And They Died

For the wages of sin is death…

Romans 6:23

I was recently reading through Genesis when chapters 3, 4, and 5 hit me with a fresh weight. Have you had that happen before? Where you're reading something you have read a hundred times and all of a sudden the truth you have become so familiar with has a sense of newness to it?

Not in that there is a new truth to be discovered, but that the reality you have become so familiar with sinks to a new depth within your heart and mind. That is what was happening for me in this recent reading.

I believe it is here in these chapters of Genesis, specifically 4 and 5, that we see the first budding of humanities new sinful nature. We see the truth of God’s warning against sin and feel the weight of our sin’s wages.

It is in chapter 3 that we see sin and death enter God’s good creation, God’s curse along with his promise of redemption, and the first death as God kills an animal to clothe Adam and Eve before he sends them both away from his presence. It is here we see God’s children become rebels. We see man–made from dust–attempt to become the Divine. We see fellowship once enjoyed become severed. We see true life in the presence of God now turned to death.

It is a crushing moment. A moment we will soon see the full gravity of in chapters 4 and 5, and in the world all around us today. In chapter 4 we watch Cane rise up and kill his brother. Anger, pride, jealousy, rage, murder, were all crouching at the door of Cane’s heart, waiting to devour him, and Cane could not defeat it. (Genesis 4:7) Sin was taking its place in the hearts of humanity, and Adam’s son could not overcome it, and neither can you and I. (Romans 7:18) 

Then in chapter 5, like the sound of a hammer, blow after blow, driving nails into a coffin, we read this…

Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.

Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died.

Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years, and he died.

Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years, and he died.

Thus all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years, and he died.

Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died.

Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.

Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years, and he died.

And he died... and he died… death, death, death, death, death… if you eat of the tree in the midst of the garden, you will die. God’s warning was not an idle threat. Where once a sweet fellowship with the Lord of Life existed, there now resides this broken world. A kingdom of death. Death in our bodies, and death in our souls. 

Then later in Leviticus we read about life under the curse. We see the grace of God to make provision for his people, but at the same time, we feel the burden of a life dealing with sin.  Death. Diseases. Being labeled unclean, being shut up away from others, always washing, always cleansing, always laboring. Death, death, death. Animal after animal. Lawbreaker after lawbreaker. Bloodshed. Death upon death, disease upon disease, and sacrifice upon sacrifice.

We live in this kingdom of death. Again, not just physical death, but spiritual as well. (Romans 3:10-12). We feel its weight every day in news articles of tragedy and unbelievable acts of violence and hate. We are a broken people. We have earned our wages and are powerless to reverse what we earned…

But we have a God who did not abandon us! Instead, while we were dead in our sin, he came to us!

I have come that you might have life! – John 10:10

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ… – Ephesians 2:4-5

We have a God who stepped out of heaven so that we can step into life. He came and conquered my death. He died on my cross. The death I fully deserve, so that I can have life! The kingdom of God is where God rules and reigns, and he brings a kingdom of life!

I hope that you feel that weight fresh today too. This world and all humanity marked by death, but life, true life, is available! Do you know Christ, do you know his forgiveness, do you know his rule and reign in your heart today, do you know his life? I hope and pray you do! If you are unsure, please contact me, I’d love to talk!

Sunday Reflections are short articles that share thoughts from weekly Bible reading, devotions, sermons, or times of worship. Find more of them here.