How I Study (Genesis 6 example)

Anne C. Miles > Thoughts and prayers > How I Study (Genesis 6 example)

I keep hearing “feed my sheep” when I pray. So. Here goes.

I ask God what to study and when I don’t get an answer I generally turn to the lectionary or Book of Common Prayer. When I started studying I’d read one chapter from the Old Testament, one from the New, a Psalm and a chapter from Proverbs. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs so you can use the date to guide you. The Book of Common Prayer largely follows the same pattern. I like the older versions of it, pre-1970, though they’re harder to decipher.

Anyhow, right now I hear Genesis 6 (insistently) and I have heard it for a while. He kept me in John 17 for about two months. When this happens I have to meditate, study and chew on it.  I’ve read and read and read and read this passage. Now I’m going to study it. So I’m pulling out my study tools and going to work.

Overview of the process: I read the context, diagram the chapter, then i outline the chapter, look for the theme or main message. I pray over it. Make lists. And then I do word studies.

I am using the Amplified Classic version. New American Standard or KJV is good too. I just like the Amplified. Also, I’m starting with the premise that the Bible is the plenary verbal inspiration of the Holy Spirit and yes. It’s all true. But it must be studied in context. Figures of speech are figures of speech. You have to think about the type of literature it is. Genesis is a history and needs to be approached as such. It claims to be history (in Chapter 5 here!). It isn’t a myth. There are no myths in the Scripture. Stories? Yes. Myths? No.

 

So here we have the text.

When men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them,

The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they took wives of all they desired and chose.

Then the Lord said, My Spirit shall not forever dwell and strive with man, for he also is flesh; but his days shall yet be 120 years.

There were giants on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God lived with the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually.

And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved at heart.

So the Lord said, I will destroy, blot out, and wipe away mankind, whom I have created from the face of the ground—not only man, [but] the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air—for it grieves Me and makes Me regretful that I have made them.

But Noah found grace (favor) in the eyes of the Lord.

This is the history of the generations of Noah. Noah was a just and righteous man, blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked [in habitual fellowship] with God.

10 And Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 The earth was depraved and putrid in God’s sight, and the land was filled with violence (desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power).

12 And God looked upon the world and saw how degenerate, debased, andvicious it was, for all humanity had corrupted their way upon the earth and lost their true direction.

13 God said to Noah, I intend to make an end of all flesh, for through men the land is filled with violence; and behold, I will [a]destroy them and the land.

14 Make yourself an ark of gopher or cypress wood; make in it rooms (stalls, pens, coops, nests, cages, and compartments) and cover it inside and out with pitch (bitumen).

15 And this is the way you are to make it: the length of the ark shall be 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits [that is, 450 ft. x 75 ft. x 45 ft.].

16 You shall make a roof or [b]window [a place for light] for the ark and finish it to a cubit [at least 18 inches] above—and the [c]door of the ark you shall put in the side of it; and you shall make it with lower, second, and third stories.

17 For behold, I, even I, will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy andmake putrid all flesh under the heavens in which are the breath and spirit of life; everything that is on the land shall die.

18 But I will establish My covenant (promise, pledge) with you, and you shall come into the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.

19 And of every living thing of all flesh [found on land], you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.

20 Of fowls and birds according to their kinds, of beasts according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind—two of every sort shall come in with you, that they may be kept alive.

21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and you shall collect andstore it up, and it shall serve as food for you and for them.

22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 6:13 Enoch had warned these people (Jude 14, 15); Noah had preached righteousness to them (II Pet. 2:5); God’s Spirit had been striving with them (Gen. 6:3). Yet they had rejected God and were without excuse.
  2. Genesis 6:16 Noah’s ark possibly had a window area large enough to admit light and provide ventilation.
  3. Genesis 6:16 “Here can only be meant an entrance which was afterward closed, and only opened again at the end of the flood. And since there were three stories of the ark, the word is to be understood, perhaps, of three entrances capable of being closed, and to which there would have been constructed a way of access from the outside” (J.P. Lange, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures).

 

Ok. So first I’m going to look at the context. What happens before and after? The chapter before this was the book of the generations of the offspring of Adam, which is hugely interesting because with a little bit of math you can tell how old the earth is. And by now you may have noticed that I’m a young earth Creationist. lol. Yep. I am. Grin.

Anyhow, it tracks from Adam to Noah and two important things are found there. Adam was made in the image of God. His sons were made in the image of Adam. Noah was a direct descendant of Enoch, and Methuselah. Noah is 500 years old when he becomes a dad. Lamech, his dad, was only 182 when he became a father to Noah. Noah’s name means “rest””

and his dad named him that because he said “This one shall bring us relief and comfort from our work and the [grievous] toil of our hands due to the ground being cursed by the Lord.”

In other words, he thought Noah would bring blessing. Bring relief and comfort from the work and toil. So Noah walked with God like Enoch did.

Ok. So this resonates with me because like Lamech, I really want relief and comfort from the grievous toil of my hands. I’m suffering from burnout and want to write full time. I’m also as a result seeking relief on my own (though I have started praying for it a lot) much too often. I want food or drink or vacations or whatever to give me a break. I’m not sure that is what Jesus wants in my character. That whole, “you have not because you ask seeking to spend it on your pleasures” rears up and accuses me. I don’t think I do that? But is seeking relief in these other places really any different? Lamech sought relief and comfort through his son. I really think he was looking forward to Christ and seeing Noah as a type of Christ.

But I digress.

Let’s look at what comes after this chapter. Noah is told to enter the ark with his family and the animals and the flood comes. So this is the season, in chapter 6 of preparation for the apocalypse. Beta test for the next one, in my opinion.

