PREACH THE WORD
Delivering sound doctrine to an unsound world
Vol.1, Issue 1 --- January 16, 2000
"And All The Days That Adam Lived... And He Died"
by Joey Kelly
Genesis chapter 5 is very special to me. I have preached on it several times, taught it in my class on Biblical Typology, and wrote about it once in an email list. What makes it special to me is that God revealed to me the meaning of it one afternoon while I was seeking him for a sermon topic a few years ago.
No, I do not claim any special revelation — the Bible teaches that scripture is of no private interpretation — but I do mean that God Almighty spoke to my heart, causing me to clearly see the great scriptural truths contained in this chapter. Everything in the Word of God shows us “Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again” (Romans 8:34). What the Lord showed me is the gospel story as portrayed in the lives and deaths of Adam and those that followed after him.
As I said, I did an essay on the chapter which I posted to the AAAKingdomofGod group at OneList.com in response to an earlier query. I have taken the liberty of reprinting it below. The post was on May 10, 1999, and can be found in the archives at www.onelist.com. The name of the person I was responding to has been withheld. The text has been edited for clarity.
From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Subject: [AAAKingdomofGod] Noah
+ Hey all
There were two people named Lamech --- one in the lineage, and one not. One was an ungodly man, the son of Cain (4:18-24), while the other one was a son of Methuselah (5:25-28).
Incidentally, when we refer to the "lineage" we are talking about the lineage of Christ. If you look in Matthew and again in Luke, you will find that the people mentioned in the Old Testament are the great, great, great, great... (you get the idea) grandfathers of Jesus. Noah was the descendant of Seth, as were Enoch and Methusaleh.
Methusaleh's name means "when he is dead, it will come", and in the year that he died the flood came. He was the world’s longest living person ever, and his longevity is a picture (the OT is chock full of pictures) that shows us the longsuffering and mercy of God. God delayed judgement for a long time, even though the people deserved it, and in His waiting we understand that God waits a long time for us to get right with Him. He is also waiting a little longer, hoping that people will change their wicked ways before He pours out His wrath during the great tribulation period.
While I am on this row, let me plough a little....
God told Adam if he ate the fruit (not an apple, mind you --- but if you think about it, the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was sin) he would die, yet we see that he did not die --- at least not in the normal sense --- not for over 900 years, anyway. What God was talking about was a spiritual death. Adam and all of his offspring (that includes you and me) are born dead --- dead on the inside, spiritually bankrupt, and destined for hell (I covered this in my last post).
Adam continued to have offspring, and they had offspring, etc., but if you look in chapter 5, you will see that Adam died. Adam had a son named Seth, and Seth died, and Seth's son Enos died, and Enos' son Cainan died, and his son Mahalaleel died, and his son Jared died. Things were looking pretty bleak by this time. What God said to Adam was true --- there was indeed a curse of death upon mankind.
All of God's wonderful creation was cursed --- everyone that came into the world ended up dead, and the earth was cursed in other ways, as well. For instance, the ground that was so fruitful stopped yielding as much fruit as it had. What scientists call the Plain of Mesopotamia --- the "fertile crescent" --- where all of mankind come from, is today a desert. We know this area as Iraq (where Desert Storm took place).
One by one, every person born into the world died, as the record shows us in chapter 5 of Genesis, but this chapter also shows us something very wonderful and precious! The son of Jared, and the father of Methuselah, was a man by the name of Enoch. Verse 22 says that Enoch walked with God, and 2 verses later the Bible makes an astounding statement --- Enoch was not (he disappeared) for God took him (to heaven)! The fruit of the tree of the knowedge of good and evil was sin, with the penalty for sin being death, but God promised a way out! Enoch beat the death sentence, going to be with God in heaven, where there is no sickness, no pain, no worries, and no death (and no crooked politicians, I might add).
Enoch's translation is the first occurrence of someone going to heaven, and showed mankind that God didn't forsake His creation in the garden, even though man (Adam) forsook God there. Elijah also went up, and there were also instances of dead people being raised to life again, reminding us that God had not forgotten man's state.
Jesus came along, and proclaimed that He was in fact Life itself, and that if we believe on Him, we shall never die. Our bodies will perish, but we can be born again, escaping the curse that Adam caused to be upon us through his disobedience. Jesus Himself died, in our place, taking care of our sin once and for all. He Himself rose from the dead, having pronounced that the work of redemption was finished. Everything necessary for us as individuals to be saved and spared eternal death was accomplished --- all we have to do is accept the deal the way God Almighty has presented it to us. It took the death of His own Son, but the way to heaven and eternal life has been made clear.
To those who have read this far, I'm sure you haven't been disappointed; therefore, I won't apologize for the length of my post.
A servant of the Master,
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article, and I pray that you have been blessed. — J. K.