Catholic Verses – Bible Meditation #0005 – Genesis 5 – Called To Be Ordinary

Impromptu Meditations on the Word of God


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0:03 Chapter five generations Adam to Noah
0:07 this is the record of the descendants of
0:10 Adam I love the book of Genesis it’s one
0:14 of my favorite books in the Bible one of
0:17 the reasons I love it is the creation
0:20 stories but more important to me even
0:24 than the deep and marvelous
0:28 philosophical and mystical cosmology
0:32 which is so poetic and so deep and rich
0:35 and layered and so economical with its
0:38 phrasing even more than that though I
0:41 think it’s about these Old Testament
0:43 characters they’re so colorful nough so
0:46 vibrant and some scholars actually look
0:49 at the book of Genesis as 11 books so we
0:53 have the creation him that would be book
0:56 1 for them
0:57 there’s the generation of the heavens
1:00 and the earth which is part of that
1:02 second creation story and then we have
1:06 the book of the generations of Adam as
1:09 they call it and that’s what we’re
1:10 looking at today which we know as
1:13 Genesis chapter 5 but the chapter and
1:15 verse divisions are a very late
1:18 development they’re 16th century
1:20 invention I’m not terribly happy with
1:24 the divisions but what is written is
1:30 written as Pontius Pilate famously said
1:33 I don’t think they’re any mistakes I
1:35 don’t think anything happens by accident
1:37 I don’t think there are any I don’t
1:40 believe in randomness or chance or
1:42 anything of that sort so I believe that
1:45 if something happens there’s a good
1:47 reason for it
1:48 this is the principle of sufficient
1:49 reason that I’m always harping on about
1:51 when I speak with atheists so this
1:55 chapter 5 in our modern Bibles is
1:58 according to some scholars anyway book 3
2:02 of 11 the book of the generations of
2:04 Adam and as we will see this this
2:09 particular genealogy will trace the
2:12 descent
2:13 vadym through Seth to Noah there’s a
2:18 sort of bookend technique that was used
2:20 to lend authority to one person by
2:24 beginning a genealogy from someone that
2:27 already has illegitimate Authority or a
2:29 good reputation and the names in between
2:33 are important but they’re less important
2:36 they’re more just to connect the first
2:38 name with the last name or the last name
2:40 with the first name to show that there’s
2:43 a legitimacy here so without going to
2:47 too much detail the other books of
2:49 generations that follow this third book
2:51 in the eleven book division that some
2:54 scholars adhere to we have the book of
2:56 the generations of Noah of the sons of
2:59 Noah of Shem of Terah of Ishmael of
3:03 Isaac of Esau and finally of Jacob so
3:09 those are the 10 books of generations
3:12 starting with the generation of the
3:13 heavens and the earth and those 10 books
3:16 are preceded by that creation him which
3:20 is the first creation story when God
3:24 created man he made him in the likeness
3:26 of God he created them male and female
3:29 when they were created he blessed them
3:32 and named them men Adam was 130 years
3:36 old when he begat a son in his likeness
3:38 after his image and he named him Seth
3:42 Adam is the proper name of the first man
3:46 it’s also the word that designates human
3:49 so it it applies to Adam and Eve and as
3:54 we know Adam and Eve are one flesh
3:58 they’re one because they have one nature
4:01 they’re one flesh because they’re united
4:03 by the bonds of marriage so they are one
4:08 and their name is one their name is Adam
4:12 in particular the male has a proper name
4:16 of Adam and the female has a proper name
4:17 of Eve but they are both Adam in the
4:20 sense of that is what they are Adam and
4:26 Eve of course
4:26 fell from grace by their disobedience
4:29 but the fact that they sinned did not
4:33 destroy the likeness of God that’s in
4:35 them and this is being emphasized here I
4:37 think this is a message of hope for us
4:39 all because Adam and you have fallen
4:42 they have sand and yet were being
4:44 reminded that they were made in the
4:45 likeness of God now Seth we are told is
4:51 made in the likeness of Adam and this is
