children.
Total number of years lived.
And he died.
Is the last phrase in the pattern a reminder that the death that comes from sin occurs for all of us? Every time you go to a funeral or visitation, remember you will end up in a coffin as well unless the Lord returns before the time of your death. While death does not have the last word, death awaits us all.
The obvious aberration is Enoch. In v. 24, “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” Enoch lived a briefer life as well. Most of the people mentioned lived almost 1,000 years. Enoch is taken up at 365. It is hard to know what this means but Enoch does stand out. John Sailhammer in Expositor’s Bible Commentary p. 74, that Moses may be hinting at something important.
Many people wrongly believe that Moses first five books teach that to gain eternal life, Moses teaches us to obey the law. But Moses knows we can’t. He saw the idolatry before, during, and after the law was given. Moses would have agreed with Paul, Isaiah, the Psalmists, and every other author of the Bible. We need a new and better Adam. Moses knew that the way to please God was to hear and obey (Dt. 8:20; 13:18, etc.). No one could obey the law to earn their way into heaven.
So, what is walking with God? Walking with God is knowing Him, loving Him, and obeying but this is not a mere trying to keep the law’s commands. Moses knew that Sinai was not successful. “For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord” Deut 31:27. Moses knew law keeping to gain God’s favor was never God’s intention.
So, what is this walking with God? Is Enoch’s life an indication that knowing God, trusting God, is what God really wants? This is not earning our salvation but simply walking with God in obedience to His Word. In Gen 17:1-2, God says to Abraham, “I am God Almighty, walk before Me, and be blameless.”
This doesn’t mean that to be blameless means to not sin ever or to perfectly follow God’s laws. There were not many laws to follow at this time. It does mean to follow what will be the greatest commandment, to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.
The other variation from the norm in chapter 5 is Noah. Noah, who was born to give rest, varies from the pattern starting in v. 28 and the last phrase that we have been seeing is found in 9:28. Noah provides a contrast to Enoch. Noah’s incident in 9:20 is a parallel of Adam and Eve. He drinks of the fruit of the vine (not takes a bite like Adam and Eve) but then is also naked (naked and under God’s judgment see Dt. 28:48, Ez. 16:39; 23:29).
Noah does offer salvation to his family by the ark God commanded him to construct. And we built the ark in faith and was a preacher of righteousness (2 Pt. 2:5). Noah has much to commend him yet, as we read so often in the Bible, leaders and godly people let us down. There is only one who will never let us down.
Dear heavenly Father, we praise You for the many things You do for us. We thank you for passages of Scripture that are not always easily understood. You raise up godly men and women who provide sometimes good examples and sometimes examples to avoid. But Your faithfulness overcomes our sin. Your grace and mercy extend to even simple people like us. Thank you the while sin has changed all of our lives, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ can even overcome our sin. We pray in the gloriously powerful name of Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. Amen.