Flight GEN01 - Genesis 1-11 - Skip Heitzig
The Bible from 30,000 feet, soaring through the scripture from Genesis to Revelation.
Turned in your Bible, turned in the book of books to the first book, the book of Genesis, where we are going to look at the first 11 chapters in this first flight. We're about to embark on a very special journey, a fast-paced journey through the Bible. Each flight begins each week at 6:30 PM. The flight is about an hour. And you're going to see things that are familiar. But hopefully, you're going to see some things you have never seen before.
Now, the Bible is worth reading slowly, which is what we usually do in our devotional time. Even in our normal and midweek Bible study or our Sunday morning approach, we go slower. And I've been known to go very slow in my teaching. I've done a whole sermon on not just a sentence, not just a phrase, but just a single word. One time I even did one on a comma between two words. And there is value in going slow.
But there's also value in an approach like this where you speed it up and you cover vast portions of scripture. It gives to us the big picture. And sometimes we can miss the forest for the trees. We need to see how the plan all fits together. And this unique approach will do just that. So we're going to cover a lot of ground. We're going to move quickly. We're not going to be able to read every verse.
We're going to be looking at the landmarks. Just like a pilot will often say to those who were aboard his or her flight, if you look to your right, you'll see the Grand Canyon. Later on if you look to your left, you'll see the St. Louis Arch over the Mississippi. We're going to show you the major landmarks in this scripture and show how it all fits together.
Now, on a horizontal level, there are two sources of knowledge-- reason and experience. That's how most people get their knowledge-- reason and experience. We experience things. And therefore, we draw conclusions. Or we reason things out based on others' observations or others' experiences. Those are the two basic sources of knowledge, reason and experience.
However, those two sources are limited sources. There's a lot of things that are left unanswered like where did I come from? Where am I going? What is the purpose and meaning of life? How did I get here? Therefore, you need a third source. Not just a horizontal source, reason and experience, but a vertical source. And that is Revelation.
Someone from outside the time and space continuum needs to communicate to you and tell you what's up. You'll never answer those questions without it. And so we have Revelation, God's Revelation. And Revelation can even be divided into two groups. There is a natural Revelation. There is special Revelation. Or if you prefer general Revelation as opposed to special Revelation.
What is general Revelation? Things like creation, the universe. As you go out and you observe the stars, the sky, the moon, the sun, the intricacies of biology. The Bible says, "the heavens declare the glory of God." The firmament shows his handiwork. But then there is special Revelation. And that is the Bible. And that is what we're studying in this year study called the Bible from 30,000 feet.
Now, in this book, this Bible, there are 66 separate books-- some long, some very long, some very, very short-- 66 entries all together or 31,173 verses. Sounds like a big book. It is. If you were to read it from cover to cover out loud, like if you were to stand in your room and just start reading it aloud, it would take you about 70 hours straight to read from Genesis to Revelation.
If you were to break that up though, you could cover it in 12 minutes a day in a single year. So it's worth doing. It's worth reading through the Bible. And we're going to be doing that, as I said, not every verse. But we're going to look at the highlights. Now, the Bible does something. It sweeps throughout history. And it goes from eternity past to the future, the eternal state. It covers all the way back from primeval early history all the way to ultimate prophecy in the Book of Revelation.
But all of the Bible, if you wanted to sum it up, you could say this. All of the scripture, all 66 books, all of special Revelation points to one person and two events. One person and two events. Now, you have the Bible in a nutshell. That's the irreducible minimum. You can't get any tighter or any smaller than that. The one person, the hero of the Bible, you know who that is. It's Jesus Christ. The two events-- His first coming, His second coming.
His first coming, He comes to deal with sin. His second coming, He comes to reign with those who have been cleansed from sin. That is the whole Bible-- one person, two events. Genesis is the foundation. It's the ground floor. If we don't understand the book of Genesis, we won't understand what follows the book of Genesis. It is all about origins. That's what Genesis means.
The Hebrew title is Bereshit, in the beginning. Our title is Genesis. It means the origin. And we get in this book the origin of, well, everything. The origin of the Heaven and the Earth. We get the origin of man, the origin of sin, the origin of God's plan to deal with sin, the origin of marriage, the origin of the family, the origin of human government, the origin of the nation of Israel. Everything is covered in terms of its origin in this book.
Now, we're going to look at, tonight, the first 11 chapters. And then next time, we're going to finish the book of Genesis and go on in the next week into the Book of Exodus. But the first 11 chapters are about events. The second part of the book of Genesis, chapters 12 through 50 highlights people. We're going to look at events. And the four events that you've seen just in the introduction video are the formation followed by the fall followed by the flood followed by the fallout.
