GENESIS 6: KERBING CORRUPTION
After passing through a blessed and restful Christmas and New Year’s, I thank my Maker for my safe and peaceful life. I live in a quiet neighbourhood and have good/reliable friends in a lucky/blessed existence. From where I sit in comfort, my conservative, steady, “normal” self-governing, self-controlled neighbourhood doesn’t look at all “corrupt”. But a recent trip to South America has shown me, once again, just how lucky I am. In reality, my corner of the world represents less than 10% of the world’s population. The majority world, live in dire conditions, scratching out a bare living in poor, corrupt, and unsafe societies that a full of violence.
So, when I read such a hugely significant chapter as Genesis Chapter 6 – the day the Creator God set a timer ticking towards an end – I can’t picture the depths to which human behaviour had deteriorated. I can’t imagine the planet being so corrupt that, for the sake of any hope of a long-term future, it became absolutely necessary for the Creator God to kerb corruption by wiping the stage clean, washing down all the props, and starting over again. I can’t imagine what on earth they were doing, which was so bad that the only historical record we have of that time says:
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord regretted that He had made human beings on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” [v5-6]
One thing that the 20th Century taught us is, if we don’t grapple with our past, unpack it, and learn from it, with the specific intention of avoiding past mistakes, we risk history repeating itself. So, I’ve noticed several clues in today’s chapter that can put us on full alert.
The curtains on the stage, depicting this section in human history, open up to a world where humans had increased in number. There has never been a time in world history where humans have “multiplied on the face of the land” as rapidly as the current population explosion, which is ever-increasing at an alarming rate. Many prominent scientists are predicting that, at this current rate, we’ll begin to see real problems, ecologically (in addition to our current socio-economic issues), in the next 100 years. So, the first sentence in today’s chapter probably puts us on DEFCON 1 for our defence condition (as the Americans would say) and this will get worse in the next decades.
If most of us agree that we’re far from perfect, it only stands to reason that a concentrated genepool of imperfection is only going to germinate trouble. If there’s greater problems in inner-cities and densely populated communities, it’s not because people are worse in character than country town folk. It’s a simple mathematical equation: multiply the number of sinners to 7 billion and you’re likely to get 7 billion sins being committed a day. And that’s a low estimate, assuming we’ll only sin once a day. In addition, deteriorated living conditions cause greater opportunities for problems, corruption, and crime to incubate, grow, and fester. Sin is a virus that spreads fast, just as decease spreads.
The second sentence, however, adds something into the equation that introduces a serious matter for everyone to consider today. Sin separates.
When wrong-doing occurs, it causes a natural reaction in people, moving them away from the cause of hurt and source of problems. Corruption breaks down relationships. Serious for us, is that the Creator God’s Spirit – the One that was so part of this planet that He literally hovered over it, like a blanket[a] – this Life-Giving Spirit will not remain, will not contend (persevere), shall not strive with, shall not abide in humans forever. The breakdown in relationship between us and our Maker (because of our “humanity” and what that clearly proved to produce) meant that Eternal Life with Him (in this state as we so clearly are currently) is unsustainable. Permanent, sustained connection to our Life-giver isn’t possible, the way things are. This is in addition to the fact that, we were created mortal.[b]
Nevertheless, Father God is still willing to defer the final “divorce” by 120 years. [v3] He’s originally created us in His own image with the capacity to function in His likeness[c] and, 120 years should be a good long time to prove that the “computer of ME” can (eventually) function properly, as I’d been designed to function, with all the bugs and viruses sorted by the end. And, yet, not too long that my corruptive, unwillingness-to-function-in-His-likeness attitude and behaviour, gains extended time to cause more deterioration to those around me.
So then, the rest of HIStory, that you’ll read about in my Breadcrumbs until the end of the year, is all about the Creator God’s relationship with His cloned image-bearers, and how He can restore our internal functioning in such a complete and perfect way that His Spirit can finally abide permanently in us, giving us Eternal LIFE.
In time, and as the story continues to unfold today, Father God had to reduce the time given to us to 70 years.[d] And now as I hear stories of pre-teen girls being raped several times a day in brothels in India and pre-teen boys selling themselves into the sex trade in Africa (to be abused by men) in order to raise money to help support their siblings, I wonder if the world is not far off the same state as it was in, in Genesis 6.
It is true that something was seriously wrong in Noah’s day. A clue in v2 & v4 indicates a mixed race of humans at that time. Some read these verses and wonder if the term “sons of God” (which appears again in Job 1:6 & 2:1) suggests that “fallen angels” married the “daughters of men” and produced children by them. I question that theory for two reasons:
Angels weren’t created as life-bearing image-bearers of God, as humans have been i.e. there’s no mention of angels in the storyline so far. Nor have we heard of angels multiplying and creating more image-bearers of God since;
If angles can sleep with humans, why haven’t they returned since? Instead, the Creator’s epic storyline has put angels as “heavenly beings”, separated from the physical world, and only entering into the plot at certain points to bring a divine message. We now know enough about DNA and genetics to lean more towards inbreeding with a physical being, close enough in genetic structure to make a pregnancy successful.
It’s more likely, in my opinion, that there was an ape, close enough to human form, for there to be a question mark over whether or not a suitable helper could be found for Adam, the human male.[e] If such an ape existed, and Adam had previously rejected it as a suitable helper, it would show two things. First, that Darwin’s theory is not that we evolved from apes, but that we slept with at least one type of ape producing an ape-human hybrid that the locals at the time called Nephilim. And secondly, how corrupted humans had become, in God’s opinion, by sleeping with this animal that Adam had previously rejected as a suitable helper, to produce hybrid images of God that were not pure image-bearers and therefore not human at all.
