The Wickedness of Man

Gen. 6:1-5 "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.  And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.  And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." 

Gen. 6:11, 12 "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth."

The above two passages of scripture give us a description of the depravity of man that resulted from the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden.  Based on the depravity of man and the conditions that existed in the days before the flood, the pathway of man was steadily downward as a society.  The end conditions before the flood were that "ever imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" and all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth" and "the earth was filled with violence."  This was a general condemnation of all of mankind in the days before the flood. 

Certainly not all men had corrupted their way to this extent in the period of time from creation to the flood.  We read of Adam, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, etc.  These men we know had not lived their lives in such a completely corrupt way. 

There was a pathway of corruption that began when men began to multiple on the face of the earth and that ended in the horribly corrupt condition described in the passages above.  In our society today, we would do well to take heed unto the lessons taught us above that we may avoid the calamity of timely judgment that fell on mankind during the flood and on Sodom and Gomorrah, and on many nations that have risen and fallen over the span of time of man's existence on earth. 

The above calamity or pathway of corruption began when "the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose."  At first, this may seem like an innocuous statement.  However, when we closely examined it, we find that this set in motion the pathway of corruption that would lead to the earth being filled with violence and the generally condemnation that "every imagination of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually." 

Some have thought and advocated that the "sons of God" were fallen angels who cohabitated with women and brought forth children.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  The scripture plainly tells us that "Eve is the mother of all living" (Gen. 3:20).  Eve is not the mother of fallen angels.  Moreover, sin passed upon all men through Adam.  Therefore, there could not have been men who proceeded from the cohabitation of fallen angels and women.  The term "sons of God" carries the same meaning here as it does throughout the scriptures: It means "spiritually born children of God."  Thus, we have spiritually born children of God choosing wives.  First, this is contrary to the pattern God showed to us when he formed the woman from the rib of Adam and brought her to Adam to be his bride.  The marriage of Adam and Eve was the result of God's selection not man's selection.  I know the argument that they had no choice, since they were the only two people on the earth at that time.  However, God also was in the selection of a bride for Isaac.  When Abram sent his servant to his kindred to find a wife for Isaac, the servant prayed that God would make it known which woman would be Isaac's bride, and before he had finished praying God answered his prayer.  This shows us that God chose Rebekah to be Isaac's bride.  Moreover, the scriptures teach us that the relationship between a husband and wife is to mirror the relationship between Christ and his bride, the church.  Yet it is Christ who chooses who will make up his bride. 

Most marriages for God's sons and daughters would be much better if, instead of the man and woman making the selection, God made the selection.  We should teach our children and grandchildren to pray that God will select for them a spouse. 

When the pre-flood sons of God saw the daughters of men, their selection criteria for marrying them was that "they were fair."  In other words, they were looking and selecting their mates based on their natural beauty (sex appeal).  Now just about all women are fair, but is sex appeal of the woman to be the only basis of selection of a mate?  They were not selecting mates based on their godly walk, or modest and meek behavior, or based on how well they had prepared themselves to be a good wife and mother.  The sole criteria for selection was "how well do they appeal to the base nature of the man."  No doubt, the women of that society knowing that men were selecting them to be wives based on their natural beauties, would go to great lengths to demonstrate their natural beauties to the prospective bridegrooms.  It seems to me that the American society has largely denigrated to this level today. 

When sex appeal is the basis of mate selection, then what happens to the marriage when one of the spouses finds someone who they find more attractive than the one they married?  No wonder we are living in a society today where multiple marriages are the norm and not the exception.  What great damaging affects these temporary marriages have on the children which are born under these circumstances.  When children are so greatly ignored or neglected by one or more of the parents, then often they end up reacting in a violent way. 

"When the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."  Following the depression of the 1930s and World War II, there was an overreaction by many of those who had experienced the two events.  They wanted their children to have it better than they had.  They did not want their children to experience poverty and great hardships in their lives.  They overreacted by insisting that their children strive to be a success in life.  The goal for the children which was constantly reinforced by the parents, teaches, and society was to "be somebody."  In the world society before the flood, the children were taught to be "mighty men and men of renown."  Thus, there was a great drive to succeed.  God has not taught his children to be successes.  He had taught his children in his word that instead of being successes they should be faithful and godly.  Our goal in our lives should be to be faithful and godly.  We should not set a goal that we will be successful, but rather that we will strive to be faithful and godly.    

When a person is driven to be successful, he will do just about anything including neglecting his/her spouse and children, lying, cheating, stealing, etc. in order to obtain that success.  The world before the flood had many successes and great wickedness and every imagination of their heart was only evil continually.  Violence had filled the earth until there was not any remedy for man.  Will this be the story of the United States?

The scriptures speak of God's faithful disciples as being the "salt of the earth."  One of the characteristics of salt is that it has a preserving quality.  If the disciples of the Lord will consider their ways and repent and set their families in order and quit striving for success, but rather strive to be faithful and godly, and put the Lord and his service first, then as the Lord said, "A city which is set upon a hill cannot be hid."  When the local church becomes such a collection of godly disciples, then others of God's children will see it and desire to come there for refuge and this will start the tide for reversing the effects of the ungodly pathway of corruption.  However, if this doesn't happen then there will be a certain fearful looking for timely judgment upon our land.