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Our heavenly Father, that is our prayer, that you would open our eyes that we may behold wonderful things out of Your law. We ask now that you teach us, You shape us, You correct us, lead us. Give us eyes to see Christ on every page of Your holy book. Give us ears to hear Your voice. Speak, O Lord, for Your servants are listening. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Our text this morning comes from Genesis chapter 6. You’re going to want to have a Bible open ’cause we are going to be following word by word, verse by verse, through this difficult passage. Genesis chapter 6, verses 1 through 8.
What we have here are probably the most debated verses in all of Genesis, and various words and phrases and almost verse have multiple interpretations. So follow along as I read these important verses.
“When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.”
“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”
This is one of those passages that is complicated, confusing, debated, and at the same time unbelievably straightforward.
How can both of those things be true? Well, the big idea is simple, and we’ll come to that at the very end.
The verses are quite confusing, or to put it another way, you could say there is a lot to argue about among the trees, and people, good people, don’t agree on everything as you look at the individual trees. But if you step back and you see the forest, it looks rather clear, and the point can be brought home simply and powerfully.
You’ve ever seen those images that are online and you look and they’re so zoomed in on some object that you can’t tell what it is and you just see red and white colors and you guess what it is and then they show zoomed out, oh, it’s a striped candy cane, but when you’re that close in it’s hard to see what you’re looking at.
Well, we are going to do a close walk through the trees of these verses, and that will take most of our time. But we’re doing that so that by the end we can step out of the trees and hopefully see the forest and the larger, most significant point can be brought home with greater force.
So no fancy outline, but you want to have your Bible open as we are going to try to understand what’s going on with a number of difficult places in these verses.
First, let me remind you where we are. We are in the toledoth of Adam. You see that in chapter 5 verse 1, “This is the book of the generations of Adam.” Genesis is divided into 10 toledoth, that’s the Hebrew word translated generation. And we are in the one of Adam.
Remember what we saw in chapter 5. There’s long life, there’s offspring, there’s blessing, there’s multiplication, but at the same time there’s the curse of death, the constant refrain is “Adam lived and he died, Seth lived and he died, Enosh lived and he died,” all without exception, except for Enoch.
Now keep this in mind that we are in the toledoth of Adam’s line through Seth. Chapter 4 we had a genealogy of Adam’s line through Cain, chapter five is the genealogy of Adam’s line through Seth. This promised line, which has blessing but also has death. It’s going to be important in a minute, you’ll see why, because it affects how we might interpret various points in this passage. Remember, we are in the toledoth of Adam’s line through Seth.
Look at verse 1: “When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them.” So we see from the beginning we are in a situation of blessing and at least some general obedience. Why? Because man is reproducing, multiplying, on the face of the land. This is exactly what God said in Genesis 1, that as image-bearers you are to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it. And so some of that is going on.
Interestingly, what’s noted is that daughters were born to them. It’s not that we haven’t heard of daughters before, but generally you hear about the father and the son, but the daughters are mentioned because we are going to pick up immediately in verse 2 with the daughters of man who are being married off to these sons of God. So we’re in a situation of multiplication and you might think that good is happening on the earth, but very quickly we’re going to see that that is not what marks out humanity in general.
Verse 2: “The sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.”
How are we to understand the “sons of God?” You can read the commentaries just as I did; I have about 12 of them that I’m looking at in whole or in part, working through Genesis, and you can see that there are a lot of different interpretations. There are three main ways of interpreting the “sons of God” here in verse 2.
One is to see them as a dynastic line of kings. And it’s true that sometimes in the Old Testament a ruler, a judge, a magistrate, a king, is called a “son of God.” Or in Psalm 82, they’re just called elohim, gods, what we might write as lower case “g.” So it’s not unfamiliar language to talk about a king this way. And yet there’s no place in the Old Testament where as a class of people kings are called, in the plural, “sons of God.” So that might be a little strange.
More importantly, it’s hard to see how kings fit in the context. We have not been talking about kings. In fact, one of the distinctions you may remember between the genealogy in Genesis and those, say, from the Sumerians, is that theirs followed the line of kings, and here we are following simply the line of these ancient men and patriarchs.