I'll briefly explain it. Chapters 1 and 2, the formation of the Heavens and the Earth. The universe is formed by God. And it's explained briefly in two chapters. Then we have, in chapters 3, 4, and 5, the fall of Man, Adam and Eve's sin in the garden and the repercussions that follow. Then we have the flood in chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9-- a universal judgment where waters covered the Earth followed by the fallout of man's rebellion in chapters 10 and 11.
So let's begin at the beginning with the formation of the universe. We're going to look at the first verse of the Bible. And we're going to kind of pick this out singularly and then move on through the rest. Let me just say as I've said so often before. If you can accept Genesis 1:1, everything after that gets really simple.
"In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth." That's a good trick. That's a lot of power. That's an incredible feat. If that can happen, then every single other miraculous event is now possible. So if you can get past that first verse, get through that first verse, understand it, in part, and embrace it, you'll be good.
So look at it. "In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth." It's so simple, so straightforward. And it happens to be very precise. Back in 1903, an unbeliever, a scientist by the name of Herbert Spencer argued that all things in the universe, everything in the universe, can be fit into one of five categories. Now, listen to what he said. The five categories are time, force, action, space, matter. Everything could be fit into one of those categories-- time, force, action, space, matter.
What he did not know is that God beat him to the punch. Because when he said that statement, he just said Genesis 1:1. Look at it again. "In the beginning--" that's time. "God--" that's force. "Created--" that's action. "The Heavens--" that's space. "And the Earth--" that's matter. "In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth," in a precise, succinct statement.
"The Earth," verse 2, "is without form and void. Darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." So now, we understand that God involved His Holy Spirit in His creation. As we keep reading through the Bible, we're going to understand that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all involved. Not only is the Spirit hovering over the waters. But John chapter 1 will tell us that Jesus was before all things and that He created all things.
It'll also be repeated in Colossians chapter 1. "He is before all things. And by Him, all things consist." John 1:1, "in the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God. All things were made through Him. And there was not anything that is made or that was made, except by Him."
Then verse 3, God said, "let there be light. And there was light." And God saw the light, that it was good. And God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light, day, and the darkness he called, night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. Now, we have, in the verses that follow, the six days of creation.
On day 1, the light comes on. Day 2, the hydrological cycle begins as waters on the surface pool and waters above the firmament or the expanse of heaven exist. On day 4, the celestial bodies are formed. On day 5, the animals are formed. And so God basically decorated His creation. He created it. Then He decorated it. Now, He populates it.
On day 6, He creates us, mankind. Verse 26, "then God said, let Us make man in our image." Isn't that an interesting way to put it. God said, let Us-- the Father, the Son, the Spirit, the Triune God in communication with each other. According to our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over the cattle over all the Earth over every creeping thing that creeps on the Earth.
So God created man in His own image. In the image of God, He created Him male and female. He created Them. Then in chapter 2, verse 1, when God was all done, it has this unusual term. God rested. God rested. That becomes the very basis for a commandment Israel will follow the day of rest, the Sabbath. God created the world in six days. On the seventh day, He rested. Why did he rest? Was he tired? No. He was done.
When he rested, it's not like-- don't picture God, oh, man. That was tough getting those animals out. Like that rhinoceros-- that was tough. No. He was done. And so He ended it. He ceased. Or He rested from it. There is a word. It's found in verse 1 that happens to be a stumbling block for a lot of people. That's why, I said, if you can get past verse 1, you'll be fine.
And that is the word, created. Boy, when you say, God created, there's an awful lot of people in this world who hate the idea, this naive idea, that there is a super being out there named God who created things. Because most people believe that, in our culture, evolution is a done deal. Nobody believes in creation anymore.
The only problem is it's not a done deal in the scientific community. There's an awful lot of biologists, biochemists, and others who object to the standard theory of evolution. One molecular biologist by the name of Michael Denton, whom I greatly admire his works, said, the evolutionary theory is still, as it was in Darwin's time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support.
Did you know that, when Charles Darwin came up with his theory of evolution, he knew that there was one glaring lack of evidence in one area. And that was the fossil record. He couldn't find any evidence in the fossil record of transitional forms. He could find plenty of transmutational forms but no transitional forms. It was absent. But he believed that, over time, he would be vindicated, that enough science would go by that would vindicate his theory of evolution.
But what has happened is exactly the opposite. David Roth, the curator of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, wrote this. "We are now about 120 years after Darwin. And the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species. But the situation hasn't changed much. We have fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time."
So a growing group of these scientists are looking at evolution saying, this is a ridiculous idea to think that no one plus nothing equals everything. That somehow just lacks common sense. Because no matter how far back you go, however infinitely you regress, you've got to do something about all that gas-- where did it come from? And all that space-- where did it come from?
As you came in the church building tonight, if you came from the east parking lot, you passed our courtyard. And in our courtyard is a baptismal fountain-- a water feature as a waterfall. But it's also used as a baptism. We can fill it up. We can warm it up to like 90, even 100 degrees if we wanted to and make it kind of like a Jacuzzi. We fill it up. We baptize people. And then we bring it back down for the rest of the week as a water feature.
