DIG: What was significant about Methuselah’s name? What specific sin was so pervasive in the culture of Enoch’s day that he would give his son this prophetic name? How does this show that the Lord is patient, not wanting anyone to perish (Second Peter 3:8-9)? What was ADONAI's ultimate goal in delaying the Flood?
REFLECT: Has God been patient with you? What is the difference between grace and mercy? What has been given to you as a sign of mercy in your life? How did you respond to His mercy?
Enoch was a prophet (Jude 14-15), and his son’s name was prophetic. At the birth of his son, Enoch received a special revelation concerning the judgment of the great Flood. Methuselah is the eighth generation and means when he dies, it shall be sent. This was both a warning and a promise from God. In other words, as long as his son was alive the earth would be spared from judgment. But when he died, the Flood would be sent. Methuselah became a living prophecy. I am sure that Enoch, being the godly man that he was, fully impressed upon his son the meaning of his name and the awesome responsibility to proclaim it. I believe that Methuselah, like his father before him, was a preacher of righteousness to the wicked generation of his time.
When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. And after he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died. He was the oldest person who ever lived and this was a sign of God’s mercy, not grace. Grace is receiving what you do not deserve. Grace is unmerited favor. On the other hand, mercy is not receiving what you do deserve. And during Methuselah’s lifetime, mankind deserved judgment for their sin, but ADONAI withheld judgment in the hope that some would repent and be saved. As Peter reminds us: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (Second Peter 3:8-9). So as long as Methuselah lived, there was hope for mankind, and his ministry to the world probably postponed the Flood for 120 years. But when Methuselah was about 850 years old, his grandson, Noah, began building the ark in his driveway. And God’s word is true, because the same year that Methuselah died, the LORD sent the Flood. This fulfilled the prophecy of Methuselah’s father Enoch.