I thought it might be worthwhile to share some of my reflections here on The Doc File (my online “journal”), and that occasionally someone might find them to be interesting or helpful. So we’ll see how it goes, but here is the first installment.
If you start at the beginning of the Old Testament, by Genesis 5 you’ve already witnessed a lot of important stuff happen. God has created everything and stamped his image on mankind (Chapters 1-2). He watches in heartbreak as man rejects that image and brings sin into the good creation (Chapter 3). In Chapter 4, sin, already a part of the world, is brought to new depths as Cain kills his brother. And we have some other indications of the progression of sin later in the chapter with the character of Lamech.
And then Chapter 5 recounts the generations following Adam. And genealogies aren’t usually all that interesting to us. These are somewhat novel because of the length of the lifespans recorded, but other than that we don’t think too much about them. But as I was reading this time, I was struck by three words which occurred over and over: “and he died.”
Generation after generation we read about different men—their names, how long they lived, their children—but their stories all end in the same abrupt way: “and he died” (Genesis 5.5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27). And all of this repetition has a real point: it hammers home the truth that, because of the sin in the Garden of Eden, death is now an inescapable part of the human experience. It was true for the men in Genesis 5, and it’s still true today, thousands of years later, despite all of our technological advances and our obsession with cheating and avoiding death.
And that is truly tragic news. Death is the enemy of all of us and it is a part of our existence because of the results of sin.
But in Genesis 5, there is a glimmer of good news as well. For one man, the story did not end with “and he died”:
“When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he father Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”
And it seems to me, that in Enoch, we have a foreshadowing of the Gospel: for those who have a relationship with God, death is overcome. Not in the way that it was for Enoch (I fully expect to die someday, unless Jesus returns before then), but still, in a True and Eternal sense, the power of death is nullified. It does not get the last say:
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
(1 Corinthians 15.26)