Genesis Prophecy

INTRODUCTION: This study will center in the opening chapters of Genesis to begin the consideration of how the LORD God has used prophets and apostles to convey the gospel of Christ to provide the power of salvation to eternal life for those who call upon the name of the LORD by faith through the Word of God. Other scriptures will be used as they have connection with the Genesis passages. All that we have in the Word of God to bring us into our new citizenship in heaven was built upon that firm foundation that is laid only by the true and living God, which began with Christ Jesus before any of the prophets and apostles came into the process in successive generations.
Ephesians 2:19-22 "So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone; in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit."

In the opening chapters of Genesis up through the days of Noah, the LORD spoke to only a few chosen individuals in a direct manner. Some of the significant personalities in Genesis represent the embodiment of a message from God to us today, in type or example. After the global flood, the LORD also used visions or dreams to speak to men, and He appointed some as the first prophets to spread His message to others who did not hear His voice directly. Then the LORD set apart a people, and called them out of Egypt, to be a witness for the Truth of His Word to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. By His Spirit he began to direct chosen men to write scripture in various forms of literature, while prophets continued to speak the Word up through the time of Christ and His apostles.

The written Word of God has become the enduring medium through the ages, and in these latter days it provides access to the history and diverse beauty of God's unfolding plan, and the future yet to be realized for those created in His image. Miracles, signs, and wonders have been important aspects that the LORD used for Himself, or for his representatives, to validate the message and the messenger. These show the power of the Creator who is superior to the "natural" system He created. The whole of scripture is communication from our Creator to us: later writings always align with the earlier ones, and often are the means by which we can gain greater clarity of both. When scripture records the voice of God, we usually think in terms of His covenants and commandments, but those passages can embody elements of prophecy, giving even greater depth to their significance. In the New Testament gospel accounts, God again spoke directly to men, but in a very unique way as the God-man (Son of God and son of man), as He had come in the flesh to seek and to save that which was lost: those He had created in His own image.

NOTE: Bible passages are from the 1901 American Standard Version (ASV).


A - GOD CREATED HIS IMAGE BEARERS AND SPOKE WITH THEM

Genesis 1:27-28 "And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

Genesis 2:16-17 "And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Genesis 3:17-19 "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

COMMENTS: God placed man in dominion over all of Creation, gave him the riches of the unspoiled earth to enjoy, and instructed him to be fruitful and multiply. God also set a limitation, and specified the consequence of disobedience. When Adam disobeyed the command of God, he brought about the consequence that would affect all of his descendents. The apostle Paul has this to say about the consequence,
Romans 5:12 "Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:"
The ground also was cursed by the LORD because of Adam's sin, but the LORD would not leave mankind without a means of rescue to be more fully revealed later.


B - CAIN WAS JEALOUS OF ABLE

Genesis 4:3-7 "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And Jehovah had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And Jehovah said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted up? and if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door; and unto thee shall be its desire; but do thou rule over it."

Genesis 4:8-18 "And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And Jehovah said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brotherís keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brotherís blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now cursed art thou from the ground, which hath opened its mouth to receive thy brotherís blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee its strength; a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto Jehovah, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the ground; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth; and it will come to pass, that whosoever findeth me will slay me. And Jehovah said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And Jehovah appointed a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should smite him. And Cain went out from the presence of Jehovah, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael; and Mehujael begat Methushael; and Methushael begat Lamech."

COMMENTS: Scripture does not provide the narrative of the LORD's instruction for sacrifices, but when the LORD spoke to Cain he told him if he would "do well he would no longer feel dejected; and this seems to indicate that Cain knew the right thing to do. The LORD also cautioned Cain that sin was something always nearby, but it could be avoided. Cain did not rule over the sin within himself by offering the proper sacrifice, but rather Cain allowed that sin to move him to the point of killing his own brother. God held him responsible for this act, but still extended a measure of mercy to him.

It is interesting that Cain's line included one named Enoch, and one named Lamech, not to be confused with those of the same names within the line of Seth. The brief narrative about Cain's line seems to describe a pattern of building for themselves, developing various advanced skills, and generally not acknowledging the blessings of God, as Cain had gone "out from the presence of the LORD." . The apostle John makes this comment about Cain,
1John 3:11-13 "For this is the message which ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another: not as Cain was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Marvel not, brethren, if the world hateth you."
We should not be at all surprised if hate is directed against us because we serve the Living God, but we can remain confident that the LORD is able to preserve us even beyond physical death."


