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The Sons of God

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
November 20, 2021 12:01 am

The Sons of God

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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November 20, 2021 12:01 am

Genesis 6:2 tells of the "sons of God" who married the "daughters of man." Does this text describe marriages between angels and women, or is something else in view? Today, R.C. Sproul studies this passage in context to reach its true meaning.

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Reformation is needed in almost every day, all within years of founding the Corinthian congregation needs to see them reformed to Be surprised the church is performing regularly in the history of the church.

Sometimes that reform is more the nature of a revitalization, but I think people have, especially in America, been to content to be satisfied with entertainment and with shallowness and we need a seriousness about God about Christ and about his word and I think should be drawn again to passionate interest in the word to take a major Reformation of the church today.

My hope is that this series will serve the church by causing people to reflect on what the church ought to be.

According to the word of God, the necessity of reforming the church teaching series with W. Robert Godfrey visit Lincoln series to learn more were exploring some of the passages of the Bible that are difficult to understand. And there's a real doozy in the book of Genesis.

Stay with us Renewing Your Mind is next Genesis chapter 6 tells us that the sons of God, married the daughters of men, some of the identified the sons of God's angels and we read on were led to ask. Did they really marry humans and create a race of giants. Let's find out there's Dr. Hersey's book, continue now with our study of some of the hard thing of Scripture, we remember that it's in the 20th century, one of the most prominent biblical scholars to come out of Germany was Rudolph Bultmann who gave a massive critique of the Scriptures, arguing that the Bible is filled with mythological references and for it to have any significant application to our day that the biblical interpreter must first demythologized the text of Scripture course Bultmann's major concern was with the New Testament narratives, particularly those that included records of the miraculous, which he deemed impossible to have occurred. But not only did we face, that struggle with the charge of myth in the New Testament, but also it is been frequently leveled against the Old Testament Scriptures, but more conservative scholars have examined the genre of material that we find in the Old Testament have argued that the biblical literature is already demythologized. If you compare it with the literature of other ancient religions. The mythological narratives that were familiar with from the ancient Greeks and Romans have elements in them that are obviously mythological, such as the birth of Athena de novo from the head of Zeus and so on.

And one of the things that we frequently read in those mythological histories are the sins of the gods and goddesses, and occasional incidences where they mate with human being, so that motif in ancient mythology of the mating between heavenly beings were gods and goddesses, and human beings is part and parcel of the substance of ancient mythology that we have a text in the Old Testament that some of the critics argue, is a clear example of the same sort of mythological narrative that you would find. For example, among the ancient Greeks and I'm referring of course to the highly debatable passage that's found in the sixth chapter of the book of Genesis, beginning at verse one. Let's look for a moment at the text in question. Genesis 6 verse one now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose and the Lord said my spiritual not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh, yet his days shall be 120 years. There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old man every now and then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually in the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and he was grieved in his heart and so the Lord said I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth. Both man and beast, creeping thing, and birds of the air, for I'm sorry that I've made them but no found grace in the eyes of the Lord course, this narrative is regretted here in the beginning of chapter 6 of Genesis is more or less a preface, a preliminary introduction to the more major narrative that follows. Afterward, namely the account of the deluge or the flood by which the Scripture indicates that the human race was eradicated from the face of the earth, save for the family of Noah. Now it is in this prefatory section. However, where we read of this intermarriage between the sons of God and the daughters of men that the charge of blatant mythology is brought against the Old Testament text now. The idea that this involves the intermarriage between heavenly beings and earthly beings is often buttressed by an appeal to a New Testament text that is equally problematic and is also included in another section of the New Testament that remains in densely controversy all in our day and I'm referring to untaxed in the first Corinthians chapter 11 in the 11th chapter of first Corinthians we have Paul's teaching of the requirement that women cover their heads in the process of worship. A custom that has been almost universally repudiated in the contemporary church. Though it was indeed practiced for centuries many believe that the instructions that Paul gives in first Corinthians 11 were not intended to be Prince appeal and binding upon Christians of every culture and every age but were simply referring to local customs, but that's another story and will look at that. Another time, but in the context of Paul's giving of those instructions.

He makes a somewhat startling statement where he argues in verse seven of chapter 11 for man indeed ought not to cover his head since he is the image and glory of God. But woman is the glory of man for man is not from woman, but woman was from man, nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.