4:56 the bad news this tells us that although
4:59 that image of God remains in adamant in
5:01 his posterity there’s also that
5:04 concupiscence there’s a loss of the
5:08 supernatural gifts and perfections that
5:11 Adam and Eve enjoyed before the fall
5:13 that condition is passed on to Seth and
5:17 we see that and we’re reminded of that
5:19 here that Seth is made in the image of
5:22 Adam which is now a mixture of good and
5:25 evil he’s good by nature and evil by
5:28 choice like the rest of us since the
5:30 fall and Seth shares that condition no
5:36 no our Lord is a descendant of Seth and
5:41 that’s the whole point of this genealogy
5:44 the successors of the first Adam are
5:49 listed here Adam is the preserver of the
5:53 promise the promise that eventually good
5:59 would triumph over evil
6:02 the reason Adam is placed at the head of
6:05 this genealogy is because he’s the first
6:09 man and the reason that we’re tracing
6:14 this genealogy through Seth and not
6:17 through Cain is because there’s a
6:20 promise that’s been made by God that the
6:26 descendants through a certain circuitous
6:30 genealogical line would end up defeating
6:34 Satan defeating sin defeating death
6:39 setting things aright and Adam
6:45 Seth and the rest of the descendents
6:48 that are listed here and elsewhere are
6:51 the preservers of God’s promise and
6:56 Jesus Christ is the second Adam the
7:02 early church fathers recognized this and
7:04 they saw in the second Adam Jesus Christ
7:08 the accomplishment of the promises of
7:12 God God is faithful even when we’re not
7:16 faithful and the prophecies that we see
7:20 in the Bible can be baffling that could
7:23 be mysterious they can be opaque dark
7:26 and obscure because our intellects are
7:31 so dim it’s the fall and our wills are
7:35 weak but there is looking back in
7:40 hindsight now because the Messiah has
7:42 already come and we have a church that’s
7:45 opening up much of the scriptures to us
7:48 and showing us prophecy in the
7:50 fulfillment of prophecy where if left to
7:54 our own devices we would only see
7:55 mumbo-jumbo it’s so much word salad if
8:00 you talk to an atheist today that’s
8:02 exactly what they’ll tell you that they
8:04 see when they look in the Bible and I
8:06 sympathize with him I was there I was I
8:09 was an atheist for 25 years and I read
8:12 the Bible to mock and ridicule it now
8:16 I’ve been humbled by reading the Saints
8:20 and they have come to believe in God and
8:21 I’ve come to believe in Christ and His
8:23 Church and now I am able to see a little
8:29 bit I don’t see much I need to be
8:34 spoon-fed like a little baby I need
8:37 someone to hold my hand how can I
8:40 understand what I’m reading unless
8:42 someone shows me this is what the eunuch
8:44 will say later when philip chases him
8:46 down so there’s a lot going on in a
8:52 few brief words Adam is made in the
8:58 likeness of God Seth in the image of his
9:02 father Adam Adam lived 800 years after
9:05 the birth of Seth and he had other sons
9:08 and daughters the whole lifetime of Adam
9:11 was 930 years then he died this
9:16 genealogy lists the patriarchs before
9:20 the flood
9:21 there are many cultures that talk about
9:23 flood and many of these cultures have
9:28 kings or leaders or legendary characters
9:31 that lived extraordinarily long live
9:33 some of them tens of thousands of years
9:36 long like the Babylonians but apparently
9:39 there are tales that are very similar
9:42 among the Persians the Egyptians the
9:46 Hindus and the Greeks as well as the
9:49 Jews of course but we can say that a
9:55 long life would probably signify a good
10:01 life when Adam and Eve fell for grace
10:06 and when they sinned they didn’t drop
10:08 dead as soon as they rebelled as soon as
10:11 they disobeyed it took hundreds of years
10:15 before the the ill effects would
10:18 manifest to their maximum potential
10:23 there’s another interesting idea that’s
10:26 floating around that these long lives
10:30 serve to distance the people of God the
10:33 chosen people of God from creation
10:37 itself there is a sort of reluctance to
10:44 place ourselves too close to that scene
10:47 of the fall in particular I think
