Will You Know the Answer Before Time Runs Out?
“How great is God – beyond our understanding.” - Job 36:26a
And then it happens. You’re at the cliffhanger, nail-biting tension, what will happen next? We have Eden, we have the rebellion, then the subterfuge, and then the brilliant plan. We can’t wait to turn the page. Then what happens? Stuff. Where did all of this stuff come from, and why? Like any good novel, there are not only plots, but subplots. Don’t get lost in the subplots, stay with the timeline. Where is it? It is faint. Right now barely visible. But you are a good detective. Stay with it. Sherlock Holmes can do it, so can you.
It isn’t a total forest of unrecognizable trees. There are a few trees that come into focus - glimmers of prose telling a story in between all of those names, but the volume of names becomes a little overwhelming. There are descendants of Adam listed. So many names. One after one after one. Should we pay attention? Are these important? Oh, finally, a story about Noah. But then more names. Again, a very long list is presented. Noah had sons who had sons who had sons. They seem to go on forever. Again, should I pay attention? Should I just give up? Should I try to press on through?
What’s the point of all of these people, all of these names – so many unpronounceable names? You feel you are in a lost place. Nothing is recognizable. Ever think that is the point? What, there is a point to all of this – stuff? Where is God? God? I don’t see him anywhere in this sea of names. Maybe you feel lost because God isn’t there in the sea of names. Without God, it doesn’t make any sense does it? Well, you say, that is a lot of stuff just to prove a subtle point. Who cares about someone named Kedorlaomer or Peleg anyway? God does. Oh, ok, don’t make me feel guilty about that. Not trying to, but that is just who God is. However, there is more to it than just that. These are all subplots. They are good, but the forest is thick. Look for the timeline. See it? Let’s follow.
God knows mankind’s tendencies. He knows we are work-oriented. I know what you are thinking. My kids haven’t learned that one either! But seriously, mankind wants to do things for itself, even if it can’t. God wants us to see that we can’t do it on our own before we will accept what He has already done for us. God gives mankind breathing room, some time to try and fail. God knows mankind is stubborn. Yet, he loves us too much to force the issue. Therefore, He lets the timeline continue until it really can’t be ignored.
As we saw before, Satan is at work, but so is God’s Spirit (Gn 6:3). Did God give mankind anything else to help him on this journey of discovery? Well, yes, he gave mankind a conscience. Why look so puzzled? That can be quite a constraint, if used properly. It is sort of like an internal gyroscope. Some call it a moral compass. Both analogies are pretty much on target. You’ve been there. You’re in a situation and something just feels wrong. You’re not sure why, but it just doesn’t feel right. Then you have a choice. You can either
listen to that internal gyroscope or compass, or ignore it. If you listen, then it keeps working and you can become more attune to it. Let’s look into that sea of names and look at someone who did just that: Enoch. Yes, not a name you hear every day, but someone who knew how to listen to his conscience. Not much text
is written about him, but a lot is said. He understood that one’s conscience can become very attuned to God or can ignore God altogether and become dulled – quite dulled actually. He warned the people of his day that God would one day require justice and an account of one’s deeds (Ju 14-15), but most of the people
of his day would not listen. Not that different than today, huh? Yet, listening to his conscience paid off dividends for him. What does the Bible say? It says that he was no more because God took him (Gn 5:24). In other words, he went for a walk one day and just walked into God’s presence. Pretty good compensation for doing what was right, isn’t’ it? What about the other people? Well, most took the opposite route: they ignored their inner gyroscope and decided to plan their own course without that internal compass. It
doesn’t take long for the gyroscope to stop functioning and one’s course to go awry. The Bible states that evil was on their mind continually (Gn 6:5). What did we learn earlier about evil? It has a source, it is subtle, and it is deadly. What happened here? It led to the flood – a world-wide flood (Gn 6-8).
I saw you roll your eyes. I know, a world-wide flood seems far- fetched and even unnecessary. However, sin always takes one farther than one was willing to go and causes consequences one never could have foreseen. So it was here. Also, there is a lot of evidence and scientific rationale for a world-wide flood, but this is not about a proof of the flood. The flood was not just about rain, but the breaking of the water canopy around the earth and subterranean waters breaking up through the earth’s surface.[i],[ii]There was a lot of water - a lot of water. However, I digress. What is more interesting is the reason for the flood and not the flood itself.
Want a little sci-fi into our novel of mystery, intrigue, and suspense? What? Are you kidding? No, the Bible
is not fiction, but it sometimes almost sounds like it. It really is not a dull read after all! This is a subplot, but one that most dare not tread but an important one because it tears at the timeline and pulls it so taut that one would think it would break. But it doesn’t! Why? The hero wins, of course.
We find a strange passage in the Bible that seems to talk about angels intermarrying with daughters of men (Gn 6:4). Really? Isn’t that impossible? Well, I agree that many have tried to explain this otherwise, but there are a few verses that would seem to support the fact. Why would something so mysterious be there? Why would something so mysterious be in a novel of mystery and subterfuge? Why wouldn’t it?
