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December 22, 2020 3:00 am
The choice to disobey God, but sin didn't stop with them.
People in wickedness spread throughout all humanity and God had to deal with that rebellion today on Truth for Life. Alastair Begg examines man's disobedience and God's judgment. In the days of Noah with his message. Christmas in Genesis. Our study comes from Genesis chapters 5 and six and nine. Father we pray that our sense of your presence among us will bring home the clarity and truth of your word in a way that makes it obvious to us that the real need of our lives is to have a divine encounter with you by the Holy Spirit through your work.
For this we pray and in Christ name, amen. We have set ourselves the task of considering Christmas in Genesis, in the sense that Christmas is all about Jesus and the whole Bible points to Jesus and therefore something would have gone sadly wrong. If we were able to go to the book of Genesis and find that he was missing from their it is important I think hands out worth considering the fact that the apostles in their day would never have understood the kind of question that we are addressing to one another. At least I hear people saying to one another. Are you ready for Christmas and the apostles would not have understood the question they would not have understood what was being asked because for the first hundred 200 even 300 years of the developing church.
There was no such thing as the celebration of Christmas.
No Scottish people Is going for a lot longer than that. While other sensible people around the fourth century decided that it would be good for us to consider the advent which is of course an English word coming from the Latin word which simply means coming coming and when they began to consider the coming of Christ. They did so with a dual focus so that they were not simply looking back to what we refer to as the incarnation, but they were looking forward to the fact that this same Jesus, who had come as a baby in Bethlehem and if you like relative obscurity. I was going to come again in power and glory, and so as we progress in the New Testament we find that by the time we get to the letters. This is made perfectly plain. For example, just quoting briefly from Hebrews 9 of Jesus. He will appear a second time, not to bear sin. Writers of the Hebrews is pointing out that that is been dealt with in the cross of Christ. He will not appear to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him, which of course raises the question, are we waiting for him, which is not necessarily the same question is are you ready for Christmas. It may be possible to be ready for Christmas yet at the same time not to be waiting for them and find I discovered actually that a number of people who can be quite sentimental.
Regarding the first coming of Jesus regard the idea of the second coming of Jesus as simply simply just a bit of a joke and they scoff at the idea that there is ever going to be a day when Christ will return as promised no last time we were in the 15th verse of chapter 3. Considering what is been regarded by theologians throughout the years the proto-evangelion. In other words, the first hint, or if you like the first announcement of the gospel itself that there was coming, one who would crush the serpent and that serpent would in turn reduce his heel and from that point on all the way through the Bible, right up until the coming of Jesus. There is this expectation. There is this look on the part of those who are in touch with God. What I wonder who. Who will it be when he comes and how will we discover so for example every person that comes forward is at least a possibility. And in verse 28 of chapter 5, we have the birth and the naming of Noah later on. Of course we would have the birth and the naming of Jesus and it was very significant and significant in relationship to Noah himself, and let me just quote the 20th verse. I'm sure you turned turned to it when llama could live 182 years, he fathered a son and called his name Noah, saying out of the ground that the Lord has cursed back in chapter 3.
This one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands. His work, his name Noah sounded like another Hebrew word other word for rest, and of course the restlessness that was now part of life. Since the events in the garden. Since the entry of sin into the world is such that men and women would love somehow or another to find rest from their labors, and their toils and so with the arrival of Noah.
The question is at least raised. Will this be the man who will deliver the cause loss from the curse of course what we are to discover is that he was not that man but that he did have a crucial part in the unfolding story notes from chapter 3 and into chapter 4. We immediately learn how sin impacts life impacts it on an individual basis in pipes it within the framework of the family and certainly within society.
I was taught as a boy to think of sin in three asses that sin and my teachers told me will spoil things that sin will spread and that sin will separate and managed to remember that and that is exactly what we discover isn't that sin spoils what God is made good the perfection and his plan for us fiddled with and rejected by us and we discover that the things that God has made in order that we might benefit by them actually are spoiled. As a result of our sins, and that is not something that is limited in some locality, but it is like a virulent disease.
It is like a contagion that spreads throughout humanity separating not only man from God, thereby putting man in need of someone who will come to intercede.
Someone who will be that one to crush the serpent but not only separating at that level but said a prayer aided by the horizontal level and as we said before, the great conflict that is now to ensue. That lies behind every conflict, every argument in the kitchen between a husband and wife every dispute between children and their parents every cantankerous rebellion within a sports team, and so on.
What is the base of all of this while that is the fact that sin is entered into the world and its impact is undeniable. In chapter 4.
