In Adam All Die: Genesis 5

Posted: January 12, 2011 in Devotionals

“For as in Adam all die…”

1 Corinthians 15:22 (the bad part anyway)

Family trees are cool. There’s something about actually being able to put names (and sometimes faces) to family members from past generations. I don’t know much about my family history. One of my aunts back in Texas has been painstakingly trying to piece together our family tree on my mother’s side. Needless to say, it’s proven to be tough. Still, it’s been fascinating to find out the little bit that we have about the family. I like knowing something of where I come from and who “my people” are.

Well…in Genesis 5 we get a glimpse at Adam’s family tree…his kinfolk. The chapter begins with the words,

“This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.”

                                                                                                                                                                        Genesis 5:1

I would point out a few things about this family tree: 1) For starters, it doesn’t include every single generation. The first descendant of Adam that get’s mention is Seth. Cain and Abel aren’tmentioned at all. 2) Secondly, most of the people in the list lived to be reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally old. I mean, when have you ever heard of a guy living to be 930 years old (in the case of Adam) or 969 years (in the case of Methusaleh)? Adam’s descendants were having kids at ages where people in our day are either retiring or nearing the end of their life. On the whole, even though Adam and his relatives lived for long periods of time, there is a general pattern of decline in the length of life. The further into the family line you get, the shorter amount of time people live. I’m not sure what the precise link is, but I know this for sure….sin resulted in decreased life expectancy for human beings. Which leads to the last thing I want to point out….3) Pretty much everybody dies.

This is one of the main points that get’s hammered home in this chapter. All of Adam’s descendants die. Back in Genesis 2 (verse 17), God promised Adam that if he ate from the tree he would die, and sure enough it happened. There was a spiritual death that occurred which resulted in Adam and Eve being separated from God. On top of that…sin also brought physical death. We see this very clearly, as we’re told over and over, “so and so lived x amount of years and he died.” Death gets passed down to all of Adam’s relatives. All of his people inherited his sinful nature. Just like you might have your mom’s nose or your dad’s eyes, all of Adam’s descendants got his sin and guilt.

And lest we think that this has no direct bearing on us….because we don’t see our names on this list, the Bible says that when Adam sinned, we all sinned.

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all me because all sinned…”                                                                     

                                                                                                                           Romans 5:12

Adam sinned as a representative of the entire human race. When he sinned it was as if we all sinned. And lest you object to that as being unfair….we each are born spiritually dead and we make willful decisions to sin and disobey God on our own anyway. What Adam begin….we continue….and as a result…we die like all of Adam’s descendants. God is faithful to keep his promise. He is no pushover. As we’ve seen quite a bit already…he deals severely with disobedience.

And yet again…we see this severity coupled with signs of grace. In verse 21 of Genesis 5, we read of Enoch. Enoch is said to be a man who “walked with God” (v. 22). Verse 24 says,

“Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him”.

Enoch is a picture of hope….hope for those who walk with God. Those whose lives evidence intimacy and fellowship with the God who made them. Enoch doesn’t die. We’re just told that God took him. Presumably to be with Him. This occurrence anticipates something coming in the future. That’s all the info we’re given and then the list moves on.

It’s amazing how in the face of the death that comes because of Adam’s sin, we get to see that there is hope…Hope that this cycle of sin and death can be broken….

“…so also in Christ shall all be made alive”

1 Corinthians 15:22 (the good part)

Alive in Christ,



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