Monthly Archives: January 2017


Mighty men of old, men of renown! Giants! Men and women living hundreds of years old (Gen. 6:4). The world in Noah’s day was an astounding, incredible and amazing place. But for all its wonders, it was marred because it was also full of sin. In fact, the wickedness of man was so great in the earth that “every imagination of man’s heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). A world that was once deemed very good (Gen. 1:31), had now devolved into something that made God sick in His heart. He was sorry that He had even made man on the earth (Gen. 6:6) and resolved to destroy it (Gen. 6:7).

But in all this mess of a world, there was one man who stood above it all. “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations” (Gen. 6:9). He was a “good man living in desperate times” (Clark). While all others had corrupted their way before God, Noah, it is said, “walked with God” (Gen. 6:9)! This is the same expression that Moses used to describe the life of Enoch (Gen. 5:24). Those who walk with God stand out because they are not going the direction of the rest of the world. Jesus said as Christians we are to be the light of the world (Matt. 5:14-16).

Because he walked with God, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8). While Noah did not participate in the general moral rebellion against God, while his outstanding character set him apart from the rest of the world, he was still in need of God’s unmerited favor. In this instance, that grace manifested itself in his salvation from the physical destruction of the world and all the evil souls from it (Gen. 6:13). This account tells us just as much about God as it does about ourselves. Even where sin abounds, God’s grace much more abounds (Rom. 5:20). “Now for the first time grace itself finds a tongue to express its name” (Clark).

But God’s grace alone was not enough to save Noah. God commanded Noah to build an ark out of Gopher wood and that it was to meet certain specifications (Gen. 6:14-16). When all was said and done, Moses tells us, “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Gen. 6:22). If Noah had not done the work which God commanded him to do, if Noah had substituted his own dimensions, his own material, or his own design, God would not have blessed him. Clearly, grace and obedience are not mutually exclusive. In the New Testament we are told that Jesus became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him (Heb. 5:9).

Another quality exhibited by Noah was his faith. Living in a world that had never known rain, it must had been very difficult for Noah to imagine the world being destroyed by water (Gen. 2:6). But “by faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Hebrews 11:7). We know from Cain and Abel that faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17; cf. Gen. 4:5-7). Noah’s faith was built upon the commands of God and it was his faith that gave Noah access to the grace of God (cf. Rom. 5:1,2).

The commands of God giving the design of the ark also included the reason for the coming deluge. It was God’s judgment on mankind for its sins. But Noah was evidently charged with warning his generation of the impending destruction for he became a preacher of righteousness (II Pet. 2:5). For 120 years, while Noah warned the antediluvians of the anger of God and called them back to Him (Gen. 6:3), Jehovah waited, thus manifesting His longsuffering attitude toward man (I Pet. 3:19,20). Noah, after preaching to an unbelieving world for 120 years, was able only to claim to have saved his own house.

The ark, though big enough, was not that big of a structure compared to other kinds of vessels we know. The ark was merely a box. It’s purpose was not to slash through the waters of the flood at top speed as if on a hurried mission to reach some faraway destination. It’s main purpose was to stay afloat to keep its occupants alive. It had one door, one way to enter it, just as the church has but one Door, that is Christ (John 10:9). The ark had but one window by which to receive it’s light. The Lord’s church has but one light source, the word of God (Psalm 119:11). All who were saved were to be found on the ark. If we are not in the Lord’s church, we are lost (Acts 2:47).

Moses’ account of the flood tells us nothing of the people who did not get on the ark. We know they were all about their daily walks of life before the Flood began. “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark” (Matthew 24:38). They had no inkling of the coming terror that would end their earthly sojourn. Jesus described their end very succinctly: They “knew not until the flood came, and took them all away” (Matt. 24:39). And then He added, “So shall the coming of the Son of Man be.” “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. . .Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:42, 44).

So many are the lessons of Noah.

Eric L. Padgett


Notwithstanding their closeness to the Creation and their proximity to the Creator, there is nothing we read in the Sacred Account of Adam and Eve and their sons that suggest to us anything but that they were susceptible to the same temptations we ourselves now face daily (I John 2:15-17). We have seen the Fall of Adam and Eve from their fellowship with Jehovah. Now we read of the tragic incidents surrounding their children, Cain and Abel. This first family tells us much about us.

Cain was firstborn. His interests lay in the field. His brother Abel was a keeper of sheep. Both men brought an offering to the Lord, but only Abel’s was accepted. Multiple theories have been put forward as to why God rejected Cain’s offering and most of the time it centers on Cain’s attitude. And while Cain’s attitude certainly left a lot to be desired, this most certainly was not the sole reason, or even the main reason, the Lord rejected his offering.