You have a series of firsts and I just pointed out to you. You may build to find more sin is entered into the world and in verse eight we have the first murder. And in verse nine we have the first outright lie. Where is Abel your brother he said I do not know. He goes on to say am I my brother's keeper, and while people often quote am I my brother's keeper and they don't want to take the garbage out or something like that at the they have often forgotten that it begins with a lie. I do not know that was a flat out lie. He then provides us with the first expression of self-pity. In verses 13 and 14 incentive in confessing his sin, he feels sorry for himself that things are going to turn out so badly in verse 19.
You have the first polygamy where you will see there that llama took to wife's he wasn't supposed to take to wife's use force of one wife, and is supposed to be happy with a wife that he had, but he's decided to go differently, and here we are all these years later and polygamy that was once regarded as absolutely abhorrent is suggested from magazine to news broadcast across the Western world.
Nothing is new under the sun when it comes to man's rebellion against God and in verse 24.
Now you have the first act of vengeance. The first act of vengeance.
It's revenge. There llama says I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me and I decide I just kill him myself and on that basis. Sin tends to make itself known and what is quite fascinating is that you will notice here in chapter 4. There is no sign of the serpent.
There is no wiggling serpent that is moving now.
Among them, seducing them and tempting them to do what they do know mankind no longer needs a talking serpent because the prompting to sin now is all inward.
Now, you discover that within the culture people are saying it's only natural that will it only makes sense that while you couldn't explain that apart from that, all of the languages represented there. You fast-forward to the book of James, and what you discover that the judge James is the very same thing that it is out of our insides that these things come will come back to that actually Allie mentee as it is a wonderful little phrase in his book look to the rock where he says what you discover. Then in the balance of of the text is that men and women were drawn on by the inner reality of a destructive magnetism as well as phrases I wish I could come up with drawn on by and in the inner reality of a destructive magnetism. You may want to keep that and to use with someone at work or something this week and I don't mean emphasis is the answer I needed some said it to your work this week said you know you know what I do and I did it again.
I don't why I keep doing that.
I don't want to do that I what I I went off the handle I got abusive I was unkind. I don't know why I did tell them you know telling their drawn on by the inner reality of a destructive magnetism. I daresay what in the world is that mean and use it as just a fancy phrase to describe our propensity to go our own way. It is a description of sin. Chapter 5 contains 10 generations and brings us fast-forward to chapter 6. By way of summary really of a vast body of material. Let's let's gather our thoughts under three simple headings. First of all, it is clear that the earth was corrupt. Secondly, that God's judgment was and is just and thirdly, to borrow from the line of one of the songs we like to sing his mercy is more right so you have if you like the corruption of humanity.
You have their destruction is an expression of God's judgment and then you have the provision of an art as representative of the broadness of his mercy notes. You will notice when you read this for yourself and for yourself. You must do some of the hard lifting I can do it here this morning.
Man's rebellion was expressed. Chapter 6 and verse five was expressed. If you like in three dimensions. First of all outwardly the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the air. In other words, the evidences of man's rebellion were not hidden away. It was obvious in the ebon flow of life. Even as it as it is obvious in the ebb and flow of life for us today.
Wickedness, which is the predicament now. As a result of the entry of sin. Wickedness cannot ultimately be concealed.
It expresses itself and the prophets right of it in this way the wicked are like the tossing sea, for it cannot be quiet, and its waters turn up mire and dirt I understand is only when even in your backyard. You've seen the impact of a torrential rainstorm and perhaps it was something that you had been planning to take care of and put away and as a result of what is happened at that what you thought was now going to be hidden when the snow fell has actually reappeared and I are definitely going to have to deal with it in the picture here is of the deluge coming and it just throws up all that is on the inside.
All that is been concealed all this mire and all this starts is not hard to see the way in which sin has so quickly expressed itself in the society of that time nor today so outwardly and then secondly inwardly, that God saw not only the wickedness of man was great in the air visibly. If you like outwardly, but also the thoughts of his heart were the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Again, I refer you to James when he says each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Although in in the Tom Sawyer. He tells all the old widow there. He tells her, but the devil made me do it. The devil made me do one actually know the devil didn't make you do it.
The devil may entice you do things we can make you do every sin is an inside job. Every sin is an inside job wickedness outwardly, inwardly, and at the same time, continually the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. I think about this. How can this possibly be. Does this mean that the only thing that can be expressed as evil. No, but it speaks to the fact that there is no dimension of life that is untouched by sin and there is no part of my life, body, mind and spirit. That is not impacted by sin because sin skews the way we think it Romans chapter 8, Paul makes that perfectly clear.