For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head because of the angel's now what's the link between this reference. In the New Testament to Genesis 6. Here Paul makes this enigmatic statement that women are to cover their heads because of the Angels. What does he mean because of the Angels will those who believe that Genesis 6 teaches a kind of raping of human women by angels carry that over to this text in first Corinthians 11 and say that obviously the reason Paul makes the reference to the women covering their head because of the Angels is as a protective device of safeguarding last day experience the same rapacious attack that these daughters of men suffered in Genesis chapter 6 and so the speculative reasoning goes like this that the woman's hair is a symbol of her glory. It's a symbol of her beauty and it's one of the things that makes her so singularly attractive not only to men but also to Angels and so as not to disrupt the heavenly host when they gather together with us for worship women ought to cover their heads out of deference to these poor angels are so easily enticed the right and that's the speculation I've read if I've read that once I read it 100 times in speculative accounts of that will the reality is, Paul doesn't say why he refers to the Angels here in this practice.

Presumably it has something to do with the giving of respect to the authority structure that God has established in his presence in which the Angels are also there in a subordinate way and so on. But our media concern here is again with the original text of Genesis 6. The assumption that is made in the mythological interpretation of Genesis 6 is that the phrase sons of God refer to angelic beings we notice that the Old Testament does not say explicitly that there was sexual intercourse between angels and human women doesn't say that it talks about the intercourse between the sons of God and the daughters of men in those two phrases are the phrases that are used in the text. Now why would somebody assume then that this involve the marriage or interaction between angels and human women.

While the answer to that is obvious because there are times in the Scriptures where Angels are called the sons of God. And so if there are certain places where the Bible refers to angels as the sons of God, and here the text refers to sons of God. The text must obviously be referring to angels now. That is certainly a possible inference that could be drawn from this text in Genesis 6. The question is is it a necessary inference and I would say it is not a necessary inference, and that the text doesn't necessarily teach the idea of such interactivity between angels and human banks to understand this, we have to look at the broader application of the phrase sons of God that there are ways in which the term son of God is used.

As I said before an angel. It is also used in a somewhat different sense for Christ and in the New Testament when Jesus was engaged with debates with the Pharisees. Much of the focus of attention of these debates had to do with Christ's claim to son ship of the father, and conversely with Jesus. Criticism of the Pharisees, by which he called them, the sons of the devil and this argument ensued when Jesus talked about his ability to make men free and the Pharisees protested and say why do you talk about setting us free. We are in bondage to no man because we are the children of Abraham, and Jesus responded by saying you are the children of the ones whom you obey, and that's what he called them children of Satan because they were followers and disciples of Satan rather than of God. So the point I'm making is this that the whole concept of son ship in the Scriptures is not always and everywhere linked to some kind of biological or ontological relationship, but it is often in fact, chiefly defined in terms of a relationship of obedience. Christ was uniquely the son of God, in his being in his divine nature but even in his human nature. He was uniquely the son of God in the sense that the was pleasing to the father because of his perfect obedience.

I said all that to say this, that the phrase or the title son of God or sons of God may refer biblically to those who are in a relationship of obedience to God.

Now, is it possible that in Genesis 6. What were reading here is of the intermarriage between those who were from a pattern of obedience to God with those women who were pagan in their orientation and what were reading here is a description of mixed marriages between believers and unbelievers that would pollute the whole society. I don't think it's far-fetched to conclude that that is what the author of Genesis is talking about. In light of the immediate context of what is being told us in these early chapters of Genesis. In order to see that the immediate context we have to back up a little bit and realize that after the fall. After the garden experience the trespass of Adam and Eve. The Bible then records the first example of homicide where Cain kills his brother Abel and then what follows is a rapid expansion or broadening of human sinfulness and what also follows from the narrative of the first homicide is a brief summation of two lines of families, the first being the descendents of Cain and the second being the descendents of Seth. You recall that the first sons of Adam and Eve were Cain and Abel and after Abel was killed by his brother Cain. They had another son whose name was Seth, but if we look in chapter 4 of Genesis beginning at verse 16 we get a brief survey of the ancestral history of the family of Cain reads like this. Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwell in the land of nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife and she conceived and bore Enoch and he built a city and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch, and to Enoch was born I read and I read bore the who, jail and the hoochie LB got my Fuji L and Miss Susie. LB got La Mick here we have one of these genealogies were big attitudes and then law. Mike took for himself two wives. The name of the one was aided in the name of the other Mozilla ETA board J ball and he was the father. Those who dwell in tents and have livestock his brother's name was Jubal. He was the father of all who play the harp and flute. And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubalcain and instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron in the sister of Tubalcain was name then law.

