Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups
08/01/16 – 539 – Cain & Abel
22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.
23 Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
wives of Lamech, hear my words.
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for injuring me.
24 If Cain is avenged seven times,
then Lamech seventy-seven times.” NIV
Saturday we talked about the similarity in names between the descendants of Adam on Seth’s side and those on Cain’s side. But there is still more to this passage, we need to take one more look at it before we can finish up our story.
Looking ahead into the genealogy in Chapter 5, we learn that Enoch was the 7th in line from Adam on Seth’s side. Lamech was the 7th in line on Cain’s.
There’s a great contrast shown between the 2 men. In the brief passage above, we get a glimpse into Lamech’s heart – what kind of man he was. Apparently there are several ways to interpret these verses, but here’s one I find most interesting, and it seems to make the most sense. It is very likely that some of the ‘tools’ made by Lamech’s son Tubal-Cain were the first metal weapons. This would have given anyone in his family a great advantage in any fight.
Lamech may have been showing off his weapons, or simply boasting to his wives about what he had done He seems pretty sure that God would protect him. After all, Cain had murdered Abel in cold blood, Lamech had killed someone in self-defense, right? So what’s the problem? Once again I’ll quote Wiersbe:
“The Hebrew verbs can be translated in the future tense: “I will slay anyone who wounds me and will not need God’s protection, for with these weapons I can avenge myself seventy-seven fold!” Seen in this light, it is the first expression of arrogant defiance and warfare in the Bible.”(from Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament © 1993 by Victor Books/SP Publications. All rights reserved.)
Whoa. On the other hand, Enoch (Noah’s great-grandpa) was a godly man. He was so close to God, in fact, that he ended up being one of only 2 men in history that never had to die, but were taken directly to heaven by God!
21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. NIV
Our lesson to be learned from Enoch is laid out for us clearly later on:
5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. NIV
So what was the difference between Enoch’s faith and that of Lamech? Obviously Lamech believed in God as well – in his arrogance he believed that God would somehow have to protect him after what he had done. The answer is in the rest of verse 6 – “he rewards those who earnestly seek him”.
What does it mean to earnestly seek Him? It means to follow Him as closely as possible, with your whole heart and mind. It means to be obedient to His commands and His teachings. It means to surrender your entire life to Him, to let His Spirit take total control, and never take it back. It means to love Him as the Father, Son, and Spirit – as Savior and as Lord of your life – all day, every day.
Clear enough? ‘Earnestly’ is a BIG word, isn’t it? Too big for us to handle on our own. Good thing He’s willing to help us, if we would just ask Him, right? So, what are you waiting for? Go and ask Him.