Gensis 5, Matthew 5, Ezra 5, Acts 5

DateVersionReading Plan
@January 5, 2024ESV (2016)ESV M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Genesis 5

Going through the early genealogy of mankind, the repetition of “and he died” (Gen. 5:5; Gen. 5:8; Gen. 5:11; etc.) drives home a sobering reminder of the fall that, rather than the eternal life of original design, there is now certain death for every human being.

Genesis 5:28–29 (ESV)

28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son 29 and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.”

Noah is the only son listed in the genealogies of whom his father speaks. It demonstrates the unique role that Noah would later have.

Matthew 5

Matthew 5:11–12 (ESV)

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Following the final beatitude, this call to rejoice right after speaking of reviling and persecution serves as a healthy reminder to the type heavenly focus we are to have in the face of worldly opposition.

Matthew 5:18–19 (ESV)

18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus here underlines the presence and importance of abiding in the law until heaven and earth pass away. He came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17) and do so perfectly.

Jesus’ superseding of laws and statutes around anger, lust, divorce and others in this chapter is notable. Every time He says, “But I say to you”, He is either giving deeper clarity or entirely changing the criteria of adherence. Only as Creator of these laws can He do this and only a God of love would provide such understanding.

Ezra 5

Ezra 5:11–12 (ESV)

11 And this was their reply to us: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. 12 But because our fathers had angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried away the people to Babylonia.

In Tattenai’s letter sent to Darius the king of the testimony of those rebuilding the temple, we see admission that the reason why the original temple was destroyed was due to their fathers angering God. It shows a definite change in posture from previous wayward generations that their hearts were oriented toward God.

Acts 5

Acts 5:3–4 (ESV)

3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.”

In Acts 5:3, Peter said that Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit and then in Acts 5:4, he says that he lied to God, making the connection that the Spirit is Himself God. It is important to see this as it one of many instances in which the Triune nature of God is revealed.

Acts 5:19–20 (ESV)

19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”

Interesting how “Life” is here capitalized in the ESV. In other translations such as the NIV, CSB, NLT and KJV, it is not capitalized.

Acts 5:29–32 (ESV)

29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

It seems good to note here the circumstances of Peter’s refusal to obey men. We are to be subject to the governing authorities (Rom. 13:1), but if that conflicts with our witness and speaking of salvation through Christ, the latter surpasses the former in priority. Of course, we are to do this with love and compassion, not on our own selfish ambition but to win hearts to the hope we have in Jesus.

Carson on Genesis 5

God does not want us to shut our eyes to the effects of our sin, to the inevitability of death. Nevertheless, this chapter includes one bright exception: “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Gen. 5:24). It is almost as if God is showing that death is not ontologically necessary; that those who walk with God one day escape death; that even for those who die, there is hope—in God’s grace—of life beyond our inevitable death. But it is tied to a walk with God. It will take the rest of the Bible to unpack what that means.

What a picture of hope we see expounded here on Enoch; that God took him away and that there is life in Christ beyond our inevitable death.