The Unfolding of the History of Redemption

Teaching Outline – Genesis 4 – 11
The Unfolding of the History of Redemption


What can we know about the unfolding of the history of redemption from Genesis 4 through 11?

  1. The hostility between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent is real and it is clearly visible in human history.
    1. Exegesis
      1. Gen. 3:14-15 “…I will put enmity between your offspring and her offspring…”
        1. God declares war on the serpent and promises victory over sin and evil through the son of the woman.
      2. Read Gen. 4:1-13
        1. Both boys are the offspring of Eve but there is hostility between them. Why? One has saving faith and the other did not.
        2. Able acted out of faith
          1. “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” (Hebrews 11:4, ESV)
        3. CaIn was of the evil one
          1. “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.” (1 John 3:10–12, ESV)
        4. Jesus told the unbelieving Jews in his day that they were of the Devil.
          1. “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires… (John 8:44, ESV)
  1. A wicked line and, by the grace of God, a righteous line have been established from the beginning of time.
    1. Exegesis
      1. Able and Seth were righteous whereas Cain was not.
        1. “And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed [Seth sounds like the Hebrew word for he appointed] for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:25–26, ESV)
      2. The genealogy of Genesis 5 flows from Adam, to Seth and Enosh, all the way to Noah.
        1. It matches the genealogy in Luke 3 (38 – 36 read it backwards to follow along w Genesis 5:1-32) which runs from Jesus to Adam.
        2. Gen. 11:10-26 matches Luke 3 (36-34) except Luke includes “Cainan”.
          1. These are adequate genealogies, not complete chronologies.
          2. The point is that a line has been established
  1. When wickedness threatens to prevail God maintains His purposes by intervening and displaying His justice and mercy. 
    1. Exegesis
      1. Read Gen. 6:1-8
        1. Who are the sons of God and the daughters of men?
        2. “God was sorry” simply means that his heart was grieved by the wickedness.
          1. “Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?”  (Ezekiel 33:11, ESV)
          2. Explain how it is possible to ordain something that does not please Him.
        3. “But Noah found favor [grace]”
          1. LXX – Gen 6:8 – Νωε δὲ εὗρεν χάριν ἐναντίον κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ.
          2. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8–9, ESV)
          3. “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.  By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7, ESV)
      2. Read Gen 6:9-17
        1. Justice
        2. Mercy
        3. The ark as a picture of Christ
          1. “because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.  Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.” (1 Peter 3:20–22, ESV)
  1. The strength and the stability of the history of redemption is found, not in man, but in God who mercifully enters into covenant relationship with us.  
    1. Exegesis
      1. Read Gen. 6:18-21 – Pre- Diluvian Noahic Covenant
        1. God did not make a covenant with Noah to save him from his sins – he was already saved by grace through faith.
        2. All of humanity was under the curse of God except one man and his offspring.  Why?  Because of the grace of God which is displayed through the covenant of grace.
      2. Tell the story of the flood
        1. It was a re-creation
          1. “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2, ESV)
          2. “And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.”  And it was so.” (Genesis 1:9, ESV)
        2. Noah was like a second Adam
          1. Compare Gen. 9:1-7 with Gen. 1:27-31
Gen. 1:27-31 Gen. 9:1-7
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.  And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.”  (Genesis 1:27–30, ESV) “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea.  Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.  And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.  And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.  And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.””  (Genesis 9:1–7, ESV)
        1. There was a second fall – Read Gen. 9:20-28
      1. Read Gen. 9:8-17 – Post- Diluvian Noahic Covenant
        1. This was established, not with Noah alone, but with all of humanity (9:8-10)
        2. The promise is that God will never again destroy the whole earth with the waters of the flood.  (9:11-12)
        3. The token of the covenant is the “bow in the clouds”
          1. Every time the Hebrew word “bow” is used, except for in this passage and in Ezek. 1:28 where the appearance of the Lord is compared to “the bow in the clouds”, it refers to a weapon.
          2. The token carries great symbolism – God put His weapon down.
        4. Common grace
  1. God will accomplish His purposes despite our rebellion. 
    1. Exegesis
      1. Read Gen. 11:1-9
        1. Explain the apparent contradiction between Gen. 10 and 11
        2. What is the story of Babel all about – is God a bully?
          1. “And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it…’” (Genesis 1:28, ESV)
          2. “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth”,  (Genesis 9:1, ESV)
          3. “And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.” (Genesis 9:7, ESV)
        3. God’s purposes involve saving a people to Himself from every, tongue, tribe people and nation.
          1. “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  (Genesis 12:1–3, ESV)
          2. “Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him.” (Genesis 18:18, ESV)
          3. “I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands.  And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,” (Genesis 26:4, ESV)
          4. “Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”  (Genesis 28:14, ESV)
          5. “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20, ESV)
          6. “And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”  (Revelation 5:9–10, ESV)


We are so used to studying the Bible for the primary purpose of making “personal application” to our lives that we, as the idiom goes, can’t see the forest for the trees.

We could have looked at Cain, Able and Noah and made application from the events of their lives such as “it is the heart that matters most in worship” or “live righteously even if no one else does.”  These are valid and true points, but they are not the point of Genesis 4-11. Who is missing in this approach?  God is.  And the irony is that story seems to be primarily about Him – His plan, His promises, His sovereign care.

The application is simple – believe the story of the Bible; that God is accomplishing His mission, through His people, in His way, according to His purpose, and He will do so until all has been accomplished.


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