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Tuesday, May 28th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 5

Sermon Bible CommentarySermon Bible Commentary

Verse 2

Genesis 5:2

I. No sooner was Adam made, than it was at once resolved that he should not be alone; and God proceeded to create Eve. So even in heaven Christ's happiness was not complete without His Church. He came that His yearning heart might have a people to be His own.

II. As Eve was brought to Adam, so the Church was brought to Christ.

III. As from that moment Adam and Eve were treated as one, so in everything Christ's people are one with their Lord.

IV. In the dignity and happiness of Adam and Eve we see a type of Christ and the Church, the Church as it is now, but much rather as it will be at last.

J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 10th series, p. 116.

References: Genesis 5:2 . J. Laidlaw, Bible Doctrine of Man, p. 98. Genesis 5:3 . G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 382; Christian World Pulpit, vol. v., p. 193.Genesis 5:4 . B. Waugh, Sunday Magazine (1887), pp. 423, 425.Genesis 5:5 . J. Van Oosterzee, Year of Salvation, vol. i., p. 156.

Verses 21-24

Genesis 5:21-24

In the Bible, besides its ordinary characters, and besides its simply extraordinary men such as David, Solomon, or Isaiah, there is another and a still more interesting order, around whom hovers a shade of supernaturalism and mystery. Such are Melchisedec, Elijah, Moses, and Enoch.

I. Consider the life of Enoch. He "walked with God." These words seem to imply that Enoch possessed a remarkable resemblance to God in moral excellence; that he realised God's presence, and enjoyed His communion in an extraordinary measure, and that he publicly avowed himself to be on God's side, and stood almost alone in doing so.

We notice especially the quietness and unconsciousness of his walk with God. The life of David or of Job resembled a stormy spring day, made up of sweeping tempest, angry glooms, and sudden bursts of windy sunshine; that of Enoch is a soft grey autumn noon, with one mild haze of brightness covering earth and heaven.

II. Notice Enoch's public work of protest and prophecy. The Epistle of Jude supplies us with new information about Enoch's public work. It was not simply his walk, but his work, that was honoured by translation. He not only characterised and by implication condemned his age, but predicted the coming of the last great Judgment of God. He announced it (1) as a glorious and overpowering event; (2) as one of conclusive judgment and convincing demonstration.

III. Look now at Enoch's translation. How striking in its simplicity is the phrase "He was not, for God took him!" The circumstances of his translation are advisedly concealed: "translated that he should not see death." Many a hero has gathered fame because he stood "face to face with death," and has outfaced the old enemy; but death never so much as dared to "look into Enoch's eye as it kindled into immortality." The reasons why this honour was conferred on him were probably (1) To show his transcendent excellence; (2) To abash an infidel world; (3) To prove that there was another state of being, and to give a pledge of this to all future ages.

G. Gilfillan, Alpha and Omega, vol. i., p. 217.

References: Genesis 5:21-24 . Expositor, 2nd series, vol. vii., p. 321; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxii., No. 1307; Congregationalist, vol. xii., p. 561.

Verses 23-24

Genesis 5:23-24

Hebrews 11:5

We are told that Enoch "pleased God," not by any special superhuman experiences and endeavours, but just in such a way as we may all imitate. Consider

I. The necessity for pleasing God. In the Epistle to the Hebrews God is spoken of as "Him with whom we have to do." We have little to do with each other compared with what we have to do with Him. If God is not pleased with us, we cannot be right.

II. The method of pleasing God. To describe this would be to describe the whole Christian life. The way to all goodness and to the pleasing of God is the old way of repentance, faith and obedience to Christ.

III. The results of pleasing God will be manifold and very good. (1) We shall in this way please ourselves better than in any other. (2) If we please God, we shall have pleasure in life and the world. (3) Whatever may come in this life, one thing is always sure: "He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."

A. Raleigh, The Way to the City, p. 408.

References: Genesis 5:23 , Genesis 5:24 . G. Matheson, Moments on the Mount, p. 16; Cumming, Church before the Flood, pp. 438, 471.

Verse 24

Genesis 5:24

Few words are needed to describe the salient features of the majority of human lives. It is not needful to write a volume to tell whether a man has spent a noble or a wasted life. One stroke of the pen, one solitary word, may be enough.

I. Here is a life suddenly and prematurely cut short; for although Enoch lived 365 years, it was not half the usual age of the men of his day.

II. Enoch's was a life spent amid surrounding wickedness.

III. It was a life spent in fellowship with God. This expression "walked with God" has a very peculiar force. There is in it the idea of strong persistence and determination. There is also the idea of progress.

IV. Enoch's was a life of noble testimony.

V. Enoch's was a life crowned by translation. His translation was (1) A reminder to the men of his day that there was another state above and beyond the present; (2) An intimation of the final reward of the saints. The eternal life which was given to him will be granted, sooner or later, to every child of God.

J. W. Atkinson, Penny Pulpit, No. 908.

References: Genesis 5:24 . G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 382; Homiletic Magazine, vol. xii., p. 332; Old Testament Outlines, p. 5.Genesis 5:27 . Parker, vol. i., p. 362, and Hidden Springs, p. 358.

Verse 29

Genesis 5:29

These words, used by Lamech, apply far more truly to the descendant of Noah after the flesh, even Jesus Christ.

I. When our Lord appeared among men, the world was in almost as sad and hopeless a condition as when Lamech looked around him. Among the Gentiles there was ignorance, darkness, and false imaginations, among the chosen people there was hardness and impenitence. Christ comforted His disciples after His resurrection by raising up the temple of their wrecked faith, as He raised again the temple of His own body. He comforted them with the assurance that their faith was not in vain, that He had the keys of death and hell, and was able to succour to the uttermost those who trusted in Him.

II. The risen Christ comforted also the fathers of the ancient covenant. Moses and Elias appeared unto Him on Tabor, speaking with Him of the things concerning His passion. The ancient patriarchs could not enter into heaven till the gates were opened by the cross of Christ, and the handwriting that was against all sinners was taken away.

III. The Resurrection of Christ is a joy and comfort to us also: (1) because in Him a way of safety was opened to the world; (2) because He will repay a hundredfold all that is done for Him.

S. Baring-Gould, Village Preaching for a Year, 2nd series, vol. i., p. 217.

This passage teaches us:

I. The hardness and difficulty of life. These words are the words of parents. Lamech, "the powerful," is not ashamed to confess that he needs comfort; and when this child comes to him he accepts him as a Divine gift, as a commissioned, competent, and thrice-welcome messenger of comfort from God.

II. The comfort that comes into the world with children. These words of Lamech are the permanent inscription in the horoscope which parents everywhere and always see over the cradle of the latest born. There is a bright prophecy of God concerning the future in this invincible hopefulness of the parental heart.

III. The security we have for this in the great fact of our redemption. Our Noah has been born: the Rest-giver, strong Burden-bearer, all-pitying and all-suffering Saviour. Noah was a preacher of righteousness, but Jesus Christ brings and gives righteousness, instilling it into every believing heart. Noah was a preserver of the world in his own family from a temporary flood, Jesus Christ makes this world itself the Ark which He commands, steering it through this great and wide sea of space and time in safety.

A. Raleigh, From Dawn to the Perfect Day, p. 1 (also Sunday Magazine, 1877, p. 586).

References: Genesis 5:0 Parker, vol. i., p. 154; Expositor, 1st series vol. viii., p. 449, vol. xi., p. 213.

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Genesis 5". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sbc/genesis-5.html.
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