10:51 whenever I confront a new fad in the new
10:54 age because I was in the new age for
10:56 years when I listened to some of these
11:00 new-age self-help gurus talk about
11:03 ultimate reality
11:05 and how to achieve lasting happiness I
11:08 always picture them giving their little
11:11 speech just behind the bushes that hid
11:15 Adam and Eve
11:17 so I picture Adam and Eve shivering in
11:21 the bushes immediately after the fall
11:23 and I pictured the New Age guru selling
11:28 his wares to Adam and Eve and this sort
11:32 of litmus test can reveal a lot because
11:36 it eliminates that distance from
11:39 creation and from the fall and I think
11:45 it’s important to go back to the Garden
11:47 of Eden when you’re confronted with
11:50 philosophy
11:51 I could lose my faith in Jesus Christ
11:54 and in his church that is conceivable to
11:58 me to lose faith in the fall of Adam and
12:03 Eve is inconceivable to me to deny sin
12:08 is inconceivable to me I don’t think
12:14 Christ was a legend lunatic or a liar
12:16 but if I become convinced that he’s a
12:19 lunatic liar or a legend I will still
12:22 cling to original sin and I think when I
12:27 deny being a sinner I affirm my sin
12:32 there’s a sort of Cartesian tautology
12:36 which is inescapable I do exist I am a
12:40 sinner I don’t see what would separate
12:45 me from the love of Christ and I don’t
12:47 see what would separate me from my
12:49 knowledge that I am and that I am a
12:53 sinner and that I need a Savior when
12:58 Seth was 105 years old he became the
13:01 father of Enoch Seth lived 807 years
13:05 after the birth of Enoch and he had
13:08 other sons and daughters the whole
13:10 lifetime of Seth was 912 years then he
13:14 died when Anoush was 90 years old he
13:18 became the father
13:19 of Kenan enos lived 815 years after the
13:23 birth of Kenan and he had other sons and
13:26 daughters the whole lifetime of Enoch
13:28 was 905 years then he died when Kenan
13:32 was 70 years old
13:33 he became the father of Mahalalel Kenan
13:36 lived eight hundred and forty years
13:38 after the birth of Mahalalel and he had
13:41 other sons and daughters the whole
13:43 lifetime of Kenan was 910 years then he
13:47 died when Mahalalel was 65 years old he
13:50 became the father of Jared Mahalalel
13:53 lived eight hundred and thirty years
13:55 after the birth of Jared and he had
13:57 other sons and daughters the whole
13:59 lifetime of Mahalalel was 895 years then
14:03 he died when Jared was 162 years old he
14:08 became the father of Enoch Jared lived
14:11 800 years after the birth of Enoch and
14:13 he had other sons and daughters the
14:16 whole lifetime of Jared was 962 years
14:19 then he died apparently there was a holy
14:24 mountain and the descendants of Seth
14:29 some of them anyway
14:30 went down the holy mountain to mix with
14:34 the seed of Cain Cain who is cursed Cain
14:41 who refused to repent the saddest man in
14:47 the world
14:52 apparently this this scene which sort of
14:56 reminds me of Moses coming down the
14:59 mountain and finding the orgy and the
15:03 golden calf being worshipped
15:05 Moses drew a line in the sand that day
15:07 and he asked people to step forward
15:09 people that were willing to stand for
15:12 purity and to worship the one true God
15:15 and only one tribe stepped forward and
15:19 there were many that were killed that
15:21 day and Moses himself commanded it the
15:28 maybe slain in their impurity and in
15:32 this legendary tale the great apostasy
15:35 that was taking place
15:37 Enoch stepped forward to promote purity
15:41 and took a stand for God and everything
15:45 that’s good and wholesome it could be
15:48 that this is a prefiguring of Moses and
15:50 the golden calf and all that I don’t
15:53 know but there’s so many tales swirling
15:57 around each and every one of these Bible
16:00 stories we’ve all seen those fractal
16:05 images the image within the image
16:07 repeating itself much of this will be
16:11 revealed to us at the general judgement
16:14 when we stand before God we’re going to
16:17 see the order in the chaos we’re going
16:22 to have all eternity those of us who
16:24 make it to heaven to explore the
