Nephilim

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, February 18, 2013 13 comments

This week’s word, nephilim, is probably one that you’ve never heard before. There is no easy answer as to what the nephilim are / were, since there’s only little biblical support, but hopefully after reading this blog entry, your curiosity will at least be piqued.

One of the main Bible passages that refers to the nephilim is Genesis 6:4, which says: “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.”

Nephilim comes from the Hebrew verb naphal, which means to fall. The word nephilim itself is a plural noun from that verb, so it could be translated literally as “the fallen ones” or “the ones who fell.” But fell from what?

As that verse from Genesis 6 says, the “sons of God” had children with daughters of men. But what does that mean? Without much Biblical support for an answer, I turned to Answers In Genesis, an organization that has researched this. According to a blog post on their website, there are four main views on the nephilim:
Satan or fallen angels had children with human women, and these children were the nephilim.
Satan or fallen angels possessed men and made them breed with women.
The nephilim were fallen children from the Godly line of descendants from Adam to Noah, and they sought false gods.
Godly men took ungodly wives, and the nephilim were their children who rejected God and were wicked.

So if we don’t know what the nephilim are, why are they important to your daily life today? The passage quoted above from Genesis 6 occurs in a section where the Bible talks about how wicket the world was at the time - right before the big flood. I believe that whatever the nephilim were, the fact that they existed showed the extent of wickedness that was in the world. Because of that wickedness, God destroyed the earth with a great flood. If the nephilim of old had turned back toward God, perhaps the world could have been spared from the flood.

What does your life look like? Are you living for God, or have you fallen away from Him? God has promised to never again destroy the world with a great flood like back in the book of Genesis, but judgment is still coming for all of us. I encourage you today to take a good, hard look at your life and determine if you’re following God or if you have fallen away from him. Remember that you can never go too far away from God that He won’t take you back; His arms are always welcoming us back to Him!

13 comments:

Jamie Easthom said...

What gets me is that they were "mighty men" and "men of renown"

Anonymous said...

I hear it all the time in church and even read it in your blog that judgment day is coming. I agree, IT is coming, but doesn't God judge our behaviors, attitudes and beliefs on a daily basis? If he does care how we are living on a daily basis, then why does it SEEM like some Christians only focus on the big judgment day? Am I misunderstanding something? When people talk about future tense and how we should act accordingly because judgment day is coming...this is when the devil kicks in. Sometimes my mind will start telling me his lies. ie: Oh, judgment day isn't today why don't you dabble into your sinful ways and continue the Christian walk another time. OR Do what you want today and just ask for forgiveness tomorrow. So, I guess what I'm trying to ask.....can you give me a couple of scriptures to look up in the Bible that says God DOES care how we live on a daily basis.

Katie said...

Thanks for your comment! Yes, God definitely *does* care how we live every day! He loves us so much and is very involved in our every day lives, if we let Him be.

God has given us lots of instruction on how to live our daily lives; if He didn't care about each day, He wouldn't have instructed us so much! For some examples on this, check out Exodus 20 or the "sermon on the mount" in Matthew 5-7. Also check out Matthew 10:29-31, Psalm 139, and Colossians 2:6-7 to see the importance of everything in your life to God.

Christians tend to focus on the "big judgment day" because that is the day when final judgment will happen. But the kicker is, we don't know when that day will be. We need to live every day in Christ and serving Him, not only out of fear of judgment but more out of our love for Him and what He has done for us.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I plan to look up all these scriptures that you have given me. Here’s another question for you. Well, actually it is a scenario.

Let's say someone has accepted Christ as their personal savior and realizes that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, but this person is sinning on the day of judgment. Will this individual still be able to get into heaven?

Also, on judgment day does God really make an account of all the sins we have committed? If so, that seems kind of harsh and some what scary since I know the things that I have done.

Katie said...

