often seem boring at first glance, but in the Bible every list can yield
interesting things if we look closely.
In Genesis 5 we find such a list, a short list of ten men, who
died. What could be more
boring, right? Yet I find it
interesting. For instance, the
chapter starts with: “This is the written account [or book] of Adam’s
line”, yet the bloodline is traced only through only one of Adam’s
sons, Seth. Genesis 5:4 tells
us that “After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons
and daughters.” The obvious
question is: If Adam had other sons, then why does Gen 5 trace “Adam’s
line” through Seth only?
answer may be found in the last few verses of the chapter, vv28-32, where
the list stops at Noah and his three sons.
Then we see that only Noah’s line continues after the Flood that
God sent to cover the whole earth. For
all human life, apart from Noah’s family, perished in the Flood.
That includes all of Adam’s other living descendants; their story
ended at the Flood. After Gen
5, the rest of the Bible is about the descendants of Noah.
What a key role Noah played in world history!
Every human being alive today is a descendant of Noah; think about
what do we know about Noah? The
Bible does not say what he looked like.
Physical appearance is apparently not important enough to be
recorded in the Bible. Do we
know what Jesus looked like? The
Bible does, however, record some important details about Noah.
The first thing we are told is that his father, Lamech, chose his
name, Noah, which sounds like the Hebrew word for “comfort”, because
“He will comfort us in the labour and painful toil of our hands caused
by the ground that the Lord
has cursed” [Gen 5:29]. Thus
we glimpse the hard life Noah lived as a farmer.
we are told that Noah became a father after the ripe old age of 500 [Gen
5:32]. Adam became a father at
the age of 130, Seth at 105, Enosh at 90, Kenan at 70, Mahalalel at 65,
Jared at 162 Enoch at 65, Methuselah at 187 and Lamech at 182 [note this
well!]. The average was 117
years. Noah, however, was over
500 when he became a father, more than four times the average age for
attaining fatherhood in his era. Should
we say, “Poor Noah”?
wasn’t it a miracle that Noah became a father when he was a very old
man? God can do what seems
impossible to Mankind. Did
this miracle give Noah the confidence to do the colossal task of
constructing a huge ark that God commanded him to make?
What do you think?
Noah what Bible scholars call a “type”, a precursor pointing to
Abram/Abraham becoming a father at 100?
Indeed he was, for the Bible account about Noah flows straight into
that of Abraham! In fact, the
account of Abraham also starts with a list of descendants [Gen 11:10-26].
And because we already know that God gave children to Noah after he
was 500 years old, we can smile smugly when we read the account of Abram
waiting to be a father at 75. What
is Abram’s 75, or 100, compared to Noah’s 500 year wait?
6 tells us more about Noah. In
a world filled with wickedness and violence [Gen 6:5, 11], “Noah found
favour in the eyes of God” [Gen 6:8].
For “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his
time, and he walked with God”. “Righteous”,
“blameless” and “walked with God” sum up the kind of man Noah was,
and the kind of person we should strive to become.
was so righteous that he was one of only three outstanding examples of
righteousness held up by God in Ezekiel 14:14, 20.
How hard it must have been for Noah to steadfastly remain righteous
and blameless amid the wickedness and evil deeds going on all around him.
Through it all he clung to God, and walked with Him.
Say, who was the other famous descendant of Adam who walked with
God? Wasn’t it Enoch?
God “took him away” [Gen 5:24], and Paul tells us “he did not
experience death” [Hebrews 11:5]. Though
Noah also walked with God, God in His wisdom and sovereignty did not take
Noah away. But, assuredly, Noah will walk [or fly!] with God through
eternity. And we share the
hope of doing so too. We have
so much to look forward to!
was 182 years old when Noah was born.
“Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters came on the earth”
[Gen 7:6]. That made Lamech
182+600=782 years old at the Flood. But
Gen 5:31 says Lamech lived 777 years.
So Lamech was not in Noah’s Ark because he was not on the
passenger list God gave Noah, but also because he was already dead for
is also interesting to compare the pre-Flood bloodline list in Gen 5 with
the post-Flood list in Gen 11. The
people in the first list lived for many hundreds of years: Adam for 930,
Seth 912, Enosh 905, Kenan 910, Mahalalel 895, Jared 962, Methuselah 969,
Lamech 777 and Noah 950. The
average was 912. Let’s look
at the list after the Flood [Gen 11:10-32]. Arphaxad lived 403 years,
Shelah 403, Eber 430, Peleg 209, Reu 207 Serug 200, Nahor 119, and Terah
205. Immediately after the
Flood, lifespans fell to an average of 412 years, less than half the
pre-Flood levels. After a few
generations, this was halved again. And
in recent years, lifespans have been less than half of that level.
Some bright Christians with Science and/or Medical backgrounds
should perhaps look into why lifespans dropped; then perhaps we will know
how to reverse the downward trend, if it is in God’s will.
the Flood, the average age for fathering a son was 117, as we saw above.
Of those born after the Flood, Arphaxad fathered a son at 35, Selah
at 30, Eber at 34, Peleg at 30, Reu at 32…., you get the idea. The Flood
changed the environment so drastically that men were becoming fathers at
about a third the age of their pre-Flood ancestors.
Were men reaching sexual maturity or becoming sexually active at a
much earlier age? Again,
knowing why could be very useful.
the way, did you notice that every person, right from Adam, had a name;
and many, if not all, the names had a meaning?
So when we see movies or read books in which the earliest men went
about speaking in grunts, let’s have a good laugh, for we know that it
Chinese [or Lunar] New Year comes in a few days’ time.
Our God is Lord over every kind of New Year, be it Jewish,
Gregorian or Chinese. I was
surprised to find from the NIV Exhaustive Concordance that “New Year”
cannot be found in the NIV Bible. The
people of the Bible were not required to celebrate the New Year.
Many people today look to a new year to make a fresh start on a
clean slate. But one need not
wait for a new year to come around before making a new start.
A person can do that anytime, by accepting Jesus Christ as his or
her Saviour. Thankfully God
will not send another worldwide flood to wipe out sinful Mankind and make
a fresh start.
God bless your new year, no matter when you start it.
Leow Chuan Tse, Grad Dip CS (summa
cum laude), M Div (summa cum laude).
Atomic Leow has been Biotechnology Lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic,
Senior Biotechnology Lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic, and Course Manager
and Principal Lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic, where he pioneered the
General and Medical Biotechnology courses. Currently, he heads the
Biotechnology Specialist Unit of the Temasek Applied Science School of
Temasek Polytechnic. Dr Leow is the church evangelist of Queenstown
Baptist Church and a prison counselor. His life verse is Philippians 3:
‘I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me
heavenward in Christ Jesus.’
Summary: Hell – The Case for Eternal Punishment
traditional view of eternal punishment in hell is the most widely attested
in church history and it remains the dominant understanding among
evangelical Christians. However, in recent years, a number of well known
evangelicals have abandoned the doctrine of conscious, eternal punishment
in favor of various forms of “annihilation” views, particularly
conditionalism, which teaches that those who die apart from saving faith
in Jesus Christ will be ultimately destroyed. This dissertation undertakes
an in-depth examination of the main issues in the debate, based on a
thorough survey of the teachings in the Old and New Testament. It
concludes that the arguments of the annihilationists and conditionalists
are unconvincing, guilty of speculative distortion and based on dubious
biblical exegesis. This dissertation provides strong biblical evidences to
support the historic Christian doctrine of eternal punishment.
congratulate Atomic on his five awards:
hope to feature our other graduates next week. Praise the Lord with us for
each one of these who worked hard and
completed their studies.
Tan Song Chua 23/1