With a growing genepool of these hybrids, operating with more “animal instincts” and more violently than today’s humans, it’s perhaps easier to understand what the Creator God was looking at, when He said: “the wickedness of man became great on the earth, and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”.[v5] And, why He was so grieved in His heart that His clones – His very special creations who were carefully designed with such perfection that it was possible for them to be like Him – were so corrupted that the “virus” was now at a point of no return.
As children, we came home from school one day with two beautiful, totally cute, white mice. We assured Mum that they weren’t boy and girl. But, before long, the two became 6 and the 6 became 36, until they filled a large glass cabinet that Mum had given to us. We made homes and climbing frames for them in the fresh straw. It was a wonderful “city” of perfectly friendly, well-behaved, industrious white mice. Every Saturday, we’d lay the cabinet on the grass on its back, and clear out all the straw and objects. Then we’d hose the walls down, causing an inch of water in the bottom, then watch all the mice bathing in the sunshine. The idea was to keep their ecosystem clean and functioning happily.
In time however, the mice increased in number and the males began eating the babies. We didn’t care if it was a survival instinct. Seeing half eaten babies in the straw made us sick to our stomachs. In my memory, I immediately hated the horrible Dads who were so disgusting (in our sight) as to eat their own babies and leave most of the little corpses to rot in the straw. The whole thing was spoilt. Clearly, what we’d hoped to continue on in happy harmony, had peaked, and now things were declining fast.
Whatever happened to Father God’s wonderful ecosystem, the whole thing had become so infected that everything would be destroyed sooner rather than later. HIStory was about to end before the epic Play had got underway. The only possible solution for kerbing corruption at the time, was to wash clean “the cabinet” and everything in it. Then, restart with the best of the uncorrupted DNA that was left. [v7]
Noah was found to be both righteous and blameless. [v9] And this gives us a huge clue for finding favour with our Maker today. [v8] Noah didn’t have the Creator God’s rulebook. That came into being in the next Act in this epic Play – in the Book of Exodus. And yet, Noah was considered “righteous”. So “righteousness” isn’t about following a set of rules or religious philosophy, in order to gain a relationship with our Maker. Righteousness is about being right. And, being right with the Creator God clearly doesn’t rest on a rulebook. So, how’s that possible?
The Creator God has given us a conscience and, He’s given us His Holy Spirit who is willing to “contend with us” for 120 years. In view of this, we’re to start with doing our best to maintain a blameless conscience both before God and before men.[f] We do this by first inviting our Creator God’s Holy Spirit to take a central place, “speaking into” our framework of thinking. Then, we can use our God-given conscience to guide us. If we “walk with God”, as Noah did [v9], yet do something wrong (which is a 100% certainty for every human on earth), Father God sees us as “blameless” – just as Noah was considered blameless.
“For when they who do not have the Law, do instinctively the things of the Law, these (not having the Law) are a law to themselves. In that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts. Their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts – alternately accusing or else defending them on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of humankind through Christ Jesus.” [Romans 2:14-16]
While it could be said that, today, the earth is “corrupt in the sight of God”, and that the earth is “filled with violence” [v11], and while it’s true that “the end of all flesh has come before God” and, He’s predicted a final end to all the earth[g], He’s never ceased to be a Saviour with a well thought through salvation plan. HIStory, from beginning to end, is about long-term sustainability culminating in Everlasting LIFE. This is first seen in today’s chapter. [v13-21] He’s our omniscient (all-knowing) Creator. He knows ahead of time what is coming and, He’s given us ample warning. This global melt-down, in today’s chapter, was likely to have been caused by a meteorite that He knew was on its way. He planned 100 years ahead of time[h], for the exact number of survivors, so that LIFE would continue.
In just the same way, Father God has planned for the permanent salvation of the human race. We’ll not just kerb corruption, and continue in our corrupt state, but we’ll live eternally corruption-free, in His Kingdom with Him.[i] In the meantime, He only wants one thing from us. It’s what He only ever wanted from The Beginning when He first created us, wound us up, and set us going. Obedience.
He wants us to hear His instructions – like, for example, the one, simple rule that Adam & Eve had in the Garden when time began. [j] He wants us to use our heads to discern between the “voices” – like the day when doubt was first put onto God’s instructions.[k] He wants us to use our God-given conscience to rule over our natural “sin” inclinations.[l] And, like any good father who loves his children and wants what’s best for them, Father God wants obedience…
“Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.” [v22]
With 1,183 chapters to go in this epic storyline (much of which is an epic saga of corruption and how to kerb corruption, then finally how the Creator Himself came to eradicate the root cause of corruption), if I would only just start with getting the above right, today (just as Noah had done), that’d be pretty much it and that’s pretty much all.
CLICK to return to today’s “Daily Breadcrumbs”
[a] Genesis 1:2
[b] Genesis 2:15-17 & 3:22-24
[c] Genesis 1:26-28a
[d] Psalm 90:10
[e] Genesis 2:20
[f] Acts 24:16
[g] 2 Peter 3:10
[h] Genesis 5:32 and 7:6
[i] Revelation 21:3
[j] Genesis 2:15-17
[k] Genesis 3:1
[l] Genesis 4:7