Thursday, December 18, 2014

Devotion on Genesis 6 - Men of Renown, Heroes of Old

Scripture: Genesis 6:4
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

When you think of famous people, who comes to mind? When someone mentions the word "hero," what do you think of?

In Genesis 6:4, the Bible says that the Nephilim were men of renown, heroes of old. Historically understood to be the offspring of angels and human women, these Nephilim certainly would have been physically impressive. They were probably handsomely beautiful and more than humanly strong. We are also given to understand that they were taller than normal men. Undoubtedly, they could accomplish great feats of heroism and so win fame for themselves.

But what type of heroes were these men?

As we read further, one theme of the growing evil of humanity was a propensity toward violence (verses 11 and 13). People were attacking one another, and groups of people were warring against others. Seeing that these Nephilim would have been heavy hitters, along with the fact that they are not mentioned as being righteous, as Noah was, we can imagine that their acts of heroism and famous deeds were performed on the battlefield in acts of violence.

The other men of their day would have regarded them as heroes, but not God. God's hero was an old man named Noah. As far as we know, Noah wasn't as physically impressive as the Nephilim were, and he didn't have any war stories to tell. But he was righteous and blameless, and he walked with God.

As you think about your heroes and those people of renown in our culture, consider what it means to be a hero in God's eyes. Good looks, athletic prowess, business acumen, a brilliant intellect, and artistic talent are nothing compared to a heart turned toward God.

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