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- Read part one of 'Walking the Line'.
Genesis 4:17-26 – Walking the Line – Part Two
[Just when things seem to be beyond hope, the Lord shows forth His hand of sovereignty and promise.]
In 4:25-26, Moses writes, “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.’ 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.”
Obviously, 4:25-26 should not be understood as a sequel to 4:17-24. Cain’s genealogy does not extend six generations before Adam fathers a child again. Cain’s sons prospered and founded the new world after the fall. Yet, they were not to be included in the lineage of the Messianic “seed” (cf. 3:15).
The author turns another page with the birth of “another offspring in place of Abel” (4:25). This birth reveals that the “seed” would continue through the line of Seth.
Seth’s name, from the Hebrew verb translated “granted” and meaning “to set or place,” expresses Eve’s faith that God would continue to provide seed despite death. After the birth of Enosh (Seth’s son), it is noted that “then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.”
The phrase “call upon the name of the Lord” usually refers to proclamation rather than prayer in the Pentateuch. Here it probably refers to the beginning of public worship of Yahweh. This is the inauguration of true worship (cf. 12:8; 13:4; 16:13; 21:33; 26:25). In a chapter about names, how appropriate is it to read that at this time men begin to call on the name of the Lord!
Long before God revealed Himself fully as Yahweh to the people called Israel in Exo. 3:6, or even to the patriarchs, there is at least a small group of people who grasp the identity of the true God.
“Enosh” means “weakness” and in his weakness he turns to God with petition and praises (Ps 149:6). Man will not pray until he recognizes his human weakness and inability and is utterly dependent upon God. Will you humble yourself, acknowledge your own weakness, and turn to the Lord for His strength. As Paul writes in the New Testament, “...the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor 1:25).
So, the subject I want to focus on in these Scriptures today is the “Lines.” In verses 11-24, it tells us of the gradually developing culture of the ungodly line. Verse 23 and 24 are a perfect description of the ungodly, humanistic culture of ALL generations!
To paraphrase these verses is to say this: “Because a man wounded me, I got my revenge! I just killed him!” Look at what Lamech just did, isn’t that awesome? “O, you wives, listen to me, both of you: This guy hit me, but I showed him! I killed him!” If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold!
Here is a humanistic culture without God. It is egoism and pride centered in man; this culture has lost the concept of not only God, but of man as one who loves his brother.
There is absolutely no evidence of a religious side to Lamech. His faith is in himself. He believed that he could do anything he pleased - and so he did. He believed in personal revenge and took it. He believed he was more important than God and said so.
Verse 25 takes up the godly line: Seth takes the place of Abel, whom Cain slew, and therefore takes the place of Abel as the vehicle of the godly line. “And to Seth was there was born a son names Enosh, then men began to call on the name of the Lord!” Man I LOVE this!!!!! Except for my mother and great grandmother, I look back on my family history of unsaved, ungodly people and can say: “But Brian began to call upon the name of the LORD!”
It’s during this time that the godly line marks themselves with the name of God in exactly the same way as we do as Christians. Both lines marked themselves by the name of the one they followed.
Next week we will finish off this section with three points on Walking the Line. Blessings to you all.