By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)
It thrills my soul to study and grasp mysteries of the Bible!
Oh, I will never plumb the full depths of God’s Word, but it is such a thrilling thing to be able to consider the marvels of Holy Scripture.
One such wonderful facet of God’s Word is found within the names of the patriarchs between Adam and Noah (recorded in Genesis 5).
Names are important! Remember that often in Scripture, the “name” of a person could represent several facts and fascinating things about an individual. God often would use a name of a person to convey great and majestic truths, even prophecies of things to come!
In this article, I want you to think with me about the ten men listed in Genesis 5 and especially the meaning of their names:
Mahalalel (The Blessed God)
Jared (Shall Come Down)
Methuselah (His Death Shall Bring)
Lamech (The Brokenhearted)
Add these things together, and you have this incredible message: “Man is appointed to mortal sorrow; but the blessed God shall come down teaching; and His death shall bring the brokenhearted peace.”
This is the crux of the entire Gospel story, found hidden right the very first chapters of the Book of Genesis!
With these things in mind, I would ask you to consider with me some powerful lessons from this Message in God’s Word.
The Supernatural Unity Of The Bible Speaks Of Its’ Divine Inspiration
One of the powerful arguments which shows us that the Bible is the Word of God is its’ incredible and profound unity when considered in its’ incredibly “chaotic” formation.
The Bible is a Book of 66 Books, written by about 40 different men over a period of some 1600 years. These men came from different kingdoms, some living during times of war and some during times of peace. Some were from different political kingdoms; some lived under the rule of a king while others lived under the reign of judges and foreign leaders. Some were formally educated, some were not; some were shepherds, some fishermen, some cup-bearers and priests. They wrote in three different languages; some were advisors to royalty, and some were laborers. Some were Prophets, some poets. Many preached to people who hated the God of the Bible, while others encouraged the hearts of the faithful during prosperous times. Many were executed for their faithfulness to The Lord; some were blessed to live in relative peace.
With all of these (and many more) characteristics, you would expect the Bible to be a Book filled with massive contradictions and ungetoverable theological, historical, and philosophical blunders.
Yet that is not what you find at all!
Instead you find a Book that has a unity which may only be explained by Divine influence, whose claims are continually confirmed theologically, historically, and philosophically.
Speaking of this profound unity of the Bible, brother Kyle Butt has pointed out:
“To say that the writers of the Bible were diverse would be an understatement. Yet, though their educational and cultural backgrounds varied extensively, and though many of them were separated by several centuries, the 66 books that compose the Bible fit together perfectly. To achieve such a feat by employing mere human ingenuity and wisdom would be impossible. In fact, it would be impossible from a human standpoint to gather the writings of 40 men from the same culture, with the same educational background, during the same time period, and get any thing close to the unity that is evident in the Bible. The Bible’s unity is a piece of remarkable evidence that proves its divine origin.” (Kyle Butt, Behold! The Word Of God, 399 (Kindle Edition); Montgomery, Alabama; Apologetics Press)
Here in the Book of Genesis, we find an incredible evidence of the unity of Scripture.
Within these names are found truths which man did not even begin to comprehend for centuries after they were written.
As Chuck Missler has written:
“The implications of this discovery are far more deeply significant than may be evident at first glance. It demonstrates that in the earliest chapters of the Book of Genesis, God had already laid out His plan of redemption for the predicament of mankind. It is the beginning of a love story, ultimately written in blood on a wooden cross which was erected in Judea almost 2,000 years ago. This is also one of many evidences that the Bible is an integrated message system, the product of supernatural engineering. This punctures the presumptions of many who view the Bible as a record of an evolving cultural tradition, noble though it may be. It claims to be authored by the One who alone knows the end from the beginning.21 It is astonishing to discover how many Biblical “controversies” seem to evaporate if one simply recognizes the unity—the integrity—of these 66 books. Every number, every place name, every detail—every jot and tittle—is part of a tightly engineered design, tailored for our learning, our discovery, and our amazement.” (Chick Missler, Hidden Treasures In The Biblical Text, 215-235 (Kindle Edition); Coeur d’Alene, ID; Koinonia House)
When you compare the Bible with other religious documents (ranging from the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Hindu Vedas, etc.), you will find that the Bible is in a class by itself in every category.
Recently while studying with a devotee of a Harie Krishna Temple in West Virginia, I shared with the gentleman that I am a Christian because of the powerful and overwhelming evidence which points to the conclusion that the Bible is the Word of God and that Jesus Christ is His Son.
