The book of Genesis covers 2,500 years of history. Chapters 4 and 5 cover 1,500 of those 2,500 years of history. So we get a lot of generations, a big sweep in these two chapters. Chapter 1 we saw the beginning of the universe. In chapter 2, the beginning of the human race. In chapter 3, the beginning of sin. In chapter 4, the results and the progress of that sin and on into chapter 5, as we see more of that result, as we read that phrase that will be repeated over and over again in the fifth chapter, "And he died," "And he died," etcetera. Every generation—fulfilling what God said would happen. Them dying off. So chapter 3 is the root of sin, chapter 4 is the fruit of sin. This is now the result of it. Adam is cast out of the garden, as is every human being since Adam. Adam tasted it, Adam and Eve were there, walked with God in the cool of the day, enjoyed fellowship, bliss, perfection, utopia. But they forfeited it and now all of us, ever since, have been consigned to being outside the garden, longing to get in. What Adam did was so pervasive and so invasive to the human race, that it required what Paul referred to as the second Adam, to undo the curse.
Will we ever get back in the garden? Oh yes. In heaven, in the New Jerusalem, in the new heaven, in the new earth, will be the Paradise of God with the Tree of Life described there in chapter 21. But I believe, even before the new heaven and the new earth, before the New Jerusalem, there will be a thousand years of a restored, renewed earth and the conditions of that millennial kingdom on the earth will replicate what it was like in the Garden of Eden. But it took Jesus to fix what Adam blew big time. And so that's the message of the Bible in a nutshell. I really love the outline that Dr. G. Campbell Morgan gives for the book of Genesis. I've shared it with you before, chapters 1 and 2—generation. It's the beginning of the universe, the beginning of man, etcetera. Generation. And then chapters 3 through 11—degeneration. As we see sin and the results of sin and then chapters 12 through 50—regeneration. As that plan picks up through Abraham and his descendants.
So there has been a progression. It's outlined and articulated so beautifully by Paul in one verse in Romans 5: "By one man sin entered the world and death through sin so that death spread to all men. For all have sinned. For death reigned from Adam to Moses." So sin entered; death entered; death spread and death reigned. And we're seeing that unfold before our eyes. In chapter 4, where it says, "Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain" the chapter opens happily enough. So far, so good. She's pregnant with their firstborn child. Now they had never seen a pregnancy before, right? They had no reference point. Neither Adam nor Eve, so imagine the amazement as Adam watched his wife begin to grow and what he must have thought and perhaps what he might have said. 'Honey, I notice you've been gaining a little weight, lately. What's up with that?' Or, 'Eve, what's all these little socks you're knitting?' I don't know if she was doing that. Or, 'What do you mean you want pickles and ice cream?' The whole experience was so new to them. Now it does say that Adam knew his wife, Eve. That doesn't mean they were introduced here. God saying, 'Adam this is Eve, Eve this is Adam, shake on it.' The word 'know' here in Hebrew speaks of 'to know with intimacy.' They knew each other intimately; they had sexual relations that produced this child. "Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived and bore Cain." This is a word, a name, which means 'gotten' or 'acquired.' Or at least it sounds like the Hebrew word for 'acquired.'
"And said, 'I have acquired a man from the Lord.'" Now typically, in ancient cultures, it was the husband who named the child. That's just the way those cultures came down. Here, Eve names the first human born. Names him Cain, saying, "I have acquired' or 'I have gotten a man from the Lord.' And I believe that's because of the expectation of who this child would be. I am certain that Adam and Eve believed this was the fulfillment of the promise that God made in the previous chapter, in verse 15. Notice in chapter 3, verse 15: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." So when Cain was born she said, 'I've gotten him!' Or, 'This is it! This is the acquisition! This is the one who will deliver us and bring us back to the garden and fix all that the serpent—and me, and us—have undone.'
I don't think there has ever been a higher hope for a child than the hope that Adam and Eve had for Cain. In fact, some scholars believe the translation is even more forceful. That rather than saying, "I have acquired a man from the Lord," they insist on the literal Hebrew that could be rendered, "I have acquired a man, even the Lord." That there was that high expectation that this would be the Lord's Messiah, deliverer. Well, they were so happy when that baby was finally born and Adam and Eve held that precious little package in their arms thinking, 'This is it! I've gotten him! This is the deliverer!' Not knowing they were holding the first murderer in their arms. This child would not be what they thought this child would become. Now we don't know for sure, and I'm not going to press the issue, but the language, and I will admit it is very scarce as to giving us information here. It could have an inference that this child was spoiled. I mean, think about it, the first child ever. Ever born.