No less than Jesus tells us that Abel was righteous (Matt. 23:35). Righteousness comes from keeping the commandments of God, for “all Thy commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172). Paul tells us that now, today, it is in the gospel that the righteousness of God is revealed (Rom. 1:17). If Abel was righteous, then it was because he kept the commandments of the Lord. Indeed, the Lord tells Cain, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted” (Gen. 4:7). Clearly, the Bible reveals that Cain’s transgression was that he was not righteous, he did not do well, he did not obey.

Additionally, Paul declares that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Paul also declares that Abel presented his offering by faith (Heb. 11:4). Now, if faith comes by the word of God, and Abel presented his offering by faith, then Abel presented his offering according to the word of God. That is, he did well in obeying God’s commands.

This also explains why Cain was condemned. It was not an arbitrary, gratuitous dislike of Cain or his offering that led to God’s disapprobation, but a legal condemnation based on Cain’s disobedience of God’s revealed law. When has it ever been otherwise? Anyone today who similarly alters God’s commands, or who adds to or takes therefrom, shall likewise partake of God’s judgments (Rev. 22:18,19). The wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience (Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6).

If there are no other lessons to be taken from this historical account, this would be quite enough, for it is vitally important. It is a lesson that is taught over and over again throughout scripture. But Cain’s transgression of God’s commands led to other sins, as well. The man who cares not if he obeys God’s commands in worship, will care little about God’s commands in general. Cain is a case in point.

When the Lord condemned Cain for his disobedience in worship, instead of being contrite and humble, he became jealous, hateful and angry. God’s instruction to Cain was not to go seek to manage his anger, but to do well! God’s remedy for anger is to be obedient to Him! The way to acceptance with God is not through self-will, but humble obedience. Nevertheless, he took out his hatred on his righteous brother Abel. How very sad it is that the first account that we have of murder is meted out by a brother upon a brother.

Abel was the first martyr. He suffered for himself because he did well and the voice of his blood cried out from the ground as a witness (Gen. 4:10). The blood of Abel and of all the righteous prophets was required of that people which persecuted and killed them and then crucified the Saviour (Matt. 23:34-38). Jesus suffered for all because He did well. Today, the blood of Jesus speaks of better things than that of Abel’s (Heb. 12:24; I Pet. 1:18-20).
Eric L. Padgett


Because man was created as a social creature, and yet was all alone as a human being created in the image of God, there was something missing in his life, something that would make him complete. When God brought all the animals before Adam to see how he would classify them, he found that there were none that met his specific needs of companionship fully. For man to have those needs fulfilled, God anesthetized him, took one of his ribs and made the perfect female companion from it. We can only imagine what this first woman might have looked like. Presumably she was as perfect as was the first man. What a simple but beautiful marriage ceremony it must have been when God gave away the bride!

Adam used two terms to describe his wife. The first described her origins. When the Lord brought her unto Adam, he named her “woman,” because she was taken out of man (Gen. 2:20). God gave the command to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth (Gen. 1:26,27). This command could not be obeyed by one man alone. Thus, the woman was necessary to help man fulfill God’s commands. In fulfilling this command, the woman became the mother of all living, that is, of all other human beings. The second term used was a personal name and it described her relationship to the rest of mankind. Adam called her “Eve,” which means “life giver” (Gen. 3:20).

Adam and Eve were both similar and yet different. Those differences and similarities still persist in the human race today. Unfortunately, Eve was the more emotional of the two and was more easily susceptible to persuasion. This is not a guess. Studies show this to be true. Furthermore, the Bible tells us Eve was the “weaker vessel” (I Pet. 3:7). Also, the Bible tells us that “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (I Tim. 2:14). Have you ever wondered why satan tempted Eve first? Why not go after Adam who was created by God? Might it stem from the fact that he knew the woman would be more susceptible to his temptation and that he could get to the man through her?

Which leads us to another fact which we glean from the Text about the woman, and that is that she exercised a great influence over the man. Adam knew God’s law and he knew the penalty for breaking it. Presumably, so did the woman, but Eve was apparently deceived by the serpent about the results of eating the forbidden fruit. She “saw” that the tree was “good for food” and a “tree to be desired to make one wise” and that it was “pleasant to the eyes.” She fell for diabolical lie that God was trying to hide something from her.

Adam’s failure to keep God’s command was apparently the result of his love for his wife. God’s condemnation of Adam was that he “hearkened unto the voice of his wife” (Gen. 3:17). Because of that attachment she was able to persuade the man to follow her into transgression. Let me make it clear, however, that nothing written here should be construed in any way as suggesting that man had no culpability in his own sins.

Women still hold that kind of influence over men today. Delilah was able to wrest the secret of Samson’s strength from him, Solomon’s many foreign wives turned his heart from the Lord and Salome cost John the Baptist his head. How many men today have been subject to the alluring influence of some woman? It is a good thing when a godly woman exercises influence over a man to keep him faithful to the Lord (I Pet. 3:1-6), but beware the strange woman (Prov. 5:3-20; 6:24; 7:5-23; 22:14; 23:27).