As to your second question, people have theories on that but there is no proof one way or the other in the Bible. My personal belief is that God is a loving and just God, and if someone has committed their life to Him and tries to live according to His ways, even if they are sinning at that particular time He will still forgive them if they are repentant. God knows we can't be perfect, but He is loving and forgiving if we recognize our sins and are sorry for them.

As for keeping a record of sins, I don't believe God does. We know that when we're forgiven, God forgets our sins; so if we've been forgiven, then there's no record of them. Check out Psalm 130 on this.

The key here is to strive to have the best relationship with God that we can, through trying to live our lives for His glory, and to ask forgiveness and truly be sorry when we mess up.

Logan said...

To "Anonymous":

I tried to respond to your first comment yesterday, but it didn't let me complete it on my phone. Since Katie gave a bit of a different answer than what I had in mind, I still wanted to respond. I do agree with Katie, by the way, but a Scripture came to my mind instantly when I read your first comment that she didn't mention.

The Scripture passage I'm thinking about is Luke 12, and I would encourage you to read the entire chapter because it is filled with answers to your questions. The answers are not necessarily direct, but are there if you meditate on the chapter and read it several times to allow it to sink in.

Let me tell you just a little bit of what I get from it. Jesus tells his disciples with many other listening: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him" (vv. 4-5). Jesus is telling us (as his disciples) to fear God, because only God has such power. People associate hell with Satan, but Satan doesn't want to go there anymore than you and I. God is the one who created it so that those who decided they do not want a relationship with Him can be separate from Him for all eternity. It's the choice they make. Jesus speaks this because so often we get caught up in fearing man, and we forget that man can't do anything to us compared to what God can do if we continue in our disobedience. However, just 2 verses later, Jesus says: "Do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (v. 7b). So, it's the perfect picture of God's love AND His judgment. Based on what He is able to do to us, we should be very afraid. It's a healthy fear. But based on knowing how much He loves us, those of us who have chosen to follow Christ even though we still mess up have no reason to be afraid, unless we decide to abandon our discipleship in favor of disobedience. And I don't mean just messing up one time, I mean continuing in disobedience rather than discipleship and repentance.

Logan said...

Let me tell you just a little bit of what I get from it. Jesus tells his disciples with many other listening: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him" (vv. 4-5). Jesus is telling us (as his disciples) to fear God, because only God has such power. People associate hell with Satan, but Satan doesn't want to go there anymore than you and I. God is the one who created it so that those who decided they do not want a relationship with Him can be separate from Him for all eternity. It's the choice they make. Jesus speaks this because so often we get caught up in fearing man, and we forget that man can't do anything to us compared to what God can do if we continue in our disobedience. However, just 2 verses later, Jesus says: "Do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (v. 7b). So, it's the perfect picture of God's love AND His judgment. Based on what He is able to do to us, we should be very afraid. It's a healthy fear. But based on knowing how much He loves us, those of us who have chosen to follow Christ even though we still mess up have no reason to be afraid, unless we decide to abandon our discipleship in favor of disobedience. And I don't mean just messing up one time, I mean continuing in disobedience rather than discipleship and repentance.

Later in the same chapter (vv. 16-21), Jesus tells a parable about the importance of not getting hung up on possessions. In that parable, Jesus talks about a man who receives good crops and realizes he has no place to store it. He then tears down his barns, builds bigger ones to store everything, and then decides to get comfortable. He says to himself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years, so take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry". But God calls him a "fool' and says that his life will be demanded of him "this very night" and that someone else will get to enjoy what the man had prepared for himself. It's a perfect example of why we should never get too comfortable, and should always know that tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Logan said...

You're question about why so many Christians only focus on the "big judgment day" is a good one that I wish we could answer. All I can tell you is that many Christians, like the man in the parable, have gotten comfortable and taken life for granted, assuming God has promised them something in this world that He did not. We can only control our own responses to God, and not everyone else's.