Now they didn't have parenting classes, Adam and Eve. No one could teach them—they were it. They couldn't consult with friends who'd had babies before or their parents, since they had none. So they just had to raise Cain. And they did—they were able. Ok. Verse two: "Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground." Now Abel means 'breath,' or 'vapor,' or that which ascends. It could speak of something temporary or it could have the idea of something ascending heavenward, up toward God. Like when a sacrifice was made in the Old Testament and the smoke went up, or later on, incense in the tabernacle, and it was ascending toward God as a form of prayer to God. Maybe it was the hope that this child will ascend to God and be a spiritual child. Maybe even there was some favoritism, as I mentioned, of Cain over Abel. This is the one, this is the deliverer, and I've gotten him! And then, the second child Abel, may he be as spiritual as his brother. If he's the deliverer, I hope this one at least ascends and is spiritually ascendant like his brother. We don't know for sure but the language certainly could imply that. That they were showing favoritism which will really be a set-up for what is going to happen.
Now the story goes on to tell us that Abel was a keeper of the sheep, so he became a shepherd. Cain was a tiller of the ground, so he became a gardener. They took two different roads but they were brothers. "And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell." Admittedly, again, the text leaves a lot out as far as wording is concerned. So we have some hints. First of all, notice the phrase in verse 3, 'in the process of time.' Literally it is 'at the end of days.' And infers that there was a set time that God prescribed they come and offer Him a sacrifice. The inference is that God had given instruction, no doubt to Adam and Eve. And Adam and Eve passed it down to Cain and Abel that God required a sacrifice when they come and make an offering of worship to Him.
And it was, no doubt, based upon what they had seen in the Garden of Eden. You take an animal, you kill the animal, you offer that to God. That's what we saw the Lord do in covering our own sin, boys. But here it says that Abel brought "the firstborn of his flock and of their fat," but he didn't respect Cain and his offering because Cain, verse three, brought an offering of fruit out of the ground to the Lord. Now what does it mean, 'He respected it'? I think it means He received it. Now this is the way I'm picturing it. Again, it may not be accurate but this is how I'm picturing it: do you remember when the prophet Elijah was on Mount Carmel and had the little contest between the prophets, the false prophets, of Baal and himself? And the Lord was pleased with what Elijah had done so that fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice on the altar. It could be that fire fell from heaven and consumed this animal sacrifice. Thus signifying that the Lord respected what Abel had brought but nothing happened with what Cain had brought.
I know some of you are going to read this and think, 'That's not fair! He brought the best that he could; he brought what he had.' And it was probably even more beautiful, don't you think? Don't you think that the offering of the ground, grains and plants, would be arranged in such a way that it was certainly more beautiful than dripping blood on a platter or on an altar of a dead animal? And I'm sure that Cain would bring the sacrifice; he was a gardener and he thought, 'Oh, this is great! Look what I've done! Look what I've made—look how I've arranged it! I'm gonna bring this before the Lord, He's really gonna dig this.' Abel, on the other hand, wasn't so excited. Because he was a shepherd and I don't know if you've ever seen the taking of a life of any animal, it's certainly not pleasant to see any creature die. To see the throat slit of a lamb and it bleed out and lose its life. It would have made him sad. So you could say, it's not fair, look how beautiful it was and it was the very best he had. Ah! But it had no blood. That's the whole point. Now the answer is given as to this whole dilemma by turning to the New Testament book of Hebrews. Hebrews 11, a verse which gives us the answer and tells us what's going on. Hebrews 11:4, "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain through which he obtained witness that he was righteous. God testifying of his gifts and through it, he being dead still speaks." So it says he did it by faith.