So as you go by, I don't know if you've ever thought this. But I thought this from the beginning. This thing's cool. And it's designed really well. And because it's designed, obviously, there must be behind it a designer. But if I were to say, you know really how that came about? It was really freaky. But one day, it just appeared.
And I figured that, over millions of years, gases and energy and rocks and steel collided. And eventually, it just formed itself in this fashion. You would say, you're a nut. And you would be correct. I would be a nut. Because something that is as intricate as that demands design.
Like your home. When you go home, you can look at your house. And it shows a builder did this. An architect formed plans. And a builder followed those plans. Design shows a designer. That, by the way, is called the teleological argument for the existence of God, that there is a designer behind the intricacies of the designed world.
"He created them," it says at the end of verse 27. In Genesis chapter 2 verse 4, "this is the history of the Heavens and the Earth." There's this word again, "when they were created in the day that the Lord, God, made the Earth and the Heavens."
A couple of days ago, many of the pastors and myself were camping outside for a couple of days in northern New Mexico by the San Juan River. And at night, far from the city, you can look up and see the panoply of stars like diamonds spread across black velvet. They just pop. They're brilliant-- the planets, the stars.
And when you see the universe like it says in the book of Psalms, "the Heavens declare the glory of God." The firmament shows his handiwork. "Day into day, they utter their speech. Night after night, they reveal knowledge." You really get that when you look in that perspective out in the tulies at the heavens.
To say, well, it's just a weird accident. It's a cosmic accident. It just so happens that the Sun is 93 million miles away from the Earth and has a surface temperature of 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Really? It just so happened? If we were as close, say, as Venus, our surface temperature would be 860 degrees Fahrenheit. You'd think it was hot here today? Imagine 860 degrees Fahrenheit. If you moved far back like to the orbit of Mars, you would have minus 195 degrees Celsius. That's cold.
In either extreme, life as we know it could not survive. But we are right here in that spot. Or if you were to say, well, it just so happens that the Earth is rotating 365 orbits around the Sun-- why not 30? What if our days were that long so it took 30 orbits like some of the planets are very slow in their rotation. Well, the day would be 10 times longer. The night would be 10 times longer. And there would be alternate events of freezing and heating. Life could not be sustained.
If you say, well, it just so happened that the Earth is tilted 23 and 1/3 degrees on its axis giving us the beautiful array of four seasons. Or it just so happened that the atmosphere is this unusual balance of 78 parts nitrogen to 21 parts of oxygen with 1% of varying gases. It's weird how it just so happened.
And it just so happened that the amount of water to land is the ratio that it is, which gives us the rainfall that we have on the Earth. Did you know that if the oceans were just one quarter larger than they are, we would have a flood on the Earth. It would be eight times the amount of rainfall. Life couldn't be sustained. If they were just a little shallower than they are, it would be dry all over the Earth. And we know it's dry here. It would be dry everywhere, and life couldn't be sustained.
So it didn't just so happened. It was just so designed by a designer. And the Lord God made the Earth and the Heaven. So when you go outside-- and maybe you'll see a star or two tonight. We have light pollution around here. And you look up and you see a couple of stars or a planet, think this. If the art hanging in the skies must be that magnificent, how magnificent is the artist behind it? That's the God of the Bible.
In Genesis 2, in verse 8, "the Lord, God, planted a garden." I love that God was a Gardener. "Where eastward in Eden. And there, He put the man whom He had formed." Now, we don't exactly know where this is. Probably was in the Mesopotamian river valley, the river delta, between the Tigris and Euphrates River. Of course, the Earth was very different. But that would make it around Iraq somewhere, that delta.
Verse 9, "out of the ground, the Lord, God, made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Go down to verse 15. "Then the Lord, God, took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend it and to keep it. And the Lord, God, commanded the man saying, 'of every tree of the garden, you may freely eat.'"
Please notice that. We always notice, you can't eat that one tree. And we kind of get bummed out at God for making a rule. You can eat everything in this garden. You may freely eat it. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die." Now, we're going to see this in chapter 5 more than any other chapter in this early part. Because it will be a list of all the people who die. It will say eight times, and he died and he died and he died and he died. "And the day that you eat, you will surely die."
Go down to verse 19. "Out of the ground, the Lord, God, formed every beast of the field, every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name." Adam is a name. It's actually a Hebrew word. And it simply means, man. That's how we translate Adam-- man.
But the word, Adam, comes from another Hebrew word, adamah, which means, dirt or soil, red soil. They even use adamah for, red, in the Hebrew language to this day and probably because the nutrient-rich red soil of a garden of Eden is where God took him. So if you look at verse 19, that's Adam's life. What a great job. Living in the Garden of Eden? And his job was naming animals. This is a hippie's dream.
