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The Days of Noah
Scripture: Matthew 24:37-39; Genesis 6:1-5; Matthew...
Track 10 of in the series
Running time: 56 minutes, 54 seconds.
We are to the point in Genesis where the author devotes quite a bit of space concerning the judgment to come from God on mankind. Genesis chapter 6 brings to the climax the first age of human history. What started as an innocent mistake on the part of Eve blossoms into a godless civilization which causes God to regret that He even created man. Genesis 6 is one of the strangest chapters in the Bible. These days leading up to the flood were awful and tragic. However, what is recorded is here is for you and I to take note of because they are similar to the days you and I live in now.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

The Days of Noah

We are to the point in Genesis where the author devotes quite a bit of space concerning the judgment to come from God on mankind. Genesis chapter 6 brings to the climax the first age of human history. What started as an innocent mistake on the part of Eve blossoms into a godless civilization which causes God to regret that He even created man. Genesis 6 is one of the strangest chapters in the Bible. These days leading up to the flood were awful and tragic. However, what is recorded is here is for you and I to take note of because they are similar to the days you and I live in now.

2 days before Jesus is crucified on the cross He is asked by his disciples what signs will appear to signal the end of the present age. His reply pointed to a number of signs all of which occurred together in that generation. These signs were climaxed with this prophetic warning;

Matthew 24:37-39 (NIV) As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

What was Jesus describing about the days of Noah? How would Jesus’ message be different if the flood was not an actual event, something that never happened and was only a story that had other meanings to be used?

Jesus recognized that the flood was real, and He should know; He was the one who brought the flood wiping out the first generation of man except for Noah and his immediate family. This warning gives a glimpse of what it will be like when Jesus returns again for the last time at His second coming. Live will be going on as though nothing terrible is about to happen. There will be no concern about God or his commands. Man will do what he wants to do and will live life independent of God as though God doesn’t exist.

Genesis 6:1-2 (NIV) When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.

Here is a passage of verses that have captured the imagination of many Christians, Christian writers and scholars. Some of the conclusions seem really farfetched but need to be looked at so we can come to a conclusion that explains why God would decide to wipe out all of the first age of man except for one small family. What had happened that alarmed God to such a point that He no longer could allow man to continue to multiply and cover the earth that He created.

We know from past lessons that there basically was a divided line of man. There was Cain and his decedents and there was Able/Seth decedents. Even though it looks as though the Sethites were of a Godly nature, they did have the nature of Adams and they too would be like the Cainites over time. Both lines were corrupt and did whatever they wanted and disobeyed God. As time marched forward, mankind progressed in his disobedience against God.

But something really bad had to have happened that alarmed God in such a way that His choice of a remedy was to wipe out all of them. Was it just disobedience that made God do something He had to do or was there something much worse that we need to look at today and remember? What could have happened that caused God to destroy everything and basically start over?

Up to this point in our study, what is the one essential thing that God protected? It can be found in Genesis chapter 3? The promise to Eve that from her seed would come one who will redeem all mankind back to God. It was the preservation of the line of the Christ that all of the OT is about.

When Chapter 6 opens, mankind is doing what God commanded them to do, multiply and subdue the earth. But the writer describes this action in such a way that it is not exactly like it was intended to be. Verse two raises a red flag to the reader, they were taking wives as they pleased. In verse 2 there are two descriptions that causes the commotion within the Christian ranks, “the sons of God” and the “daughters of men”. What do these mean and what was the writer’s intention when he used these terms to describe what was going on.

I will be honest with you, I do not have the answer and as I studied for this lesson, I realized that there are a few scholarly ideas that are worth sharing with the class. I have my preference of what I feel this means but it is only my personal interpretation that fits where I am today. I remain open to what this could mean but I do believe that whatever happened, the intent was to corrupt or destroy the linage promised by God as given to Eve in chapter 3.

The result of these unions ended up to be “giants in the earth”.

Genesis 6:4 (NIV) The Nephilim were on the earth in those days--and also afterward--when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

Not only were the children from these unions giants physically, they were also giants when it came to their wickedness. From these unions the sinfulness of man jumped to a higher level, a level that God could no longer accept.

Genesis 6:5 (NIV) The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

So who are these “sons of God”? One’s first reaction to this passage (one that many liberals in scripture go to) is to think of the fairy tales of antiquity, the legends of ogres and dragons, and the myths of the gods consorting with men – and then dismiss the entire story of Noah as a legend or superstition. I don’t think it is just a coincidence that our most popular movies today with our kids and young adults are stories of witchcraft (Harry Potter), ogres and dragons (the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings). Fantasy literature in itself if okay to read but critics of scripture point to accounts in scripture such as the days of Noah and say this too is just fantasy.