I asked him for evidence that his religious convictions were true, and he could provide me with none.
The unity of the Bible provides clear and undeniable evidence that the Bible is truly the Word of God.
Man Is Appointed To Mortal Sorrow
The names of the patriarchs remind us of the fact that indeed, man is appointed to mortal sorrow. Since man chose to rebel in the Garden of Eden, he has set his own course; he has “appointed” his own way. No one can deny personal accountability for choices and decisions; we each choose our own destiny.
Scripture reminds us of this continually, time after time:
Deuteronomy 30:19-I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
Isaiah 1:19-20-19 If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Proverbs 1:29-Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD,
John 5:40-But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
Man has often tried to “pass the buck” on to others for his bad decisions. Yet this will not work: we are all accountable to God for the decisions and choices which we make, whether good or bad (II Corinthians 5:10).
In the beginning, when man chose evil, we see one of the results of man’s wickedness is that the Creation was cursed due to sin (Genesis 3:17).
Thanks to the introduction of man’s transgression, this global Paradise has been transformed to a chaotic and broken shell of its’ former glory.
Truly, man is appointed to mortal sorrow!
The Blessed God Shall Come Down
We see here that God Himself would come down and bring about the restoration of all that has been ruined by man’s willful pride and arrogance. Only God was able to bring about redemption; only He was powerful enough to pay the punishment for humanity’s disobedience.
You know what really amazes me?
This was prophesied about long before man realized that God Himself would come to the world. The mystery of godliness reminds us that God Himself was manifested in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16). Centuries after Moses rewrote these incredible truths handed down from Adam, it was declared and promised that the Promised One would be the “Everlasting Father” (literally, the Father of Eternity) and the “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Later still was the prophecy of the Prophet Micah that the Messiah of God would Himself be eternal (Micah 5:1-4).
There are some passages which speak of the Godhead in eternity, speaking to one another about the day when God the Son would come to the Earth.
For example, consider the Second Psalm:
Psalm 2:1-12-1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” 7 “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ” 10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
We see here the Divine counsel of the plan of God to invade the enemy territory and bring salvation to His people.
Would there be enemies to oppose Him?
However, their attempts would fail.
One day, The Lord God Himself would come to the world. He would come down from His eternal throne to the Earth, His footstool. This is exactly what He did! Look at the love which prompted Jesus to come. His love was so powerful and so profound that He was willing to leave behind the glories of Heaven to be one of us.
Chick Missler’s words are insightful here:
“Based on our own experiences, most of us assume that where there is plurality, there is dissension. Yet, in the Godhead there is perfect unity; all three Persons of the Trinity move together in complete harmony. It is easy to fall into error regarding the nature of these Three. Some people see the Trinity as three modes of the same Person, three different hats that God wears at different times. That’s a big mistake, because each member of the Trinity has His own distinct identity. Throughout Scripture, we consistently find all three members of the Trinity mentioned as God, yet acting and speaking as distinct from one another. One of the most interesting examples of this plurality is found in the second Psalm, where all three Persons of the Trinity speak back and forth to each other….“The rulers take counsel together against the LORD,” and against who else? Against His Anointed. The Hebrew word for “anointed” is mashiach—the Messiah. In other words, Psalm 2:1-2 states that the nations are raging against the LORD and His Messiah. And what are these rulers saying?…Notice the plural; “Let us break their bands…” Not His bands, but “Their bands.” Then we have an editorial comment added here in verses 4-6….There is laughter at the throne of God. At whom? He is laughing at the world leadership for their presumption and arrogance. He goes on to address them in His displeasure, and He informs them that His Messiah will rule on Zion whether they like it not.” (Chick Missler, The Trinity: The Mystery Of The Godhead, 237-260 (Kindle Edition); Coeur d’Alene, ID; Koinonia House)
The Bible reminds us that the blessed God would come down “teaching.” One of the greatest descriptions of Christ Jesus is that of “teacher.” In fact, innumerable multitudes through the ages have turned to Jesus and His Word to find true joy, peace, and happiness in the midst of this difficult and turbulent world.
