Monday, November 26, 2012

Moriah 5: Progenitor Chart

When I got back from Biloxi, I opened up the Bible to page one.  I sat back.  What can I do to really get into Genesis and learn what is being said here?  I started making notes about everything. 

I wrote a lot out, and studied and evaluated everything. 

I did very well until Genesis Chapter 5.  Let me just remark that there are these sections of the Bible which can be, shall we say a “challenge” to read.  Chapter 5 is one of those chapters.  It reads like a family tree.  “So-and-so lived seventy years and begat so-and-so, and that same so-and-so lived after he begat the second so-and-so eight hundred and forty years and begat other so-and-sos: and all the days of the first so-and-so were nine hundred and ten years and he died.” 

These sections of the Bible can be somewhat dry and hard to stay focused on.  It became a personal challenge to my new found zeal to stay focused and find the golden nuggets of wisdom hidden away even in those sections.

I asked the question, “How can I rearrange this information so it means something to me?”  I chose to focus in on the names first.  I wrote out the meaning of each name.  I’d heard somewhere that the names correspond to historical happenings.  I didn’t see that, but it was interesting none-the-less.  I looked up each Hebrew word in the Strong’s Concordance and wrote out its translation as well as the identifying number.

I didn’t feel like I got enough out of that study.

I thought back to my Operations Research background and asked, “What did they teach us about showing time periods in Inventory Management Class? 

Gantt Charts!  Perfect.

I put the following chart together based off of the information in Chapter 5, then added to it as I came across more names in Genesis.  My chart was complete.


I took a step back and looked at the Gantt chart then asked myself what can I learn from this chart?  The first thing I noticed was the oldest man who ever lived (Methuselah) died the same year the flood came. 

He couldn’t have died in the flood, I thought, God must have waited till he died and then let loose with the flood.  Perhaps one thing we can deduce is that he was the last living righteous man other than Noah?

Then I noticed Enoch, who never actually died, it just says, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Gen 5:24)  He went to be with the Lord just 57 years after Adam passed away. 

I wonder if it took Enoch 57 years to find out about Father Adam’s death.  Then when he found out, he asked God where Adam had gone, and God took him to show him and he just kind of decided to stay there. 

Other than that, I noticed the duration of the patriarch’s lives getting shorter after the flood.  I’ve heard this described as a result of the bursting of a vapor canopy.  The vapor canopy is described in Genesis 1:7, “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.”  Somehow, the vapor canopy seemed to increase a person’s life span.

I thought a long time about that chart.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized the chart had a lot to do with the message I had put in my pocket that Sunday morning.  The message was still on my mind, growing and getting deeper with time and study.  Maybe the message possessed more insight than my young mind could really fathom at the time.