Explanation #1: Cainites marrying Sethites

Even though from the linage of Seth (Enosh), man began to call on the name of the Lord, the families of Seth and Cain were of the same nature of their father, Adam. All of them were sinners and would gradually disobey God more and more over time leading to their deaths. Some Christians see the interpretation as the “sons of God” (Sethites) marrying and having kids with the “daughters of men” (Cainites).

This is a simple interpretation but do you see and problems with this understanding?
Does this explain the strange appearance of their kids being giants? Nothing here leads us to believe that from these unions, giants would all of a sudden pop out. There was nothing between the two lines that would cause this.

What is Paul’s command about marriage between a believer and unbeliever? Does this apply?

Explanation #2: Evil angels procreated with humans

Now this idea seems pretty wild to the imagination of many Christians but we have to carefully look at this option and see if scripture backs this up. To be honest, I really didn’t like this explanation until I started looking at what scripture had to say about all this.

From our study about angels and demons last year, what one fact did I teach about angels that makes this interpretation hard to accept?

Matthew 22:30 (NIV) At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

As we studied about angels we discovered that they are not male or female, they don’t procreate. It is this fact that closed my eyes to this option being valid. But this all hinges on the term, “sons of God”.

Sons of God: “bene Elohim”

In the New Testament, this refers to those who have been born again and have a personal relationship with God (you and me). We see the same idea used in the Old Testament referring to a child’s relationship with their father. But in these cases, none of these is what is used here in Genesis 6. Neither the descendants of Seth nor the believers found in the Old Testament were ever called sons of God other than Adam. So in a sense, we are not talking about physical sons here in chapter 6.

The actual phrase “bene Elohim” is used only three other times in the Old Testament and all of them are in the ancient book of Job and each one applies to angels. In Psalms 29 and 89, the term “sons of the mighty” (bar Elohim) also refers to angels. It is reasonable to think that the intent of the writer is to describe these sons as angels. When the Septuagint was translated into Greek, the translators saw the meaning also as angels. The ancient Jewish interpreters understood this passage to mean angels were involved.

Did actual angels have sexual relations with human women? If so, how could this even be possible?

In Matthew 22:30 when it said at the resurrection that we would neither marry nor be given in marriage like the angels, did it mean that angels are not capable of having sex? Which angels are we talking about here? The ones in heaven. What about the ones that were cast down to earth? Did they have the ability to have sex with humans?

Why would they want to have sex with human women anyways?

It clearly was not God’s will to have angels mixing in such a way with humans but when did demons ever care about what God wanted or commanded? Satan had not forgotten the promise of his destruction that would come through the seed of woman. What better way to destroy or corrupt the linage than to have the linage of Christ be intermixed with demon (unholy) blood. We will see that when Noah was born, Lemach prophesied that “comfort” concerning the curse would come through him.

Genesis 5:28-29 (NIV) When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah and said, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed."

You can only imagine what Satan must have thought when he heard that. Basically what Lemach was saying, the promise would be fulfilled through his son Noah which according to the Bible was true. Noah and his family was the remnant that carried the linage of Christ forward.

Here is what is hard to comprehend; is man redeemable? Can man be saved by God? Can the fallen angels, the agents of Satan be redeemed? What about half angel and half fallen man? Can they be redeemed?

This seems to be such a grotesque situation that it is doubtful that God would have allowed that to continue or even exist at all. It is hard for the Christian mind to comprehend such an awful act that there has to be another idea about this angel situation.

Explanation #3: Sons of God (Demons) inhabited men and mated with women.

We do know this that these giants, and even after the flood there were giants; they were not supernatural but were born of human fathers and mothers. But what if the men were demon possed and through the influence of the demons led their families in evil, demonic ways.

In all of scripture, when was demon possession at its highest peak? During the time of Jesus.

We do know this that Satanic angelic beings compounded their own original sin by following Satan in his rebellion against God by now leaving their own habitation and keeping not their first state of being. They went after human flesh through the men they posed. Notice in Jude and even in the letters by Peter the order of how these events are written.

2 Peter 2:4-6 (NIV) For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

1 Peter 3:18-20 (NIV) For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,

It is hard to actually know what happened but whatever it was, it caused God to destroy all of them except for a man and his family who were not affected by the perversion that was going on.