After having Seth, Adam and Eve had more sons and daughters. All of them had many sons and daughters as well. The world was filling up with these humans that were made in the image of God. But there was a problem. The image of God was just as broken in the descendants of Adam and Eve as it had been in Adam and Eve. They had passed the brokenness and pollution forward. The great, tragic rebellion against the Lord continued, just as we saw in the life of Cain and his sons. It certainly looked like Satan was winning.
As the civilizations of humanity grew, certain men rose to power. They were men of great renown. They saw themselves as divine kings who ruled over the rest of the people. They were arrogant against the Lord just like Cain and Lamech, only now they were worse. Now they claimed to be gods themselves! Their power and success came from the demonic forces of the fallen angels they served. Satan and his evil servants were doing everything they could to tempt and destroy humans. The demons must have cackled as these men gave into temptation. They became totally possessed and controlled by them. The leaders of humanity sunk further and further into darkness, violence, and corruption. The rest of the human race followed right after them.
Humans were made in the image of God to bring the order and purity of God’s ways, but instead, they gave themselves over to chaos and filth. As the power of these men grew, they began to abuse it. The rulers took whatever women they found beautiful and married as many of them as they desired. The children of these demonic unions were called the Nephilim, which means “fallen ones.” They lived as tyrants, violent and foul. They terrorized the land. The stories of their lives grew into myths and legends, and they, too, allowed themselves to be worshiped as gods.
Society fell into deeper and darker and filthier ways. Humanity became a race of horrific violence, cold-blooded and cruel. The whole culture was corrupt. This is what the Bible says,
“The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth…for I am grieved that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.”
Imagine what it would be like to live in the midst of and at the mercy of this evil. Danger and abuse were around ever corner. Imagine how difficult it would be to be a righteous person when everyone around you was doing wrong. If everyone cheated and lied to get their desires, it would be very hard, almost impossible, to stay honest, especially if that meant you couldn’t get the things you really needed. If everyone around you was violent and stole things, even stealing from you, it would be much harder not to be violent or steal from them! When nobody else cared about what was right and good, it was much harder to do what was right and good. The righteousness of Noah is truly a remarkable thing.
What was God going to do about His faithful servant Noah? How would He wipe every other human off the planet? And would it stop the rebellion?