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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 37 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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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!
- The Condition of Humans
- 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.)
- 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?)
- 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.)
- 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!)
- Enough of the teasing - what do you think
Jesus is saying?
- Is it possible that with the decision of
the evil angels to reject God, they also
rejected God's asexual plan for them?
- 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.")
- God Repents
- Read Genesis 6:5-7. What is the primary problem with
humans? (They became very wicked.)
- What kind of wickedness was the problem? ("Every
inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only
evil all the time.")
- 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
- How are your thoughts in the eyes of God?
- Has God made a mistake in the Creation?
- Was God inclined to "reverse" or "take back" His
- 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?"
- 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
- Read Genesis 6:8-10. What about Noah did God like? (He
walked with God.)
- What do you think it means to "walk" with God? (The
direction of Noah's life was right. He had
progressive character development.)
- 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
- 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!)
- What does verse 13 state is going to happen to the
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Read Genesis 6:18. What hope does God give in the time of
judgment? (God is faithful to those who are faithful to
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Does this provide another motive to be righteous -
that your righteous life can help protect your
- Read Matthew 24:36-40. What lesson does Jesus say we can
learn from the Flood?
- Notice that Matthew 24:39 says that the wicked knew
nothing about what would happen. What does Jesus
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Details of the Disaster
- 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.
- Read Genesis 7:11-12. Is this the kind of rain we see all
- 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.")
- 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.)
- 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.)
- What is the significance of 20 feet? (Twenty feet
would do the trick if you were out to destroy
everything. Read Genesis 7:22.)
- Did Jesus believe in a literal flood? (Yes. We previously
read Matthew 24:36-40.)
- Grace and Gratitude
- Read Genesis 8:15-21. What do you see as an important part
of Noah's walk with God? (That he is grateful!)
- 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.
- 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.