Genesis 6: God’s Mercy in Waiting (Part 3)

In parts 1 and 2 of this study, we took a look at the flood story in genesis and the REAL reason God flooded the world according to the Bible. We saw that fallen angels reproduced with human women, bringing giants into the world, causing unimaginable evil and violence. I also explored the history behind these ideas as they date back to the early church and most likely even before that. Now that we have a deeper knowledge of the flood story, I’ll start tackling more complex ideas starting with how the flood actually saved humanity.

God’s Mercy in Waiting

First let’s take a look at the 2 passages below,

“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”, (Genesis 6:5).

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth”, (Genesis 6:11-12).

From these 2 passages we learn that the majority of people living during this time are truly evil and are continually harboring evil thoughts and intentions. Not only this but God sees the earth and all “flesh” on it to have been “corrupted”, meaning that they’ve gone past the point of no return; they are beyond depraved physically as well as in their thoughts and actions. Something important I want to highlight from the first verse is that God knew that every living being on the earth (excluding Noah and his family) had continual evil in their hearts. For God to have known this, that must mean he’s able to grasp people’s thoughts. The Bible makes it clear that God is always doing this; he searches everyone’s hearts and knows how we think and what we’ll do,

  • I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings”, (Jeremiah 17:10).
  • “O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me” (Psalm 139:1).
  • “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts…”, (1 Chronicles 28:9).

Knowing this “small” fact is important as it shows that God didn’t bring judgement to the world carelessly or did it on a simple whim, but rather, through searching people’s hearts he was able to perceive if they would continue in their ways or repent and turn a new leaf. Now the question is, how long did God do this for? How long did he wait for the world to change their ways before he knew without a shadow of a doubt that they’ve crossed the point of no return? When you actually think about it, from the creation of Adam and Eve to the flood is a span of hundreds of years! It might seem like these events happen back to back because of how we flip through the pages, but God allowed these things to occur for hundreds of years before he decided to finally act. When he did act, he knew that beyond this point nothing would change; that the inhabitants of the earth would refuse to change their hearts and minds.

Genesis 9:28-29 says, And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died. From this passage we’re told that Noah lived for a total of 950 years, BUT, he only lived 350 of those years AFTER the flood. This means from Noah’s birth to the flood was 600 years! If you think this is a long time just remember that we’ve only accounted for Noah’s lifespan thus far. There’s still the time period between Adam and Noah talked about in Genesis 5. Let’s go through it below,

  • Adam lived for 130 years, had Seth, and died at 930 years old
  • Seth lived for 105 years, had Enosh and died at 912 years old
  • Enosh lived for 90 years, had Cainan, and died at 905 years old
  • Cainan lived for 70 years, had Mahalalel and died at 910 years old
  • Mahalalel lived for 65 years, had Jared and died at 895 years old
  • Jared lived for 162 years, had Enoch and died at 962 years old
  • Enoch lived for 65 years, had Methuselah, and at 365 years old was taken to heaven
  • Methuselah lived for 187 years, had Lamech and died at 969 years old
  • Lamech lived for 182 years, had Noah and died at 777 years old
  • Noah lived for 500 years, had his 3 sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth and died at 950 years old.

Below is a timeline I put together charting out the lives of Adam to Noah listed out in Genesis 5 using an interval of one hundred years. The Bible doesn’t specify the exact point in time in which humanity on earth began to be “corrupted”, but it’s safe to say that it went on for a period of time even before Noah’s birth.

From this chart, we can see that from the creation of Adam to the birth of Noah is about 1,050 years. The flood itself didn’t occur until the 1,650 year mark though. I believe this is one of the missing “keys” to the Genesis puzzle that allows people to use the flood as an argument against the loving God written about in the Bible. Whether people believe so or not, the Biblical fact is that God is slow to anger…very, very, very slow, “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love”, (Psalm 145:8) and has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. The same theme is seen in other parts of the Bible as well: Nehemiah 9:31, Exodus 34:6, Numbers 14:18, Psalm 86:5, Psalm 86:15, and Joel 2:13 to list a few.

He is a merciful and loving God both in the Old and New Testaments, whether we believe this to be the case or not it’s a biblical fact; he righteously judges from his knowledge and understanding, not ours. We as humans easily get offended by the smallest of things and let our anger show easily. We also let our anger and emotions control us rather than letting the opposite happen. In the above example, we see that God allows the world to do as they will for not just a couple hundred years, but for over a 1,000 years before he judged it!