So it would be a bit unusual to introduce kings all of a sudden in chapter 6 and to do so in such an obscure way. That’s the first interpretation.
The second, and you’re smart people, you’re thinking, “I bet number three is going to be the right answer.” Well, I’m going to make that case, but here’s number two and a lot of good, smart people are convinced that two is the right interpretation, and that is to see the sons of God as angels, some kind of supernatural beings. And it seems that you have this language in Job 1:6 and Job 2:1, there it speaks of the sons of God and seems to be angels. We know from other parts of Scripture that angels can take human form, can be confused for human beings. Genesis 18, the angels that come and visit Abram and Sarai, or Hebrews says some of you have visited with angels unaware, so it’s not unheard of that there might be angels among people and human beings not recognize that they’re angels.
Many of the earliest interpreters understood this to be a reference to angels. Many of the church fathers and the intertestamental Jewish book 1 Enoch understood it this way. Although interestingly, the rabbis in the time of the church pronounced a curse on anyone who took the angel view.
If we’re talking about angels, then the sin here would be transgressing proper boundaries. It’s hard to see what the sin would be if we’re dealing with kings. Why would it be a sin for kings to marry the daughters of man, unless of course they took as any they chose as a reference to polygamy, but I don’t see it as a reference to polygamy.
So it makes sense why it would be a sin for angels to do this, and some people draw a connection between this passage and 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6, we’ll come to 2 Peter 2 shortly in the Sunday evening, and there it talks about angels who did not keep within their proper bounds and then were cast into chains and you could make the argument that that’s referring to this episode. Or you could argue that it’s referring to some angelic rebellion in time before we meet Adam and Eve in the garden. So there are reasons to think that the sons of God could be angels.
However, there are some significant problems with this view. One you may have going through your mind, Jesus’ statement several places in the Gospels, that angels are neither married nor given in marriage. It seems that the New Testament describes angels as asexual beings.
Also, though angels can take human form, like Genesis 18, it’s one thing to think of an angel, and you don’t you’re having a meal with an angel and eats a piece of bread, it’s another thing to think of an angel as having sex with a human being. And not only having sex with the daughters of men, but you look at the language at the end of verse 2: “They took as their wives any they chose.” So okay, angels unaware, so maybe there’s an angel looks like a normal human person, eats a meal; angel looks like a human being but has sex with women? That’s getting weird. And then angels who are inhabiting earthly spaces for such a degree of time that they woo a bride and get permission from a father and have a ceremony and get married? Then this is really stretching credulity to the breaking point.
Most important why I’m not convinced by the angel interpretation, think of what we have here in chapter 6. We’re going to have the flood, which is a punishment for who? Not for angels, no record of angels being swept up in the flood. It’s a punishment on human beings. And even in near context, in verse 3, which we’ll come to, which is some sort of punishment, that befalls human flesh, not angels. So if the real perpetrators of the crime in verse 2 are angels, why are human beings being punished in verse 3 and in the rest of the chapter?
So, if that’s not right, there’s a third interpretation. And that is to argue that the sons of God is a reference to the chosen line of Seth. Think about it. It’s not unusual in the Old Testament for God’s people to be called bene Israel or bene Elohim, sons of God, children of God. It doesn’t have to be a specific reference to any particular individual as much as it is a way of descending God’s chosen people, the sons of God. You could even translate it “godly sons.” So that this is a reference to the line of Seth, and that’s why I said at the beginning, remember where we are, we are in the toledoth of Adam, which is tracing out the lineage through the line of Seth. So it would make sense having just done that in chapter 5 that in chapter 6 we’re now still talking about this line that comes from Seth.
So the sin on this reading is that the sons of God, God’s chosen line, the descendants through Seth, were taking any of the wives that they chose. In other words, they’re not just marrying among their own people. They’re not just marrying among those who would share their same faith. The end of chapter 4: “People began to call upon the name of the Lord when Seth was born.” It’s the Seth-ite line who are the true worshipers of Yahweh, who for the first time have a formal worship of Yahweh, not the Cain-ites.
