What the Bible says about
(From Forerunner Commentary)
The Scriptures indicate that these giants died out. Not long after this, God sent a worldwide Flood to destroy "all flesh" upon the earth (Genesis 7:21). Since these giants were simply a natural, genetic variation of human beings, they died along with the rest of the earth's population. The only humans to escape that catastrophe were Noah and his family.
Since Noah was of a stock of smaller people, most of his descendants were of his stature. However, some of the genes to produce giants survived through the wife of Ham, one of Noah's sons. Therefore, a number of the sons of Canaan (one of Ham's sons) were giants (Numbers 13:1-2, 32-33). In Deuteronomy 2:19-21, Moses records that God destroyed the giants who dwelt in Ammon so that the children of Lot could possess the land. Those giants - who apparently descended from Canaan through a man named Anak - eventually became extinct. King Og of Bashan was the last of them to inhabit Palestine east of Jordan (Deuteronomy 3:11).
Another well-known biblical giant is Goliath of Gath (or "the Gittite"), whom the teenage David killed with a sling stone (I Samuel 17). Goliath's brother and sons were also men of great stature, and the Bible explicitly mentions that David and his men killed them all (II Samuel 21:15-22; I Chronicles 20:4-8).
Both before and after the Flood, God was directly involved in the destruction of those giant men. The reason for their destruction is not stated directly, but like Goliath, those men seemed always to be in opposition to God and to His people Israel.
God's response to humanity's sinfulness was to send the Flood to wipe mankind almost completely from the planet. He would start again with Noah's family, his sons and their wives.
Immediately after the waters receded and the ark was emptied, Noah makes a sacrifice to God for their deliverance. “And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, 'I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth'” (Genesis 8:21).
Did the Flood change anything? Millions of people died, billions of animals died, uncounted trees and other plants died. But the human heart did not change; it remains “evil from his youth.”
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Are Humans Good or Evil?
Just like its spiritual father, Satan, mankind uses God's beautiful creation self-centeredly and destroys.
In Genesis 1-3, we see God graciously giving mankind wonderful gifts to enjoy life. He provided them with long lives and brilliant minds to make use of earth's resources. In Genesis 6, though, we see humanity destroying virtually every good gift in its savage disrespect for Him and what He had made. An ever-increasing population was living nearly without restraint. Perhaps the most astounding detail in this whole mess is what all this did to God: He was grieved in His heart that He had created humanity.
To appreciate the Flood and the covenant that resulted, we need to grasp a major factor that directly led to it. God does not judge impatiently or carelessly; He is merciful and gracious, His actions always motivated by love. Everything He does is in the best interest of His purpose and with the well-being of others at heart. Even considering those two factors, what God did in using an overwhelming Flood to wipe out the entire human population in a matter of a few days is sobering. Undoubtedly, God had good cause.
We have no figures at hand to show how many lives perished, but in 1,600-plus years, combined with their brilliant minds and long lives, not only the population could have been abundant, but the development of the earth's material resources may also have been extensive and advanced. We look forward to having those details revealed in the resurrection.
These considerations indicate that two factors made Him decide to destroy nearly all life and begin all over again: 1) a profound change in the quality of life combined with 2) what was developing in people's minds. God did not have an attitude of defeat or failure. Instead, He primarily considered the result of what was occurring in people's minds. It was a sobering judgment but not nearly as bad as what would have been produced had He allowed events to continue. His judgment provides us a clear understanding of His loving character.
God's reaction was guided by what He saw regarding mankind's sins. In His experience with humanity at this point, He concluded that sin should not be understood as a mere imperfection in character but as a hostile, infecting, poisonous, and destructive force relentlessly driving people to even greater excesses. Added to this reality is an element that significantly raises the level of seriousness: Sin is not merely murder, lying, coveting, thievery, etc., but a vicious motivation buried deeply in men's hearts that generates evil almost incessantly.
God's statement that “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” is not an exaggeration. The heart is a generator of evil by nature (Matthew 15:16-20). In Ecclesiastes 7:29, Solomon reminds us, “Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.” How far mankind had fallen from the pinnacle of purity and righteousness Adam and Eve contained when created by this same God! How radically that beautiful creation had changed!
Sin, then, is not merely what one sees on the outside. Far more challenging to understand and deal with is the reality that it is an internal matter; sin is generated from within. This is all the more interesting because Jesus later admonishes us not to look on the outward appearance in making judgments (John 7:24). Yet, we must do this because we lack the godly powers to judge as God does.
