Monday, January 02, 2006

Taking Matters

Genesis 4:

In a nutshell, man (dare I say it?) took matters into his own hands, but God did not leave it there. Man was left with the results of his disobedience, but God promised to take care of the situation (Gen 3:15).

Gen 4:1 "I have gotten a man from the LORD." One is inclined to think that Eve thought the promise of 3:15 was being fulfilled by the birth of this first child. Hopeful ? Definitely. But this was not IT. The boy she was given was not "HIM." This is conjecture of course. But I do not doubt her hope.

Cain and Abel are now on the scene. Both are worshippers of God, and I think we read of only one instance of their regular practice. This was not the first time they come before God with an offering. But this time something was different--very different.

This account reads much like a stage whisper. The stage whisper is a bit of dialogue or information spoken from the stage to the hearing of the audience, but the players are deaf to what is being said. Picture the boys presenting their offerings, the crackling of fire, other background noises-- then suddenly a voice booms from the sky, "why are you angry?" etc. I'm not sure this is NOT what happened. Cain heard clearly what God was saying to Him and Abel was oblivious. We get to hear a conversation heard by nobody else. This should not be surprising because we've heard God talking before, only nobody was there to hear it. Remember Creation? God spoke and a tree grew in the forest and nobody was there to hear it!

Cain took matters into his own hands. He chose to reject the grace God was extending to him. What was in his heart showed on his face and what was on his face showed on his hands and what was on his hands was covered with his brother's blood. This was a spot he could not out and what was spilled on the cursed ground cried out against him. God sent Cain away with this understanding: He will not be able to grow anything and he was a marked man. Cain is not cursed, but the ground he tills is doubly cursed.

Interlude: Genealogy of Cain.

Why God chose to avenge Cain is a mystery to me and at this point, I am going to leave it there; however, Lamech is an interesting guy. Lamech has two boys that seem to be the inventors of tent-dwelling and musical instruments. Lamech was a guy who also took matters into his own hands: he killed a man and a boy then declares, “If Cain is avenged asevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”[1]

  • Was Lamech following Cain’s footsteps in killing? Why was he being hit by a child? Why did a man wound him? Was he being attacked or were these two separate instances that Lamech responded to collectively? How could He claim vengeance?
  • Was it self defense? Does this mean that if anyone came after Cain would be punished sevenfold and since two (or more?) came after Lamech that the vengeance was multiplied?

Genesis 5:
Enter: more descendants of Adam. Read about Enoch here in a former post.

"Walking with God! Is this our religion? Does this aptly set forth our life? It makes no difference . . . to which church we belong, nor what creed we adopt, nor what ceremonies we profess, nor what zeal for religious things we have--if we are not walking with God!Reconciliation with Him through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; a habitual acting as in His sight and with a view to His approbation, and a life of devotional communion with Him--is true religion--in whomever or wherever found. Walking with God! Is this religion ours? Do we intelligently, experimentally, know the meaning of that phrase--walking with God? Let us set it down before us, look at it, ponder it, and never cease to study it, until we know its meaning, and feel its force!None are walking to heaven, but those who are walking with God! All others are walking to perdition! We hear a great deal about other things that are connected with religion--its doctrines, its forms, its creeds--but walking with God is true religion. If we know nothing of this, we know nothing of true piety!It is walking with God--and not any external matter, that distinguishes the real from the nominal Christian!And it 'close walking with God' which distinguishes the earnest Christian from the comparatively lukewarm one. The earnest Christian walks closely with God, presses, so to speak, to his very side; while the other, like Peter, during his season of cowardice, follows afar off."(J. A. James, "The Character and Translation of Enoch")

"Walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

Genesis 6:
You want me to comment on Genesis 6:1-2, don’t you? You want to know who I think the sons of God and the daughters of men are, am I right?

Sons of God options: angels, sons of kings (princes), or sons of Seth (a godly race; i.e., “sons of God”).

Daughters of men options: daughters of men (in general), daughters of vassals (commoners), daughters of an ungodly line (i.e., the descendants of Cain).

I am inclined to think they the descendants of Seth (godly people) intermarried with the descendants of Cain (ungodly people). From this everything followed the sin-course and went downhill.

To be continued . . .

glitter graphics

a Gen 4:15
[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update, Ge 4:24. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995.

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