But yet we read here that the sons of God, the chosen line of Seth, are choosing for themselves any of the wives. And in fact, I think we’re meant to see a comparison in verse 2 with how the Cain-ite line operated in chapter 4.
Look at chapter 4, verse 19, it says: “And Lamech,” remember there’s two Lamechs, just to keep us on our toes, there’s the Lamech who’s the father of Noah, this is the bad Lamech, seventh in line through Cain. He “took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.” “Adah” means ornament, “Zillah” means tinkling, as in a sound, so one commentator calls them “a pretty face and a sweet voice.” There’s nothing wrong with a pretty face and a sweet voice, but it’s highlighting what Lamech, the first polygamist, was looking for in his wife. He is looking for a pretty face, a sweet voice, he is looking for all of the external things.
And so, when you come to chapter 6, verse 2, it’s significant that the sons of God saw the daughters of man were attractive. So the line of Seth is acting like the line of Cain, and they are living by sight, not by faith.
So the sin here is that the chosen line, which was meant to be in worship of Yahweh, is acting like the accursed line, the line of Cain, and so the Seth-ites are intermarrying with the Cain-ites, looking at the attractive women and picking whichever one they want. That is the sin, and that is why God is angry, not just with the Cain-ites, but now with all people.
Verse 3. I told you there’s a lot there. We haven’t even got to the Nephilim. Verse 3: “The Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh; his days shall be 120 years.”
There are two ways of interpreting this verse. One is to see this as a punishment on the lifespan of human beings, that because you’ve sinned in this way, now you’re no longer going to have these long lives, 900 years, but you’re going to be limited to 120 years. And that’s somewhat plausible. By the end of the Pentateuch, Moses, the last person to die in the Pentateuch, he lives to be 120 years old. And yet, when we get to Genesis chapter 11, with the genealogy of Shem after the flood, we’ll see that those lives are not at all limited to 120 years. Shem lives 600, Arphaxad 438, Salah 433, Eber lived 464 years. So it seems difficult to reconcile that God is limiting their years to 120 when all of the immediate people after the flood are living longer than that.
So there’s a second way of interpreting it, and that is to see that this is a warning of the judgment to come, that God says “I will give you three generations,” 3 times 40, “120 years of warning, of patience, and then I will wipe out the earth.”
You see there in verse 3: “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever.” That has the language of warning, as if God is saying, “Look, I am not going to live with you sinful people forever.” It’s like Jonah going to Nineveh and saying “40 days and Nineveh will be destroyed.” He’s giving them a warning of the judgment to come. 1 Peter 3:20 says “God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.” This is likely that “waited patiently.” Okay, enough is enough, but I’ll give you 120 years and then the judgment is coming.
Which brings us to verse 4, the Nephilim. Who are the Nephilim? Many an eager Ph.D. student has probably gotten degrees over the years in trying to figure out just who the Nephilim are. Well, the Nephilim is a Hebrew word which means “Nephilim.” We don’t know what it means, which is why the translators have just transliterated it and put their Nephilim, which is probably the right thing to do, to say “we’re not quite sure, let your pastor figure it out.”
It comes from the Hebrew word “nepel,” which means “to fall,” and so many commentators think that the Nephilim is a reference to the fallen ones, some clan or race or group of fallen something or other. It’s important to note that the Nephilim are not the same as the sons of God in verse 2, nor are the Nephilim the offspring that were born to the sons of God and the daughters of man.
See, you can quickly get down a road where these verses seem to be just a sort of embarrassing bit of pagan mythology, that there’s gods on the earth and they’re having sex with women and they give birth to a race of some superhuman creatures called the Nephilim. But that’s not what’s happening.
We know that the Nephilim are not the sons of God and not their offspring because it says, verse 4, “the Nephilim were on the earth in those days and also afterward.” In other words, it’s a chronological marker. And though we don’t know a lot about the Nephilim, or next to nothing, apparently it was a well-known group in Moses’ day when he was writing it that he could say, “This took place in the days of the Nephilim,” and everyone would say, “Oh, right, right, right.” Somebody says this took place in the days of Lincoln or the days of Napoleon, or something, and everyone would sort of know, “Oh, yeah, I know what you’re talking about,” even if we don’t.
