THEME: Escaping the Judgment
This week’s lessons show the importance of repentance in view of the certainty of a coming judgment, which in God’s mercy is being delayed.  
SCRIPTURE:Joshua 6:24-27
So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel. And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. Joshua laid an oath on them at that time, saying, “Cursed before the LORD be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho. “At the cost of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son shall he set up its gates.” So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.

Yesterday we introduced the relevance of the genealogy in Genesis 5. Now with that in mind, let me show you how the genealogy teaches us about God’s character. Adam, the first of the patriarchs, born we would have to say in the year one, was created by God at the beginning. He lived 930 years. When he was 130 years old he had his first son, that is, the son through whom the genealogy is traced, whose name was Seth. Seth was born in the year 130 by that kind of reckoning, and he lived to the year 1042. 
Putting figures together in precisely the same way, Seth’s son, Enosh, was born in the year 235; Enosh’s son, Kenan, was born in the year 325; Mahalalel, Kenan’s son, was born in the year 395; Jared was born in 460, Enoch in 622, and Methuselah in 687. Methuselah finally died in the year 1656, again, by that reckoning. 
Now go on from that point. Methuselah’s son was Lamech, and he was born in the year 874 and lived to 1651. Noah was born in the year 1056, and lived until the year 2006. But when he was 600 years old the flood came. When you add 600 years to the year of his birth, you come to 1656, which is precisely the year in which Methuselah died, the man whose name means, “When he is gone, it shall come.” 
Now let me explain it in this way. Methuselah’s father was Enoch, and Enoch was a prophet. God had revealed to Enoch that He was going to send a judgment on the earth, and that judgment was going to be by a flood. We’re told that Enoch began to walk with God when his son Methuselah was born, that is, when he was 65 years old. I don’t think that means that Enoch wasn’t a godly man before this, but it does mean that he began to walk with God in a special way in the year when his son was born. 
I would reason that it was in that year that God gave him the revelation of the coming destruction, which would then mean that when he named his son Methuselah, he did so by the revelation of God, saying, in effect, that this son is a symbol of God’s mercy. This man is going to live for a long time, and while this man lives, the judgment that God has promised will be delayed. But when he dies, that judgment is going to come. Methuselah was already an old man when Noah began to build that ark, and he was getting on toward the year of his death as Noah was working to finish its construction. After Methuselah died, the rains began, and the flood came. 
You see, that man Methuselah was a symbol of the inevitability of judgment. God is the judge, and judgment will come. At the same time, he’s also a symbol of God’s grace because that, of course, is why he lived so long. God postponed judgment decade after decade, year after year, as Noah prepared that ark and preached the gospel to anyone who would heed it and come in. 
You look at this world and especially you look at yourself and you might say, “Well, it’s not so bad and certainly I’m not so bad. Nothing bad is ever going to happen to me. Why, I don’t even think it’s quite right for God to judge other people, but certainly I don’t believe it’s right for God to judge me.” A story like this is meant to open our eyes to see that looking at things that way is all wrong. Our viewpoint is being distorted by the devil, who doesn’t want us to face the reality of a coming judgment. 
God says the fact that the Canaanites were killed is meant to warn you that God is a judge, that He does take sin seriously, and that you, too, will be punished for your sin unless you come to Jesus Christ. At the same time, the fact that God delays His judgment is meant as an encouragement to you. It’s meant to clearly say that God is nevertheless a God of mercy. Peter says, “God is patient, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to eternal life.” 
That life is found in Jesus Christ. He is the one who gives life out of death. He is the scarlet cord that meant the salvation of Rahab and her family, because she trusted in the God who sent Him. That Jesus, that one who died on the cross, is your Savior if you will have Him to be your Savior. The way that happens is to admit your sins. It’s no good to fight against God and say, “Well, I’m all right. I’m pretty good. I’m better than so-and-so.” Forget that. That’s folly in the face of the holy God. 
Admit your sin, confess your faults, and acknowledge that God has every right to judge you and to judge you right now. Come to Him, not on the basis of your righteousness or on the basis of His justice, which can only condemn you; but come instead on the basis of His love, that love which sent Jesus Christ. Say to Him, “I acknowledge my sin, but I thank you that you sent Jesus Christ to die for me.” Then put your faith in Him, trust Him, cling to that raft in the middle of the flood, and you’ll find that like Noah and his family in the ark, Jesus will bear you up over the troubled waters and carry you at last to that peaceful shore which He has prepared in heaven. 


From the lesson, how does the dating of the genealogy become fulfilled prophecy of the meaning of Methuselah’s name?
What factors lead people to conclude that they are in better spiritual shape than others around them?  What does this reveal about their own understanding of themselves and their view of God?

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