I also think we have to remember that God sees all of eternity at once and exists beyond our understanding of "time". So, like Katie says, we never know when the final judgment day will be. But we also don't know if it happens for the whole world at once or different times for each individual. People have their opinions and sadly many Christians speak them as if they are TRUTH. But Revelation 19-21 is open for interpretation. I also encourage you to read those on your own time. I can guarantee you it will be confusing, but let God show you what He wants to show you as you read.

As to your second comment, I agree with Katie that God keeps no record of wrongs because "God is love" (1 John 4:16) and "love keeps no record of wrongs" (1 Corinthians 13:5). So that one's pretty cut and dry in Scripture. Scripture does say that we will have to "give an account on the day of judgment of every careless word that we have spoken", but being judged for it and giving an account of it are two different things. And while there are people out there with opinions that we will be judged for sins committed at the end of our lives that we didn't "specifically" repent from, I go back to my comment about God transcending our concept of "time". If you have accepted that Christ is your Savior and made him your Lord, the Bible says that God "has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation - if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel" (Colossians 1:22-23). Katie could tell us whether the phrase "has reconciled" is a past, present, or future action (or all of the above) in the Greek. I'm not sure, but my guess would be it's a past action with a continued effect, meaning God HAS ALREADY reconciled us to himself through Christ and that the effect of that for us is STILL ONGOING. That would mean any sins we commit are already covered. But the key there is in verse 23 - "if you continue in your faith..." - and shows us, as I said earlier, that we can't just take it all for granted.

I know this is a very long response that may have to be broken up into different comments, but I hope it helps you, and more importantly, gives you a good foundation for continuing to read and understand God's love for you and guidance in your life!

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow! There is A LOT of good things mentioned in these responses. I will have to re-read your guy’s comments a second go around due to all the information. Then tackle the references in the Bible to make the connection.

Funny story--

For the past two weeks I was somewhat griping to myself, God and a few others that there wasn't enough church activities throughout the week. I was telling God that I needed more. Well, I am now sitting here laughing at myself thinking I have a bunch of homework that needs to get done before church & next weeks blogs.

***Thanks Again***

Anonymous said...

Okay, read it through again and I have things written down that I need to look up....BUT before I continue just a few things.


SO, what I'm gathering is that WE have to give an account TO God. I just looked up the word account and it said detailed record of events...hmmm. Is the reason behind all of this to get humble before the Lord and basically say...Yes, I am/was guilty of X, Y, and Z sin? I am also not sure what the Bible (providing it's mentioned) means when it says "careless words spoken"? Where does it say in the Bible that we need to give an account of all our careless spoken words? --Not saying I don't believe you, just would like to read that for myself. Lastly, is there a way to answer the question (giving an account) incorrectly?

***Hoping for the short answers if possibly. You guys already loaded me with a bunch of other readings.***

Logan said...

Wow, I'm losing my mind. I totally thought I had included that reference and just realized after you asked that I failed to do so. I even looked it up earlier to make sure I quoted it properly before writing it, just forget the reference! It's Matthew 12:36 and it's Jesus speaking.

As far as what "giving an account means", I don't think you and I will have to remember. I believe we will be reminded and then have to account for it. That sounds like He is keeping a record of our wrongs, but I don't believe this is the same thing. I also believe that those of us who are followers of Christ will be able to simply say that His death covered even our careless words. I think of the Third Day song "Trust in Jesus" in case you wanted to look that up. This is my understanding, but I could be way off. I'm curious to see what Katie might be able to offer you.

Katie said...

As to your last question, yes I agree with Logan on that. I don't think we need to remember everything, but if we're questions about "why did you do X?" then we'll need to offer an explanation. But remember that if we are believers, we're covered by Jesus. Even though we may need to explain ourselves so to speak for some of our actions, when it's time for the final judgment, the Judge will see Jesus and not us.

By the way, back in October we wrote blogs on the topics of judge and judgment. Once you're done processing everything else from these comments, I'd encourage you to go look those up. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I will look at the Oct's blog post if the references that were given here doesn't clear things up.