16:28 well-ordered organic unique and
16:32 beautiful pieces that make up this great
16:35 puzzle when Enoch was 65 years old he
16:40 became the father of Methuselah Enoch
16:43 lived 300 years after the birth of
16:45 Methuselah and he had other sons and
16:47 daughters the whole lifetime of Enoch
16:50 was three hundred and sixty-five years
16:52 then Enoch walked with God and he was no
16:55 longer here for God took him
16:58 there’s a book it’s not inspired it’s
17:01 not part of canon but it’s the book of
17:04 enoch and inspired scripture makes
17:08 reference to this book it mentions in an
17:11 offhand way one of the prophecies
17:13 contained in that book so there’s the
17:17 idea in Holy Scripture in the book of
17:21 Jude that Enoch was a sort of prophet
17:23 speaking for God warning the unrighteous
17:28 promising that the Lord will come with
17:32 his Saints the interaction between
17:37 Scripture and non Scripture between
17:40 canonical books and non
17:42 canonical books between infallible
17:44 inerrant Word of God and other forms of
17:48 literature there’s an interaction
17:53 there’s a connection when I sit down and
18:01 write a book about the Bible and I put
18:05 the Word of God into my book that’s an
18:08 example of how canonical and
18:10 non-canonical books can interact and
18:18 when the Bible picks up writings or
18:21 ideas or legends or myths from the
18:25 culture around them and from the from
18:28 the world that’s another example of how
18:32 they interact it would be absurd to
18:36 limit the Bible to the Bible it has to
18:41 reach out it has to draw other things in
18:46 and other things have to draw upon
18:52 scripture otherwise it’s completely
18:55 transcendent and inaccessible and we’re
18:57 left with Con Thien split the Newman ‘el
19:02 and the phenomenal and we’re right back
19:05 where we started groping in the dark
19:09 infallibility can’t help us if we don’t
19:12 have access and to have a handle on it
19:16 have a grip on it to be able to
19:19 apprehend it to be able to glean
19:21 knowledge from it to be able to draw
19:23 conclusions from what has been
19:26 infallibly revealed otherwise it serves
19:31 no purpose it’s like swallowing a pill
19:35 that is perfect but which is sealed with
19:38 a thick casing of wax it’s a good
19:42 medicine but it’s not touching your
19:44 intestines it’s not serving its purpose
19:52 you can think of it like a child and the
19:55 mother’s womb
19:56 there’s always an exchange we know which
20:04 DNA belongs to the mother and which DNA
20:07 belongs to the child it’s not ambiguous
20:11 at all
20:13 there’s food going from the mother to
20:16 the fetus in one direction and there’s
20:19 waste being drawn in to the mother’s
20:22 body from her child this is the church
20:29 the church gives us everything that’s
20:32 good and she takes our waste when you’re
20:37 in the confessional she’s taking your
20:38 waste and giving you life think of the
20:43 confessional as a womb you’re a baby
20:50 when you’re reading Scripture think
20:52 about the nutrients that are coming to
20:54 you there’s a purification there’s a
20:59 growth God Almighty
21:05 became man in the world of Mary think
21:15 about that but think about that and
21:19 you’ll understand why inerrant Scripture
21:24 is important and you’ll understand how
21:27 inerrant Scripture feeds us and how it
21:30 purifies us and how it’s not tainted by
21:34 our waste products we have to humble
21:38 ourselves and let our waste flow the
21:47 mother does not poison her child the
21:49 mother extracts the poison from her
21:52 child to save her child so when we look
21:58 at Holy Scripture if we’re uncomfortable
22:02 with things that we see it’s because of
22:07 the toxins that flow from our fallen
22:12 human nature they’re recorded in
22:17 Scripture they are healed by Scripture
22:23 when you go to the doctor the posters
22:26 can drive you mad with hypochondria you
22:31 can imagine all kinds of diseases
22:35 attacking each and every part of your
22:37 body and I think a lot of people look at
22:41 the Old Testament in particular with
22:43 that sort of hypochondriacs madness I
22:48 think we can gauge our hypochondria by
