In Genesis 5:1 the presence of God’s image in people is reaffirmed. Despite the failure of Adam and Eve (Chp 3) and then the growth of sin in (Chp 4) God has not abandoned the world. Even though God is still committed to the human race death is a present reality. Chapter 5 says 8 times that various people “died”. We are brought face to the face that when Adam and Eve sinned death entered the world and this sentence of death continues to hang over us. Paul teaches us 1 Corinthians 15:26 that the last enemy is death. I have just read an amazing testimony from Bishop Ivan Lee as he faces death. He has pancreatic cancer and is currently in remission. As a Christian we know that God can heal but our greatest hope is that death has been conquered through Jesus.
Over the years I have taken many funerals and I wonder how people cope with death without faith in Jesus. Without the hope of the resurrection death is so final. Interestingly this repetition of death in Genesis 5 is interrupted by the story of Enoch in 5:24. His life doesn’t end in death because God took him. In an amazing way Enoch conquered death. The story of Enoch set in the midst of death encourages us to look to God to rescue us from the sentence of death. God can rescue us. Interestingly Hebrews 11:5-6 comments that Enoch was taken by God because of his faith in God. God was looking for faith in Enoch’s day and God is looking for faith in people today. Faith is trusting in God and not in ourselves. Faith believes that God has the power to raise us from the dead. It is a good question to ask yourself – Do I have faith in Jesus and His death and resurrection for my sin so that I will also conquer death? There is also an interesting comparison between the 2 Lamechs – one in chapter 4 and one in chapter 5. In chapter 4:23-24 Lamech is bent on revenge but in 5:28-29 this different Lamech acknowledges God. The distinction we have is of 2 family lines: one is the family line of Cain which leads to murder and revenge while the other is the godly line of Seth. Former Archbishop Peter Jensen comments on this chapter: - “Which family would you want to belong to? The family line of Seth takes us right to the Lord Jesus and salvation whereas the family line of Cain leads to condemnation. All this happens because God intervenes to save us because He is gracious. Listen to God’s Word in 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. “Death is in the world but hope through Jesus has broken in so we can also conquer death – rejoice !
Rev David O’Mara