The Rise of Sin

Sin is a terrible thing. It is like a cancer that slowly spreads until it chokes the life out of you. All of the problems that we see in our world today, all of the pain and the misery; is all a direct result of the presence of sin in our world that began from the time that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis chapter six we find that the earth’s population has expanded and with the population growth we also find the progression into a greater and greater state of sin. In this chapter we will examine just how bad sin can get and the hurt that it brings to the heart of God.
In verse one and two of Genesis six we have the difficult issue regarding the sons of God. There have been many views as to who the sons of God are. One of those views is the angel view. This view states that the sons of God are fallen angels who marry and bear children by human women. There is some very good evidence to support this view. The term ‘sons of God’ is the Hebrew term ‘bene elohim’ which in every other case in the Old Testament is used in reference to angels. There is also an ancient interpretation that is supported by the book of Enoch. This view also claims 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6-7 as support. Even with all this evidence we find a huge snag in this view. The New Testament clearly shows in several incidents that sexuality is not attributed to angels. (Matt. 22:30, Mark 12:25, Luke 20:34-35). Though this view can be compelling, and is one that I have personally held to in the past, it has its problems. Another view concerning who the ‘sons of God’ are in Genesis chapter six is the Sethite-Cainite view. This view says that the sons of God are men from the godly line of Seth who inter-marry with Cainite women. This actually appears to be a very natural interpretation of this passage, but it has not been widely supported due to the lack of dealing with the actual terminology in this passage. However, this is another view that is also compelling to me because it simply makes sense. When believers and non-believers inter-marry, we find a host of problems and a rise in worldliness and sin. In many ways the church today has inter-married with the world and as a result it is hard to tell a difference between someone who claims to be a believer and someone who is not. There is certainly a very good principle that can be applied with the support of this view. There is also another view which asserts that the sons of God are political rulers who committed the moral sin of forced polygamy. This view is called the noble view. Those who hold to this view focus on the phrase that they took wives ‘from all which they choose.’ When it comes to this view there is not a lot of historical evidence that would point to such an idea. A final view that many hold concerning the ‘sons of God’ is the demon-possessed view. This view says that the ‘sons of God’ were demon-possessed men. This could be an explanation for the punishment given to the angels that sinned in Jude 6. Jude 6 describes angels who left their habitation perhaps to inhabit the bodies of humans. These angels are now described as being in prison in hell. This is another view that I could personally accept. Three out of the four views presented are views that, I believe, can be easily accepted. This is defiantly a difficult passage to consider, however, it must be noted that in no way is there multiple meanings. God knows the truth and He has given us the truth even though in our finite minds we cannot understand all things. This is just one of those things that perhaps we will know and understand when we get to heaven. Whatever view you take concerning the ‘sons of God’ it has no bearing on the authority of scripture and brings no doubt to the authenticity of the Word of God.
In verse three we see the striving of God. This term refers to keeping down, rule, judge, or strive with a man by moral force. We can say that this is referring to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. It is said here that God will not strive with man forever. In other words, there is a point in time in which God says enough is enough and He will remove His convicting power. In Noah’s day we see that God’s striving with man has reached a crisis point and time is about up. God even shows how He has given the people an exact time period for them to repent. They were given 120 years. This is believed to date back sometime before the birth of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, as there is only about 100 years between their birth and the flood. There are several things we can learn here. One is that God will not touch the free agency of his rational creatures. In other words, God will never force anyone to believe in Him. To be given faith, hope, love, and forgiveness in an involuntary way would contradict the very nature of God. He does not force salvation on anyone though He offers salvation to everyone. Secondly, God will, after giving ample warning, instruction, and invitation, He will as a just judgment on the unbelieving and unrepentant heart, withdraw His Spirit and leave them alone. This time period that we see here in this passage is fast approaching the removal of the Spirit’s drawing to salvation. A third and final thing we learn here is that God has a specific time table for every individual. You will never know God’s time table for you, but He does have one. He will give you ample opportunities to turn from yourself and to turn to Him in repentance and obedience. If you do not trust in Him during His time for you then all hope will be lost. This is why, ‘today is the day of salvation.’ This could be the last time that you will be given the opportunity to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Don’t miss the opportunity. Accept the free gift of salvation that He is offering to you before your time runs out.
In verse four of Genesis six we see the results of the ungodly acts of the ‘sons of God.’ The offspring of the ‘sons of God’ were strong and intelligent men. They were men of great physical strength and great mental strength. These men were powerful, indicating an emphasis on themselves instead of humbleness before God. We learn here that when we continue in sin it results in a greater rise in humanistic thinking. It is a desire to become great and to handle life on our own apart from God. The lesson we need to understand is that the more we continue in sin, the further away from God we become. We begin to rely upon ourselves, rather than relying on God.
In verse five and six we see that sin grieves the heart of God. The rise of sin has come to the eyes of God and He sees that man is living in a continual state of sin. At this point, it ‘repented’ God that He had made man. This does not mean that God changed his mind. The better translation here is that it ‘grieved’ the Lord. This is an anthropomorphic expression for the pain of Divine love for sinful man. This shows us that when we sin, it grieves God. He is hurt by it, just as a parent who is hurt by rebellious actions of their children. I don’t know about you but I cringe at the thought of grieving God. It is my desire to be pleasing to God, to be acceptable to Him, and not to cause Him pain.
Finally, in verse seven we see the justice of God. God decides that He must punish His creation for the rise of sin and He decides to destroy man with a flood. You see, sin cannot be overlooked. It cannot go unpunished, it must be dealt with. Ultimately, God dealt with the penalty of sin on the cross. However, even for those who are believers, we must understand that there are consequences for sin in this life. When we continue in sin, we will face consequences. This is not because God enjoys punishing us. He punishes us because He loves us. I discipline my children, not to be mean, but because I love them. God disciplines us out of love. Are you facing the discipline of God? Is there some sin that has hindered your relationship with Him? If so, get it right before God’s time table runs out. Just as in the days of Noah, God is warning us to turn from our wicked ways and turn to Him. How will we respond?

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