The Post-Diluvian Age

Genesis

The Post-Diluvian Age

August 24th, 1988 @ 7:30 PM

Genesis 9-11

And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth. And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread. And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. 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. Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city. And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim. And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha. These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations. Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born. The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber. And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan. And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah, And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba, And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east. These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood. And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah: And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters. And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber: And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters. And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg: And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters. And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters. And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug: And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters. And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor: And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah: And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters. And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. But Sarai was barren; she had no child. And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
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THE POST-DILUVIAN AGE

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Genesis 9-11

8-24-88    7:30 p.m.

 

‘Tis a loving church and a loving congregation God hath given us here in the heart of this great city.  And to be here on Wednesday night and to share together in these precious moments is one of the dearest privileges in human life.

In our studying through the Book of Genesis, we have come to the age beyond the Flood.  And as we said last Wednesday night, this whole earth used to be a greenhouse.  The climate at the North Pole was the same as it was at the equator, and the same as it was in Antarctica; the whole earth was verdant, beautifully foliated.  There was a canopy above it, a firmament; and the earth was watered with mist and dew.  The earth had never seen rain.  Man knew not what it was.  But when God saw the iniquity of man and only one righteous family in the whole creation, just one, the Lord commanded him to build an ark to the saving of his house.  And when the ark was built, and after one hundred twenty years of preaching and pleading without one convert [Genesis 6:3-22], God said, “Enter the ark” [Genesis 7:1].  And God shut the door; God shut the door [Genesis 7:16].  And the Lord punctured that canopy above the earth, and for the first time man saw it rain.  And it rained, and it rained forty days, forty nights; and the waters rose fifteen to fifty feet above the highest mountains.  And everything that breathed died in that awesome judgment [Genesis 7:17-24].  And after the waters were assuaged, and Noah came out of the ark [Genesis 8:15-18], the Lord blessed him, and gave him a great commission [Genesis 9:1-19].  And that’s where we begin speaking tonight.

There are seven great ages in the history of the world, from its beginning to its consummation.  They are, number one, in the garden to the expulsion; number two, after the expulsion to the judgment of the Flood; number three, after the Flood to the call of Abraham; number four, from Abraham to Moses and the Exodus; number five, from Moses to Jesus our Lord; number six, from the days of His flesh to the days of His coming; and number seven, from our Lord’s coming to the forever.  The first is the age of innocence.  The second is the age of conscience.  The third is the age of human government.  The fourth is the age of the patriarchs.  The fifth is the age of the law.  The sixth is the age of grace, of the church, in which we live.  And the seventh is the age of the kingdom.

We’re going to look for just a moment at the age of conscience, the age of human government, the age of social law and order, the age of the nations, the antediluvian age.  I haven’t time to go into detail, just to point it out.  In Genesis 9, verse 2, no longer the loving submission of the age of conscience, but the man is now the fearful ruler over all the living things of the earth.  He’s not the biggest physically, or the mightiest in muscle, but he’s able to strike terror and fear into the kingdom of the animals because of his superior mentality and his organizational genius [Genesis 9:2].  In verse 3, for the first time we are given the privilege to eat one another: “Every moving thing that liveth shall be food for you; even as the green herb in the garden of Eden.”  For the first time after the Flood, in Genesis 9:3, we are permitted to eat living beings, animals.

I do not blame anyone for being a vegetarian.  If you’re a vegetarian, you’re going back to the beginning of the purpose of God.  God never intended for us to eat one another; it was never in His purpose.  It was only after the judgment of the Flood that God gave us the right to eat one another.  And when you look in a chapter such as the eleventh of Isaiah, when the kingdom of God comes and Jesus is present and is our great Lord and Ruler, you’re going back to the day of the beginning, of the day of innocence, and we’ll not eat one another: the ravenous, carnivorous lion will eat straw like an ox [Isaiah 11:7].  But this is a concession made to the man after the judgment of the Flood: that he can eat flesh [Genesis 9:3].

And in Genesis 9:5-6: in the man’s hand the magistrate’s sword is placed for the first time.  There is in God’s law and order capital punishment: it’s in the hands of the state.  And in my humble opinion, I think it ought to be observed.  I think a man who presides over a ring that sells drugs to our people, and particularly to our children, I think he ought to be put to death, period.