22:52 how we react to that flow and I think
22:58 that once we understand that we are sick
23:02 the fear will be replaced by a healthy
23:04 willingness to follow doctor’s orders
23:09 when Methuselah was 187 years old he
23:13 became the father of Lamech Methuselah
23:16 lived 782 years after the birth of
23:19 Lamech and he had other sons and
23:21 daughters the whole lifetime of
23:24 Methuselah was 969 years then he died
23:28 these generations of Adam end with Noah
23:35 but really Noah as a transitional
23:39 character Methuselah marks the end of an
23:41 era and the whole human race really will
23:47 begin again Noah will become the second
23:52 natural head of the human race and this
23:57 was prophesied by his own father Lamech
24:00 some scholars have speculated that the
24:03 line of Cain and the line of Seth share
24:07 a certain number of
24:09 name’s in common some of them being
24:12 identical and some of them being sort of
24:17 anagrams or variations of the other
24:20 names Methuselah ‘s son Lamech is
24:25 paralleled by myth of Shia son Lamech
24:31 for example in the line of Cain there’s
24:35 a concept in science of reproducibility
24:38 when you document your method for your
24:41 experiment great care is taken to limit
24:45 the variables and I think this document
24:51 is reducing the variables by showing two
24:54 lines that are more or less the same
24:56 using similar names but the results are
25:00 very different when you do it the Cain
25:04 thing you get one result when you do the
25:07 Seth thing you get a different result we
25:11 have this notion of the weeds in the
25:13 wheat we have the notion of the goats in
25:16 the Sheep the city of man and the City
25:20 of God so I’m not thoroughly convinced
25:25 of this parallel in the genealogies but
25:27 it does bring to mind some interesting
25:30 possibilities for why that might have
25:32 been if it’s the case but god only knows
25:37 when Lamech was 182 years old he begat a
25:41 son and named him Noah saying out of the
25:44 very ground that the Lord has put under
25:46 a curse this one shall bring us relief
25:49 from our work and the toil of our hands
25:52 interesting that Noah is prophesied as
25:55 some sort of Savior Enoch was such a
25:58 hero of the faith that he wasn’t even
26:01 subject to death and yet a couple of
26:03 generations later we need to wipe the
26:05 slate clean and start again
26:08 Enoch is the great-grandfather of Noah
26:10 so it’s not that many generations and
26:15 I’m not suggesting that we take all
26:17 these tales literally not in the
26:19 slightest book to read meaning into them
26:23 I think it’s safe to believe that things
26:27 were spiraling out of control within a
26:31 relatively short span of time and that
26:34 poison of sin was manifesting all kinds
26:38 of ailments and the great purging was
26:42 required and that was the flood Lamech
26:46 lived 595 years after the birth of Noah
26:49 and he had other sons and daughters the
26:51 whole lifetime of Lamech was 777 years
26:55 then he died when Noah was 500 years old
27:00 he became the father of shem ham and
27:02 japheth as i mentioned the book of
27:05 Genesis was broken up by some scholars
27:07 in 211 documents this is the third book
27:10 that look of the generations of Adam as
27:11 I mentioned the next book will be the
27:14 book of Noah and this will be very
27:19 exciting because we’re going to see how
27:22 his sons take different paths and
27:25 different roles and they’re going to be
27:27 characterized by the choices they make
27:30 Shem of course being the ancestor of the
27:33 Semites Jews and Muslims trace their
27:37 heritage back to the Semitic people ham
27:40 who got himself into a lot of trouble he
27:43 is apparently the ancestor of the
27:46 African races well Japheth is allegedly
27:52 the ancestor of the european peoples I
27:57 don’t put much stock into that but
28:00 there’s a there’s an idea here that
28:02 these family lines take on their own
28:05 life and blood and their own
28:07 characteristics and that it’s important
28:09 to receive a blessing and not a curse
28:12 and we’re going to see that all through
28:14 the Old Testament these blessings on
