I have a tendency at times to start noting coorelations between disparate matters. It may be that I am seeing things that aren’t really there, but I don’t think so. I have been accused of confusing correlation with causation before, and will try not to make that error, if indeed it proves to be an error. Showing my hand though, I don’t think these coorelations are causitory of each other, rather I believe both (all?) are the cause of another factor. The resulting visible aspects to this include both action by the One True God and mimicry by those who would supplant Him, not unlike Pharaoh’s magician’s copying of the miracles Moses performed.
These visible actions and mimicries include the act of creation, the declaration of good and evil, the worship of God and of His created enemies, unnatural desire, and will take concepts that are laid out from the beginning and bring them to the relevance of today. Some of this may give you reason to feel pretty good about yourself, but keep your head on a swivel. I tend to condemn everyone as well as myself in these sort of posts. If you get offended by this, don’t worry. So do I.
Let’s start at the very beginning.
Only God has the ability to create ex nihilo, which is a fancy way to say that He alone is able to create everything out of nothing. We are able to take this existent matter and manipulate it into this or that, but only God can create without the preexisting ingredients. Ever since Genesis 3 the fallen created order has sought to mimic the creative aspects of God with whatever resources we have at our disposal, and our mimicry is often celebrated as if it came from nowhere at all, even as the god of this age is a big bang where nothing exploded into everything for no reason whatsoever. So it should make sense when we try to assume the role of God and declare that it is all meaningless. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
The original temptation that the serpent gave to Adam and Eve was that they would be “like God.” This original couple acted as the representatives of everyone to follow as they faced this temptation. The fruit itself was neither good nor bad. It merely represented the knowledge of good and evil apart from the instruction and guidance of God. Knowledge on its own is not the problem. Seeking wisdom in the absence of God is, and with the symbolic communion with the serpent, mankind fell into fallenness, dragging all of creation with it. Though they were fallen from that point, they did learn a lesson, as evidenced by Eve giving credit where it is due upon the arrival of her firstborn, Cain, in the first act of human creation, performed with the help of the Lord. This is not a side note. Procreation has always been our method of creation. It is a way that all living beings point back to the creator and honor Him.
Genesis 4:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.”
The ancestral progression continued down the lines of Cain and his brother Seth until we arrived in the seventh generation to Enoch, who was righteous, and Lamech, who had multiple wives and who killed a man for injuring him, an early example of a disproportionate response to one who had wronged him. This evil in the world continued to expand until the zenith mention of the Nephilim, where the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire. (Jude 6-7) This is also not a senseless drive-by statement. It also is not pointed only at “those sinners over there.” But again, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Quick detour. Take it. The scenery’s better anyway.
The Nephilim have been a source of discussion in religious circles for some time. It is my belief that Genesis 6 speaks rather plainly about their origins. You see, there are some who think that the Nephilim are the result of the righteous male descendents of Seth looking upon the wicked descendants of Cain and having children with them. I reject that interpretation, by the way. Why would I say that? Here’s the passage:
Genesis 6:1-4 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
I don’t know of any serious objection that the “daughters of man” were anything other than the obvious meaning. Human women. The debate revolves around who the “sons of God” were at that time. Adam is called the son of God in the genealogy laid out in Luke. Some people refer to all of humanity as “God’s children,” which is a phrase that I find to be theologically inconsistent. The two interpretations most-followed here would be that these sons of God are either the righteous line of Seth or they are angels of some classification, which is not a stretch at all as the original texts refer to them as “bene elohim.”
If the godly line of Seth constituted a fair percentage of the population, and remember they were regarded as the good ones, then why were they lumped in with the rest of the population as wicked and having nothing but evil intentions continually? (Genesis 6:5-8) And if the line of Seth was so straightlaced, why would they lust after the wicked women of Cain? Did this only work with the men on one side and the women 0n the other, but not the other way around? And if they did have children together, what was it about the natural genetic material of these Sethites mingling with the natural genetic material of the Cainites that would result in mighty men of renown, also referred to as giants? These giants were there in those days… and also afterward. After what? How do you account for a supernatural line of beings that came about from a natural process?
I don’t. I believe that the daughters of man were the humans of that time and the sons of God were those angels who left their rightful places in order to… create offspring of their own. They couldn’t do it ex nihilo, but this was as close as they could come to that. You see, all of sin is the mimicry of the rights of God. All of sin begins by breaking the 10th Commandment, “Thou shalt not covet” and you thought only the first tablet of the law applied to the vertical relationship between man and God!
Satan fell because he coveted the rightful place of God. Adam coveted the knowledge of God. When you sin, you choose your way over God’s way. You are coveting the right to declare what is best for you in the moment. We all seek to become our own gods. That is the mark of sin. It all begins with craving something that is categorically not yours. That is the mark of antichrist. It is the thinking and doing of things that belong to God, to oppose His law and to supplant Him in your own heart. It is exchanging the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and the rest of the created order. You are guilty of antichrist behavior and so am I, so let’s not overthink this one.
End Detour. Merge to the right please.
And while I’m throwing out my claims here, I believe the “bene elohim” were creating their own offspring in a religious manner. The text doesn’t say one way or another, but it seems consistent that the union of the supernatural with the women was not by accident or by subterfuge. I believe the women participating in this were fully aware, and fully on board with the motivations of their demonic husbands.
Way back before the detour, I mentioned the book of Jude. There are extra-biblical sources that seek to define for us what was going on, but I cannot claim to be a holder of sola Scriptura while at the same time using sources that are not only extra-biblical but in places anti-biblical. Maybe some of their parenthetical statements are true. Maybe. But a little poison is all it takes to sully the Kool-Ade. So I’ll stick with the text that was inspired by God, rather than the texts of alternate origins.
Jude 6-7 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
It is my belief that these verses are referring to those angels who sought out the daughters of Adam. These angels were punished for their actions outside their boundaries. They sought unnatural desire and will be punished for it. Even now they are being punished, but the punishment of today prefigures the punishment of a day to come. But what about those daughters and their willing participation?
Well for that conversation to continue, I will have to ask you to return in a day for part 2 of this post. Frankly, I have included so many things to ponder in this post that I could likely spend a few more days fleshing things out. If I haven’t angered you with my words yet, don’t worry. There’s always tomorrow.