Psychologist Mike Baker says of Christ and His teaching:
“Jesus understood people. We know this because he is the most influential person in all of history. Entire cultures have been shaped, and countless individual lives transformed, as a result of his three-year itinerant ministry two thousand years ago. As a psychologist, I am fascinated with the question of why his teachings were so powerful. After years of study, I have found that a psychological understanding of the teachings of Jesus helps us see why his words had such an impact upon his followers. Using our best psychological theories today, I believe we can see how Jesus’s psychologically brilliant grasp of people made them want to listen to him.” (Mike Baker, Jesus: The Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived, 285-292 (Kindle Edition); HarperCollins E-Books)
Jesus invites all who are weary and heavy-laden to come to Him to find rest for their souls. He says that this rest may only be found in coming to Him and learning from Him (Matthew 11:28-30). He alone has the words of eternal life (John 6:68).
People were astonished at His teaching (Matthew 7:28-29).
People asked of Jesus, “Where did He get this wisdom?” (Matthew 13:54)
The Jews were astonished at the gracious words which came from Christ (Luke 4:22).
It was declared of Him, “Never has a Man spoken like this!” (John 7:46)
Salvation may only be found in His Name (Acts 4:12).
If we would find true contentment, we must learn that we can do all things only through Christ (Philippians 4:11-13). We would be wise indeed to learn from the Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6-7).
His Death Shall Bring
Yet how could the blessed God die? It was not until the fulness of the New Testament was delivered that the mystery of the Godhead (i.e., the Trinity) and the Atonement of Christ was revealed to Abraham’s posterity.
While the Old Testament hinted at the unity within the Godhead (i.e., three separate Persons forming One God), it was not until The Lord Jesus and His inspired Apostles began to preach and teach that this incredible facet of God’s Nature was revealed (cf. John 1:1; 8:58; Titus 2:12-14; Philippians 2:5-8).
Jehovah’s plan was incredible in its’ scope: He Himself would experience death for His people. He Himself would pay the price for man’s disobedience and wickedness.
When Jesus died on the Cross, something incredible happened. The power of death was reversed: Christ wrenched control of Hades from Satan and man was able to be free from the torment of separation from God.
Hebrews 2:14-15-14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
What incredible love the Savior had-to willingly lay down His life for mankind.
Yet His incredible gift does not end there!
Jesus came to heal and save those who have been brokenhearted by sin and suffering.
Psalm 147:3-He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.
One of the greatest prophecies made about Jesus is found in the Prophet Isaiah:
Isaiah 61:1-3-1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
Have you been brokenhearted my dear friend?
Then please consider that Jesus knows all about being broken.
Peter Kreeft, being interviewed by Lee Strobel, said:
““Jesus is there, sitting beside us in the lowest places of our lives,” he said. “Are we broken? He was broken, like bread, for us. Are we despised? He was despised and rejected of men. Do we cry out that we can’t take any more? He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Do people betray us? He was sold out himself. Are our tenderest relationships broken? He too loved and was rejected. Do people turn from us? They hid their faces from him as from a leper. “Does he descend into all of our hells? Yes, he does. From the depths of a Nazi death camp, Corrie ten Boom wrote: ‘No matter how deep our darkness, he is deeper still.’ He not only rose from the dead, he changed the meaning of death and therefore of all the little deaths—the sufferings that anticipate death and make up parts of it. “He is gassed in Auschwitz. He is sneered at in Soweto. He is mocked in Northern Ireland. He is enslaved in the Sudan. He’s the one we love to hate, yet to us he has chosen to return love. Every tear we shed becomes his tear. He may not wipe them away yet, but he will.” (Peter Kreeft, in Lee Strobel, The Case For Faith: A Journalist Investigates The Toughest Objections To Christianity, 51-52 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan)
Beloved, Christ understands all of your hurts, temptations, failings, joys, and uncertainties. He knows and understands-because He has lived through them. He has lived through them before you, and He lives and experiences them with you even today. He knows your broken heart.
What began with the message of utter despair ends with the blessed God bringing the brokenhearted peace.
The name Noah literally means “rest” or “peace.”
It is through the ultimate Sacrifice of the one true God that we are able to find true peace.
The Prophet Isaiah, speaking of the blessedness of the Christian Age, wrote these profound words:
Isaiah 32:17-The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
That peace is what God offers, even today. Through the death of Jesus Christ, His burial, and His Resurrection on the third day (I Corinthians 15:1-8), all who will come to Him may find true and unparalleled peace.
In Acts 2:38, believers are called upon to repent of their sins and to be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Why not do that today?
Such great lessons that we can from the names of these patriarchs-and they all point to JESUS. Turn to Him today my friends.
The grace of The Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.