I Samuel 16:7 says that in His judgments God looks on the heart. From this incident, the wisest of all Beings, God Himself, teaches us a valuable principle of judgment: When the heart becomes so consistently wicked that evil is its natural course of action, nothing can be done to change it.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Leadership and Covenants (Part Nine)
The events and challenges Noah faced were not concluded until God sealed a covenant with post-Flood humanity. Some massively destructive events have occurred on earth, but except for the Flood, they have all been localized events, despite affecting millions of people: volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes, and extremes of weather. The Flood is by far the most devastating event ever to occur on Planet Earth since God created Adam and Eve. Except for the eight people God sanctified before Noah began his work, it executed the population of the entire earth in one massive judgment determined and accomplished by the sovereign God. No destructive event comes close to matching it.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Leadership and Covenants (Part Eleven): Signs
The first time the Bible uses a word or concept frequently sets the stage for how God inspired the human writers to use it throughout the rest of His Word, and clouds are no exception. We find clouds first described immediately after the Flood, where they are linked to the sign of the rainbow and God's everlasting promise that He will never again flood the earth.
Today, we are far removed from the events of the Flood, so it may be difficult to grasp what it and its aftermath were like—every man, woman, and child dead, except Noah and his family. From the genealogies, we know that humanity had been on the earth about a millennia and a half, and before the Flood, people lived much longer lives and produced numerous children. Only God, and perhaps the angelic host, knows how many millions or billions of people that cataclysm destroyed.
God forcefully and deliberately ended that age. Yet, lest we think that all is hopeless and that another worldwide catastrophe could wipe out all life on the planet, God gives us this promise, repeating it several times: He will not destroy all flesh again.
Of course, we know from many verses that the destruction at the end of this age will involve fire rather than another worldwide flood. But this does not nullify God's promise. The point remains that God will not destroy all flesh by any means, whether by flood or by fire.
Genesis 9:12-17 indicates that the rainbow is the sign of that promise, but they also show that the setting and the context of that promise is the clouds. In the promise we see elements of God's faithfulness, but the backdrop is God's mercy in not destroying all of mankind.
An interesting parallel to this appears in the book of Revelation. Genesis and Revelation mirror each other in many ways; frequently, when a matter is introduced in Genesis, it is resolved or concluded in some way in Revelation. As bookends of the Bible, they contain many of the same themes. Notice what John describes in Revelation 10:1:
I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on [H]is head, [H]is face was like the sun, and [H]is feet like pillars of fire.
Studying into this chapter makes plain that this Being is no mere angel, but it is in fact Jesus Christ. In the sequence of events, this chapter might be called “the beginning of the end” because it shows the mystery of God being finished and the point at which there would be no more delay in everything reaching its conclusion.
Here at the end, John's vision pictures Jesus with a rainbow, showing that He has not forgotten His promise to mankind. Even as He is about to unleash tremendous destruction on rebellious humanity, the sign of His promise not to destroy everyone is literally at the top of His head. Notice that He is also clothed with a cloud. It is covering Him, allowing only the brightness of His face and the fiery brilliance of His feet to show.
To understand the significance of this cloud, consider what a cloud is and does. By way of definition, a cloud is “a visible mass of droplets of water or frozen crystals, suspended in the atmosphere.” Sometimes clouds bring rain, which can be either a blessing or a curse depending on the circumstances, but other times they pass by without sharing a drop. Nevertheless, there is one thing a cloud will always do, if it has any size at all: It will impede light, such as the light of the sun or the moon. Since it is clothing Jesus Christ, this cloud filters some of His breathtaking glorious radiance. This covering is critical because the undimmed brightness of a God-being is lethal to mankind. Jesus Christ will be returning in glory, and that awesome glory has a terrible, lethal effect on sinful flesh.
David C. Grabbe
'Behold, He is Coming with Clouds'
Force [arms, KJV] of a flood indicates large numbers of people.
The prince of the covenant at that time would have been the high priest
A league is made with him suggests coming into power through treaties.
God is giving us clues that this end-time conspiracy will not require a huge army to be put into effect. All it will take is strategically placed people—people who are in positions to wield a great deal of authority and who will exercise that authority at just the right time and place. Malachi Martin and others have said that John Dewey almost singlehandedly corrupted the American educational system, along with others like B.F. Skinner, Edward Thorndike, and John Watson. All it took was a few people at the right time and in the right places where they could wield influence over others.
Similarly, the end-time conspiracy will be done legally, and its basic systems are already in operation.
John W. Ritenbaugh
What I Believe About Conspiracy Theories
God's people were very busy making money, accumulating things, and practicing their religion. But God was also very busy—sending famines, droughts, blights, locusts, epidemics, warfare, and possibly earthquakes in judgment for their unrighteousness (Amos 4:6-11). He hoped that they would heed these "minor" warnings before He sent the rod of His anger against them (Isaiah 10:5).
