God made a promise to send a Savior in Genesis 3:15. And since God always keeps His promises, the Lord starts working His plan through Adam and Eve’s descendants. They have two sons, Cain and Abel. Abel approaches the Lord His way, as the Lord demonstrated to Adam and Eve in the garden, by bringing an animal sacrifice. But Cain comes to the Lord his own way, with fruits of the ground. The Lord accepts Abel’s offering and not Cain’s, which angers Cain. God tells Cain he better check himself because sin is crouching at his door.
The Lord desires for us to repent of our sins and turn to Him. As the wisdom writer in Proverbs will later tell us, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). However, Cain chooses to ignore God’s warning, and he kills his brother, Abel. As a result, Cain is sent outside the presence of the Lord.
Cain is now living in the land of Nod, and we see what it is like for people living outside the presence of the Lord. Cain’s descendants are involved in murder, polygamy, and the oppression of women. But nothing is going to stop the Lord’s plan to send a Savior! So Adam and Eve have another son named Seth. And Seth’s descendants begin calling on the name of the Lord. However, over time, they start making decisions based on sight instead of faith. Seth’s descendants see Cain’s beautiful women who are walking outside the presence of the Lord, and they begin to intermarry with them and are led away from the Lord. “And the Lord said: ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh.’”
“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. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart… But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” So God tells Noah, a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5) and a descendant of Seth’s (10 generations after Adam), that He is sending a flood “to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.”
The only ones that will be saved by grace through faith are Noah and his wife, his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives along with two of every unclean animal, seven pairs of every kind of bird, and seven pairs of every clean animal for eating and for sacrificing to the Lord. (We will learn more about the clean animals and the sacrificial system during the Exodus Era.)
Keep your eye on Shem because through him we will meet the first Patriarch, Abraham (10 generations later from Noah). If this is your first time reading through the Bible, you are about to see how messy these people are and how God executes His amazing plan of redemption through the mess. But this also highlights God’s grace and mercy as he patiently grows their faith and works all things for good for those who love Him! Enjoy your reading!
(Genesis 4:1-5:32, 1 Chronicles 1:1-4, Genesis 6:1-22)