Hey, this is what people save their whole life for and look to retire after. This is what they want to do, just hang around in a garden environment with a bunch animals. Come on. That's living. So he's naming animals. And I always like to imagine that, at first, he was very creative and diligent and came up with these weird things like, Hippopotamus. That's like five syllables. Man, that's long. Or rhinoceros.
And then he got a little tireder-- elephant. And then it's the end of the day. And he says, like, dog. Cat. Pig. Fly. He had not much energy. Of course, these are English names. Chapter 2 verse 18, go back one verse. "The Lord, God, said, 'it is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him."
Verse 21, "the Lord, God, caused the deep sleep to fall on Adam. And he slept. And he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib," or the side, literally, "which the Lord, God, had taken from man, he made into a woman. And he brought her to the man."
There was this Sunday school class where the teacher was telling this story, the story of creation, the story of the first man and woman. There was one little boy who was just so interested in Adam and Eve and how this process worked. He'd never heard anything like this. God took a rib and made a woman. And it was his wife. And it was just so weird to him. But he's listening. And he was wrapped in attention.
Later on that week, little Johnny had a stomach ache and was lying on his bed. And as mom came in the room, and said, Johnny, what's wrong? And he was holding his side. And he goes, I think I'm having a wife. It's what a kid would think looking at the story. "And Adam said," verse 23, "this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called, woman, because she was taken out of man."
Now, that doesn't sound all that romantic. The girl shows up. And this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Really? That's all you got? But that's because our translation really doesn't capture the feel and flavor of the original. So the Living Bible tried to do that and said, and God brought the woman to the man. And Adam said, this is it. And I like that translation. This is it. Yeah, bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh. But this is the one. This is the helper. This is the match. This is the one. It was from God, and he knew it.
"Therefore," verse 24, "a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. And they shall become one flesh." Now, we've noticed something repeated. If you were to read every single verse of these chapters, you would find out that time and time again, God says, after he makes something, it was good. It was good. Chapter 1, verse 4, verse 10, verse 12, verse 18, verse 21, verse 25, God says, it's good.
And then in chapter 1 verse 31, "then God saw everything that He had made. And indeed, it was very good." Now, for the first time in all the Bible, God says, something is not good. He looks at the dude. He looks him over and goes, something's not right. Something is not good about this. And what it was was the state of aloneness that he was in. It is not good that man should be alone.
So God says, I'm going to make him a helper. Now, speaking of unromantic things to say, this would be high on the list. Well, who's this? Oh, this is my helper. Try that sometime, man, and watch her reaction. Oh, really, that's what I am? Your helper?
It doesn't sound impressive. It sort of sounds like, she's my assistant. However, did you know that it is a word God used to describe Himself. In Psalm 46, "God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help." Same exact Hebrew word. "A present help in times of trouble." Also Psalm 33, "God is our help and our shield."
So God knew that this guy needed all the help he can get. So He made her. And He brought them together. God was the first matchmaker you might say. And we would be right to say, this was a match made in Heaven. God brought them together. In fact, somebody once said, Adam and Eve had the ideal set up. He didn't have to hear about all the men she could have married. And she didn't have to hear about the way his mother cooked. So you know, it was just perfect.
So that is the formation, chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis. God does not go into great detail. But he covers the formation. Now, we come to chapter 3 through 5. And this is the Second Great event that Genesis speaks about. And that is the fall of man. Genesis speaks about four great events and four great people. The four great people we'll look at next time. But now, we come to the fall of man, chapters 3 through 5.
And chapter 3 gives to us the only reasonable explanation that the world is as bad off as it is today. Every generation looks around and says, man, this world is so bad these days. I hear that every "set of days." The next generation, man, the world is so bad these days. The next generation-- these days, not like it used to be. So just everybody acknowledges life is pretty bad.
Where did it all start? The explanation is here. Verse 1, "now, the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field, which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, has indeed God said you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Now, right off the bat, we are struck with the fact that this creature, whatever it is, is markedly different from other creatures. Because this creature can talk and can understand human language and can dialogue with the first man the first woman.
So we understand that man is given one negative command. We saw that. He can to the trees of the garden. But this one tree, you can't eat of. So he's given one negative command. Who knows. God may have even hung a sign over that one tree. It says, danger. Lethal tree. Keep out. But what do you think when you see a sign that says, keep out? Go in. Keep out? That's for other people, not me. If it says wet paint, what are you going to do? You're going to touch it. And that's what happens.
Now, the word, serpent, is not the best word. Because the Hebrew word that is uses is the word, nachash. Nachash, means to shine. Or the shining one said. That's the literal translation. So this being, this serpent, would be best translated, a shining one.
Which immediately, if you're a Bible student, takes you to the New Testament, Book of Second Corinthians chapter 11 verse 14 where Paul said, "You have false apostles among You who transform themselves into apostles of Christ. And we shouldn't Marvel at this. "For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light." He appears here as an angel of light. He didn't come with horns, a little tight red suit, a little pitchfork going up to people going, boo! He comes as an angel of light, a shining one.
