Life Goes On And On!
Faithful Lord, when all else fails I have You with me. I give You praise that I have Your strength and presence.
Read Genesis 5:1–32
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“When we come to the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus, we really begin to understand how precious is the individual in the sight of God” (A. Leonard Griffith).
Genealogies in the Old Testament are often included to indicate on the one hand continuity and, on the other hand, the passage of time. Writers were not too concerned about details, often missing generations and using symbolic numbers, but they did want readers to know that those at the start of the list and those at the end were linked together. Here the emphasis is on the fact that these are all human beings created by God, in his likeness, males and females—although the writer focuses almost entirely on the males! The numbers here seem to be large, maybe incredibly large, although things do change. A hundred years ago life expectancy in the USA was less than 50. Since I was young it has increased from under 70 to over 80 and the number of people reaching 100 has rocketed in a way that would have seemed unbelievable to my grandparents. We don’t have enough evidence to know whether the numbers in this chapter reflect longer lives in the times between creation and flood, or are composed in a different way—for example by describing someone’s age at death as the sum of the ages of their children (or sons), or eldest son and eldest grandson—or are exaggerations. The actual numbers were not the major concern of the writers. The other important thing to note is that people matter. We don’t know whether Enoch’s faithfulness to God is mentioned because it was so unusual in these times, but we do know that each one mentioned, including those who are not known in any other context, is known to God and has the potential of living a significant life in the same way as Noah did.
What lessons for life can you learn from Enoch (21–23)?
Lord God, help me to recognize, as I look over past and future generations, that all are created in Your likeness and all have the potential to serve You and humankind.
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