Friday, November 05, 2010

Natural Death - Genesis 5:4-5

Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died. (Genesis 5:4-5)
This passage is significant for many reasons. It provides the basis for a detailed genealogy (see Genesis 5 Genealogy Timeline). It establishes the fact that Adam and Eve had children which are not specifically mentioned in Scripture— one of these children was likely Cain's wife (see Who Was Cain's Wife?). But this passage also contains the following words:
and he died.
These words can be read without much thought. Death is so prevalent in human society that it is easy to accept it as a fact of life. But death isn't just a fact of life... it's a tragedy.

God told Adam not to eat from the tree in the garden. He said, in the day that you eat from it you will surely die. (Genesis 2:17) Adam disobeyed God, ate from the tree, and died spiritually— he was severed from God. But God was merciful at the fall. He gave man a second chance. Physical death was delayed.

For Adam, death was delayed hundreds of years. But nonetheless, death still came. Although Adam's death is the third recorded death in Scripture, it appears to have been the first natural death. Cain killed Abel. Lamech also killed a man. But Adam appears to have been the first man to die due to the natural decay of the body.

This passage should remind every person of the following reality: You will die. You are not eternal and should not live as if you are. Whether you are slain like Abel or die from decay... death will come. Jesus said in Matthew 6:27, And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? Don't worry about death— instead, concern yourself with living for that which is eternal.

Related Posts:
The Genealogy: Adam to Noah - Genesis 5
Man In the Image of Man - Genesis 5:3
The Fall: Merciful Curses - The Christian Worldview
The Fall: No Repentance - The Christian Worldview
Summary of Genesis 4

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