In fact, there are two Old Testament passages that describe Satan in the beginning and his subsequent fall-- Isaiah chapter 14 and Ezekiel chapter 28. In Ezekiel chapter 28, it says of this being, "you were in Eden, the garden of God. You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty."
Now, this being, this shining one, comes and immediately, as we saw in verse 1 of chapter 3, challenges God, challenges God's Word, challenges God's motives. And right here begins the beginning of what we call in the New Testament, "the world." You've heard that term, "the world." The world, the flesh, the devil.
The world is a New Testament word. And the world is a system of ideas, actions, and people that are opposed to God. And it begins here as something is planted in the heart of Eve by the serpent. Verse 2, "the woman said to the serpent, 'we may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden.'" You said, we can't eat. We may eat. "'But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat. Nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'
Then the serpent said to the woman, 'you will not surely die for God knows that, in the days that you eat, your eyes will be opened. And you will be like God knowing good and evil.' So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took its fruit and ate it. She also gave to her husband with her. And he ate."
Now, notice something in verse 6. "It was good for food. It was pleasant to the eyes. It was desirable to make one wise." First John chapter 2, "for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are not of the Father but they're of the world." We see them displayed in this verse.
Now, you'll notice something also in verse 6, four verbs that Eve engages in. She saw. She took. She ate. She gave. For Adam, there's one. He ate. He's a guy. He ate. Now, what you should know, what you need to know, is though that is true, Adam gets all the blame. Paul, the Apostle, writes, First Timothy chapter 2, "Adam was not deceived. But the woman being deceived fell into transgression."
So you just got to picture Eve over there in the garden. She's just sort of listening and talking and maybe feeling empathy for this creature even though it's a shiny creature. And she listened some more. And she engages more in conversation. And she thinks about it. Adam? He knew exactly what was going on. He just ate. It's like, ugh, grunt, mm, eat! Me Tarzan! But he knew what he was doing.
All that aside, though, this is the darkest day in human history. This is where all the problems began. On this day, the virus, called S-I-N virus, was introduced to the bloodstream of humanity. You are all S-I-N positive. Every single human being-- that beautiful baby that was just born, your little child, your little niece or nephew-- S-I-N positive like all you all.
And so Paul puts it this way in Romans chapter 5, "by one man, sin entered the world. And death through sin and death spread to all." And then finally, Paul writes, "death rained from Adam to Moses." Sin entered. Death entered. Death spread. Death rained. It all started here.
When Adam sinned, a constitutional change was generated in human character so that, from Adam all the way down to every other generation, they would be impacted. He went from innocence to sinfulness. That was the constitutional change in his character. So Adam acted sort of like the federal head of all humans who would ever be born. And by his act, sin and death spread and entered the world.
It's sort of like what happened-- and I told this story to you on a few occasions. As a kid, I went to the Grand Teton's National Park with my parents. And I was at the base of that beautiful lake, Jackson Lake. Early in the morning, a summer morning, it was pristine. And you could see the reflection of the mountains about as clear as you could see the mountains themselves in the horizon.
But just one stone that I threw across that lake to see how many skips that stone would make across that lake, just the first hit, the first impact caused ripples that marred the image of the beautiful Grand Tetons in Jackson Lake, Wyoming. What I did as a kid, Adam did for the world, for the race. He threw the stone of disobedience that has ripple effects in every single generation and distorted the image of God that we were created in. And that answers the question, why the world is, after thousands of years, the way it is and seemingly getting worse.
Now, in chapter 4, we come to the first home, the first nuclear family. We have Adam and Eve and their two boys, Cain and Abel. Both are worshipping together. Abel's offering is accepted. Cain's is not. Verse 3, "and in the process of time," literally, and at the end of days, "it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord."
So it seems like there was an appointed place and an appointed time for them to worship. So worship was already being organized back in Genesis. Verse 4, "Abel also brought of the first born of his flock and their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering. But He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry. And his countenance fell." You know what that means, that sad face. You know, the emoji. His countenance fell. It went from to bummed out. His countenance fell.
A couple of the things are at play here. First of all, the quality of the offering. It is mentioned here. It says that he brought the first born of his flock and their fat. A better translation is he brought the first ones and the fattest ones. In other words, he brought the very best. I'm going to bring the first ones, which also happened to be the biggest, fattest ones. I'm giving those to the Lord. I'm not keeping those for myself.
So we understand that worship, giving, should involve at least some amount of sacrifice. David, when he was offering something to the Lord, he offered to buy the threshing floor of Ornan. We'll get to that much later on. And Ornan said, no, no, no. Let me give this to you. You're going to build a temple for God? Man, it's on me. It's yours. Have it.
