"And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:20b)

What if you knew when the world would end (cont.)

Naim and Jenna wolfed down their thin crust, double cheese, double pepperoni (on one half only) pizza and drank a whole liter of Dr. Pepper. They had discovered that in the half hour they were allowed for lunch, having a pizza at their door at exactly 1:34 allowed them to eat lunch and kick back for twenty-two minutes before the mad dash to their next classes.

Jenna’s loud belch sent Naim into fits of laughter while her friend pretended to be miffed about it. When Naim had caught her breath, Jenna said, “Continue, Naim. Why was Noah so special?”

“Oh, yes. Noah. The guy who weathered” (a small giggle escaped her lips) “the first weather.”

“What does that mean,” Jenna asked. “Come on. We only have about 15 minutes left. Can you answer that one question in that amount of time?”

Naim took a deep breath and began.

“After God created the first humans in the Garden of Eden (which is the proper name of Paradise), humans became really evil. Adam’s second-born son killed the first-born son in the original murder.”

“Oh, wait!” Jenna exclaimed. “I didn’t know about this, either. What happened?”

Naim sighed. “Jenna, we were talking about Noah. Can we talk about Cain and Abel later?”

Jenna wrinkled up her nose and replied, “Okay, I guess.”

was Noah the only righteous man on earth?

“Noah,” said Naim, “was the only righteous man on earth. the Bible says he was ‘perfect in his generations.'”

“So he was perfect?” Jenna looked skeptical.

Naim laughed. “No, Jenna, it doesn’t say that he was perfect, but that his generations were. That’s completely different.”

“How so?” asked Jenna. “Don’t ‘righteous’ and ‘perfect’ mean the same thing?”

“Not really. The Hebrew word for righteous is ‘tsa-Deek.’ Here, let me write the Hebrew for you.”Taking up a pencil and a piece of paper, Naim carefully wrote the Hebrew words.

“To be righteous,” she explained, “means to be just. It’s what we wish our judges in our country were.” She sighed. “Actually, there probably are some righteous judges, but mostly we see self-righteous judges. They often judge according to their opinions instead of according to the constitution.”

Jenna raised her eyebrows. “Are you going to get political on me?”

Naim smiled wryly. “No,” she said. “Let’s keep to the topic at hand. “Okay, now we’ve defined righteous; let’s look at perfect.”

Noah isn’t perfect… is he?

Jenna said in a low murmur, “This should be good.”

Naim’s eyes flashed. “Do you want to know what that scripture means, or not?”

Jenna glanced at her watch. “We still have a few more minutes,” she replied. “Go on.”

“Noah was perfect in his generations. Notice that it didn’t stop by saying Noah was perfect. That’s because he wasn’t. But in his generations—those of his family who came before him (who weren’t perfect, either).”

Jenna scoffed. “What in the world do you mean? Those of his family who lived before him were perfect except that they weren’t. It doesn’t make sense. That’s why I’m not so familiar with the scriptures.”

Naim smiled. “That’s okay, because I am. I love studying scriptures! Sounds like I’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do.”

Jenna smiled back. “So go on, already! ‘Splain’ it!”

Naim turned back to her Bible. “To be perfect in his generations was obviously not the norm. Otherwise, why choose Noah? And what would make these generations perfect while all the rest didn’t meet the requirements?

giants in the land?

“For that we need to go back a little. See in verse 4 where it says ‘In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times’?”

“What are—were—Nephilites?” asked Jenna, her curiosity peaked again.

“In most translations, it says either Nephilim or just giants. Here’s how the New King James Version says it.”

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

Genesis 6:4 NKJV

“What? Giants?” Jenna’s eyes opened wide. “Real giants?”

Naim continued. “The sons of God referenced here implies angels. Satan is a fallen angel and the scriptures say when he fell he took one-third of the other angels with him. Mutiny!”

Jenna laughed suddenly. “Satan? Are you saying there’s a real devil?”

Naim laughed, too. “Not if you think the devil rules hell and wears a red suit and has horns and a tail!”

Jenna grinned. “Don’t forget the pitchfork!”

After the pillow hit her in the side of the head, she settled down again. “Sorry. Go on.”

“First off, the devil, or Satan, it absolutely real. His biggest, most effective lie is that he doesn’t exist. The second is that yes, he does exist, but he has no real power on earth. He’s in hell,” said Naim. “So let’s clear that up first.”

“Hell is a subject we’ll tackle at another time. He doesn’t live there or rule there. But there’s a scripture that says the truth about him.”

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

1 Peter 5:8

“In fact,” said Naim, “the word satan means adversary. It’s not his actual name—that was Lucifer—but more like a title to describe him.

“Anyway, ‘the sons of God’ always refers to angels in the Bible. In Genesis 6, we have this verse that tells what they were doing that displeased God.”

Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.

Genesis 6:1,2

Jenna looked astonished. “Wives? Is that scripture saying what I think it’s saying?”

“If you think that it means angels married human women, then yes. And they had children with them who became known as ‘mighty men’.” Naim replied. “We read that in verse 4.”

“Hmm… does that mean those ‘mighty men’ were the fabled gods in Greek and Roman myths?”

“There’s always a grain of truth in those myths, but we’ll talk about that one later. Today, Noah.

“So to be ‘perfect in his generations’ means that his human DNA had not been corrupted in any of his previous generations by this angel-human entanglement. He was pure human. Apparently the only family left with human-only DNA. It’s possible even the animals were corrupted as well.”

“How do you mean?” asked Jenna.

“Here’s what the Bible says.”

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.

And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

Genesis 6:11, 12 (emphasis added)

Naim went on to explain. “It could be that along with the mythical gods of ancient peoples, the half-human, half-animal creatures of mythology were also real in some manifestation.

“So back to Noah and why he was special. God had looked at all His creation and had seen what the devil and his cohort fallen angels had done to the crown of creation—humans. He decided the only way to make things right again was to destroy the world and repopulate it with Noah’s uncorrupted genealogy. He said:”

And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Genesis 6:13

“But you know what? He decided to save a few people. Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives.”

For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.”

Genesis 6:18-21

“Now I’ll tell you the secret that made Noah truly special. It is in how he responded to God:”

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

Genesis 6:22

A loud knock at the door broke the spell of the story and both girls jumped. When the door opened, Susannah poked her head in and said, “Hey, c’mon, you two! We’re going to miss our math class!” Naim and Jenna groaned, but hopped to their feet and, grabbing their backpacks, hurriedly left the room.

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