Outside of the garden, man grew in his wickedness. Rather than looking to God, man looked to himself. Genesis 4 describes Cain, the first murderer (Genesis 4:8). Even after murdering his own brother, he remained unrepentant and continued in his rebellion against God. The remainder of Genesis 4 describes Cain's descendants. One of his descendants is noted for his immorality and others are noted for their great inventions, but none are noted for seeking God.
At the end of Genesis 4, the birth of Seth (Abel's replacement) is mentioned. Seth, when he had lived 105 years, became the father of Enosh. It is at this point in the book of Genesis that a small glimmer of hope appears; the last verse of Genesis 4 states: Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord. (Genesis 4:26) In the midst of man's growing wickedness, in the midst of man's growing immorality, in the midst of what must have been becoming a demon infested planet, there were some who remained faithful to their Creator.
From Adam to Noah, a period of over 1000 years elapsed. At Noah's birth, Adam had been dead for over 100 years. Seth had just recently died. The earth's population was quickly expanding, but the reality of death was more apparent than ever. Man was becoming weary from all of his work and toil (Genesis 5:29). When Noah was born, there was still some righteousness on the earth, but it was certainly scarce. The wickedness of man had almost hit an all time high. No matter what the interpretation of sons of God is, demonic activity must have been everywhere. The entire planet was enslaved to the one who had deceived Eve. The entire planet was covered with immorality— immorality which probably made Lamech (the first recorded person to practice polygamy, Genesis 4:19) appear innocent.
While the interpretation of the source of the immorality in Genesis 6:1-4 is disagreed upon, all reasonable interpretations of these verses can conclude that they provide an explanation and an example of man's rebellion against God. In particular, these verses provide a brief account of what was occurring from the time of Seth to the time of Noah. However, the exact nature of the activities recorded in the first four verses of Genesis 6 has been the subject of debate for thousands of years. The chief difficulty, as stated earlier, is interpreting the phrase, the sons of God. Throughout history, there have been three main interpretations:
- The sons of God were Seth's righteous descendants.
- The sons of God were powerful kings.
- The sons of God were fallen angels.
Who Are the Sons of God? (Part 3) - Genesis 6:1-4
Summary of Genesis 4
State of the World (2948 BC): Noah's Birth - Genesis 5:28
The Cave Men of Genesis - Genesis 4
Cain and Abel: Two Routes - Genesis 4:1-2