Lesson 23

The Pre-Flood World

Regarding the pre-Flood world God’s word says, “And 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).
Even though Enoch, Methuselah and Noah had warned the people about God’s coming judgement, they chose to reject such words and even ridiculed the preachers. But the judgement came anyway!
In this study we will investigate what it was like to live in the days preceding the Flood.

Sons of God and Daughters of Men
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose” (Genesis 6:1-2).
The first seven verses of Genesis six are difficult to fully grasp. Even Bible scholars fail to understand what they mean. Some suggest that the ‘sons of God’ were fallen angels who co-inhabited with human women thus producing the ‘giants’ (:4). This idea, it is claimed, is confirmed in 2 Peter 2:4 … “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”  Most believe that the ‘sons of God’ refer to Seth’s line, since they were the ones who called upon God’s name, and the ‘daughters of men’ come from Cain’s line. Since we have noted the two family trees diverging from Adam, it seems very likely that the second of these two interpretations is correct. What about the fallen angels? We know that there must have been great demonic activity on the earth prior to the Flood, and that people honoured Satan instead of God. Whatever happened, it caused God to say, “Enough is enough!”

Time to Repent
“And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years” (Genesis 6:3).
Again, there are basically two interpretations of this verse. The first suggests that man’s lifespan would be reduced to 120 years after the Flood. The second, which seems to be the most reasonable, says that God gave the world 120 years to repent while Noah was building the Ark.  We do know that Noah preached God’s word, pleading with them to repent, while he built … “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Hebrews 11:7) … “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” (2 Peter 2:5).

The Land of the Giants
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown” (Genesis 6:4).
Who were the giants? Were they the offspring of the fallen angels and the daughters of men? Or is there a better explanation? Notice that the ‘giants’ are ‘men of renown’ or famous and mighty men. These men obviously made a great name for themselves in the pre-Flood world, but their fame was in being totally rebellious against God. They were corrupt, violent and wicked. They claimed that they were gods in their own right. It is probable that the Greek and Roman gods find their origin here. Most of the pagan gods are said to have been men before their supposed exaltation. These ‘giants’ may not have been men of great stature but simply so-called great men. The Hebrew word ‘Nephilim’ is used for giants here and refers to demonic spirits. As mentioned above, demonic spirits received the worship of men. In the Gospels we find demons giving the possessed great strength and knowledge. Is this what is being referred to but at a far greater scale?

Total Wickedness
“And 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).
Since this statement comes after the verse about the ‘giants’ we must assume they were involved in aggressively turning the world away from God into deeper sin. They lived, breathed and dreamt about sin. All they wanted to do is invent other ways to break God’s heart. From the aged to the youngster, all were totally immersed in iniquity.

Enough is Enough!
“And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart” (Genesis 6:6).
God’s heart was broken over the unbelievable wickedness of mankind. So few honoured Him in any way. God was sorry that it had come to this. What He saw disgusted Him, and He had no choice but to destroy what He had created … “And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Genesis 6:7). What must it be like to have God’s mercy run out! There was nothing more that God could do but to stop the rot.

As in the Days of Noah
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27).
Jesus informs us that similar conditions would exist before He come back to take His own away, before the last great judgement on earth. What we see today was happening in Noah’s time, and God destroyed the world because of it! How near humanity must be to God’s wrath!

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