Rain fell on one part of the country and not on another. When it rained, it rained too much, causing floods. In other places just enough rain fell to deceive the people into feeling a sense of hope—that it was not so bad after all.
We see this in the United States. Natural disasters—insurance companies call them "acts of God"—are growing more frequent and more intense, killing many and causing billions of dollars in damage. Floods ravaged the Midwest in 1993, while drought killed crops in other areas. After a year or so of good rainfall, California fell back into drought conditions—only to suffer from floods a year later! Fires rage over thousands of acres after periods of drought, destroying forests and homes. Sudden earthquakes, storms, tornadoes, and extreme temperatures destroy homes, businesses, and lives.
It never seems to get quite bad enough to send the nation into a real tailspin, but it is just enough that, like the Egyptian Pharaoh of the Exodus (Exodus 7:13-14), we continue to harden our hearts. We fail to repent. If the unrepentant attitude continues, the "natural" disasters will intensify, bankrupting the nation economically. Since money seems to be the nation's foremost god, the true God will hit where it hurts most.
The vast majority of Americans have become so far removed from God that they lack the eyes to see and the ears to hear the warnings He sends. Educated in a system that fundamentally denies God, they lack understanding. They interpret God's warnings as natural events—just nature running her course. An earthquake or flood or drought is viewed as "nature doing her thing."
Rather than heed the warning and repent, Americans turn to their other false gods—science and technology—to bail them out. "Design better levies to protect us from floods," they cry. "Seed the clouds to produce more rain." "Engineer stronger buildings to withstand more powerful earthquakes." "Science will someday give us the ability to predict—even stop—earthquakes." Americans have eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear (Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:14-15).
In these disasters, God is saying something quite different—something vitally important. He is warning the people that they have a responsibility, and if they fail to live under their covenant with Him, He has the power to correct them so that they will repent. So, in fairness and mercy, God lays a simple choice before them: "Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel!" (Amos 4:12). Their choice is either to face their sins and repent, or face the wrath of a just God.
To bring about His purpose, God is active in His creation, especially among His people, whether physical or spiritual Israel. "If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?" (Amos 3:6). Is God involved in our lives? Do things happen by chance to the people of God? This world would have you believe that God really is not aware, that He does not care or even exist! But He says, "I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things" (Isaiah 45:7).
Is God involved? "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:29-30). Do we see God working in our lives? Events do not happen accidentally to God's people, of whom God is very aware. He is very concerned and thus very involved.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Prepare to Meet Your God! (The Book of Amos) (Part One)
Floods and hurricanes can damage seemingly strong houses and destroy those less strongly built. When Christ says, "the rain descended," He compares the times of testing to the forces of a rainstorm threatening the roof of the house and the fears it creates. "The floods came" pictures turbulent torrents undermining walls. "The winds blew" depicts sweeping, hurricane-like winds threatening a house's walls. These combined natural forces remind us that spiritual elements try and test our spiritual houses just as God tested and punished Israel (Ezekiel 13:8-16). Sometimes these forces come in the way of persecution, suffering, or temptations—all of which will erode a weak foundation, but not a solid one. Christ describes the disaster descending on the house built on the sand as "great [in] its fall." By doing so, He warns us to avoid a similar end. Foolish builders should heed His warning and build on a solid Rock foundation, that of Jesus Christ.
Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Two Builders
God told Noah that He would destroy the earth by a flood, and He gave him instructions on how to be prepared so he and his family could survive. God told him what He would do but not when. What did Noah do? He prepared, though nobody else did. Noah believed God and acted according to his belief. When the Flood came, he was ready, even though he did not know when it would come.
The parallel to today is astounding. Noah's actions define a Christian's responsibilities. Putting the lesson into his life, one can also "[b]y faith . . . being divinely warned of things not yet seen, [move] with godly fear . . . and [become] heir of the righteousness which is according to faith" (Hebrews 11:7). Not putting this lesson to work is the attitude that leads to spiritual disaster, saying by one's conduct that there is plenty of time.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The World, the Church, and Laodiceanism
2 Peter 3:1-6
II Peter 3:1-6 contains vivid illustrations of God ruling and overruling to bring His purpose to a successful conclusion in spite of men. Because the Creator God truly is sovereign, He is constantly moving His creation, including us, toward the conclusion of the purpose He determined from the beginning. All things do not continue as they were. God is working and intervening, making adjustments in the course of international, national, and personal events, as the incidents of the Flood and the Tower of Babel vividly illustrate. Peter could have added many more examples, such as freeing Israel from Egypt, guiding Israel to power and destroying it, and scattering the Israelites over the face of the earth. God has done this so completely that most have no idea where Israel is or that they themselves might be Israelites.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sovereignty of God: Part Six
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