Reading Genesis 5 is like pushing the fast forward button on the DVD where we only see flashes of the sequence. Chapter 5 is a fast forward from Creation to the Flood. Because of the pace, it appears that not much happens and that it moves quickly, but it didn’t. Those people lived hundreds of years.
Chapter 5 portrays an overview of Seth’s line. It stands in stark contrast to Cain’s, which continued to degrade. From the moment that people left the presence of God, they forgot about Him. They became consumed with their own work, their own building, their own talents. And as time marched on for hundreds of years—people worked, took spouses, bore children, and lived for themselves. To live outside the presence of God is to live selfishly, and so they did. And so do we.
Yet, in the midst of large scale degradation, there was one line that remained within God’s presence. It is the line of Adam through Seth. As Seth viewed Adam’s life, so his son viewed his (and his grandfather’s), and his son viewed his, (and his grandfather’s and great grandfather’s), and so on and so on—all through the rising corruption of humanity. All these people made a difference, for good or for bad, for hundreds of years. Adam could have impacted, first hand, family members for 8 generations before he died.
We don’t have 8 generations to pour into. We have one, two, and three at the most. We don’t have hundreds of years to teach and pray. Time was cut short for man’s own good, so that he didn’t have time to bring about his utter demise. But, the time for good is limited as well.
Let’s make every day count—today, tomorrow, and the next. Genesis 5 moves from the beginning to judgment and is as fast-paced as one lifetime. We only get one.