Thursday, March 20, 2014

We've Never Done it That Way! Are You Sure?

I was reading through Genesis 5. That's the riveting story where we learn the ages of Adam and the next 7 generations, when they had their first baby boy and when they died. Yeah...riveting. 

If you actually sit down and focus on the numbers, it's kind of funny. Adam had Seth when he was 130. Even if you account for Cain and Abel being around 20-30 when 'the incident' happened, that means Adam became a father first at around 100 years old. (And we shouldn't assume that Cain and Abel weren't teenagers when things got out of hand. 

Seth was 105 when he had Enosh.
Enosh was 90 when he had Kenan.
Kenan was 70 when he had Mahalalel. 
Mahalalel was 65 when he had Jared. I imagine there was some unrest when this happened. Only 65? Are you sure you're ready to be a dad, Mahalalel? After all, you're only 65. 
But then Jared waited until 162 to have Enoch. That's more like it. Become stable and live a century and a half before settling down and having a family that will depend on you. 

Oh, none of this accounts for how long they lived. Adam lived to be 930. That means he became a grandpa at 235. At least he was still young enough to get down and play with the grandkids. I'm sure Eve appreciated that. 

Of course, Seth became a grandfather before he turned 200. Imagine the energy he still had! 

Why do I tell you all this? Flip on over to Genesis 11 and you can read the timeline between Shem, son of Noah, all the way to Abraham. While Shem had his kid at 100 years of age, the next 5 or 6 generations started their families at ridiculously young ages. They were all in their 30's. Who starts a family at that age? (never mind the fact that I was 26 when I started mine.) 

Terah was at least a more respectable 70 when he had Abraham. Then, if you recall, Abraham received the outlandish promise that he would have a boy in his old age. This is all about perspective, isn't it? 

Why did Abraham and Sarah doubt? Why did they laugh and scoff at the idea? Even if they were unaware of the ages of Adam and his descendants when they had kids, hadn't he ever noticed that his own dad was fairly old when he had him? 

Granted, Abraham ended up being 30 years older than that, but the principle here remains. It doesn't take us too many years to get stuck in new habits and then fight against those being messed with. Our new habits quickly become old habits and pretty soon we're being told what can't happen because we've never done it that way

History is funny like that. Perhaps we should keep in mind that not only are we tiny specks when compared to God. We are tiny specks when compared to the history of mankind. Just because we haven't seen it happen in some way doesn't mean that it never happened that way. Or that it couldn't happen in a new way! This refers to everything, from the methods we use to read scriptures to how we collect money to the programs we use to teach our children the greatest story ever told. 

Are you feeling stuck in any old habits? Perhaps now is the time to reconsider just how many ways God can accomplish something. 

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