C - THE LORD PROVIDED THROUGH THE SEED OF THE WOMAN

Genesis 4:25 "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For, [said she], God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel; for Cain slew him."

Genesis 4:26 "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh. Then began men to call upon the name of Jehovah."

COMMENTS: The LORD began a line for redemption from sin, as Eve, in verse 25, uttered perhaps the first prophetic words not spoken directly by the LORD. In Hebrew, Seth can have the meaning of compensation, which is an interesting quality to contemplate as we learn from subsequent scripture, of the Lord's provision of the line TO Christ. And Eve had credited the LORD with appointing a seed in the place of Abel, though Adam was the natural father.

There are no offspring recorded for Abel who had been pleasing to God, but God provided many offspring for Seth, and we learn that at this time "men began to call upon the name of the Lord," as distinct from the path Cain had taken in separating himself and his offspring from the LORD in the land to the east.


D - BELIEVERS AND NON-BELIEVERS INTERMARRIED

Genesis 5:4-8 "and the days of Adam after he begat Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters. And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. And Seth lived a hundred and five years, and begat Enosh: and Seth lived after he begat Enosh eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died."

Genesis 6:1-2 "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose."

COMMENTS: Some of those who had known the way of the LORD began to inter-marry, as scripture contrasts "sons of God" with "daughters of men." Though we inherit the sin of Adam by nature, true faith in God is not passed to any offspring biologically, or by family environment. Each person who places saving faith in God alone, does so by the grace and mercy of the LORD. A believing parent can have an unbelieving child despite the best efforts of EXAMPLE AND discipling; and conversely, either or both parents of a believing child can be themselves unbelievers even of the worst sort. Each person must call upon the name of the LORD to receive righteousness from the LORD by grace through faith. When the time of judgment comes it will apply to each person individually.
Ezekiel 14:20 "though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, they should deliver neither son nor daughter; they should but deliver their own souls by their righteousness."

The apostle John also emphasized that salvation is a work of the LORD in each individual.
John 1:12-13 "But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

Seth represents the special provision of God as the LORD ESTABLISHED a line of descendents that WOULD lead to the "last Adam," who provides everlasting spiritual reconciliation of God with His image bearers.
1Corinthians 15:45-47 "So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam [became] a life-giving spirit. Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is of heaven."
The family tree leading to the "last Adam" had many other branches through the centuries along each step of the chosen line, with Enoch and Noah having a distinctive point in the historical record of mankind.


E - ENOCH WAS TRANSLATED INTO HEAVEN WITH A SPIRITUAL BODY

Genesis 5:22-24 "and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."

COMMENTS: In Seth's line of descendents, Enoch had a very unique relationship with the LORD. The wording in the above passage could be understood in more than one way, but we have clarification from the New Testament about Enoch. There is also a declaration in this next passage about Abel's faith, though he had no physical descendents. Abel then is the prime example of a righteous man who saw death by the hand of one not righteous. Enoch became the first to be caught up to heaven before death could make a claim on his physical body, and this because of his faith in God.
Hebrews 11:4-6 "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him: for he hath had witness borne to him that before his translation he had been well-pleasing unto God: And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing [unto him]; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that seek after him."


F - NOAH FOUND GRACE IN THE EYES OF THE LORD

Genesis 5:28-29 "And Lamech lived a hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: and he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, [which cometh] because of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed."

Genesis 6:13-14 "And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5 ASV). "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch."

Genesis 6:17-18 "And I, behold, I do bring the flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is in the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee."

Genesis 6:22-7:1 "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. And Jehovah said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation."

COMMENTS: Noah's father Lamech made a prophetic statement at the birth of his son, and the implementation of the comfort he spoke of would not come until six hundred years later, just a few years after Lamech's death. The rest, or comfort, to come through this son is symbolized in the meaning of the Hebrew name for Noah, which is "rest."

God told Noah in advance why the judgment was coming, and then gave Noah instructions that would preserve a remnant of God's image-bearers. God made it very clear to Noah, and to us through the scripture, that God would be the direct cause of this supernatural global destructive event. The LORD also gave clear instructions that only a specific group of eight people would be preserved in the ark.