Now, we have here for the first time, in chapter 10, the nations, nations.  In verse 5, the nation; in verse 20, the nation; in verse 31, the nation; and in verse 32, twice: God establishes the state, the government [Genesis 10:5, 20, 31, 32].  And the descendants of Noah are now divided into kingdoms and into nations.

  • In verse 8 of chapter 10, Nimrod is the first autocrat and conqueror [Genesis 10:8].
  • In verse 10 of chapter 10, we have Babylon, in the land of Shinar [Genesis 10:10].
  • In verse 11, we have Nineveh [Genesis 10:11].
  • And in verse 15 we have Sidon [Genesis 10:15].

So the Japhetic and Hamitic lines are all disposed of, spoken of in the Bible; and now we come to the line of Shem.  And this is an observation to be made if you ever propose to study the Bible: the Bible is not a history of the world; the Bible is a story of the unveiling of God’s grace and mercy through His chosen people.  You don’t have the story of the nations of Japheth, of Ham, nor even all of those of the line of Shem; but you have the story of God’s grace.  And having followed it through the line of Shem to Abraham [Genesis 11:10-26], we now have God’s wonderful grace as He reveals Himself through a chosen family.

How did man fare in this third new age, the antediluvian age?  Their golden opportunity to achieve justice and righteousness in the earth failed.  Noah was over six hundred years old, full of wisdom and experience; Shem, his youngest son, was ninety-eight years old.  Behind them was the destruction of the whole human race [Genesis 7:21-23], and the terrible warning of the judgment of God in disobedience [Genesis 6:13, 17].  Before them, the open land, the new covenant of God: Noah establishes an altar in chapter 8, verse 20, and true worship [Genesis 8:20].  But what did they do with it?  Again there was dismal failure.  In chapter 11, verse 2, Shinar, between the Tigris and Euphrates River, it is the purpose of God that all the people of the earth be one in calling upon His name [Genesis 11:1-2].  But there they build a Babel.  What for?  To escape the Flood?  No, they built a great monument there, the Bible says, “to their own name” [Genesis 11:4].  Like the pyramids, some said the pyramids were built for astronomical reasons; others say the pyramids were built to resist the encroachment of the desert; others say the pyramids were built for granaries and for food reserves.  None of that is true: the pyramids were built as monuments and sepulchers to the kings, to keep their names alive in the earth.  And that’s the first thing that the man did: he wanted to exalt himself, to build a monument to himself.

And the descendants of Noah and of his sons became idolaters.  The whole earth was filled with idolatry.  There is no record in the earth of any witness for God after the Flood.  Even Terah, Abraham’s father, was an idolater [Joshua 24:2].  The race failed in Eden [Genesis 3:1-6], the race failed before the Flood [Genesis 6:5-7], and the race failed after the Flood at Babel [Genesis 11:4].

So when we come to the twelfth chapter of the Book of Genesis, we come to a new departure: God singles out one family, and He begins there afresh in the revelation of His goodness and grace.

  • In 11:26, Terah was seventy years of age when Abram was born [Genesis 11:26].
  • In 11:31, after Abraham’s marriage, Terah and Abram and Sarai and Lot emigrate from Ur of the Chaldees, down there toward Canaan; but they stop in Haran [Genesis 11:31].
  • And in verse 4 of chapter 12, when Abram was seventy-five years old, he, his wife, and his nephew Lot resume the journey to the Promised Land [Genesis 12:4].
  • They went without any knowledge of the country to which God was sending them, and they went without any prearranged plan.  They just believed in the mercy and goodness of God; and on the basis of that promise, “They went out, not knowing whither they went” [Hebrews 11:8].

The first demand of faith is separation.  “You get out from your country, from your people, from your native land, and go into a land you shall after receive for an inheritance…And they went out” [Genesis 12:1, 5], as I say, “not knowing whither they went” [Hebrews 11:8].  The first demand of faith is separation.

