Summary: Sermon examines Genesis 6:1-4 and the impact of not carrying out the plan of God and the consequences of such sin.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21) I remember several years ago as I started and ran my own business for awhile, the plan God laid out for me. It was clear in my mind from the very beginning. I was to work it part-time and then on a certain date make it full-time. I do not know why God had chosen that particular date, He just had. I know that as that day approached I began to question if God knew what He was doing. The business was moving along fairly well. There were several deals on the table that were about to close that would make me substantial money. However, the day arrived and all the deals were still pending. So, I did not go full-time with the business. That day the telephones fell silent. That day the deals began to unravel. That day hundreds of thousands of dollars began to slip from my fingers. It was “A Good Plan Gone Awry”
It is not much different in the text we will look at today. There are possibly no other passages more challenging in all of the Old Testament than the one we are about to read. Riddled with mythical ideas and seemingly pagan influence it is one of the most highly misunderstood and controversial texts of the Bible. Genesis 6:1-4 serves several purposes. It serves as an epilogue to the preceding genealogies of the lines of Seth and of Cain. It proves to be an introduction to the narrative of Noah. It, also, has a great deal to say on its own. (Read Genesis 6:1-4)
I believe that the author has some very critical points to make in these few short verses. The first phrase of verse 1 summarizes what the genealogies that precede it illustrate. Man had begun to multiply and to fill the earth. Notice this is the “Fulfilling of God’s Command.” It was the plan established by God. In Genesis 1:28, we read that after God created man (male and female), “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it.” This innocuous statement in Genesis 6, then shows that man was in fact doing what God had commanded. He had commanded them to procreate.
The intention this morning is not to delve into the different aspects of sex and sexuality. The issues surrounding sex and sexuality are certainly inherent to the command to be fruitful and multiply. What Moses shows us is man was fulfilling the overriding intent of the command: multiply and fill the earth. God provided in creation that His creatures procreate. They were made to do so “each according to its kind.” It is in this phrase that the problem lies. Man was procreating, creation was reproducing. The verse hints at what is going on. Daughters were being born.
This leads to the next stage that we should see. Even though the command was being fulfilled, it was not according to the plan of God. Man had gone awry of the plan of God. Verse 2 says, “the sons of God saw the daughters of men were beautiful and they married from any of them they chose.” Here is where the interpretive “fun” begins. Scholars have for centuries debated who are “the sons of God” and “the daughters of men.” Interesting in this debate is the fact that Moses does not go into detail as to who the sons of God and the daughters of men were. We must assume that his readers knew exactly to whom who he was referring. Let me briefly give you a few of the views scholars have taken.
The first is the most ancient in any of the existing materials. It is believed that the sons of God are angelic or heavenly beings. These heavenly beings or angels have forsaken their heavenly abode to marry these mortal, beautiful women. If this is true what you have is a mixture of the divine intermarrying with human. In effect, you have the instruments of creation co-mingling with the created. It is a mixture of oil and water. While you can put the two together, they do not mix. Once you do try to mix them, they produce something different from either of them. It is not a natural union. It is an unnatural one.
Early Christians rejected this idea because it had a pagan feeling. Many of the polytheistic religions had stories of the gods coming down from their abodes and taking mortal women or men. You would only have to look as far as classical mythology. Zeus seduces Io Greek mythology. Helen of Troy was supposedly the daughter of the mortal Leda and Zeus. In fact, there are at least nine instances of Zeus and mortal women.