He goes, no, no, no. I'm going to pay for it. No, David. You can have it. It's for God. David said, listen. I'm not going to give to the Lord anything that doesn't cost me something. I've got a feeling. It has to be some amount of sacrifice. So it was in this one. There was a quality to his offer.
Second, there was the character behind the offer. If we wonder why did God accept one and not the other, Hebrews 11 gives you the answer. "By faith, Abel offered up a more acceptable or excellent sacrifice than Cain." And if you look at verse 7, there's a hint of that. In verse 7, God says, why are you so bummed out? "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you don't do well, then sin is lying at the door."
In other words, you're not doing well. You're not living right. And I, God, will never separate the offering from the one who offers it. You can worship me. But I always look at the worshiper along with the worship itself. I don't just say, man, that guy can sing. Ooh, he's got his hands raised. And it's so loud. And he's into it. I look at the life behind him. So both of those are at play, the quality of the offering and the character behind the offering.
So he was angry. Cain was so angry that his countenance fell and he kills Abel. It is now the, what you would call, first murder. I'm calling it the second murder in history. Technically, it's the first homicide, a man killing a man. But I contend it's the second murder. The first is when Satan destroyed the relationship of intimacy that God had with his ultimate creation, man and woman. That was the first murder. Satan, the Bible says, was a murderer from the beginning.
So he murdered that relationship. And Cain killing his brother marks the second murder. So Cain killed Abel. And Cain wasn't able to hang out anymore. He's banished and kicked out. And so verse 25 picks up the line of Seth. When we get to chapter 5, the whole chapter is the line of Seth, the third child born to Adam and Eve-- Cain, Abel, and now, Seth.
So it's the genealogy, chapter 5, of Adam through Seth to Noah. And just glance over the chapter. Just look at some of the names in there. When you look at Chapter 5, it looks like a bunch of boring names stacked one on top of the other. Verse 1, "this is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day, God created man, he made him in the likeness of God."
Now, I'm not going to read the whole chapter. But I do want you to know this. Chapter 5 covers 1,500 years, just this chapter. Chapters 1 through 11 cover about 2,000 years. And the rest of the book of Genesis between 300 to 500 years. Just this chapter in its genealogical records is 1,500 years.
But the chapter is like walking through a graveyard. It says, and he died, and he died, and he died, and he died. It's over and over. It's repeated in this chapter. Verse 2, "He created them male and female and blessed them and called them mankind." The Hebrew word there is He called them Adam.
Isn't that interesting? Male and female, He didn't call them the Adams's or the Addams family. But He calls them, collectively, the singular Adam-- man. Translated mankind in our version, or in a more politically correct translation, humankind. But the Word is He called them Adam on the day that they were created.
Now, when God names them, that's an indication that He has dominion over them. Naming them means God has dominion in as much as God said to Adam, you get to name all the animals. You're going to have dominion over all the animals in the world. Over all of the creation, you're the head. You're the crowning creation. But God names them indicating his dominion over them.
"And Adam," verse 3, "lived 130 years and begot a son in his own likeness after his image and named him Seth." From this verse on, the line of Cain is dropped. And the line of Seth is focused on and picked up. Verse 5, "so all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died" Go down to verse 25. "Methuselah lived 187 years and begot Lamech. After he begot Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had sons and daughters. All the days of Methuselah were 969 years. And he died."
People always ask this question. How is it possible for people to live that long? Are these false numbers? Are these much, much, much, much shorter years? So it's really a normal lifespan. How on Earth could they live that long? It is believed-- and I think the best explanation is, before the flood, there was a water canopy that surrounded the Earth, sort of like a thermal blanket, a mist, that would produce uniform temperatures on the Earth.
There would be no rain on the Earth, because the Earth was watered not by rainfall the Bible says, but by a mist that came from it. And also there would be no mass air movements, no wind. But with that canopy, that thermal blanket, came the filtration of all the ultraviolet rays of the sun or at least most of the ones that would be harmful. It would produce a moderate and healthful condition.
Now, this is going to drop off after the flood. You'll see it. The lifespan goes down. Because that water canopy is broken up. Now, the word, Methuselah-- everybody knows Methuselah is the oldest dude in the Bible. But most people skip over what his name means. It's a very interesting name. The name, Methuselah, literally means, "when he is dead, it shall be sent." When he is dead, it shall be sent.
What's fascinating, if you do the chronology, you discover that 969 years after Methuselah came on the scene was the year the flood happened. Now, isn't that an interesting prophecy? When he is dead, it shall be sent. Now imagine being Methuselah's parents. When he is dead, it shall be sent.
Methuselah has a cold. Oh, my goodness. And if the neighbors knew that that little boy was a walking prophecy, are you kidding? We'll baby sit. We'll help out. We'll give him vitamins. We want to do everything we can to keep Methuselah alive for as long as is possible. But one day he would die. And in the year that he died, we believe, from the chronology, is when the flood came.
