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

Author Recorded Monday September 4th, 2017


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

Author Recorded December 27th, 2016

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

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