28:16 these curses and I think we can agree
28:22 that this is not childish nonsense even
28:25 if you look in your own family tree you
28:28 can see patterns each of us belongs to a
28:32 family and we are proud
28:35 of the heroes that have gone before us
28:37 and we’re rightfully proud but we’re
28:43 also rightfully ashamed by the criminals
28:46 that preceded us in our bloodline and
28:50 when we look at these genealogies in the
28:52 Bible were reminded of the
28:54 responsibility the burden of
28:55 responsibility there’s more to our life
28:59 than our own selfish concerns there’s
29:03 much more your duty to our parents and
29:06 if we have children we have a duty to
29:08 our children we have duties to our
29:10 siblings we have rights but we also have
29:13 responsibilities and the decisions we
29:16 make will affect the future I mentioned
29:21 earlier how Noah’s father Lamech
29:23 prophesied that his son Noah would be a
29:26 sort of Savior Matthew and Luke talked
29:29 about the flood as a sort of symbol of
29:32 the coming judgement so we need to
29:35 follow the example of Noah and that’s
29:38 the whole point of this genealogy is to
29:40 show the legitimate authority and
29:43 righteousness of Noah we need to follow
29:48 his example and listen to God if you’re
29:51 not in the Ark get in the ark if you’re
29:54 in the Ark stay in the ark work in the
29:57 Ark cooperate keep the ark shipshape and
30:01 if you’re in the church if you’re in the
30:04 Ark it doesn’t mean that you can slack
30:07 off we need to be shipshape our belt
30:11 buckles need to be polished daily our
30:16 uniform cleaned pressed and orderly the
30:23 traditional architecture of a Catholic
30:25 Church included a vaulted ceiling which
30:29 ran down the center and it’s actually
30:32 called a nave which comes from the latin
30:36 word for ship so built into the
30:40 architecture of most catholic churches
30:43 up until horrible experiments of the 50s
30:45 and 60s in north america
30:46 most catholic churches had a nave and
30:49 had that characteristic ship-like shape
30:55 if we think about a shape if we think
30:58 about military discipline if we think
31:00 about the chain of command and we think
31:01 about the well ordered systems that are
31:04 in place
31:06 God is ordinary and in a world of
31:13 increasing chaos when the soldiers were
31:16 called to fall in line only Noah was
31:19 saluting and only no standing at
31:21 attention everyone else apparently was
31:24 doing their own thing I don’t take this
31:29 military analogy too far because there
31:31 are abuses in the military just like
31:33 there are abuses in every other way of
31:35 life but the orderliness serves a
31:40 purpose the orderliness saves lives to
31:46 have your things in order to have your
31:49 life in order to do the little things
31:53 well God is ordinary and the ordinary
31:59 little things of life have meaning when
32:05 God sees us being faithful to the little
32:08 things he gives us much well done he
32:16 says good and faithful servant you have
32:18 done well with the little things so here
32:23 here are some great things so again this
32:27 idea of humility we need to start with
32:29 the little things and the conventional
32:33 wisdom is picking up on this today you
32:35 hear it floating around whether it’s the
32:40 Navy SEAL that I was exposed to today by
32:42 a friend or whether it’s Jordan Peterson
32:44 saying clean your room the little things
32:47 are being talked about again we are
32:54 little things
32:56 but if we deal well with ourselves and
32:59 with others around us and we if we deal
33:01 well with the small tasks
33:04 responsibilities and talents that were
33:06 given by God we will have not only a
33:10 bigger thing that we will have god
33:12 almighty himself so we should strive to
33:18 be ordinary because God is ordinary God
33:21 is order
33:23 God is orderliness God is the source of
33:26 order he’s the source of everything
33:28 that’s orderly when the vending machines
33:33 out of order we don’t celebrate its
33:35 unique charms we hire a technician to
33:40 fix it there’s no shame in being
33:44 ordinary God is ordinary

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