There are three reasons, or three ways, that Abel's sacrifice was superior to Cain's. Number one, the kind of offering that he brought. It was a blood sacrifice. And he did it by faith. That is, I believe, by faith, that a substitution must be made, an animal must die on my behalf, as I bring this offering before the Lord I am making a testimony that I believe in the necessity of substitutionary atonement. He did it by faith. Cain brought what he had, but he left out the blood so the kind of sacrifice. Number two, the quality of sacrifice. There is no mention of the quality of Cain's offering; there is a mention in Genesis of the quality of Abel's sacrifice: "brought the firstborn of his flock and of their fat." Or literally, even the fattest ones. In other words, he brought the very best he had. Nothing was too good for God. He didn't go out to his flock and say, 'Ok, which is the weakest, scrawniest, sickliest lamb that's going to die anyway? I'll give that one to God!' He gave the best to God. That happens to be a pattern of giving to the Lord throughout the Scripture.
Rather than seeing some dumpy old thing that we have in the house that's really not doing us any good, we've used it; in fact we've broken it. And to look at that broken down piano or broken piece of furniture, and say, 'Let's give it to the church! We've destroyed it anyway; it's not serving us anymore. It's not really good enough for our house—let's give it to the church. Surely they can use it.' The idea is to give God the best. When David wanted to build a temple for the Lord, he was looking for a place, a high place in Jerusalem, which is today the Temple Mount, was at that time the threshing floor of Arana. And he went to them and said, 'I want to buy your land.' Arana said, 'You're the king, you're doing it for God, I'll give it to you.' And David said, 'No. I will not offer to the Lord burnt offerings from that which cost me nothing.' It's got to cost me; I've got to feel it. It's got to pinch. So you give it to me, you sell it to me, for full price and I'll buy it and we'll build the temple and God can have sacrifices at that temple.
So the kind of offering, the quality of offering, and third, the character behind the offering. Now watch this. Verse five, "He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?'" He was moping. He was bummed out and God said, "Why art thou bummed out?" "If you do well, will you not be accepted?" Did you notice the wording? If you do well, if you live right, if you're practicing truth in your own personal life, if you do well, will you not be accepted? "If you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."
God never separates the worship that you bring from the worshiper that brings whatever it is you bring. He always looks at the heart of the worshiper. He looks at the worship, but He attaches the outward form of worship, whatever it may be—the raising of hands, the singing of songs, the giving of time, the giving of treasure—and He looks at a person's heart. And here, Cain is showing his true colors. He's showing his heart. He's angry and he's got murder in his heart. The seed of murder in the heart because the seed of murder is anger. Jesus said, "You've heard that it was said in times of old, you shall not murder but I say unto you if you're angry at your brother without a cause, you've already committed murder." Cain was a murderer in his heart long before Cain was a murderer with his hands. And so he brings the sacrifice, he brings the worshiper. Now keep this in mind, the Bible never talks about Cain as if he's some heathen, some pagan. He's a worshiper. He's a false worshiper. He's bringing his own stuff that would bring a sense of pride and he's angry—he's got the wrong attitude.
So God says, "If you do well, will you not be accepted?" Jesus, in Matthew 15, quoting Isaiah, spoke about the worshipers in Jerusalem, in Israel: "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draws near to Me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, in vain do they worship me.' It's interesting. We judge worship outwardly. The same group that would say, 'It's not fair for God not to respect what Cain brought,' is the same group who would look outwardly at worship, I believe. Let's say you take two people in a worship service. And you see one person with the hands raised and they're even swaying a little bit, and they're singing loudly and clearly and tears are rolling down their cheeks, they're such an intensity. We would look at that and say, 'Boy, that person is really worshiping.' But if we catch somebody out of the corner of our eye and their hands are limp or down and they're just sort of mouthing the words, we might judge them and say, 'That person needs to learn how to worship. I gotta get this crowd motivated.' But what is worship? It all begins with the heart. And it's possible to raise the hands and sing loudly and be intense while you're thinking, 'They're gonna notice me as my hands are raised and as I sing really loud. And especially with these tears, they're gonna think I'm really worshiping.' Now you've entered into a danger zone, right? Or maybe they're thinking, 'Look at that outfit that she's wearing.' Or, 'I don't like this song. I've never really liked this song.' Or, 'This is going way too long.' It's possible to say something with our lips but not be engaged with the heart. You remember the story Jesus told of the two men who went up to the temple to pray, the Pharisee and the tax collector? And Jesus said, 'The Pharisee prayed thus with himself.' Interesting description. Is it possible to pray not to God but to yourself? Uh-huh. You pray it, you say it out loud and you listen to yourself and go, 'You know that was pretty good! That was a pretty cool prayer.' This is what he prayed, 'God I thank you that I'm not like other people,' and he got so impressed with himself. There wasn't any true worship in that at all.
