God of the Bible
The story of God continues with the birth of Cain and then Able in Genesis Chapter 4. Now sin and death have entered the picture and each boy comes into the world and develops different hearts and different desires. They still have access to God through the strained relationship their parents have with Him but Cain was self-indulgent and tried to pull a fast one on God, and God, knowing his heart, was not pleased. Cain got angry because God found favor with his brother Abel but not with him. God, like a parent, came to Cain and essentially said, “Why are you angry? If you make good choices and do the work you are able to do, then I would be happy with you.” (Genesis 4:6-10)
Cain found different solution, kill Abel.
A logical choice clearly.
God, knew that Cain was guilty of murder and Cain was forced to leave and become a wanderer. Cain eventually married and had children, but, because Cain was not faithful to God that is where his story ends. Those who ventured off became their own master’s but they also missed out on the promises and blessings God intended for them. The Bible follows the story of those who were faithful to him. And through their stories of faith, struggle, rejection, and redemption the story of God is also told.
After Cain and Able, Seth was born. Seth was faithful and so the story of God continued to the next generation. The population continued to grow and with growth came more people who rejected God while the faithful grew smaller and smaller in number.
That bring us to Genesis 6 and the flood. The people in the world had grown so selfish and prideful that they fully rejected God and his heart was grieved. But the real reason for the flood was something beyond that. God didn’t simply flood the earth because he was sad that he had been forsaken. Genesis 6 tells us that the “sons of God” (angels) saw that the “daughters of men” (human women) were beautiful and desirable.
Then guess what happened?!
The angels started sleeping with these beautiful human women and impregnated them.
Ok, I know it sounds outlandish, but we are talking about the story of GOD! An all-powerful supernatural being…
Anyway, the angels slept with the women and got them pregnant and they had children who were half angel and extremely powerful and also immortal. These are referred to as The Nephilim. They were big shots and heroes so to speak, unfortunately, they were also “evil.”
Perfect! What could possibly go wrong?
Super strong, evil immortals leading the people of earth. Seriously, if you were God wouldn’t that be a little bit concerning to you? I’m just asking because I can see why this was a problem.
At that point God’s heart was so filled with pain at the wickedness of the people that He wished He had never created humanity. He decided that the only thing he could do was wipe the world out. The people were wayward and wicked and following evil immortals and the world was getting pretty rotten pretty quickly.
This wasn’t what God wanted. I’m convinced he put it off as long as possible and only turned to this option when there were no others.
But then, God saw Noah.
And, as it turns out, Noah was from the line of Seth and was a good man despite all the wickedness around him.
Is that not cool, or what? Noah…from the line of Seth, who happened to choose God…
God saw Noah and saw that he was blameless among the people of his time. This does not mean that Noah was perfect, but he was walking with God the best he could. God saw his heart and had mercy on him. This isn’t just for Noah because remember, God loves to be in relationship with us and Noah was still seeking God and so his story continued. Noah built the ark and he, with all his family got in, and God sent the flood waters.
A New Beginning
After the flood, God got to start over, so to speak, with humanity. God decided to set up an exchange of promises with Noah. Start fresh with these humans and “make an agreement” kinda thing. So basically God told Noah, “Here are the new expectations for remaining in relationship with Me. Take care of the earth and the animals. By the way, you are welcome to eat the animals now,” (which makes sense since the vegetation would have been water logged and probably covered in mud). “I give them to you to eat just as you have always had plants to eat. And you will rule over them and they will fear you.”
Rule 1: Take care of the earth. Rule 2: You can eat the animals but don’t eat meat that has lifeblood in it. In other words, don’t be savages and eat or drink animal blood. Rule 3: Don’t murder each other or there will be consequences. (Genesis 9:6).
So we went from 1 rule in The Garden to 3 rules post flood. Three rules to follow, and actually, the first two aren’t even really rules per say, more like expectations that are to be upheld. I don’t think God was being unreasonable here.
Again we see that God remained with the people who were faithful to follow and worship him. God loves all of us, but he doesn’t promise blessings to those who reject Him. This also does not mean that those who follow God are perfect but they are covered by his grace and able to remain in relationship with him.
THE POINT of the STORY
The rest of the Bible really, is about how God sought and found those who wanted Him. It is the battle of sin and the grip it has on our souls verses our freedom and peace with God. It is the story of the Israelite people; how God blessed them or withheld blessings when they were most sinful. It is the story of God’s heartbreak over their continuous rejection of Him despite His love for them. And, it is the story of his relentless pursuit of faithful people.
But, we can’t stay faithful and we fall away so easily. Redemption seemed out of reach. We needed a permanent solution. Sin came into the world and it was messing everything up. It needed conquered once and for all and only God himself could bring a permanent redemption and bring light to darkness, life to death, and relationship to brokenness. But it meant doing something big…really big…
Author: Jacqi Kambish
This is Part 2 in the series “Who is God?” where we are exploring the goodness of God. Stay tuned for Part 3 due to post on Monday, April 23, 2017. Feel free to go back and view the other parts of this series Is God Really Good? and Who is God?- Part 1