Well heck, I think I’m living in the same season, version two. Okay then. What do I see here? Look at Genesis 6 through the lens provided.

I diagram the sentences and observe the text. I ask the 5W’s and an H.

who what ewhen where why how.

 

                               When men began to multiply 

                                                                        on the face of the land 

                               and 

                               daughters were born 

                                                                to them,

The sons of God saw 

                                 that the daughters of men were fair, 

and 

they took wives 

                    of all they desired 

                    and 

                    chose.

3 Then 

the Lord said, 

 My Spirit shall not forever dwell 

and 

                                                      strive with man, 

                                                        for he also is flesh; 

but 

   his days shall yet be 120 years.

4 There were giants

                           on the earth 

                           in those days—

                           and 

                            also afterward—

                                     when the sons of God lived with the daughters of men, 

                                     and 

                                     they bore children to them. 

                                                         These were the mighty men 

                                                                                                        who were of old, 

                                                                                                        men of renown.

5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great 

                                                                                                 in the earth, 

     and 

    that every imagination 

                          and 

                         intention 

                         of all human thinking was only evil continually.

6 And 

the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, 

and 

He was grieved at heart.

7 So 

the Lord said, 

I will destroy, 

blot out, 

and 

wipe away mankind, 

                      whom I have created 

                       from the face of the ground—

                      not only man, 

                      [but] 

                      the beasts 

                       and 

                      the creeping things 

                      and 

                     the birds of the air—

            for it grieves Me 

                    and 

                      makes Me regretful 

                                            that I have made them.

8 But Noah found grace (favor) 

                                    in the eyes of the Lord.

9 This is the history 

                          of the generations of Noah. 

Noah was a just 

and 

                        righteous man, 

                         blameless 

                                 in his [evil] generation; 

Noah walked 

              [in habitual fellowship] 

               with God.

10 And 

Noah became the father 

                                    of three sons: 

                                    Shem, 

                                     Ham, 

                                    and 

                                    Japheth.

11 The earth was depraved 

                                   and 

                                   putrid 

                                        in God’s sight, 

and 

the land was filled with violence 

                                               (desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power).

12 And 

God looked upon the world 

and 

saw how degenerate, 

                   debased, 

                    and 

                   vicious it was, 

                         for all humanity had corrupted their way upon the earth 

                                                                   and 

                                                                   lost their true direction.

13 God said 

                 to Noah, 

 I intend 

   to make an end of all flesh, 

   for through men the land is filled with violence; 

and behold, 

I will [a]destroy them 

and 

the land.

14 Make yourself an ark 

                                  of gopher 

                                  or cypress wood; 

make in it rooms 

                    (stalls, pens, coops, nests, cages, and compartments) 

                     and 

                     cover it inside and out with pitch (bitumen).

15 And 

this is the way you are to make it: 

   the length of the ark shall be 300 cubits, 

                                     its breadth 50 cubits, 

                                     and

                                     its height 30 cubits [that is, 450 ft. x 75 ft. x 45 ft.].

16 You shall make a roof 

                                     or 

                                    [b]window [a place for light] 

                              for the ark 

and 

finish it 

           to a cubit [at least 18 inches] above—

and 

the [c]door 

             of the ark 

you shall put in the side of it; 

and 

you shall make it 

                               with lower, 

                                         second, 

                                         and 

                                         third stories.

                 17 For behold, 

I, even I, will bring a flood 

                                        of waters 

                                        upon the earth 

                                        to destroy 

                                        and 

                                        make putrid all flesh 

                                                                       under the heavens 

                                                                       in which are the breath 

                                                                                                        and 

                                                                                                        spirit 

                                                                                                          of life; 

everything 

      that is on the land 

shall die.

18 But 

I will establish My covenant (promise, pledge) 

                                     with you, 

and 

you shall come

                   into the ark—

you 

and 

your sons 

and 

your wife 

and 

your sons’ wives 

            with you.

19 And 

                                   of every living thing of all flesh [found on land],

you shall bring two 

                                   of every sort 

                                   into the ark, 

                                   to keep them alive 

                                   with you; 

they shall be male 

                           and 

                          female.

20 Of fowls 

and 

birds 

   according to their kinds, 

of beasts 

        according to their kinds, 

of every creeping thing 

                                   of the ground according to its kind

—two 

     of every sort 

shall come 

           in with you, 

            that they may be kept alive.

21 Also 

take 

   with you 

    every sort 

                of food 

                that is eaten, 

and 

you shall collect 

and 

store it up, 

and 

it shall serve as food 

                                 for you

                                 and 

                                 for them.

22 Noah did this; 

he did all 

       that God commanded him.

Footnotes:

  • Genesis 6:13 Enoch had warned these people (Jude 14, 15); Noah had preached righteousness to them (II Pet. 2:5); God’s Spirit had been striving with them (Gen. 6:3). Yet they had rejected God and were without excuse.
  • Genesis 6:16 Noah’s ark possibly had a window area large enough to admit light and provide ventilation.
  • Genesis 6:16 “Here can only be meant an entrance which was afterward closed, and only opened again at the end of the flood. And since there were three stories of the ark, the word is to be understood, perhaps, of three entrances capable of being closed, and to which there would have been constructed a way of access from the outside” (J.P. Lange, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures).

 

So there’s my diagram (it’s rough, apologies).

Whether you believe we are living in the end times or not, all of us face a calamity in our lives. Loved ones may die, dreams may fail, hope may seem distant. Can we learn anything to help us here?

Will get into what I see from it in my next post.

This is how we study, grasshopper. You can follow along and try to make a list of your 5 w’s and an H yourself. See if we match.

 

 

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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