In Genesis 6, we see the lead up to the flood.
Genesis 6:5-8 – 5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
God said that the hearts of mankind, by this generation of humanity, were so wicked that the solution was a global destruction. In case you’re not sure, that means that things were bad. The Lord’s righteous wrath, his perfect hatred of sin, was about to be on display.
What is interesting is the evidence we have been given up to this point of the sinfulness of humanity. Back in Genesis 3, we see the fall of man with Adam and Eve in the garden. IN Genesis 4, we see Cain and Abel as well as the evil Lamech, a man who sang about killing someone. Interestingly, Lamech is also cited as a man who married multiple women, the first man in Scripture to clearly violate God’s design for marriage.
Then, in chapter 6, we have that weird passage about the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men.”
Genesis 6:1-3 1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.”
Immediately, you should know that there are two significantly different proposals out there as to what this passage means. Many believe this passage to indicate demonic activity among humanity. This is based on the phrase “sons of God” which is used in Job to indicate angelic beings.
While that linguistic argument is convincing to many, I do not agree. I find myself agreeing with many others who suggest that the reference here to “sons of God” is simply a way to speak of human men in general or even more particularly to those men descended from the blessed line of Seth. It is also possible that such strange language is here being used because of the spread of the practice of religious prostitution, something certainly popular in Canaan after the flood.
My goal is not to convince anybody of how to interpret the phrase “sons of God.” Instead, my goal is to point out something that I believe is quite significant about humanity before the flood. God saw the wickedness of humanity. God saw that the wickedness was so great that he would shorten the human life span and flood the earth, wiping out every living thing except for a remnant he would save. But what wickedness have we seen? We have seen murder, and we know that is evil. And, we have seen a reference to sexual immorality, to the casting off of all restraint regarding human sexuality and marriage.
Christians, do you know murder to be a big deal, a judgment-worthy offense? Good. You should. Do you also see the casting off of sexual restraint as a big deal? I hope so. But the truth is, we live in a culture that is swimming so deeply in the ocean of sexual sin that we often times do not grasp its significance. So, I again call on us to remember that this is the kind of sin that God highlighted just before he highlighted the wickedness of mankind’s heart leading to the flood. Sexual sin is a big deal to God.
I hope not to come across as judgmental or holier than thou in this writing. My own sins are far too many to count, and I’ll not drop them here in an Internet post. The point I’m making is that God’s word opens with a very clear reminder to us that, if you want to oppose God and gain his judgment, sexual immorality and murder will do it. I’m sure there were other sins. But these are the ones that God cited for us from Genesis 4-6.
If you want a depressing side-note about our culture, just consider these two sins together. What part of our culture does the most to unite sexual immorality and murder? OF course this is the abortion industry. Is not the entire focus of the abortion industry to promise sexual license without consequence and to take the lives of the unborn? Are not there entire political groups dedicated solely to the proposition of perpetuating sexual rebellion and the slaughter of the unborn?
Christians, what do I want us to take from these thoughts? I hope we are sobered. I hope that we will remember that what God says is right is right. I hope that we will remember that rebellion against the ways of God is deadly. And I hope that we will see sexual sin from God’s perspective. Regardless of how much evil surrounds us, regardless of how much each of us has failed in the past, we must grasp how strongly God speaks against the casting off of restraint when it comes to our sexuality.
God has designed sex to be celebrated from within the bounds of biblical marriage. God designed marriage to be the union of one man and one woman for life. God commands that those who love him marry in the Lord, uniting only to those who are also believers and not simply to whomever catches our fancy. And God, from Genesis through Revelation, tells us that to rebel against him in our sexuality is a very big, world-destroying, judgment-bringing deal.
Have you failed in this area? Many of us have. I’m not telling you that you are hopeless. Nor am I looking down upon you in any way. I’m calling you to find the forgiveness of God. Repent of sin and turn to Jesus for mercy. As the ark protected Noah and his family from the flood that wiped out the world, so the grace of Jesus will protect all who come to him from the wrath of God we have earned.