This was quite an interesting chunk of scripture. The flood is over and God tells Noah and his sons to "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." (Genesis 9:1). Sounds familiar, yes? Just like in the beginning.
By this time the entire world was so evil and, since God sees the future as clearly as the present, no more flesh would choose to follow him besides Noah's family, even if God wouldn't have destroyed them with the flood, so the flood was sent. By a quick calculation in Genesis 5, I found that it was only 1,656 years from the time Adam was created until the time the earth became so wicked it had to be destroyed. 1,056 years from Adam until the birth of Noah, plus 600 years from Noah's birth until the flood. 10 generations from Adam to Noah.
Noah was Adam's great great great great great great great grandson. Since Adam lived 930 years, and Noah was born 1,056 years after Adam, Noah was born 126 years after the first man's (Adam) death. Adam was still alive when his great great great great great great grandson was born...amazing.
Apparently, not surprisingly, all the animals were very friendly to man in the beginning. Not to mention they only ate plants. Yep, all animals were herbivores (Genesis 1:30). But according to Genesis 9:2, that all changed after the flood. Animals began to dread and fear humans.
We see Noah began farming and planted a vineyard and made alcohol from the vineyard and became drunk. This led to a whole rift in the family (Genesis 9:20-27).
In Genesis 10:26-29 you see a man, Joktan, who had 13 sons!
Through Ham's line came the mighty Nimrod, who was king of Babel and other cities in the land of Shinar (Genesis 10:8-10). Nimrod is also the one who built Nineveh (Genesis 10:11). Through Ham's line also came Canaan (Canaanites).
So we see that it was through Ham, because of this rift in Noah's family, that came all the nations who would later stand opposed to Israel.
It was immediately apparent that this bloodline was a rebellious one, as Nimrod's kingdom began building "a tower whose top is in the heavens" (so God would never be able to destroy them with a flood again) (Genesis 11:4). Quite an arrogant plan.
Then God confused their languages and the people were scattered "over the face of all the earth", grouping according to their languages (Genesis 11:8).
From the genealogy in Genesis 11 we see that there was 390 years between Noah's son, Shem, and Abram (Abraham). Since we don't know exactly how old Noah was when he had Shem, Ham and Japheth, we can't be sure exactly how long between Adam and Abraham. But we know that Noah was at most 500 years old when he had Shem (Genesis 5:32). So the time between Adam and Abraham was somewhere around 1,946 years. (1,056 years from Adam to Noah's birth, 500 (or less) from Noah's birth to Shem, 390 years from Shem's birth until Abram)
There was also 10 generations from Noah to Abraham, according to Genesis 11:10-27. So, 10 generations from Adam to Noah, 10 generations from Noah to Abraham. So, 20 generations and about 2,000 years from Adam to Abraham. I find all these things interesting.
So, around 2,000 years from creation to Abraham, and (I've heard) around 2,000 years from Abraham to Christ, and around 2,000 years from Christ until today. So that's where the 6,000 year old Earth comes from. What's interesting to note is that there is a passage that says "with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8). We know that God created a 7-day weekly cycle that included 6 days of work and 1 day of rest. Now we've had 6,000 years of work on this world, and have you ever heard of the millennium? The thousand years with Christ (Revelation 20)? We seem to be at the end of a Godly cycle, at the very end of 6,000 years of earth's history, and ready to embrace 1,000 years of rest with Christ. It gives me hope that His coming is near, even at the door.
The time is rapidly approaching when sin's reign on earth will end, and "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4)
Don't you want to be there? Don't you want to be found on God's side when He comes? Now is the time to make the choice, you may never get another chance.
Back to Genesis, so Abraham's brother died and left his son, Lot, fatherless. Then the Lord spoke to Abraham and told him to get out of his country and away from his family to a land that He would show him. Abraham followed God, and his nephew Lot came with him. (Genesis 12:1-4)
Well no one is perfect, and neither was Abraham. After even this great act of faith by leaving his family and home, he went down to Egypt and lied to the people, saying Sarah was his sister instead of his wife. He was afraid they would kill him to get to her. Well that got him kicked out of Egypt by the Pharaoh. (Genesis 12:11-20)
Abraham became extremely wealthy, and his blessings overflowed to his nephew Lot. There was a lot of fighting between Abraham's shepherds and Lot's shepherds because they were all in such close quarters, so Abraham told his nephew Lot to pick a part of the land he wanted, and Abraham would take what was left. It would have been respectful for Lot to give his uncle Abraham first pick, but he didn't. Instead, Lot chose to live in the lush plain of Jordan, in the city of Sodom. (Genesis 13:2-12)
Well there ended up being war between the kingdoms where Lot was living, with 5 kings, and some other kingdoms, with 4 kings. Well the 4 kings were very powerful and overtook the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and plundered them, taking also Lot and his family as captives.
Well one who had escaped came to Abraham and told him what had happened, so Abraham armed his 318 trained servants and hunted down these kings who captured his nephew. When he found them, he divided his forces and attacked them in the night, sending them fleeing. He rescued his nephew Lot, as well as all the plundered goods of the cities.
On his way back to Sodom, Abraham met Melchizedek, the king of Salem and priest of God Most High, who brought him out bread and wine. This person Melchizedek, king of Salem, which is to say king of peace (remember Christ is called Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6), priest of God Most High (remember Christ is called our High Priest in Hebrews 2:17), who gave them bread and wine (remember Christ gave His disciples bread and wine saying the bread was His body, and the wine was His blood in Luke 22:19-20) blessed Abraham, and Abraham gave Melchizedek tithe of all. Very interesting. Especially when you look at Hebrews 6 and 7, which speak of Melchizedek at least 7 times, including a quote from Psalm 110:4 about Melchizedek. Whatever the conclusion, there is obviously a lot of significance to this Old Testament character who shows up for just this one short event.
Back to Genesis, so after Abraham pays tithe to Melchizedek, the king of Sodom comes out and tells Abraham that he can keep all the plundered goods he rescued, if he will give back the people he rescued. To which Abraham replies that he can have it all back, except that which he used to feed his army, lest the king of Sodom say that Abraham is rich because of me. That would discredit the fact that Abraham is living in faith on God's promises and blessings.
After Abraham refused to keep the plunder, so that all glory would go to God for his prosperity, God speaks to Abraham. I paused on this verse and it is amazing.
Genesis 15:1, "After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward."
Talk about encouraging!
Anyway, then Abraham starts questioning the Lord because he has no heir, no son. So God says, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them. So shall your descendants be." - Genesis 15:5
Genesis 15:6, "And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness."
Amen! And so it is for us today. If we believe, it is accounted to us for righteousness.
So time went on and still Abraham's wife Sarah had no children. So she tells Abraham to take her servant Hagar as a wife so that they might have children through her. Yet as soon as she conceives, Hagar began to despise Sarah. So Sarah went to Abraham and told him the problem, to which he responded "do with her as you please." (Genesis 16:6).
So Sarah starts dealing harshly with Hagar, until Hagar fled into the wilderness.
Then the Angel of the LORD found Hagar and asked her to return and submit to Sarah, and told her that He would multiply her descendants exceedingly so that they shall not be counted for multitude. Then He said that her son shall be named Ishmael and that he would be a wild man, and that his hand would be against every man, and every man's hand against him, and he will dwell in the presence of all his brethren. (Genesis 16:7-12)
So she obeyed, returning and submitting to Sarah, and gave birth to a son, whose name was Ishmael. We know that the faith of Islam descended from Ishmael. This is all very interesting and I am eager to begin the next chapter.
God bless you and keep you.