Genesis 2011 - Lesson 4C

Chapter 4:16-26

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  • Sin changed the world

    • And it changed the nature of men

      • We saw last time how sin turned one brother against another

      • From the earliest stage of humanity, sin was so evident and powerful that it led to murder

        • Humanity didn’t work itself toward doing evil, first with small sins and then later with greater sins

        • Instead, it began with murder, in demonstration of how sin has changed the nature of men

    • But those smaller sins were also present

      • Sins of pride, boasting, lying, jealousy, anger, impatience, rudeness

      • All of these characteristics of sin and others were evident in the story of Cain and Abel

    • And of course, we see all these sins present today in every person who descends from Adam

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, two young church members were going door to door to invite people to visit their services. When they knocked on one door, it was immediately clear the woman who answered was not happy to see them.
She told them in no uncertain terms that she did not want to hear their message, and before they could say anything more, she slammed the door in their faces.
To her surprise, however, the door did not close; in fact, it bounced back open. She tried again, really putting her back into it, and slammed it again with the same result - the door bounced back open.
Convinced these rude young people were sticking their foot in her door, she reared back to give it a slam that would teach them a lesson. Just then, one of them said quietly: "Ma'am, before you do that again, you really need to move your cat.”
  • Cain has now received his banishment, to wander, as an example of a man under the curse of sin

    • And he leaves God’s presence and the family connectionsGen. 4:16  Then Cain went out from the presence  of the LORD, and  settled in the land of  Nod, east of Eden. 

Gen. 4:17 Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son. 
Gen. 4:18 Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad  became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael  became the father of Methushael, and Methushael  became the father of Lamech. 
  • As we mentioned last time, Cain goes east of Eden

    • East is always a picture of where the unrighteous go (Babylon)

      • West is always a picture of righteousness and the Kingdom

    • Cain lands in Nod, which could mean wanderer in Hebrew (similar to nud)

      • Though Cain was destined to wander, it doesn’t prevent him from beginning communities, and then moving on again

        • His extended family likely grew large over the decades and some might remain in these towns as he moved on

  • In v. 17 we hear that Cain has a wife, and we discussed how that happened

    • Cain’s wife was also a sister or some other female relative (a niece  perhaps)

      • And we looked at how this can be acceptable in Cain’s day while no longer being acceptable today

      • It was a necessity in Cain’s day and an acceptable means of populating the earth since DNA was near perfect

    • Today, the circumstances have changed and God no longer permits such marriages according to the Mosaic Law

  • So Cain’s first son is Enoch, who’s name means dedicated toward something sacred, as to God perhaps

    • Isn’t that ironic

      • Here’s a man who is himself an unbeliever calling his son a name that means sacred

      • Here is a classic display of a superficial attempt to connect to God (through works)

    • It’s ironic because why would someone who rejected God’s authority care to identify with God at all?

      • But this is exactly what the unbelieving world does

      • Religion is the result of exactly this kind of thinking

        • Religion is man’s attempt to reach God

        • Grace is God’s way of reaching men

      • Unless God reveals Himself to a person, the only option left for unbelievers is to create something to fill the God-sized hole in their heart 

        • Superficially, falsely, and through works

        • But it doesn’t reach God at all

          • It is merely for show

    • Jude describes unbelievers who think themselves wise in spiritual matters, as men who have gone the way of Cain

      • Going the way of Cain means opposing God’s Law, seeking one’s own righteousness, opposing God’s people and substituting man-made religion for true relationship

      • We need to guard against allowing even the hint of self-made religion to replace truly following the Spirit, and obeying God’s word

  • After Cain, seven generations are named

    • Mehujael – smitten of God

    • Methusael – man of God

      • Notice the names are all claims to a relationship with God

      • Yet we know Cain’s line is not the line God reveals Himself to

    • Ending with Lamech, the seventh from Adam in Cain’s line

      • Seven suggests a culmination of something, a bringing to completion of something in Cain’s line 

      • In this case the seventh means the completion of the corrupting effects of sin

Gen. 4:19 Lamech took to himself  two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah. 
Gen. 4:20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 
Gen. 4:21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 
Gen. 4:22 As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron; and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. 
  • Lamech is the seventh in the line

    • His name means warrior

    • And he takes two wives

      • First record of bigamy

        • Notice that it falls to the seventh one in Cain’s line to introduce this practice

        • The one who is perfecting corruption

      • God records this event, but He doesn’t endorse it

        • We only have to take note that it originated in the ungodly line of men to know that it was an evil practice from the beginning

    • His wives also carry interesting names

      • Adah – adorned (outward) (for child bearing)

        • She gave birth to Jabal, who began the tradition of the nomadic lifestyle of shepherding in an ever-moving style

        • His brother was Jubal, the first man to explore the concept of music and musical instruments

      • Zillah – to grow or be dark (for sexual pleasure)

        • Her first son is Tubal-cain

    • From Lamech came men who developed fundamental technologies

      • Herdsman

      • Musicians (string and wind instruments)

      • Tools

  • Worldly accomplishments and worldly praise

    • Everything you could want

      • Power, influence, intelligence, culture

    • Solely dependent on self and separated from God

      • These inventions are not wrong in themselves, of course

      • They are proof that God dispenses a measure of His grace and mercy on even the unbelieving world, as seen in these men’s intellect and creativity