Eve’s transgression naturally resulted in her judgement. The devil lied as he always does. The fruit of sin was nowhere as sweet as promised. It never is. In fact, it was downright bitter! It always is. Beyond the bringing in of death into the world, Eve would bring forth children in sorrow and be made subject to her husband. One of the things wrong with the current attempts to alter the woman’s role in society is that it goes against God’s divine arrangement. At least partly because of her transgression, the woman is not allowed to usurp authority over the man in the church (I Tim. 2:11-14).

Not only did Eve complement and complete Adam’s life, because she was the mother of all living, she would also be the mother of the saviour of the world. God promised that through her the seed would come that would destroy the serpent (Gen. 3:15). The saviour was made of a woman (Gal. 4:4). In the New Testament, the church is described as the beautiful bride of Christ (Eph 5:24-32). Whereas the first Adam’s bride pulled Adam into transgression, the second Adam saves His bride from falling into transgression. “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9)!

Eric L. Padgett


God formed man out of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7). Science has learned that, quite literally and physically, man is made up of elements that are found in nature–oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, making up 96 percent of the elements composing man’s material body. As man’s physical body was taken from the dust of the ground, it shall return back thither (Gen. 3:19). As the years go by, the natural world reclaims the elements from which the outward man is composed, as it slowly perishes day by day (II Cor. 4:16). The world’s cemeteries constitute a sad testimony to this truth.

Adam, was that first man. In the Hebrew, the word for “Adam” and the word for “man” are cognates. Smith says that the words seems to refer to the ground from which man was formed and the “idea of the redness of color seems to be inherent in either word.” It has been said that the word “Adam” means “red clay.” The first man’s name, Adam, reminds us of our very humble origins. No wonder the Psalmist in understandable amazement asks “What is man that Thou art mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4). God took a handful of dirt and fashioned something wonderful! If it were not for the life-giving Spirit and power of God, we would be less than the worms which inhabit the soil (Job 25:6). For this reason alone we ought to adorn ourselves in humility (I pet. 5:5).

Yet, while Adam’s origins were very humble, he was made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26,27). Whatever else this may mean, it certainly means that man was also very special. This is not said of the animals and they are not afforded a special relationship with the Creator nor are they the subjects of Christ’s redemptive work. The animals were brought to Adam to see what he would call them, not the other way around. God gave man dominion and authority over all the creation (Gen. 1:26,27). Later, animals were given to be food for man and for man to do with as he wanted, as long as he was a good steward in the act (Gen. 9:1-3).

But man is special, made in the image of God and given an intellect that far exceeds that of any animal. God gave man the intellectual power to name, or classify, the animals that were brought to him (Gen. 2:19). Whatever Adam called them, that was the name of it, or, rather, it fitted the animal’s nature perfectly. Adam was created so that he could understand the word of God and thus communicate with his Creator. When God spoke to Adam, he could understand His will. As God revealed His will to man down through the ages, it was this ability to reason and to think and communicate that would benefit him eternally (Is. 1:18). It allows us to show ourselves approved unto God (II Tim, 2:15).

Adam was also created a social creature. God said it was not good that man should be alone, therefore He made an help meet (or suitable) for man (Gen. 2:18). Right from the beginning, God commanded Adam to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, to make more people, in part at least, to meet the needs of man’s companionship. One of the qualities which Jesus exhibited as He grew up was His ability to interact socially (Luke 2:52). Man specifically needed marital companionship and it was for this cause that a man would leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and the two would become one flesh (Gen. 2:21-24).

Unfortunately, it was his dependence on companionship which also made him vulnerable to persuasion from his wife. It was Eve, his wife, who influenced him to take the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6). The story of a woman’s power over a man is nearly as old as the creation, itself. That story is replayed over and over again throughout history: Samson and Delilah, David and Bathsheba, Solomon and his wives, Salome and Herod, Jezebel and the church. However, Eve’s proffer of forbidden fruit cannot excuse Adam’s actions in any way. Adam is responsible for his own actions and his own weaknesses, just as we are responsible for ours (Ezek. 18:20; II Cor. 5:10).

It is not Eve, but Adam, that is described as bringing sin into this world. “For by one man sin entered into the world…” (Rom. 5:12). It is upon his shoulders the scriptures place the responsibility (Rom. 5:12), because he stands at the head of the human race. Adam was not deceived, as was Eve (I Tim. 2:14). Eve was in the transgression because of deception; Adam knowingly broke God’s law, giving in to his wife’s urgings and abrogating his responsibility as head of the home. Eve was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh and his responsibility (Gen.2:23).

And though by one man–a man of clay of the earth–sin entered into the world, by one man–a man of the Spirit from Heaven–a way was made for the removal of sin (Rom. 5:14-21). “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (II Corinthians 15:45). “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven” (I Corinthians 15:47). “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Corinthians 15:20-22).
Eric L. Padgett