Which takes us to the third of the four events. And that is the flood on the Earth. That's chapter 6 through 9. Verse 1, "it came to pass when man began to multiply on the face of the Earth and daughters were born to them." Because people lived so long, the long lifespans would cause a rapid increase in population.
Two scientists named John Whitcomb and Henry Morris have figured that, if you take the genealogical tables from Genesis, calculate longevity that is provided for here, and the average number of kids per family, at the end of 18 generations, you could have 774 million people on the Earth. And their reckoning, by this math, is, by the time of the flood, there would be well over a billion people on Earth.
So they began to multiply on the face of the earth. What makes this interesting is Jesus said, "as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the son of man." Today, there are a 7.6 billion people. By the year 2150, it is estimated, the high estimate is 28 billion people on this planet. We are multiplying on the face of the Earth.
Verse 5, "the Lord saw the wickedness of man was great on the Earth that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He made man on the Earth and He was grieved in His heart. And so the Lord said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the Earth, both man and beast, creeping things, and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.'
But Noah found grace or favor in the eyes of the Lord." I love the Living Bible. It says, "but Noah was a pleasure to the Lord." Now, I deliberately skipped a hot potato issue in this chapter. And that's the issue of the sons of God and the daughters of men, the Binet Elohim if some of you know that argument. I'm always asked, what were they? Who were they? Were they demons? Were they sons of Seth? And there are books written about that.
I'm going to skip over that for time and just say, listen, the big picture is more important. That Satan so corrupted the Earth that it reached into virtually every part of society. That's how bad it was. And that is why God judged the Earth. Verse 14, "make yourself an ark of gopher wood." That's thought to be cypress wood, very hard, very durable.
"Make rooms in the ark. Cover it inside and outside with pitch." Verse 17, "and behold, I myself am bringing flood waters on the Earth to destroy, from under heaven, all flesh, which is the breath of life. Everything that is on the Earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you. You will go into the ark, you and your sons, your wives, your son's wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.
Genesis 7 verse 17, "now, the flood was on the Earth 40 days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark and it rose high above the Earth." That's why I believe it's a universal flood. "The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the Earth. And the ark moved about on the surface of the waters." Now, folks, this is a lot more than just a lot of rain.
It was rain from heaven. But also it says, "the fountains of the deep," the subterranean vaults of water all over the Earth that God had originally made were broken up. And it was a great cataclysm that filled the Earth. "The waters prevailed," verse 19, "exceedingly on the Earth. And all the high hills under the whole of heaven were covered. The waters prevailed 15 cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.
And all flesh died that moved on the Earth-- birds and cattle, beasts, every creeping thing that creeps on the Earth and every man." So every man, every woman, every creep died. All the creeps that creep. "And all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died."
Now, let that verse sink in. Everybody died. This is a sober verse. This is the future of all sinners destruction in a holocaust of judgment. You say, well, the flood is never going to happen. You're right. There'll never be another flood on the Earth. The next time, God will judge the Earth though. "And it will be by fire," Peter said. But it will happen.
Chapter 8, "the flood stops." Here's what's interesting. There are 270 cultures out there that have records of a flood. From Egypt to Babylonia to Persia to Greece to the Hindu countries and Chinese cultures, there are flood narratives. And they're strikingly similar with their own variations. And that is because they're all myths. But they all play off the singular event that is true recorded in the Bible, the universal flood.
What's interesting is that a significant number of them say that it was God judging the Earth for its sinful behavior, its wickedness. Now, the ark, was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet tall, with a displacement of 20,000 tons, or roughly the size of the Titanic. It had three decks, which would make the volume 1.5 million cubic feet. The capacity of this vessel was equivalent to 522 railroad cars.
Some estimate the ark could accommodate 18,000 species of animals. And if you were to make the total of animals on the ark, 72,000 creatures, that's less than 60% of the total volume of this boat. Amazing, isn't it? The flood subsided after 150 days. Noah was on this boat for a total of 371 days. I can't begin to imagine the smell.
In chapter 9, when it's all said and done, God makes the covenant. The Noahic covenant, or God's covenant with Noah, he says, you, your three boys, Shem, Ham, Japheth, fill the Earth, multiply. And now, God adds meat to their diet where previously they were just vegetarian. Now, God commands them to eat the animals as they populate the Earth.
Also part of the covenant is the protection of human life, which includes capital punishment as a direct order from God. And now, we come to the last section. And we'll close with this. Chapters 10 and 11, the fallout from the rebellion of man. After the flood, a new social order arises-- human government.
That's not only a new social order. But there's a new physical order. The vapor canopy is removed, that thermal blanket that I just talked about. And man's lifespan is significantly shortened. Also some believe that the atmospheric pressure is cut in half after the flood. And one of the reasons is because there are pterodactyl fossils on the Earth-- those flying dinosaurs. And by design, they couldn't fly unless the atmospheric pressure were twice what it is today.