The Nephilim are the same as the mighty men at the end of the verse. “The Nephilim were on the earth and also afterward when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and bore children,” so that’s our time marker. The time that this was happening with the sons of God, daughters of men, that’s also the time of the Nephilim.
And then the second sentence, “These,” referencing the Nephilim, “were the mighty men.” That’s the Hebrew word “Gibborim.” So the Nephilim were the Gibborim, they’re mighty men, a group of famous or perhaps infamous warriors, chieftains, warring tribes, some sort of people who were well-known.
There is one other verse in the Bible which references the Nephilim. It’s Numbers 11:33 [sic]. This is where the spies go into Canaan and they come back and ten of them give a bad report and surely they’re speaking in some exaggeration and hyperbole because they’re scared and they don’t want Israel to try to take the land as God told them to, and remember what they said? “We were like grasshoppers. There’s giants in the land.” And they say, “We saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak).”
Now it doesn’t mean they literally saw the descendants of the Nephilim, because think about it, everyone is wiped out in the flood except for the household of Noah. What they mean in Numbers is “we saw people that were like the great men of old, the giants of old, we were like grasshoppers to them, they were mighty men of renown, they were mighty warriors.”
The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, translates back in Genesis the Nephilim with the word “gigantes,” gigantic, giants, which is why some translations will render Nephilim as the giants. Now when you hear that, again, you don’t have to think of men as tall as skyscrapers, Jack and the Beanstalk, or the Jolly Green Giant, or the Stay Puft marshmallow man or some nasty giants marching through the land. Goliath was a giant, 9 feet tall, so certainly massive.
So the giants are some groups of people that were much larger than normal, strong, tall, mighty, full of exploits. These are the Nephilim.
And Genesis 6 is marking out that this sin with the sons of God and the daughters of man took place during the age of the Nephilim, like the giants of old, these mighty warriors.
Now there’s one other tree that we need to deal with before we can back out and look at the forest, and that’s in the second paragraph. Notice what it says about God, it’s very striking language. Verse 6: “And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart.”
Verse 7, He says “I am sorry that I have made them.”
What do we do with this language? God regretting, grieving, being pained in His heart? How does this square with other depictions of God in the Bible and what our theology informs us about God’s character?
The Westminster Confession of Faith says God is “infinite in being and perfection, a most pure Spirit, invisible, without body, parts or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty.”
And that’s true. God is immutable; it means He cannot change. Malachi 3: “I, the Lord, do not change.” He is without parts, so He’s not a composite of body parts, He’s not a composite of attributes. He’s without parts, He’s not like Voltron or a transformer that all comes together. And He’s without passions. You may have tripped over that in the Westminster Confession before because we think of passions as a good thing, “So-and-so’s passionate,” well, that’s good, is really passionate. God without passion sounds like He’s a stoic philosopher or inert.
But the Westminster Assembly understood “passions” to mean that something happens to you and renders you “passive.” Passions are what sweep over you, that you have no control over. We tend to speak of everything with a blanket term of emotions, but actually emotion is a fairly recent term, last 200 years or so, and theologians distinguish before that between sentiments, which are one thing, affections, which were another thing, passions. The theological language is that affections are a motion of the will. God has affections, He has inclinations, He has motions toward good, away from evil, but He does not have passions, He is never rendered passive. Things don’t just happen to God.
So how do we understand this striking language? Well, I think we can recognize, in just reading our Bibles, that there are a number of anthropomorphisms. That means a number of times in the Bible where certain human descriptions, body parts, are ascribed to God, and we understand instinctively God is invisible, and this is a way of accommodating to our understanding. Anytime we speak of God, we can’t speak exhaustively or perfectly, even though we can speak truly of God. That is to say, our language is always analogical, it says true things about God, infallibly true things, and yet God is always beyond us.
