Posted by Craig Borlase on 10 June 2014

When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with humans for ever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.’

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and also afterwards – when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created – and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground – for I regret that I have made them.’  But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.

Genesis 6:1-8

 

The sons of God marrying daughters of men? What's this all about - angels marrying ladies? Nope. It's far more likely that the writer is talking about marriage between two groups: either the descendants of Cain and Seth, or the kings of neighbouring lands. But what's the point? God's people are moving away, they are diluting, losing their identity and becoming weak. There's political corruption and the relationship with their Maker has all but vanished, hidden beneath a mound of evil deeds and thoughts. How far away is this picture from the face-to-face harmony of Adam, Eve and God in the garden of Eden?

As if anyone was unsure that this was not the way things were meant to be, we're hit square in the face by God's reaction to the scene of total depravity: He grieves. Surely there's something wrong here if it’s humankind that does the sinning and God that does the repenting? A change is needed, boundaries need to be set. The laws of freedom that characterised Eden no longer seem to work. No wonder God wants to start again.

With God, it’s always personal. Our sin is not private any more than it is irrelevant. Let’s remember the words of Jesus to the man by the pool today, and “stop sinning”. Wouldn’t it be a better day if we let God show us where we’re messing up and took the steps we needed to get back towards Him?

 

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