Now, that's not a big deal, because a lot of people contend they never really flew much. They were sort of like Roadrunner's, kind of ran a lot and then flew a little bit. Or a peacock-- flew a little bit, then stayed on the ground most of the time. Don't know. Don't care. What happened after the flood?
Noah's three sons-- now, watch this. He has three sons-- Shem, Ham, and Japheth. That's what this chapter focuses on-- the next couple of chapters. They had a lot of kids. And chapter 10 is called the table of nations. 70 nations come from these three boys-- 26 from Shem, 30 from Ham, and 14 from Japheth. Just look at verse 1.
Now, this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah-- Shem, Ham, Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood. Now, Japheth is highlighted in verse 2 through 5. He was the Father of the Indo-European races. People from Europe, people from Iran, India, and Central Asia can trace their heritage back to Japheth.
Verses 6 to 20 are the records of Ham. Ham is responsible for the populations of Africa and the Middle East, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, and the Canaanite civilizations that inhabited Israel before they got there. Verses 21 through 31 is Shem. Shem produced the population of a Syria and Syria as well as those in Asia Minor. Now, get this. The rest of the book of Genesis focuses on the line of Shem.
So one line, Cain is eliminated. Seth is focused upon. Now, the rest of the book, one lineage, one genealogical record, one people group is highlighted. Look at verse 21. I want you look at a single word, a single name-- Eber. Do you see that in verse-- Eber? Look again, verse 24. "Arphaxad--" I just had to say that word. Don't ever name your son that. "begot Shelah." That's a little better. "And Shelah begat Eber."
Eber-- it is thought that the word, Hebrew, comes from the word, or the name, Eber, and that the original language, this lineage of Eber spoke, was the language of Hebrew. This is the source of the Semitic group called the Jews. Now, God said something. He said, fill the Earth, right? Be fruitful and fill the Earth. He said that to Adam. He said that to Noah.
In chapter 11, they decide not to spread out but to get together and coalesce into a superstate. Look at just a couple of verses and we close. "Now, the whole Earth had one language and one speech. It came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and dwelt there." That's Mesopotamia or Iraq.
Verse 4, "and they said, 'come let us build ourselves the city and a tower whose top is in the heavens. Let us make a name for ourselves lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole Earth.'" Verse 7, "God responds, 'come let us go down and confuse their language that they may not understand one another's speech.'"
Now, there are separate languages, which divide them up, which is what God wanted them to do in the first place. Fill the Earth. Spread out. Don't coalesce. So their ethnicities and their language will cause them to coalesce into different groups in different zones.
So verse 8, "the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the Earth. And they ceased building the city. Therefore, the name is called Babel." That's where Babylon will come from. "Because there, the Lord confused the language of all the Earth. And from there, the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the Earth."
The word, Babel, means a gateway to God. So here is mankind building this ziggurat, this tiered structure, that's sort of like a ladder to heaven. Or if you will, in the words of Robert Plant, they're trying to build a stairway to heaven. They're trying to reach God and have dominion themselves apart from God.
As we close, and now we are closing, the Bible can be summed up besides one person and two events. You could say the whole Bible is the choice between two cities. It's a tale of two cities. It's the city of God versus the city of man. Or in biblical parlance, Babylon versus Jerusalem. By the way, the two cities named more than any other cities in the Bible are Babylon and Jerusalem.
So it's interesting that the Bible will close exactly the same way. In Revelation, there is Babylon the great that gets conquered and, in its place, the new Jerusalem, which comes out of Heaven from God. Which is your city? Which is your town? Where are you putting down your roots and building your foundation?
The capstone of this whole section of Genesis 1 through 11 is chapter 3 verse 15 where God says to Satan, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. And he will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel." It's a promise of the Redeemer. It's the seed plot of the rest of the Bible.
God promised that, one day, the messiah would come, the deliverer would come. And though he would die and, in a sense, his heel would be bruised, He would be crushing the authority, the dominion, the power of Satan. Paradise lost will be paradise regained. Don't blame Adam. God gives you the same choice-- life or death. Eternal life, eternal death-- it's up to you. You choose.
Father, we want to thank You for the time that we've spent together soaring over 11 chapters of the book of Genesis, understanding the events that this book speaks about-- at least in part. The formation of everything, the fall of mankind, the flood that came upon the Earth, and the fallout that happened because of man's rebellion to God.
But Lord, it all comes down to our personal choice. And I pray we would walk away with not only that understanding of the Bible but the understanding of our choice and our need to decide what city we're going to be a part of, what tree we're going to go moved toward, what fruit we're going to take for ourselves, and what we're going to do with Jesus Christ. It's in his name we pray. Amen.
We hope you enjoyed this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary church. For more resources, visit calvarynm.church. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from the Bible from 30,000 feet.