What’s happening to our nation? A pandemic, mass unemployment, a recession, riots, racial division? Little surprise that many of us are pretty depressed and discouraged.
We’re all asking, “What’s happening? And “Is there any hope for the future?” The good news is that the Bible explains what’s happening and the Bible gives us hope for the future. We find that explanation and hope in Genesis 6:1-4. Let me give you the explanation and hope in summary and then show you how we get that from the Bible.
What’s happening? National sins will be punished by a withdrawal of God’s Spirit
What’s our hope? An outpouring of the Holy Spirit to revive our nation.
Now let’s see how Genesis 6:1-4 leads us to these answers.
GOD’S SPIRIT IS GRIEVED WITH PEOPLE
- God’s people were separated from world: God called his people to holiness (1-2)
- God’s people joined with the world: God’s people (the sons of God) married worldly people (the daughters of men) (1-2).
If we delight in sin, God’s Spirit will be grieved with us.
So does the Holy Spirit just get upset with sin, but he doesn’t do anything?
GOD’S SPIRIT WILL STOP SPEAKING TO PEOPLE
This is not only that God’s Spirit will stop speaking to God’s people through and with God’s Word, but that he will stop speaking to people who never hear God’s Word. The Holy Spirit works in the consciences of people even without His written or preached Word. But God says, he’s going to stop doing that: “My Spirit shall not contend (strive) with man forever” (3).
- The Holy Spirit will not dissuade from wrong: People will not be restrained from doing evil.
- The Holy Spirit will not persuade to good: People will not be motivated to do any good.
That’s what explains our headlines about the breakdown of the family and of societal norms.
When people don’t listen to God’s Spirit, God’s Spirit will stop speaking to them.
So we can just go on with our lives and God won’t bother us anymore?
GOD’S SPIRIT WILL STOP SUPPORTING PEOPLE
“My Spirit shall not contend with man forever” (3) can also be translated, “My Spirit shall not abide with man forever.” What’s the effect of that?
- He will not support spiritual life: “For he is flesh” means that people will be left to just their own sinful natures. When the Spirit is withdrawn, all that’s left is our fleshly, worldly natures.
- He will not support physical life: “His days shall be 120 years.” Before the flood, people lived 600-800 years old. God is saying that he will withdraw his Spirit so that the average age of death will be 120. how did God do this? We don’t know, but maybe with a virus.
When we reject the Spirit our spirits and bodies will suffer.
That’s quite the response to national sin, isn’t it? God’s Spirit will be grieved with people, will stop speaking to people, will stop supporting life. That explains our national situation doesn’t it?
LIVING THE BIBLE
But what about the hope? Well, it’s implied in the explanation of our disaster. Pray that God would not withdraw his Spirit but rather pour him out in revival so that our nation can please him instead of grieve him, be restrained from sin rather than running to it, be preserved from plagues and violence, and be awakened in a national revival and a new reformation.
This episode of Living the Bible lines up with Expedition 3: Day 1 in Exploring the Bible Together: A 52 Week Family Worship Plan and Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids. You can catch up with previous episodes of the Living the Bible podcast here or subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcast.