In our study of Genesis chapter six, we will look at the reason and the preparations for the flood that God used to judge the creatures of the earth. If someone were to ask you,: Why did God send the flood?, you would probably say because of sin and that is correct but we are going to go a little deeper into God's Word.
"When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose." NIV translation
At first glance, this seems good as man was designed to be married to a woman. To fully understand this chapter, we need to look at the meaning of "sons of God" and "daughters of men". Some have said that "sons of God" refers to angels but that is not correct because good angels would not sin and bad angels would not be called "sons of God" (they are called demons). The phrase is actually talking about the descendants of Adam through Seth which, as we saw in chapter five, were the line of godly men.
The phrase "daughters of men" refers to the descendants of Adam through Cain which, as we saw in chapter four, were worldly men. We see that the godly men of Seth were tempted by the beauty of the daughters of the worldly men of Cain and they married them. We notice that they "chose" to marry them which is the opposite of the way God designed marriage to happen. As we saw in chapter two, God's plan for marriage was that He would create a woman for a man and He would present the woman to the man (all the man had to do was to wait on God and accept the gift of the woman that was created specifically for him).
In this short passage, we see the struggle that continues in the world today which is the inner struggle of man between the call of God (spirit) and the call of the world (flesh).
"Then the Lord said, 'My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.'" NIV translation
Why did the men and women mentioned in the previous chapters live so much longer than we do today? The answer is very simple and that is God, in His mercy, limits the number of years that we have to fight the battle here on the earth. We saw, in the previous passage, that the battle we face is between the Spirit of God in us and the ways of the world (flesh). Here, God limits our years on the earth and so limits the length of time that we struggle with the temptations of the flesh.