Your Answer:  Strive With

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Correct. Keep up the good work!

"Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh (or "in his going astray he is flesh); nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years*." Genesis 6:3 (NAS)

If you look at the original Hebrew text (the Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language), the Hebrew word #1777 "diyn" is translated into the English word "strive" or "contend."  According to Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, the word "diyn" or "duwn" is a primitive root word meaning "to rule," "to judge," or to "strive or contend as at law."

The Spirit Strives With Men...Convicting Them of Righteousness, Sin and Judgment:

Although it may be difficult to understand the exact ways in which the Holy Spirit strives with man, we get additional insight from the following scriptures:

Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them. Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand all things. Proverbs 28:4-5 (NAS)

There are those who praise the wicked (and thus forsake the laws of God) and then there are those who strive or contend with the wicked and by doing so, keep the law of God.  When you make a proper judgment based on God's are striving or contending. 

"And He (the Holy Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment..." John 16:8 (NAS)

Shortly before the days of Noah, Enoch (Noah's great grandfather) spoke about the Lord coming with His holy ones to execute judgment on all and to convict the ungodly.  The language about convicting the world of sin is very similar to that used in reference to the Holy Spirit in John 16 above:

And about these also Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Jude 1:14-15 (NAS)

Striving is Not Always a Negative

Although the related words "strife" and "contention" are usually used today in a negative sense; they were not always used as a negative in Bible times.  The word "strive" does not always refer to someone (e.g., the Holy Spirit) just being against the wicked.  For example, in Romans 15:30, Paul asks the Christian brethren to strive together with him in prayer on his behalf:

Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; 32 so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. Romans 15:30-32 (NAS)

As we continue through this lesson, we will see how the Spirit strives with both the righteous and the unrighteous.

* Note:  In Genesis 6:3, the reference to 120 years is either 1) the approximate number of years until the flood; or 2) a reference to man's lifespan to come (e.g., today people rarely, if ever, live more than 120 years).

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