“My spirit shall not abide in man forever” (Genesis 6:1-4).
Now, propelled through time, we land in the story more than 1,000 years after the tragic story of Cain and Abel. Things have only gotten worse. “Man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born.” The climate was different at this time, and people were living far more years than they do today. The population of earth was expanding, and, unfortunately, so was sin.
The two lines of Adam, one from Cain and one from Seth, were a stark contrast. Cain’s people celebrated their wickedness and rejection of God. Seth’s people revered the name of the Lord. The two peoples could not be more different. However, the time came when “the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive,” and they abandoned God for their desires of marriage.
It was like the fall in the garden all over again. Just as Eve saw the forbidden fruit as good in her own eyes and took it for herself, so did the sons of God. They saw the forbidden women as good and “took as their wives as they chose.” Sin had infected humanity so deeply. It started in the garden, spread to the field, and eventually prevailed across the earth.
Seeing that wickedness was prevailing at such a rapid rate, God decided to trim the years off the life of humanity. “His days shall be 120 years,” instead of several hundred, for sin was too dangerous. During that time, there was an infamous people called “the Nephilim” who were so violent, their reputation was legendary. Humanity was turned upside down. Sin was producing sin. With the corruption of marriage and savagery of hate, God knew that the people would not abide in His word. He had to intervene.
- Why do you think sin multiplied when mankind multiplied? What pattern did the sons of God follow that led them to sin?
- How do you think the holy God felt when He saw His people during this time? What does this passage tell us about God’s mercy on mankind?
- How would you describe the time you live in today? Are most people calling upon the Lord or leaning toward their own desires? What does this tell you?