….and then he died.
As we noted yesterday the last words of chapter 4 give us hope as God ‘grants’ Adam and Eve another child and ‘men began to call on the name of the LORD’ and as chapter 5 opens we are reminded that this is all of God. ‘When God created man he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “man”.
This means that you and I and indeed the whole of mankind are very special. Made in God’s likeness and blessed by him. The tragic events of chapter 3 highlighting Adam and Eve’s disobedience (and it is salutary to remember that had we been in their position we would have done the same so we are all guilty!) have had eternal consequences one of which is so baldly stated in the chapter we are thinking about today.
No fewer than 8 times the following words are repeated
‘and then he died’.
In Genesis 2 v. 17 God had said ‘You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you shall surely die.’ The serpent encouraged Eve to doubt that, and she fell for his lies and as a result death entered the world. And death is something mankind has come to fear and is a subject we are reluctant to talk about unless it is in bald statistics with which we have been bombarded throughout the Covid pandemic. But those bald statistics have come to dominate our thinking to the extent that we appear to be willing to sacrifice everything – children’s education, the economy, individual freedom – to avoid facing death.
However there is a glimmer of light in the middle of this chapter v.21-24
When Enoch had lived 65 years he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
We are not told what made Enoch the exception other than the beautiful description of him that ‘he walked with God’. But once again, hope is raised, and knowing the end of the story, while we may fear the process of dying we know that what lies through death for the believer is glorious beyond imagining.
Paul writing to the church in Corinth put it like this 1 Corinthians 15.21-22
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
And this great resurrection chapter ends with these words
Where, O death is your victory?
Where, O death is your sting?
The sing of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15.55-57
There is a challenge for us in these words as to how we live with the Covid pandemic. Do we live in continual fear or do we live as those who know who holds the future so enabling us to live in the present to his glory?