In Vos Study #8, we have the first half of Ch 5, “The Development Leading Up to the Noachian Revelation”. This section of scripture is summarized in Vossian understatement as “revelation here bears on the whole a negative rather than positive character,” watching the Cainite line slide into ever-increasing depravity, and even take the Sethite line with them (Vos explains how the “Sons of God/daughters of men” passage is Sethite men taking Cainite wives). The podcasters go into great length about how the Cainites’ city-building is sinfully autonomous, with only one concession from Bucey that “not to say that all cities are inherently evil, since Zion is a city.” I was missing what I found in Vos of picking out a thread of common grace. Continuing on from the quote above,
It contents itself with bestowing a minimum of grace. A minimum could not be avoided either in the sphere of nature or of redemption, because in the former sphere, without at least some degree of divine interposition, collapse of the world-fabric would have resulted, and in the latter the continuity of the fulfillment of the promise would have been broken off. … Had God permitted Grace freely to flow out into the world and to gather great strength within a short period, then the true nature and consequences of sin would have been very imperfectly disclosed. …
The narrative proceeds in three stages. It first describes the rapid development of sin in the line of Cain. In connection with this it describes the working of common grace in the gift of invention for the advance of civilization in the sphere of nature. It shows further that these gifts of grace were abused by the Cainites and made subservient to the progress of evil in the world.
The podcast concludes with a discussion of the “120 years” passage, which does not mean that God will limit the age of individuals to 120 years (many in the genealogies live much longer than that, even after the flood, including Abraham); rather it is a deadline, 120 years is the limit of God’s patience (cf 2 Pet 3:9), after which judgment comes in the form of the flood, which will be discussed more next time, for the back half of the chapter.
Pingback: Vos Study #8 | The Confessional Outhouse