These were not just any angels, but Satan’s angels. You see, the antagonist pops up again, just when you least expect. Oh, but his plan is not just a plan but one that has shaken mankind for centuries. I am sure he thought this was quite the clever plot. Angels are supposed to be, well, angels, not part of the world in which we live and interact (Ju 6). Well, Satan knew about this timeline we are following. He wanted to break that timeline and his plan would do that, and more! Or so he thought. Your imagination of the evil scientist had nothing on this plot. Satan decided he would mix angel DNA with human DNA![iii]What? That sounds ridiculous, you say. Well, yes, yes it does. But so did cloning not that long ago. And, after all, Satan was one of the angels present when God created Adam and Eve (Jb 38:6, 7),[iv]so he likely had a good understanding of how genetics worked, or could work. So, even if this was the plan, how would this affect the timeline? Well, if God was going to bring part of the Trinity into the human race, how could he do so if Satan had contaminated the human genome which God had made?[v]Also, the progeny of this union between angel and mankind were almost godlike in stature and became very renown, respected, and probably almost worshipped by mankind because they were practically undefeatable (Gn 6:4). This
further took mankind away from God. Mankind had unwittingly fallen into Satan’s trap again, just like Eve did earlier. I am sure Satan was very smug. His plan was working beautifully. In no time at all, all of mankind’s genome would be mixed with angelic DNA and God would have a dilemma. What would God do? He loved
mankind –His creation. He did not want to destroy them, but he needed these angels out of the way so he could save mankind. Satan underestimated God. God acted decisively and unexpectedly. Yet, he did not act without a chance of repentance for mankind (Gn 6:3). He asked them to listen to their conscience, and to Noah. Yet, Noah and his family, seemingly the only ones with a pure human genome,[vi]were the only ones to take His words seriously. The earth was destroyed, the angels banished (2Pt 2:4), and God allowed the timeline to continue. Notice that Satan did not attempt this Himself. He continued with other plans. But, here, our hero won. Not only the battle, but the lesson. Mankind cannot get back to God on his own with conscience alone.
The timeline continues: now through Noah and his family. Satan’s plots also continue. After the flood, God then instituted government to aid mankind it keeping itself in check and to help out when mankind would not listen to his own conscience (Gn 9:5). Mankind was to respect each other because of whose image from whom they were made (Gn 9:6). Each individual person God considered precious. Therefore, there was a heavy consequence placed upon mankind for killing a fellow human being – death. The life of the one doing the killing would be forfeited for the life they took. Government with conscience was to help mankind stay the course. You can hear Satan in the background, can’t you? I took mankind down once, I did it twice, I can do it again. Did he? Well, the ramifications of this plot have shaken the foundation of mankind’s
world ever since.
The problem with government is that it is made up of people. What can be used for good can also be used for evil. God did, however, demonstrate that government can be done responsibly and this exception to the rule took away anyone’s excuse. Melchizedek was the king of Salem (later known as Jerusalem) and was
called the king of righteousness or the king of peace. He put serving God first and his kingdom reaped the benefit of that service. While we do not read about Melchizedek until the time of Abraham, tradition has it that he was a descendent of Shem, a son of Noah. However, it is likely that those who knew him, or of him, only knew that, to them, he had always been. God used this to point to the one He would send who would be of this type: one who had always existed and would become a king of righteousness and a king of peace. Although government was instituted to keep mankind in check, if one human controls the government, then he can control everyone. And that is just what one by the name of Nimrod did.
God had commanded mankind to spread out and populate the earth (Gn 9:1). Why? Well, then God’s Spirit and mankind’s conscience could work in harmony to allow mankind to work together with mutual respect for each other and government could come into play when anyone refused to comply. However, Nimrod wanted to keep people in close proximity because he could then control them. It is far easier to control a mob than people that are spread over a vast area. And that is what he did. He built an empire (Gn 10:8-12). An empire that was defiant against God. However, Nimrod knew that he could not control people with just his might; he needed to control their worship as well. Then he would have their heart and will. Therefore, he created a counterfeit religion to what God taught and promised. It was such a good counterfeit that mankind has been tripping over the real truth ever since. However, to understand the counterfeit, we need to understand the
truth first. After all, how does one recognize a counterfeit dollar bill? Do they study the different possibilities of a counterfeit? No, there are an endless number of ways to counterfeit a dollar bill. If one studies the dollar
bill and knows everything about it: how it looks, what components are where, and the details of each component, then one can easily spot the counterfeit. Let’s take a look at what God had planned.
[i]John D. Morris, “Did Noah's Flood Cover the Himalayan Mountains?” Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/articles/view/520/270/(accessed 22-Jun-2012)./
[ii]Answers in Genesis, “Noah’s Flood - Where did the water come from?”AnswersinGenesis.org, http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/tools/flood-waters.asp(accessed 22-Jun-2012).
[iii]Showers, What on Earth is God Doing?, p. 22.
[iv]Renald E. Showers, Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels, 15-19.
[v]Showers, Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels, 105-109.
[vi]Showers, Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels, 103-104.