Genesis 5: The outworking of the curse and God’s greater grace

The outworking of the curse and God’s greater grace

Genesis 5:1-32


Audience:Israel had to learn to deal with death in the outworking of the curse. Genesis 5 explained to them, in their growing theological learning, the reason they were having to deal with death. But Genesis 5 also taught them they still enjoy the blessing of being image bearers and can overcome death by faith as they walk with God.


The income of sin is truly death 5:4-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-17, 18-20, 25-27, 28-31

Romans 5:12 (ESV) Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned


Romans 6:23 (ESV) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Sin and rebellion always over promise and under deliver.


The curse creates a culture of death with all death’s ambassadors.

  • Unrighteous anger
  • Lust
  • Broken families
  • Retaliation
  • Hating our enemies rather than loving them.
  • Mistreatment of image bearers in lack of opportunity or preservation of life from womb to grave.


We often doubt that sin pays out death because we rebel against God and don’t die instantly. But we fail to understand the distinction between the active wrath of God and the passive wrath of God.


Romans 2:1-5 (ESV) Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.


Mankind still has God’s image 5:1-2

  • God made man in his image, and man now reproduces image bearers. The image is broken but not lost.
  • The image of God is male/female.
  • God blessed the image bearers.
    • They multiplied as God promised he would bless them to do.
  • God named image bearers “man”…”Adam”.
    • This is a reminder of who they are as creatures and who God is as Creator.
  • Man is to represent God and his purposes and when he does not it works against man.
  • Man in the line of Seth, faith in Jesus Christ, will be grown more into the full manifestation of the glory of God.
    • 1 Corinithians 3:12-18


Enoch (Seth’s line) is the 7thfrom Adam, and Lamech (Cain’s line) is the 7thfrom Adam, and they model the contrast of the way of faith in God and the way of faith in oneself.

  • Both of these men are the 7thfrom Adam through divergent lines…Faith and unbelief.
  • Walk with God vs. Sons of the Devil (John 8)
  • Kingdom of heaven vs. kingdom of the world.
  • Life and multiplication vs. Death and destruction.
  • Righteousness and life vs. Sin and death.
  • Light vs. darkness.


God has woven his work into and through human history so that all history is God’s story of overcoming sin and preserving and multiplying his people.

Telescoped genealogies here in 5:1-32, 11:10-32, and in Ruth 4:18-22 show:

  • The blessing of God on the line of the faithful to multiply and pass on the faith (Mahalal’el in 5:12 – praise of God)
  • That God raises up the right people at just the right time…that includes you and me.
  • The faithful can walk with God by faith and know him intimately as friends of God.
  • History belongs to God and the end is never in question.


God builds the family of faith God 5:28-32

God will intervene in the life of Seth and bring people to himself and show us how to walk with him like Adam and Eve did in the garden.


  • God did not leave our salvation up to chance. He has constructed a family of faith, and in his eternal plan, Father God sent God the Son to secure that line of faith by his perfect life, death, burial and resurrection so that if we turn from the way of Cain, believe by faith in Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, he abolishes the curse, gives us new desires, and gives us God the Holy Spirit to guide us in the way of life until either death transports us to glory or he returns to finish the kingdom out.


God’s free gift is eternal life walking with God just like Enoch 5:21-24

Hebrews 11:5 – Enoch believed.

Hebrews 11:5-6 (ESV) By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.


Jude 14-15 – Enoch prophesied against the way of false teaching about God, death and unbelief.

Jude 1:14-15 (ESV) It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”


“Enoch walked with God because he was his friendand liked His company, because he was going in the same direction as Godand had no desire for anything but what lay in God’s path. We walk with God when he is in all our thoughts; not because we consciously thing of Him at all times, but because He is naturally suggested to us by all we think of; as when any person or plan or idea has become important to us, no matter what we think of, our thought is always found recurring to this favorite object, so with the godly man everything has a connection with God and must be ruled by that connection. When some change in his circumstances is thought of, he has first of all to determine how the proposed change will affect his connection with God – will his conscience be equally clear, will he be able to live on the same friendly terms with God and so forth. When he falls into sin he cannot rest till he has resumed his place at God’s side and walks again with Him.This is the general nature of walking with God; it is a persistent endeavor to hold all or life open to God’s inspection and in conformity to His will; a readiness to give up what we find does cause any misunderstanding between us and God;a feeling of loneliness if we have not some satisfaction in our efforts at holding fellowship with God, a cold and desolate feeling when we are conscious of doing something that displeases Him. This walking with God necessarily tells on the whole life and character. As you instinctively avoid subjects which you know will jar upon the feelings of your friend, as you naturally endeavor to suit yourself to your company, so when the consciousness of God’s presence begins to have some weight with you, you are found instinctively endeavoring to please Him, repressing the thoughts you know He disapproves, and endeavoring to educate such dispositions as reflect His own nature.


It is easy then to understand how we may practically walk with God – it is to open to Him all our purposes and hopes, to seek His judgment on our scheme of life and idea of happinessit is to be on thoroughly friendly terms with God.”[1]


How do walk with God in faith and prophetic truth like Enoch?

To walk with God is to be on thoroughly friendly terms with God.


  1. We are God’s friend and he is ours through faith in the reconciling work of Jesus Christ.

John 15:15 (ESV) No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.


Quoting 2 Chronicles 20:7, James 2:23 (ESV) and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.


  1. We speak the word of the Lord in prophetic truth.

We are ambassadors of Christ!

2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV) Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.


  1. We enjoy his company.

Psalms 16:11 (ESV) You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.


  1. We go in the same direction as God.

Ephesians 4:1-3 (ESV) I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


  1. We have no desire for anything but what lies in God’s path.

Quoting Hosea 6:6, Jesus says in Matthew 9:13 (ESV) Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”


  1. We have God in all our thoughts because he is naturally suggested to us by all we think of.


  1. When some change in our life’s direction is thought of, we first of all seek to determine how the change will affect our connection with God.


  1. When we sin we can’t rest until we have taken our place at God’s side and walk with him again.

Isaiah 59:1-2 (ESV) Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; 2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.


1 Peter 3:7 (ESV) Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.


  1. We make a persistent effort to hold all of life open to God’s inspection and conformity to his will.


  1. We are ready to give up what we find causes any misunderstanding between us and God.


  1. We have a feeling of loneliness if we don’t make our best effort at maintaining fellowship with God.


  1. We have a cold and desolate feeling when we become conscious of doing something that displeases him.


  1. We instinctively avoid subjects which we know will affect the feelings of our friend.


  1. We open to him all our purposes and tactics…what we are trying to do and how we are going about it.


  1. We seek his judgment on his idea of happiness.


  1. We make it our aim to seek the life and blessing of every image bearer on the planet because Jesus does.

Matthew 5:44-45 (ESV) But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.


  1. We walk with God in corporate worship.

[1]Marcus Dods, The Book of Genesis: With Introduction and Notes (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark), 51-53.


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