God Judges and Saves

KEY VERSE: “God 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


HOW quickly the degrading influence of sin had overcome the human family. About fifteen hundred years had passed since the first children were born to Adam and Eve, and mankind had increased, it is conservatively estimated, to somewhat over thirty million people.

The Genesis, chapter six, account reveals a shocking condition had developed within the human race. Verse two explains what brought this about. It says that “the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” Verse four tells us that the children born as a result of this unholy union became “giants, … men of renown.” Soon “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, … and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (vs. 5) Verse eleven declares that the “earth was filled with violence.”

The “sons of God” who married the “daughters of men” were not members of the human family. In Luke 3:38 we are informed that Adam was a son of God, but this relationship with his Creator was lost when he disobeyed the divine law. Besides, the human race was commanded to multiply and fill the earth; so special attention would not be called to the fact that male members of the human family took wives who bore children to them. That had been taking place from the time of creation, and was not contrary to the divine will.

We acquire information on this point from the New Testament. Peter wrote, “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [Greek, tartaroo], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the Flood upon the world of the ungodly.” (II Pet. 2:4,5) Jude writes, “The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting [age-lasting] chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”—Jude 6

These sons of God who intermarried with the human race prior to the Flood were, then, angels. Their sin in the matter consisted of the fact that in doing this they “kept not their first estate.” The Bible was not written to reveal details concerning the angelic creations of God, but there is sufficient evidence in the Word of God to establish the fact of such creations. By comparison, for example, man was created “a little lower than the angels.”—Ps. 8:5

The hybrid children resulting from this unauthorized union were apparently of superior mentality and physique. They became men of renown and giants—probably assuming authority, and becoming an elite ruling class. And it was these, evidently, who greatly contributed to the violence with which the earth was filled.

Of course God knew in advance what the disastrous result would be, but he nevertheless permitted it as a positive demonstration of the swift and terrible conditions brought on by uncurtailed disobedience to his laws.

Verse six tells us that this was not an easy thing for God to permit, for “it grieved him at his heart,” but in his far-seeing wisdom he realized that the experience would be for the ultimate good of both angels and men.

The Apostle Peter reminds us that the cutting off in death of all but eight of that entire population was in essence reserving them for a future judgment day, Christ’s kingdom, in which to curtail their downward course of sin. “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly [Noah and his family] out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished [curtailed].” (II Pet. 2:9) The translators believed in a punishing God. How happy we are to know that the original Greek meaning of this word is ‘to curtail’.—Strong’s Concordance, #2849

God made a covenant through Noah that he would never again destroy mankind from the earth. So that subsequently this would not be necessary, God has, to some extent, curtailed the downward course of fallen mankind by establishing the standards of his Law. While this has tended to impede somewhat sin’s degenerating influences, it has neither stopped nor changed its course. Full curtailment of sin will not be accomplished until the righteous rule of Christ’s kingdom.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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