    • But it is significant that these pursuits are associated with the line of Cain

      • Today the science, art and entertainment of our culture are also used as wedges to drive men from God

    • They are amoral by themselves, but they are distractions the enemy can use to satisfy men’s need to express their independence from God 

      • Our life is the way it is because unbelievers seek to make their own world conform to their will, not to God’s

      • For the believer, the advancements of our world can be opportunity to serve and glorify God

      • Or they can be distractions as well

Gen. 4:23 Lamech said to his wives, 
“Adah and Zillah, 
Listen to my voice, 
You wives of Lamech, 
Give heed to my speech, 
For I  have killed a man for wounding me; 
And a boy for striking me; 
Gen. 4:24 If Cain is avenged  sevenfold, 
Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” 
  • This is the oldest recorded poetry in the Bible

    • Hebrew poetry doesn’t use rhyme, but rather parallelism and repetition

      • Notice in v.23, Lamech tells his wives to listen to his voice

        • And then again he says give heed to my speech

        • That repetition and parallelism is poetry to the Hebrew ear

    • Then Lamech gives his news to his wives

      • He boasts he has killed two men

        • We don’t have the details on this event, and in the big picture it isn’t important to the account

      • The point of the poem is to boast in defiance against God

        • Or more accurately, he claims equality with God

    • Everyone knew Cain’s history

      • Lamech’s poem confirms Cain’s notoriety

        • And until now, we might assume no one else had murdered except Cain

          • And Lamech seems determined to improve on Cain’s reputation

      • The sin of pride is on display here

    • Lamech boasts that he has committed murder

      • Remembering that Hebrew poetry speaks in parallel lines, we should understand that the man and the boy are one and the same

        • The poem simply lists the person twice

        • The point of the dual reference is to emphasize that this is a younger man, someone of greater agility than Lamech

      • But in retaliation for the attack, Lamech took vengeance

        • We don’t know who this young man was, but he was probably from Cain’s family

    • Finally, Lamech boasts that if attacking Cain brought revenge from God, then attacking Lamech brought his own revenge

      • And Lamech’s revenge was greater than God’s revenge

  • The corruption of Cain’s line shines through now

    • Lamech is a man whose fleshly, sinful nature is on full display

      • His flesh cannot be satisfied and it seeks anything it wants

    • The world had been given marriage by God

      • It was one man, one woman

      • This wasn’t enough for Lamech’s flesh

        • He decided that if everyone else could take one wife, he could take two

    • When the world crossed him, he fought back

      • He wasn’t going to give an inch nor show a vulnerability

      • And when one young man went too far, Lamech killed him

    • Cain had killed in a fit of jealousy over God’s approval

      • Lamech killed to prove he didn’t need God’s approval

      • And he boasts about it now to his wives to convince them and himself

  • Remember that when Cain’s sin was discovered, he mourned the outcome for what it meant for his safety

    • As a result God promises to protect Cain and avenge him should anyone harm him

    • Lamech on the other hand demonstrates his completed, perfected sin nature when he says he will avenge himself

      • He doesn’t need God for protection

      • Lamech is the quintessential sinful man in rebellion against God

        • And his life is the poster child for the power of sin to corrupt 

  • Now in contrast to the seventh man in the line of Cain, let’s look at the other side of the family tree

Gen. 4:25  Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 
Gen. 4:26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.  
  • When Adam was 130, a new son is born

    • It seems from the text that this may have been the first son given to Eve in some time

      • Similar to the story of Sarah and Abraham, God seems to have made them wait for a replacement to Abel

      • If this is true, then it would have meant that the family of Cain was reproducing and filling the earth, but the believing line was no where

      • Until Seth came along

    • The name Seth means the appointed one

      • And Eve recognizes he was a replacement for Abel, the man of God intended to bring a seed into the world

      • He is the son God appointed to continue the line to the Messiah

        • In fact, the entire book of Genesis is directed toward showing how God works to keep His promise concerning the seed

    • Seth gives birth himself to a son, Enosh

      • Enosh means frail or fragile man

        • You can see this repeated in Psalm 103:15

Psa. 103:15  As for man, his days are  like grass; 
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 
  • The word for man is enosh

  • And with Enosh, men again began to call upon the name of the Lord

    • This phrase in Hebrew doesn’t mean that Adam and Seth were not believers themselves

      • It’s a reference to public worship

    • Enosh is the man to initiate public worship and faithful witness of God

      • Notice the difference in the lines

      • While the line of Cain glories in self, the line of Seth is glorying in God

      • And they don’t depend upon themselves or their own strength

        • They trust and depend on God, as do we

  • As a final note concerning Chapters 1-4 of Genesis

    • Bible critics intent on tearing down the truth of Scripture will commonly claim that the first four chapters of Genesis weren’t written by Moses, much less were they inspired by God

      • They say they were written by different authors

      • At different times

      • And then later men pieced together these parts to create a myth

    • In response, take note of these facts:

      • The name Abel appears seven times

      • The name Cain appears fourteen times

      • All names listed in Cain’s family, counting parents and sisters, total fourteen

      • The word “name” appears seven times

      • From Genesis 2-4, the word land is found seven times; the word field is found seven times; the word ground is found seven times; and the combined usage of Jehovah and God, appears thirty-five times

      • In Chapters 1-5, the combined usage of Jehovah and God is seventy times

    • Clearly, the book is divinely inspired and authored