The Bible also tells us that God does nothing without first letting his prophets know of it, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets”, (Amos 3:7). In Genesis, we’re told that Noah was an upright man and had a relationship with God (Genesis 6:9). Noah is also called “a preacher of righteousness”, For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly…” (2 Peter 2:4-5). It’s not far fetched to believe that once God told Noah that the flood would occur, Noah also warned people of the impending judgment of God and that they had time to change of their ways to avoid the coming judgement. We see that not only did God wait for over a milennia before judging the world, but he also most likely used Noah to warn the world of their impending judgement.

Noah, “perfect in his generations”

After seeing the current state of the world, God decides to start afresh with Noah’s family, but why Noah’s family specifically? God doesn’t just single out Noah’s family because they’re the “good” ones, although Noah fellow-shipping with God and seeking to do God’s will did put him in the right standing with God, but this ALONE is not the reason. It again has to do with DNA, “This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God”, (Genesis 6:9). Without looking deeper into this verse, all it seems to be saying is that Noah was “perfect” – according to the definition of the word – in the eyes of God and this is why he earned God’s favor. This view however doesn’t align with the biblical narrative, that no human being is or can be perfect, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23).

In my opinion this is further exemplified later in Genesis 9:20-25 in which Noah planted a vineyard, gets drunk from his wine, gets naked and later curses his grandson, Canaan because Ham happens to see him naked and tells his brothers. This is not the picture of a “perfect” human being. If anything this shows that those who serve God are indeed human and faulty and can still do as they please. So what does being “perfect” really mean? In Hebrew, the word used for perfect means “unblemished”, meaning without defects, mutations, bruises, etc.

img_7382-1The next question would be what was unblemished here? As human beings it’s not rare for us to get blemishes such as pimples, acne, cuts, and bruises. So was God saying here that Noah was the model person for perfect skin? I don’t believe so. We need to put this in its proper context. This context being, fallen angels came to earth and altered the gene pool of humanity by reproducing with human women. What ended up being “blemished” here or what now is mutated or with defects is the DNA of mankind. So when Noah is described as “perfect”, it’s not because of how upright he is or how perfect is skin is but it has to do with his and his family’s unaffected DNA.

So now we know that those on the earth God wiped out by the flood are actually human/angel hybrids causing continuous violence. It may not seem like it but God flooding the world at this point and only leaving Noah’s family was an act of MERCY and LOVE. Even with the explanation I gave about the fallen angels and DNA that may not click yet. How does God wiping out the entire world (whether or whether not they’re hybrid beings) show us a great picture of his love and mercy for humanity? This is shown through the very first prophecy in the Bible, concerning the coming messiah as well as a “declaration” of war that will continue for thousands of years.

Before I wrap up this section, I want to give you a bit more insight into what the Bible has to offer. I used the genealogy given in Genesis 5 to make a timeline of sorts but beyond that, the meaning of the names themselves is even more significant in my opinion. It tells a unique story and basically sums up God’s plan of redemption for mankind; it’s in plain sight but yet hidden. “Small” discoveries like these constantly amazes me. It truly shows that everything in the Bible is written for a reason,

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”, (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”, (Romans 15:4).


Below are links to the definitions of the names in Hebrew and offers deeper context and insight.

“A beautiful picture comes into focus that began with Adam and has ended in rest with Noah in Genesis chapter five. When placing all the names together in Hebrew and in just the order they appear we see another testimony of the absolute design of the Word in YHVH.” – Wildbranch Ministry

In the first part of this study, I quickly noted that the true cause for the corruption that occurred on the earth in early Genesis has to do with what happened in the Garden of Eden. In Part 4 of this study, we’ll take a look at what started this conflict in the first place; we’ll delve into the very first prophecy in the Bible, a prophecy concerning the messiah and the “seed” war that came from it.

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Ayo is a determined blogger striving to use his insights and God given talents to share the Gospel. Through his blog, he aspires to point skeptics of the bible to the truth of the Gospel using apologetics. His goal is to also inform others - both believer and non-believer - regarding the times we're living in preceding the Lord's soon return, through the study of prophecy. He hopes to both inform his readers with facts, equip them with tools to communicate the Gospel, and offer hope and encouragement through God's Word.

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