Summary: Lessons from Genesis 5 explain what it means to walk with God in a ever darkening world.
Walking With God
Dr. Roger W. Thomas, Preaching Minister
First Christian Church, Vandalia, MO
Introduction: On December 26, 2004, the world watched in horror as the story of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia unfolded. An earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean triggered a huge tidal wave as high as 100 feet tall that came crashing on shore across the region. The tsunami did damage as far as the east coast of Africa, 5000 miles away. Over a quarter million people died in the rampaging waters and devastation that followed. Entire island populations and coastal villages were wiped out—every man, woman, and child in some cases.
According to the Associated Press, there was one notable exception to the loss of life. The Morgan sea gypsies are a small tribe of fishermen who spend much of the year on their boats fishing between India, Indonesia and Thailand. Each December, between fishing seasons, they live in small thatch huts on the beaches of Thailand. Last December, they were living directly in the path of certain disaster. Yet every single member of the tribe survived, while most of their neighbors disappeared in the rampaging waters.
Why? The tribal chief explains, "For generations our fathers warned us that if the waters ever receded fast, they would quickly reappear in the same quantity in which they disappeared." On December 26 when the sea suddenly drained away, many of their neighbors ran to the beach with baskets to pick up stranded fish. Not the Morgan sea gypsies. The chief ordered his tribe to run in the opposite direction, to the mountains and safety. When the tsunami hit, the entire tribe was spared. (Sourced by Craig Brian Larson, Arlington Heights, Illinois; "How ’Sea Gypsies’ Survived the Tsunami," Associated Press, as seen in cbs2chicago.com (12-31-04).
That remarkable story provides a striking parable for the events surrounding our text. The opening chapters of the Bible are an introduction to the rest of Bible history. They explain who we are, why we are the way we are, and how our world came to be the way it is. The great redemption plan begins to unfold with the call of Abraham in Genesis 12. Genesis 4-5 sets the stage for the great flood which God unleashes upon a world gone wrong. Everyone perished except one family. Noah’s small tribe survived because they listened to the voice of their fathers and their fathers’ God.
Make no mistake about it. We also need to listen to these stories. Judgment is coming again. The final judgment will not come with a mere tsunami or even a world wide flood. But it will come. Those who survive the coming judgment, like the ones who survived the last, will be those who have listened. Remember what Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Mt 24:37).
At first blush, Genesis 5 contains a lot of what might look like irrelevant information. It is just a genealogy, an ancient family tree. What’s the big deal? Why’s that in the Bible anyway? What’s it got to do with us? When we dig into some of the details of this rather odd chapter I think you’ll be surprised at how truly relevant the lessons are.