When the ark was completed, and the time had come, what a special blessing it was to Noah as the Lord said "thou and all thy house" (or household) go into the Ark. These eight people then became the ancestors for all who now live upon the earth, with all other parallel branches of ancestry of man destroyed in the global flood. The LORD had determined the saving of only these eight, and the LORD brought to pass that which He had spoken to Noah, while they were securely borne above the destructive flood by the ark of god.


G - NOAH EMERGED FROM THE ARK

Genesis 8:20 to 9:1 "And Noah builded an altar unto Jehovah, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for that the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."

COMMENTS: Hebrews 11:7 "By faith Noah, being warned [of God] concerning things not seen as yet, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; through which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith."
These examples of Abel, Enoch, and Noah show clearly that from the very beginning of mankind, any who called upon the name of the LORD had to do so by faith. When the global flood had subsided, Noah, and all the preserved creatures having the breath of life, came out of the ark. This new beginning with eight people did not remove the sin that is in the nature of man through the first Adam.

As the LORD vowed never again to destroy the whole earth by water He also said, "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth." The sin inherent in man can only be removed by grace through faith, to receive the new birth into the line of the last Adam, to become a joint heir with Christ. Each person throughout all ages must still call upon the name of the LORD for salvation from sin, for the global flood was not the final judgment of God for man made in the image of God. As man multiplied and spread around the earth, there were other judgments that became examples for future generations.
2Peter 2:4-9 "For if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, having made them an example unto those that should live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, sore distressed by the lascivious life of the wicked (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] lawless deeds): the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment unto the day of judgment;"

The Lord Jesus used the widespread unbelief before the global flood to illustrate that the same spirit of rebellion against God will be prevalent in the time of His return to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 24:37-39 "And as [were] the days of Noah, so shall be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall be the coming of the Son of man."

The apostle Peter told us what believers in Christ should expect in each generation until the Lord returns.
2Peter 3:3-7 "knowing this first, that in the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God; by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."

Peter concludes his letter with encouragement to us to be steadfast in our faith and devotion to our Lord, for a much brighter eternal future.
2Peter 3:13-18 "But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for these things, give diligence that ye may be found in peace, without spot and blameless in his sight. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote unto you; as also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, knowing [these things] beforehand, beware lest, being carried away with the error of the wicked, ye fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] the glory both now and for ever. Amen."

The apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the great comfort believers have in awaiting the Lord's return.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."


--- Reflections in prayer ---

LORD, how rich are the treasures of Your Word, and how full of power through mercy to overcome the evil that so easily turns the heart of man toward rebellion against Your commands. In this very first section of Genesis, we are presented with a template of Your unfolding plan for mankind until the coming of Your everlasting kingdom of light. Abel, the very first gentle shepherd who lost his life through the violence at the hands of his brother, lives on because of his righteousness of obedience by faith. In contrast Cain, the very first man to commit murder, sought to keep his life and not suffer his deserved punishment, but he lost his life in eternity as the apostle John tells us that Cain was of the evil one. I pray that I will remember that John tells the Christian today that we should not be surprised if those of the world hate us as Cain did with Abel. Yet we can be comforted that we like Abel can live after death by our faith in God.

With Seth, You provided a continued line of grace directly through the seed of the woman, the mother of all living. In that line of Seth, we have the example of Enoch as one who maintained a close walk with the LORD, and he was taken up to be with You without first seeing death. We know by faith that whether we die before Your return at the end of the present age, or are yet alive for that event, we are assured that we will ever be with our Lord by Your grace. Though at the time of Noah, the rebellion and violence of man had spread over the earth as "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually," You provided a means by grace to save those who had remained righteous before an ever faithful LORD. I know this truth continues to us today, because your Word says, "For I am the LORD, I change not." I praise the LORD my Saviour that down through the many generations Your salvation from death by sin, has reached to me in my lifetime, to assure my place in the dominion of the King of kings, and Lord of Lords because of Your grace. I ask You LORD, by Your Spirit, to enable me to be diligent to walk humbly before You. May I comfort others with these blessed truths about the new heavens and the new earth, that bring me enduring comfort. Amen.

Published 16 April 2010 | revised 3 February 2017