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Lesson 5: Destruction and Renewal *

Introduction: Have you ever regretted something you have done? That seems to be a normal part of the human condition. Does God ever regret anything that He has done? Is it possible that God regrets creating us? Let's dive into our lesson and find out!

  1. The Condition of Humans

    1. Read Genesis 6:1-4. Is this a bad thing? (We have the comment that God is so unhappy that He pronounces judgment - or at least a 120 year probation - on humans.)

      1. What, exactly, do you think it means for the "sons of God" to forcibly marry the "daughters of men?" Are these the descendants of Seth (Adam and Eve's next son - Genesis 5:3) marrying the daughters of Cain?)

      2. Read Job 1:6. The Hebrew phrase translated "the angels" (ben elohiym) is the identical Hebrew phrase translated "sons of God" in Genesis 6:2 and Genesis 6:4. This suggests that evil angels had sexual relationship with human women and began a super race of giants. Is there any reason to doubt this conclusion? (Read Matthew 22:30. Jesus tells us that angels do not marry. In addition, God pronounces a judgment on humans, not angels. Evil angels probably already had judgment entered against them.)

        1. Is Jesus saying in Matthew 22:30 that our resurrected body will be neutered? (You knew there had to be a catch somewhere to this promise of eternal life in glory, right? Imagine the distress of those who think that "72 virgins" are waiting for them - only to find out that is what they remain - virgins!)

          1. Enough of the teasing - what do you think Jesus is saying?

          2. Is it possible that with the decision of the evil angels to reject God, they also rejected God's asexual plan for them?

          3. If the sons of God were merely the sons of Adam and Seth, why would they create a super race - as opposed to the children who were the product of the sons and daughters of Adam and Seth marrying? (The commentaries that reject the "evil angels" theory point out that the text may not be talking about size, but rather character. These were "warriors.")

  2. God Repents

    1. Read Genesis 6:5-7. What is the primary problem with humans? (They became very wicked.)

      1. What kind of wickedness was the problem? ("Every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.")

        1. How do you explain that when God describes very great wickedness, He does not point to any specific acts - like killing - He points to the thoughts?

        2. How are your thoughts in the eyes of God?

      2. Has God made a mistake in the Creation?

      3. Was God inclined to "reverse" or "take back" His creation?

    2. We have discussed in the past God's reason for allowing free choice, allowing sin and the continuing conflict between good and evil. Is Satan winning at this point? Is God's plan to kill those who have rejected Him unfair? Is it contrary to the rules of the "engagement?"

    3. What is your reaction to these last verses we read? Do they make you worried about the fairness of your God? Does He change the rules when Satan starts winning? Or, are these verses cause for hope? (This reveals that we are not the only ones looking for Jesus' Second Coming and the earth made new. Sin pains God and He wants to bring it to an end. God told Adam and Eve at the very beginning that sin resulted in death. That was the rule of engagement. They were warned and we are warned( Genesis 2:15-17). God is not being unfair, He is simply showing us that the judgment side of His character will not tolerate evil forever.)

  3. Noah

    1. Read Genesis 6:8-10. What about Noah did God like? (He walked with God.)

      1. What do you think it means to "walk" with God? (The direction of Noah's life was right. He had progressive character development.)

      2. We always say, "Don't compare yourself to others, compare yourself to Jesus." Why does this verse compare Noah to "the people of his time?" (It appears that the general wickedness around him made him the more remarkable.)

    2. Read Genesis 6:13-17. Pagans call this a fable. Many Christians consider this story an allegory about sin. Do these verses make the account sound more like an allegory or more like a historical account? (This is clearly a real problem with a physical solution. God specifies how Noah is to be saved and gives detailed directions down to the type of wood to use and the specific dimensions!)

      1. What does verse 13 state is going to happen to the earth?

      2. Since the earth is still here, what do you think God meant? (We cannot comprehend how great a place God originally created for us. Remember, when sin entered, God cursed the ground ( Genesis 3:17), thus indicating that the earth was going to become a lot less hospitable. Now, God says He is going to "destroy" the earth. This reveals that the earth is now going to get much less pleasant. It is fair to believe that substantial damage was done to the earth by the flood.)

      3. What do you think is God's purpose in destroying the earth? What does this have to do with our sin? (Too much leisure time encourages sin. A very favorable land and climate gives more leisure time.)

    3. Read Genesis 6:18. What hope does God give in the time of judgment? (God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him.)

      1. This chapter makes no comment upon the character of Noah's wife, his sons or his daughters-in-law? Why were they saved from the flood? (It appears their relationship to Noah saved them.)

      2. Is this a fluke, or can you think of any other examples where a family was spared disaster because of a righteous father? (Lot - 2 Peter 2:5-8.)

      3. Does this provide another motive to be righteous - that your righteous life can help protect your family?

    4. Read Matthew 24:36-40. What lesson does Jesus say we can learn from the Flood?

      1. Notice that Matthew 24:39 says that the wicked knew nothing about what would happen. What does Jesus mean?

      2. How do you reconcile this with Hebrews 11:7 which says that Noah "condemned the world" and with 2 Peter 2:5 which calls Noah a "preacher of righteousness?" (Nelson's Bible Dictionary tells us (see Genesis 6:3)that Noah preached for 120 years, warning about the Flood, without any converts. Jesus is telling us that we can close our ears to His messengers and be destroyed or open our ears, obey and live.)

    5. Read Genesis 7:1-4. What comfort do you get from these verses? (That God instructed His people step by step. He made preparation for their survival.)

  4. Details of the Disaster

    1. One of the best arguments against the Flood account being meant as a fable or metaphor is the detail of the disaster found in the story. Let's look at a few of these.

    2. Read Genesis 7:11-12. Is this the kind of rain we see all the time?

      1. What do you see that strikes you as unusual about this deluge? (It looks like it came from above and below. Notice "the springs of the deep burst forth.")

    3. Read Genesis 2:6. Does this, together with Genesis 7:11 suggest that God created a watering system for the earth that was different than what we have now? ( Genesis 2:5 talks about God sending rain in connection with the appearance of shrubs and man, thus suggesting that rain was a method of watering before the flood. However, the statement in verse 6 that streams came up from below the surface of the earth and "watered the whole surface of the earth" certainly indicates a fundamentally different way of providing water to the earth.)

    4. Read Genesis 7:17-20. Is this the story of a local flood? What detail in these verses sounds like an actual account and not a metaphor? (It tells us the water was more than 20 feet over the top of the highest mountain.)

      1. What is the significance of 20 feet? (Twenty feet would do the trick if you were out to destroy everything. Read Genesis 7:22.)

    5. Did Jesus believe in a literal flood? (Yes. We previously read Matthew 24:36-40.)

  5. Grace and Gratitude

    1. Read Genesis 8:15-21. What do you see as an important part of Noah's walk with God? (That he is grateful!)

    2. Friend, God loves those who walk with Him. He is pained by evil thoughts and evil actions and is determined to destroy them. If we purpose to walk with Him, He will reveal His judgment to us and He will save us.

  6. Next week: The Earth After the Flood.
* Copr. 2006, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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