Genesis 6 the story of Noah

November 28, 2008

Genesis six is filled with all kinds of goodies that I could go into about Nephilim, etc. and some of the common beliefs about who or what they were.  But, I’d rather look at something a little more substantial.  This is for me, the BBQ, The Big Burning Question.  Look at Gen 6:5 and at 6:9.

5 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. (emphasis added).NIV

Every inclination of our thoughts is only evil all the time.  Whoa!  Wow!  I don’t know about any of you, but as a Christian, I still struggle with sin and doubt, and I look at this and say, “if every inclination of my heart is only evil all the time, then what chance do I have?”  The answer is “of my own doing–none”.

Now look at this next passage.

 9 This is the account of Noah.
      Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God (NIV)

I like to study Biblical biographies.  I like to look at the characters and try to figure out what they did right and where they went wrong.  And not just people of the Bible–I like to read bios of a lot of succesful people because I believe that you can learn so much from them.  But Noah here was “righteous”, “blameless”, and he “walked with God”.  How can we do that?  Especially when you consider that Noah lived before the Commandments and the Law were handed down.

The next thing I like to do is really dig in to the study of the Word.  I have eSword which comes with a lexicon so that you can really see what the words were in Hebrew and see how they were used.  Let’s take a look.

First, I want to look at v5.  I only have eSword in the KJVand it says “that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”.

So, what does the Bible mean by “imagination of the thoughts of his heart”?

Imagination

yêtser

yay’-tser

 

From H3335; a form; figuratively conception (that is, purpose): – frame, thing framed, imagination, mind, work.

thoughts

machăshâbâh machăshebeth

makh-ash-aw-baw’,

makh-ash-eh’-beth

From H2803; a contrivance, that is, (concretely) a texture, machine, or (abstractly) intention, plan (whether bad, a plot; or good, advice): – cunning (work), curious work, device (-sed), imagination, invented, means, purpose, thought.

 

 

heart

lêb

labe

 

A form of H3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything: – + care for, comfortably, consent, X considered, courag [-eous], friend [-ly], ([broken-], [hard-], [merry-], [stiff-], [stout-], double) heart ([-ed]), X heed, X I, kindly, midst, mind (-ed), X regard ([-ed)], X themselves, X unawares, understanding, X well, willingly, wisdom.

evil

rah,

raw-aw’

From H7489; bad or (as noun) evil (naturally or morally). This includes the second (feminine) form; as adjective or noun: – adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, + displease (-ure), distress, evil ([-favouredness], man, thing), + exceedingly, X great, grief (-vous), harm, heavy, hurt (-ful), ill (favoured), + mark, mischief, (-vous), misery, naught (-ty), noisome, + not please, sad (-ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked (-ly, -ness, one), worse (-st) wretchedness, wrong. [Including feminine ra’ah; as adjective or noun.]

 

So based on the definitions above, let’s say it another way.

Every purpose that man conceived in his mind was bad.  That is to say that the schemes that we cook up in our minds are self-serving and ill-contrived and will eventually cause pain for ourselves and others.

Now, let’s contrast this with Noah, who was “a just man and perfect in his generations and Noah walked with God”.

Before we delve into definitions, consider that Noah was perfect in his generations (emphasis added). I won’t post the whole definition, but in his generation refers to “a time or an age also a dwelling”.  So Noah was perfect “in his time”.

So what about just and perfect?

Just is pretty straight forward.

tsaddîyq

tsad-deek’

 

From H6663; just: – just, lawful, righteous (man).

And perfect.

tâmîym

taw-meem’

 

From H8552; entire (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth: – without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright (-ly), whole.

So, Noah was lawful and unblemished.  In some ways, I know that that does not tell us a lot more than we already knew.  But, let’s look at some of the other text in the story.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.

Now let’s see what else the Bible has to say about this.

 

16 There are six things the LORD hates,
       seven that are detestable to him:

 17 haughty eyes,
       a lying tongue,
       hands that shed innocent blood,

 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
       feet that are quick to rush into evil,

 19 a false witness who pours out lies
       and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

(Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV emphasis mine).  But you can see how God feels about violence and schemes.  This should also tell us how Noah stood out among his generation. Also, let’s look at Psalm 11:5 The LORD examines the righteous,  but the wicked [a] and those who love violence his soul hates.

But the important thing is that Noah walked with God.  Without walking with God (knowing him, studying his word), it is impossible to understand His Laws and what he hates.  This story also goes to show that God could be found at a time and place before there was a scripture, before the Laws of Moses and before the Commandments.  If we seek God, we can find him anywhere.  and he wants to be found by us.

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