I taught Lesson 5 (Cain and Enoch), but my lesson outline drew so heavily on Ben Spackman’s notes that I chose not to post the outline.
Genesis 6:5, 8:35
Gen. 6:5 (KJV): “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
First: This seems pretty extreme. We often hear leaders and members of the church bewailing the wickedness that prevails today, but it strikes me that the wickedness in Noah’s day was worse. What does the phrase “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” mean?
Let’s fast forward to after the flood. God says:
Gen. 8:21 (KJV): I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of
man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have
*So now we have God restating humanity’s desires. What are humanity’s desires? Did the flood change anything on this point? What do we take away from this?
What do other scriptures have to say about the nature of man and his desires?
Genesis covenant (Gen 8:21)
- “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s (Adam’s) sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.” [I didn’t ask but wish I had: Is this an undoing of the ground that was cursed for Adam’s sake? (Gen. 3:17)]
- Ask: what was the covenant? As each person answered, I asked “is that all”? The first time it prompted an answer about the rainbow, but I was getting blank stares the second time (which I was sort of counting on). [It’s worth pointing out that strictly speaking, this may not all be of a piece with the covenant, but it’s presented in such close proximity that it may be.]
- There’s lots more going on in this covenant in Gen. 9. Read Gen. 9:1-13 (piece by piece).
- never again curse the ground (Gen 8:21)
- never destroy every living thing again
- multiply and replenish earth (gen 9:1)
- “dominion” over animals, plants–different context. Compare Gen. 1:28. Here it’s a fear of man, not a dominion. (gen 9:2) [We had an interesting discussion on this point, it’s difference compared to Gen 1:28 and 29-30, whether fear and dominion differ, and whether fear might relate to the fact that people can now eat animals, given Gen. 9:3-4
- Okay to eat plants and meat, but not meat w/ blood (gen 9:3-4). v. 5-6 as some sort of
explanation. (NET Gen 9:3: “As I gave you the green plants, I now give you
everything.” See Gen. 1:29-30, Gen. 3:17-18.
- Covenant with Noah, his family, and animals: Gen. 9:9-10. That is, the covenant is not just with a man and his family, but with animals. [For LDS approaches to covenants, this is weird, and I thought worth pointing out.]
- Rainbow as sign of covenant. Gen. 9:12-13, 16. Who is the rainbow a sign for? (It looks like it’s a sign for both man AND God, so that God will remember his covenant). This lead to an interesting discussion as well, since again we aren’t used to thinking that God might need reminders. In a later conversation with my wife, she pointed out that telling people that God was going to be reminded of his covenant by the rainbow too might have been a way of comforting them.