Mike said to his wives ETA and Scylla hear my voice wives of La Mick listen to my speech drive killed a man for wounding me even a young man for hurting me.

If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold in law Mark 77 full what we have with Islamic here is first of all, that La Mick is recorded in Scripture as the first polygamist, which involves a departure from the ordinance of marriage that God gave in the garden and in this genealogy of La Mack.

We have the building of cities in an arrogant way were Cain names the city builds after his son and then we have this dreadful account of what is known as the Seward song of Islamic were La Mike is rejoicing in his murderous vengeful use of the sword and hatred and so the idea we get is that this line of people who are the descendents of Cain. The descendents of Cain is the line of proliferation of human wickedness, then what follows is this record in verse 25 of chapter 4 of Genesis and Adam knew his wife again and she bore a son and named him Seth, for God had appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed and asked for Seth to him also a son was born and his name was enough and then men began to call on the name of the Lord here that then in chapter 5 we get further elaborations of the line of Seth and I'm not going to go through all of these things would take too long, but they include in them. Methuselah, Enoch, who was translated because of his obedience. He is not suffered to die. And finally the line of Noah, who was found to be righteous by God. So you have two genealogies here in these early chapters of Genesis 1 is the line of Cain and the other is the line of Seth and the line of Cain reads like a rogues gallery of wickedness in the Old Testament and the line of Seth is a line of amazing godliness marked by Enoch, Methuselah, and by no so you have these two lines, existing side-by-side, one being godly, following the Lord, the other one expanding in wickedness and their ungodliness and chapter 5 of Genesis ends with the statement and Noah was 500 years old and Noah begot show Mohammed and Jape and then the very next verse is the introduction of the multiplication of the people on the earth and the daughters were born to them and then we hear of the sons of God marrying the daughters of men so that the Hebrew scholars believe that what is being described in chapter 6 is not the intermarriage between angels and human women, but the intermarriage between descendents of Cain and descendents of Seth, so that where one line had been progressing in godliness and the other one expanding in wickedness. Suddenly this is disrupted when the two lines come together and now everybody is caught up in this relentless pursuit of evil for the desires of their heart are only wicked continuously and only know what is left from the sons of God, that is those who are obedient to God and because of his obedience, God grants in the grace to spare him and he decides to destroy the rest of mankind. We don't need to look to an invasion of heaven on earth for the ring of angels of human women to make a clear understanding of what is described in Genesis will I hope you found this helpful in this passage in Genesis chapter 6 is one that causes understandable confusion, but Dr. RC Sproul's careful examination of it helps us put it in proper context.

Glad you enjoyed yourself or renew your mind of the Saturday Bible he web them each week here on the program were concentrating on hard sayings that we find in the Bible, including what it means when it says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart and how should we view the six days of creation in Genesis, there are 15 messages in the series and we would like to send all of them to you in a digital download as requested. Today when you give a donation of any amount to look at your ministries.

Other couple ways you can reach us.

One is by phone or our number is 800-435-4343 but you can also make your request and give your gift is one more thing to consider from the passage of Scripture that Dr. Sproul address today so let's go back to RC now with this final thought.

The problem we dealt with today in trying to resolve the difficulty of this phrase in Genesis 6 of the parent intermarriage between the sons of God and the daughters of men, I think, serves a broader purpose for us to alert us to be very careful about the inferences that we draw from Scripture that are not necessarily warranted just because Paul makes the offense reference because of the angels in first Corinthians 11. This not give us license to construct a whole series of intermarriage or rape of angels of human beings and likewise the phrase the descriptive term sons of God and daughters of men do not give us license to make the assumption here of interaction between heavenly beings and earthly pics would have to be very careful here.

When we look at a difficult text like this to see how the same language is used in the broader context of all Scripture is a very important principle of interpretation to interpret the Scripture by the Scripture.

We are learning so much from the whole series and I hope you join us again next week as he looks at the question that arises in the very first chapter of the Bible was the world created in six literal days make plans to join us again next Saturday for Renewing Your Mind

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