I had a man yesterday expound to me—he’s a godly man himself—expound to me why it is that revival does not come to our people.  And the reason he said was, “I’m a businessman.  I live out here in the earth.”  And he said to me, “Preacher, I tell you truly, I can’t tell the difference between a Christian and a worldly secularist.  They just act alike.  They talk alike.  They live alike.  I don’t see any difference in them.”

I wonder how true the observation is of that businessman.  I don’t live out in the business world; I live a sheltered life, I live with you.  I come to church.  I spend my days here in the house of God; over there or here.  It hurt my heart to hear him say that, that he couldn’t tell a Christian from one who has never been saved.  I could just think that maybe it is confirmed by some of the things that I run into.

I was talking to a businessman here in the city of Dallas.  And this is some years ago—I wouldn’t mention if it were it now—and I was talking to him, and we were, in our visiting, we were speaking about a certain other businessman here in the city of Dallas.  And I said to him, “That man is a deacon in our church, and one of the members of our congregation.”  He said to me, “Are you telling me the truth?”  I said, “Certainly.”  Well, he said, “I would never have dreamed that he was a Christian.  I would never have dreamed that he was a church member.  And I am amazed and overwhelmed to learn that he is a deacon.”

I can’t believe such things!  The first thing, according to the Word of God, the first thing that faith demands, that the Christian commitment to Christ demands, is separation [2 Corinthians 6:17-18].  There’s just certain ways of talking that we don’t talk.  There are certain places that we don’t go.  There are certain things that we don’t do; we just don’t.

I’ll give you a little instance of our own congregation.  I couldn’t get my heart quiet if on the Lord’s Day, on God’s Day, I was at one of these stadiums; I couldn’t do it; if on God’s Day I was out there at one of those games, in one of those stadiums, I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t do it.  Much less, a thousand things that worldly people do: I couldn’t be quiet in my heart if I shared in those things.  And that’s where the word “Hebrew” came from, “Hebrew.”  The word “Hebrew” means “crossover.”  And Abram crossed over: crossed over the great River Euphrates, and turned his face toward the Promised Land [Genesis 11:31].

And that ought to be true of us: our first act of faith, of commitment, is to step out on the basis of the calling and promise of God, to renounce the world on the basis of the promise of God.  And on the basis of that promise, we leave [Hebrews 11:13].  We’re a pilgrim in the earth.  We’re a stranger to this land.

I am a stranger here,

Heaven is my home.

Earth is a desert drear,

Heaven is my home;

Sorrows and dangers stand

Round me on every hand;

Heaven is my fatherland,

Heaven is my home.

[“I’m But a Stranger Here,” Thomas R. Taylor]

They confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims in the earth [Hebrews 11:13]; and they look for a city that hath foundations whose builder and maker is God [Hebrews 11:10].  “Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them that city” [Hebrews 11:16].

Let’s be like that.  If somebody knows you, you’re just different.  And if you love the Lord, and if you act like it, and live like it, they’ll sense it and see it, and they’ll magnify the Lord because of you.  God bless you, sweet wonderful people, as we live the life of Christ in a dark and evil world.

Now, Brother Singer, I want you to lead us in a hymn of appeal.  And while we sing the song, I’ll be standing down here, and you come to me: “Pastor, this is God’s day and God’s time for me, and here I stand.  I want to put my life with these dear people in the church,” or, “I want to confess Jesus as my Savior” [Romans 10:9-10], or, “I want to answer a call of the Spirit in my heart.”  As God shall press upon your heart the appeal, you answer with your life.  Do it now, while we stand and while we sing.

THE POST-DILUVIAN AGE

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Genesis 9-11

8-24-88

I. Seven great ages

1.    Innocence – garden to the expulsion

2.    Conscience – expulsion to the flood

3.    Human government – flood to the call of Abraham

4.    Patriarchal, promise – Abraham to Moses and the Exodus

5.    Law – Moses to Jesus

6.    Grace – Jesus to His coming

7.    Kingdom – His coming to eternity

II. Government, social law comes order and nations

1.    How man faired in the third new age?  Failure

a.    Self worship – Babel

b.    Idol worship

III. God’s new decision to single out one family

1.    Genesis 12

2.    Separation – the first demonstration of faith

3.    Faith in God’s promise