He says that the mind that is set on the flash is at enmity with God, and cannot please God doesn't know God is at war with God and can't please so the idea that somehow or another I'll be able just now to go rationally to the sections of the Bible and I'll be able to think myself through to the to the right conclusion. Now I actually know because we need the enabling of the spirit of God to so work within us as to change even the thought processes of our minds is the full, says the psalmist who said in his heart there is no God. He knows there is a God, but he says there's no God he's talking to himself what is he saying there is no God, there is no accountability. There's nobody to my after affair.
I can make my own decisions.
No one's going to tell me what to do in my body. I am the captain of my fate I am the master of my destiny. Doesn't sound contemporary of course it is contemporary because that's the reality of it and it would be one thing if it all come to a stop at the end of Genesis chapter 10, but says the text here it goes on continually, the whole earth was filled with violence. Verse 11 is no need for me to trot out the statistics on violent crime in our society or friendly in any society. It is so commonplace, so commonplace that we've now come up with mechanisms not to try and fix it but to accommodate. I can remember the dairy in which I was standing as a boy of six or something and I listened into a conversation and some of the adults in the shop who were also waiting for things I was getting milk for my mother and as I stood there waiting in line I heard this a very animated conversation so I tuned in to listen.
What is it that these people are so concerned about what is he speaking about, you know what it was. There had been a murder in Glasgow.
Now that is 1958.
The fact of one solitary murder in the second city of the British Empire in 1958.
Literally if you like.
Stop people in their way. One more guard looked in the earth was filled with violence and what is the answer of contemporary society. While that's not for me to tell you we know it. How's it working. Where's the conflict so we said by way of summary number one, of the earth was corrupt. Number two God's judgment was just the just judgment of God is what comes across here.
It is difficult to read and we have to bow down underneath it, but it comes again and again verse seven of chapter 6, I will blot out man verse 13. I have determined to make an end of all flash verse 17. I will bring a flood of waters.
This is not a mythology. This is a divine tsunami God controls the winds and the waves. But remember that in this God takes no delight no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
God takes no pleasure in that anymore than the father takes the takes pleasure in having to discipline his son, a father who finds it pleasurable to to to discipline his son in that way.
It is not a father he's a Cedars.
There is no pleasure in this so we either think of God somehow another, looking as a waiver of evidence that this is fantastic.
Now I get a chance to do this, he takes no pleasure in it, but neither is he indifferent to our rebellion. That's an important reminder, God is not indifferent to him listing the Truth for Life with Alistair Begg. Alastair has some additional thoughts for us on the subject. Why in the world is the world the way it is people asking this question all of the time in the Bible actually gives us the answer tells us way back in Tennessee's descendents corrupt and all that God created and that that lies at the source of all of our conflict course as we read on in the Bible, we realize that all of God's plan for us will one day find its resolution in Jesus and that there will be a new heaven and a new learn to fight, the more we read our Bibles more we understand why it was that Paul let us know that everything that had been written in the past was written in order that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. You know hope is in short commodity today by your prayerful and financial partnership to our daily program you make it possible for us to convey that whole make it possible for us to provide all of this online teaching for free and in these closing weeks of 2020. Your giving is particularly important are need straightforwardly to fully care for our expenses and make it possible for us to go into 2021 with all the resources we require. So today I'm asking you give us a call or go online and make a generous year-end donation. My friend Bob will explain how you can do that. Thank you, Alastair. Your support of this program is what enables us to bring hope to listeners all around the world can donate now a Truth for Life.org/donate or give us a call at 888-588-7884 and when you give today we want to say thank you by sending you a copy of our featured Book-of-the-Month. All of us as parents recognize that to strengthen the faith of our children. We need to spend time with them in God's word and spending time in God's word doesn't just serve children. It encourages us as well. We've selected a book called exploring the Bible together that is designed to help you and your family spend a few minutes in God's word each day during 2021.
This is a one year devotional plan that takes your family on a journey through the Bible. It's easy to use.
There's no prep required format includes reading a few verses of Scripture each day answering a couple of discussion questions and you're happy to know that there are answers included along with the questions in the book. Each daily entry gives you everything you need to be able to lead your family in a time of worship each day in a way that will bless your kids and will strengthen your own faith. Requester copy of exploring the Bible together today when you visit us online at truthforlife.org/donate or you can tap on the image of the book you find on our app or call us at 888-588-7884 now this Thursday night you're invited to join Alistair Begg for the Christmas Eve worship service live from Parkside church. This is a beautiful service that includes music and Scripture reading some meditation from Alastair and you can watch it online it truthfully.org/live or on our YouTube page, or through any of our streaming TV channels. Find out more when you go to Truth for Life.org or just pull it up on the mobile app Bob Lapine tomorrow. Alastair reminds us that in the midst of God's judgment, there is the provision of his mercy continues a message titled Christmas in Genesis the Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life where the Learning is for Living