Think of all the times in the Bible where God is described as having body or body parts. In Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics he lists this, if you’re so inclined you can look. It’s Volume 2, page 100, you can get all the Scripture references. He says that in the Bible God is described as having a face, eyes, eyelids, ears, nose, mouth, tongue, lips, neck, arm, hand, finger, heart, intestines, bosom, and feet. All of those are attributed to God.
But we read them and we instinctively understand God doesn’t really have eyes, arm, hand, finger, intestines, and feet. This is a way of helping us understand what God is like.
Well, just as there are anthropomorphisms, give you another multi-syllabic word, like multi-syllabic, I guess, there are anthropopathisms. What’s that? Anthropomorphism is descending God with human language and body, anthropopathism is describing God as having human-like emotions, or pathos. And we see this often in Scripture. God remembers, forgets, He rests, He sits, He stands, He grieves, He regrets.
Again, we instinctively read that and understand God doesn’t remember things in the same way we remember. He doesn’t forget as if it’s absent from His mind and He needs to look it up. He doesn’t search things out like we do a Google search because He’s ignorant. And in the same way He doesn’t grieve or regret or repent in the way that humans would.
1 Samuel 15:29 says God is not a man that He should regret or He should change His mind.
So this language, whether it says God has feet, and we know, well, He doesn’t have feet like we have feet, or when it speaks of God’s emotions, you say, well, He doesn’t have emotions like we have emotions, or He’s grieved, or He’s sorry, or He’s hurt. Well, it’s not the same way in which a human being would be grieved or sorry.
All of that is to say we must let of all Scripture and the best of our theological tradition help inform us when we come to passages like this. And yet, we don’t want to be so careful that we end up saying, “Well, I wish, you know, the Bible really should have been more careful in how it said something here.”
No, we want to put the necessary guardrails and yet we want to let these provocative words provoke us. These verses mean something. The Bible is using this provocative language to describe God’s horror, God’s sadness, God’s disappointment, God’s anger, over sin.
If you look at chapter 5:29, Lamech, Noah’s father, says “Out of the ground that the LORD has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work, from the painful toil of our hands.” If I can put this with anthropopathic language, just as Lamech is saying we experience the pain of this fallen world, there is a sense in which, with all of those guardrails, God is pained by the sin of this fallen world.
At least Moses wants to describe God with this evocative language, not because God is waking up; He doesn’t wake up, He doesn’t experience time like we do, not that God is saying, “Oh, boy, wow, I didn’t see that coming, that was a big mistake.” But to describe God’s horror over what has taken place among His image-bearers.
Which allow us, then, finally, to step away from the trees and look at the forest. Because when we look at the forest as a whole, the big idea in this passage is rather straightforward. It’s this: Even as civilization spreads, even as population increases, even as these men of old are given extraordinarily long lives, even in the midst of all this blessing, the story of mankind is the story of degeneracy, depravity, and disobedience.
Look at the sons of God again. This is just the latest example of the curse infecting every area of the planet. We are meant to see that the sin of the sons of God has echoes of the first sin in the garden. Remember Genesis 3, verse 6: So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was a delight to the eyes, that it was to be desired, she took of it and ate. The woman saw the fruit and said, “That’s an attractive piece of fruit, and whatever God has said, that looks good and I want it.”
And here we have the sons of God. Not the Cain-ites but the chosen line, who should have known better. And just like Adam and Eve in the garden, they look out at the daughters of man and say, “Those women are attractive, I desire them, I want them, and whatever God says, I will have them.”
It’s a repeat, the same sin manifesting itself again and again. They thought they knew better than God. They, like Adam and Eve, now living by sight, not by faith.
And we haven’t looked at verse 5 yet. You would be hard-pressed to describe the sinful state of man in any stronger language than verse 5 does: “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth.” Now think about what he might have said, or we would like him to say: “The LORD saw the civilizational accomplishments of man were great on the earth. The LORD saw the cultural achievements of man were great on the earth. The LORD saw the increase and the population growth of man was great on the earth.”
