our readings today are Genesis 5:1-7:24, Matthew 3:7-4:11, Psalm 3:1-8, and Proverbs 1:10-19
i'm not sure why we do it, but we humans go away from God... away from goodness, and light, and truth... over and over again. when you read the Bible from one end to the other (as we're doing this year) you see this motif... and it is frustrating! i constantly find myself talking back to the Bible, telling people "you're doing it again! stop wandering off! stop worshiping idols! why are you doing these stupid things??"
but then i look at MY life. and i see that i do it, too. so the Bible encourages me, because i see people doing the same stupid things i do, and how patiently and kindly God keeps bringing us back.
the thing that struck me as i read today, though, was the importance of family. the story of Noah says that God saw that Noah alone was a good man... and everyone else on earth was only evil all the time. (that's sad to think about). but you might ask yourself, how did Noah come to be a good man?
well, look at where he came from. his dad was Lamech. we don't know much about Lamech, except that he was hoping Noah would bring some relief from the back breaking work of producing food.
but Lamech's dad was Methuselah. the oldest person who ever lived, that we have record of. back in those days, according to our reading today, people lived a really long time. almost 1000 years. but it didn't look like it was doing most of them much good... they just tended to party longer.
but Methuselah was probably a pretty good guy, because his grandson was Noah, the only good man in the whole world. and, maybe more telling, his dad was Enoch. Enoch is one of the very few people who is recorded in history as not ever dying. while the Bible doesn't say that he did anything especially amazing (like it does say that Elijah did, the only other person recorded as never dying), it says the most important thing about him: he walked in close fellowship with God.
because of his closeness to God, God "took him" and he never died. pretty amazing stuff. but if you look at the family, you see that he must have raised Methuselah right, because he lived a long time, and his great grandson Noah was the only good man in the whole world.
God clearly loves families. He made them. He IS a family. the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the original family. i hope that studying these good men, and praying to follow their example, i might participate in the good family love and richness that they clearly did.
God bless our families.