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Before the Law of Moses people had no written revelation from God. How did people in Noah's day know about creation and the sin of Adam and Eve? How did Abraham and Isaac know about the Flood of Noah's day? Did God leave people with no way of knowing how to please Him? Has His message to us been lost throughout history?
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Scripture records many generations from Adam to Abraham. Specifically:
Adam to Noah: 10 generations (Genesis 5); Noah to Isaac: 11 generations (Genesis 11)
During this time, people had no written revelation from God. God spoke directly to the patriarchs or heads of families. But how would people in Abraham’s day know about the flood, creation, or the first sin? Consider the long ages people lived.
Someone calculated the ages from Adam to Abraham and Isaac. Here is what they learned.
* Adam lived long enough he could have known Methuselah and his generation.
* Methuselah lived long enough he could have known Noah and his son Shem. So although Noah was the tenth generation from Adam, he and Shem could have heard the story of creation from someone who heard it directly from Adam!
* Shem lived long enough he could have known Abraham and even his son Isaac. So Abraham and Isaac could have heard the story of the flood firsthand from someone who was on the ark. And they could have heard the story of creation from someone who heard the story from someone who got it from Adam! So although Abraham and Isaac were twenty generations away from Adam, the story of creation could pass to them through only two other people. *
This genealogy listed people in a direct line from Adam to Abraham. But hundreds or thousands of other people would have lived this long who were not in that direct lineage but could have passed these stories down.
So thousands of people in Abraham and Isaac’s day could have heard the story of the flood firsthand from someone who was on the ark. And they could have heard the story of creation as it passed through just two other people between them and Adam! That is like hearing a story from your great-grandfather.
Like Noah, any of them could have heard the story of creation and the first sin from someone who heard it directly from Adam.
This old world is not as old as some people think it is. And even today we find ways to confirm Bible accounts by archaeology and secular history.
Throughout history, people could know God’s will. God does not leave people without a way to know how to please Him. Today this revelation comes to us in written form in the Scriptures. He has confirmed that message by fulfilled prophecy, miracles, and Jesus’ resurrection.
2 Timothy 3:15-17 – … the Holy Scriptures … are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
1 Peter 1:22-25 – …you have purified your souls in obeying the truth … having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
God revealed His will, inspired men to write it, confirmed it by miracles, fulfilled prophecy, and the resurrection, then preserved it by His providence so we can know His will today.
* Creation Magazine, Vol 45, No. 2, 2023
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2023; gospelway.com
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.