But of all the things that most stood out to God, it was none of those. What most stood out was the greatness of man’s wickedness. And what follows is a sevenfold description of man’s wickedness. “Every,” no exception, “intention,” so this is not an accident, “thoughts,” this is not merely your deeds but comes from within, “of your hearts,” so you can’t say this is peripheral to you, that this is something else, this comes from the very core of your being, “was only,” nothing else, “evil,” we can’t call it weakness, we can’t call it struggling, we can’t call it a growth edge, it’s “evil continually.” No letting up.
This sevenfold description of man’s wickedness, every intention of the thoughts of his heart were only evil all the time.
It’s a constant, pounding drumbeat. Their wickedness is great. No wonder God’s response is to be grieved in His heart, to look out and say, “This is not the world I wanted. This is not the life I drew up for My image-bearers. This is not what I saw in Genesis 1:31 when I said ‘Behold, it is very good.'”
It’s rotten to the core. It’s wicked. He says, “I will blot out man from the earth, and because of man’s sin, animals, creeping things, fish, birds, all of it wiped out.” Think of that language: “I will blot out.” Later it’s used to describe atonement for our sin, as if to say here, “Sin must be blotted out by divine sacrifice or sinners must be blotted out by divine chastisement. I will wipe them out.”
Here are two questions to ask yourself: Are we that bad? Is God that mad?
Now you might say, well, this is about this particular generation on the earth. And it’s true, Genesis 6:5 is not the indictment of every household everywhere on the planet. And yet, we already heard from Psalm 14: There is no one who seeks after God, no, not one.
Left to ourselves, apart from God’s redeeming grace, this is the indictment of the human race. Their wickedness is great. Are we that bad? Is humanity, apart from Christ, that bad? Because if it is, well, that’s going to say everything about the sort of ministry you have in the Church, about what the mission of the Church is, about your explanation for why the world is the way that it is.
Are we that bad? Is God that mad?
We live in a time where people are perpetually offended, sometimes for real, sometimes it’s a posture, a performative offensiveness, but everyone’s triggered, everyone’s hurt, everyone’s offended, everyone’s wounded. Do we consider the most offended being in the universe? God. Who made us in His image, who gave us everything, and we sin against Him, and the greatest thing about us as the human race is our wickedness. That’s the Bible.
Do you believe it? Do you acknowledge that we are that bad and God has a right to be that mad? Because if that’s not the case, the flood story won’t make any sense to us. And the cross won’t make any sense.
But we can’t quite end there. Because there’s verse 8.
You may know famously in Ephesians chapter 2 after all of the bad news of dead and trespasses and sins and sons of disobedience, there’s a turn that says, “But God,” and there comes the good news.
Well, here in verse 8 we have, “But Noah.” Now that’s not actually about Noah, it’s about God. “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” So, with all of the wickedness on the earth, with all of the curse infecting God’s creation, with the sons of God sinning and taking the wives of the daughters of man, with the great wickedness only evil all the time, in the midst of all of this with God’s threatening punishment and 120 years to blot them out of the face of the earth, there’s still hope. Noah found favor. Here’s one man with whom God is not angry.
There is hope, there is the glimmer of grace in the midst of all of humanity’s rebellion and treason and treachery. And of course, if we know our Bibles, we know that Noah proves to be quite the sinner himself. But there is a man to come, one with whom God will be infinitely and always pleased, His beloved Son, and He will find favor, and you, too, can know that grace if you belong to that Son.
So the question for you this morning is not just, “Are we that bad?” and “Is God that mad?” but “Have you found favor with God?”
Have you experienced that grace? Do you know that you do not have to be among those with whom God is angry? There is a way to escape the flood of God’s judgment. There is an ark that can rescue the people of God.
So in the midst of all that is evil, all that is sinful, all that is treacherous, we have here in these eight verses a glimmer of grace, that perhaps sin does not have the final word after all.
Let’s pray. Our Father in heaven, we thank You for Your grace and Your favor. We pray that we would know Your blessing, the blessing we can only know in Christ. Lead us to faith and repentance in Him, that we may escape the wrath to come, and so be set free form our sin and out misery. In Jesus’ name. Amen.