Genesis Bible Study

Life Lessons from Old Men

When I was young I loved the story of Noah’s Ark.  I even wallpapered my room in that theme! I think it was just the animals that I liked, because when I read it now, it’s actually a terrifying story. God destroyed the whole world!

Starting in Genesis 4-7 we begin to see how sin affects our lives.  We see how it tears relationships apart, then families, then communities, then all that God created.  It’s like a disease that starts as a single cell and, over time, grows and devours everything in its path.

We see a world that God never intended for us.

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S – Scripture: Genesis 4-7

  • 4:4 – “Abel also brought a gift – the best portion of his firstborn lambs from his flock.”
  • 4:7 – “You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
  • 4:9 – “Afterward the LORD asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?” “I don’t know,” Cain responded. “Am I my brother’s guardian?” 
  • 4:16 – “So Cain left the Lord’s presence…”
  • 4:26 – “At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name.”
  • 5:23 – “Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God.  Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.”
  • 6:5-6 – “The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. “
  • 6:8 – “But Noah found favor with the Lord.”
  • 7:5 – “So Noah did everything as the LORD commanded him.”
  • 7:23 – “God wiped out every living thing on the earth–people, livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and the birds of the sky. All were destroyed. The only people who survived were Noah and those with him in the boat.”

O – Observation

  • Historical Events:
    • Cain and Abel are born.  Cain kills Abel out of anger and jealousy and is banished from the Lord’s presence.  This is the first act of violence.
    • Enoch, a descendent of Adam, is the only one mentioned as walking close with God.
    • Noah was born – the people multiplied, took many wives, and became wicked.
    • God couldn’t stand the evilness of his creation any longer and decides to destroy it with a flood.
    • Noah builds the ark to preserve his family and two of every kind of animal.
  • God is powerful and just. He is in control of the world and everything in it and about it. He wants us to do what is right and overcome sin.  He gives us the choice between himself and Satan. God desires fellowship with us.
  • Humans are angry, jealous, violent, defiant, sexual, and our first instinct is to hide from God and deflect his questions and convictions.  We must subdue our sin and be its master before it takes us over.  Overcoming sin can be difficult.
  • People began to worship God by name and walk in close fellowship with him.  There was always some good still left in the world.
  • Cain “left God’s presence.” I can’t even imagine.
  • Satan is waiting to make his move when we are weak, to draw us away from God and into sin.
    • The word “crouch” used here in Greek is “rabats” and means to lurk, or to make lie down with their feet under them.  Creepy!!

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A – Application

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” James 4:7-8

Life Lessons from the text:

  • Give my best to God like Abel.
  • Worship the Lord by name like Enosh.
  • Walk in close fellowship with God like Enoch.
  • Do everything that the Lord commands and asks of me like Noah.
  • Know who my true enemy is and how he acts.
  • Do not allow anger and jealousy to rule me like Can.
  • Do not let sin become my master like the people in Noah’s day.

There are so many one-liner lessons here.  Quick, but not easy.  It may seem daunting and scary when I try to understand the devil and his schemes.  Sometimes I get wrapped up in the evil of this world and forget that God is Sovereign and has victory over Satan in the end.

Don’t lose sight of how big and powerful our God is! He will crush the devil.  You can overcome any temptation or sin with God’s help.  Press in to him.  Gather your strength from him.

“He is mighty to save! My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.” Psalm 62:7 

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P – Prayer 

Thank you God for your guidance through your Spirit and your Word.  I would be so lost without you.  Help me to act out James 4:7-8. Help me to resist temptation and draw near to you.  Remind me that our life is better than the one I plan up or the human desires that lead me to sin and death.  Break the chains of sin around me.  Strengthen my resolve to resist.  Keep me close to you.  Amen

*You can overcome sin; it is possible.  If you are dealing with something, please seek out trusted help from a family member, friend, or Pastor.  You are not alone. Please share your prayer request or any questions you may have here.

**Please share what you learned either from this post or from your own journey through this scripture today.  I love hearing how God speaks to each of us individually through the same text.  Isn’t it amazing!!

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Link to a Bible Study Blog Post #2 - Life Lessons from Old Men
Finding Life and Grace through God’s Word.
Bible Verse Image
They worshiped the Lord by name.

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