Giants and mighty men: As far as political leaders go there isn’t enough room in the world for very many giants and mighty men, but in our everyday lives we can come across many who have that mindset…
This series on ‘Understanding our lives’ will be looking at the life of Noah in the Bible.
“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days … Giants and mighty men of renown” Genesis 6:4
That statement makes me think of brave-hearted warriors, galloping away, to do the sort of stuff that legends are made of!
That appears to be a noble, and grand picture.
But to become the ‘mighty men of renown,’ they probably crushed and suppressed others.
You may know someone who is a good business man, or woman, or a leader, or supervisor with a reputation for being tough. Perhaps you have a reputation?
The job gets done, but at what cost to others? How many people bully others under the guise of ‘authority’ and ‘leadership’?
Almighty God sees the ‘mighty’ people of this world, the ones with a reputation, the ones that have got a name, and He knows how that was achieved.
Let’s return to Noah’s time. The Lord didn’t just see the giants and mighty men of renown, those bullies who were getting a name for themselves. Let’s read from Genesis:
“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and also afterwards – when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. The lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:4-7)
That paints a very sad picture of humanity, and it is so easy to push it aside and concentrate on all the nice bits of the Bible.
But it is in God’s Word, and it forms an important part in the foundation of our faith. Without this teaching our faith will be distorted and not safe. In the passage it said:
“Everyones wickedness was great.”
We all need to have that revelation. Paul expresses this thought:
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.” (Romans 7:18)
The danger is, if we don’t realize the horrible sin that is within us, we will approach God with an attitude of: ‘I am pure, I keep all of Your Laws, look at me aren’t I doing well!’
Also we will believe that God owes us something, because we think we have been so good.
Perhaps when you hear God saying that everyone’s wickedness is great, the thought shocks you.
Let’s look further at this where Jesus says:
“For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came, and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:37-39)
What huge sins are recorded here to warrant such action?
“eating and drinking, marrying..”
Surely these are not classed as sins, are they?
The answer is yes, if we don’t put God first in our lives.
Because if we don’t put Him first, then even eating and drinking becomes something to gratify our self centred lives.
If we don’t believe in the Lord, and trust Him, then we have pushed God aside.
By our actions we say: ‘I am going to do what I want, I don’t need You God!’
What was God’s reaction? Did He say: ‘Oh well, never mind, I still love them?’ No, He was:
“Sorry He had made them, and He was grieved in His heart.”
In many passages in the Bible, we read of God’s anger against peoples sin.
So you may say, ‘Well that is the Old Testament. We live in the New Testament now, and it isn’t like that any more.’
I believe there is a lot of confusion over this, so let’s see what the truth is.
In the first section, we were told that God is unchangeable.
So God didn’t spend the first part of history being angry at sin, and then He became a God of love for the last two thousand years!
Both Testaments speak of God’s love, and His anger.
He is the same God throughout the Bible. Mark tells us that Jesus
“..looked round at them in anger, and deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts..” (Mark 3:5)
Stubborn hearts make God angry.
Let’s get a balanced view of Almighty God.
He is a God of love, but He is also a God of justice, and of righteousness, and He is Holy.
If we don’t rely on Christ for our salvation, then God looks down and sees us trying to make a name for ourselves, He sees us eating, and drinking, and marrying, and living our lives for ourselves. That is a very dangerous place to be.
But if we rely on Christ for our salvation, God replaces that stubborn heart with one that is willing to please and obey Him.
Animated images: thanks to Serif WebPlus 6 Ark and Warrior images: thanks to The Pictorial Dictionary published by The Educational Book Company, London