Friday, January 28, 2011

Genesis 4:20-26

Good morning!

Yesterday we were introduced to Lamech, the husband of two wives. He had three sons, Jabal, Jubal, and Tobalcain. Jabal is the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock - the nomadic people - wanderers. Jubal is the father of those who play musical instruments for entertainment, rather than for worship. I'm making that last leap, because there is no indication that this family in any way worshiped God. Tubalcain forged tools (which would include weapons) from bronze and iron. This is a line that seems to be very busy working apart from God for themselves.

In verses 23 and 24, we read that Lamech, like Cain, murdered a man who had injured him in some way. Whatever the cause, there seems to be an attempt to justify his actions. His concern is that if Cain would be avenged seven times, he would be avenged seventy-seven times. I don't know about you, but I immediately thought about Matthew 18:22 where Jesus responds to Peter's question about how many times he should forgive someone. Instead of taking vengeance seventy-seven times, Jesus says we need to forgive seventy-seven times. This is why God says we are to leave vengeance with Him. When God judges, it is always by His righteous character, and is with the intent to lead to repentance and restoration. Our job is to forgive as we have been forgiven. In fact, if forgiveness is something with which you struggle, Matthew 18 is very pointed in reminding us that we MUST forgive, because we have been forgiven so much. We will always be able to find a justification for holding onto anger, bitterness, resentment, but choosing to do so will kill us and do damage to all around us.

Forgiveness is NOT a feeling - it is an action. God does not call us to FEEL forgiving, He calls us to forgive - to extend forgiveness by our actions in obedience to Him. When we begin to act out forgiveness, the feelings WILL follow. I'm ready to take this step! Need to move on it now! How about you?

After reading about the decline of Cain's line, as his family follows him in a defiant independence from God, it is so great to read the last two verses of chapter 4:

Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the LORD.

Jon Courson says the literal meaning of the last line is that they were a people who were called by the name of the LORD. In other words, their identity was in Him, even as we are called Christians, because we follow Christ. Finally, a ray of light in the darkness! The name Seth means "appointed." He was appointed to take the place of Abel and to lead this line in the worship of God. You and I have been appointed to lead our families in the worship of God. How are we doing? I'm not asking you to turn around to see who's following. I'm just asking you, and myself, are we leading???

Have a great weekend!

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