Cain brought worship, but the character behind the worship was lacking. The kind of offering he brought, the quality of offering that he brought, and then the character that's behind it. All those three would make God accept one and reject the other. Continue in verse 7: "And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door." That is, crouching at the door. Picture a wild animal crouching, ready to spring into action. "And its desire is for you [that is, to control you], but you should rule over it." Now, nothing has changed. It's true in our lives. Sin is always crouching at our door. For some of us, it's across the threshold and it's inside the house and we've given it its own room. Desiring to control, but, it says, "You must rule over it."
There's a book put out a few years ago called Death in the Tall Grass. It was written by a big-game hunter in Africa who spoke not only of hunting wild game, but that there were a certain kind of lion that hunted human beings. Certain kind of predatory cats that were brilliant; they worked with stealth, they got the taste of human blood and he said, they would creep into the camp at night, walking over several people who were sleeping to target their prey that they had targeted in advance. Incredible stories. In fact, one large cat, he said, had killed over 100 men and would stalk them. And they're fast—once they crouch and they spring, they can cover 100 yards in three seconds. So if sin is crouching at the door, close the door! Or if Satan is knocking at the door would you just say, 'Jesus, would You answer the door for me?' Instead of opening the door and saying, 'Ok, there's the devil. I rebuke you, devil!' And start carrying on a conversation with him… hide behind Jesus! Don't deal with him herself. Yank out the power. Sin is crouching; its desire is to control you, to rule you. It's the battle we have: the flesh and the spirit. "But you must rule over it."
"Now Cain talked with Abel his brother." By the way, aren't you impressed that God, instead of writing off Cain after he brought the wrong sacrifice and it wasn't by faith. But God didn't just write him off, but he approached him and talked to him and reasoned it out. Saying, 'Hey, why are you so angry?' See, he didn't have a right to be angry and he could stop the anger—it was his choice. The problem wasn't outside of him, it was within him. And it could be fixed, it could stop. So God is reasoning with him, warning him, 'Something bad's about to happen, buddy. You got to master it, you got to control it.' But he didn't listen to Him.
"Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him." Now there's the first murder. And it's not second-degree murder; it's not negligent homicide. This is murder in the first degree. This is murder one. And he becomes the prototype of murderers and manslayers who would come after him. Now violence has entered the human race in a powerful way.
"Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Where is Abel your brother?' He said, 'I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?' So we have a lie and a revelation. A lie, 'I don't know.' You know exactly where you left his dead corpse. And it's a revelation that his heart had become so calloused, so hardened toward his own fellow man, his own brother, that he would ask in an aloof, snippy kind of a way, 'Am I my brother's keeper?' Answer? Uh-huh. You are your brother's keeper. Especially your own blood brother. You're to protect his life; you're certainly not to take his life.
"Am I my brother's keeper? And He said, 'What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand." At that point that he let his anger take control and he let sin master him, that which was crouching at the door pounced upon him, he gave into the temptation. At the moment he let sin master him and did not rule over it, he became part of, in a spiritual sense, the seed of the serpent that was opposed to the Seed that would bring forth the deliverer. And that battle goes on.
Now, in the New Testament there's a warning using Cain as an example. In the book of Jude, verse 11, it speaks about those who have gone the way of Cain. Now the way of Cain seems to have been a pattern. I mean, the fact that Jude would call it 'the way of Cain,' it was a known, established pattern. And this is what I think it means. Somebody who goes the way of Cain rejects God's solution for the sin of mankind which comes through the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ alone. Somebody who would reject that and say, 'I'm gonna come to God, the way I feel like it, with my own good works or my own religious affiliation. I'll do it my way,' is the way of Cain. Further, to reject the admonition of God in the Scripture, to refuse to repent like Cain did when God told him, 'Why are you angry? Don't let that happen,' is to go the way of Cain. So it's become a pattern and many people in our world have gone the way of Cain in rejecting God's solution for their issue.
Verse 11, God says, "So now you are cursed from the earth [the earth has been cursed, now you are cursed from the earth] which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive [or a wanderer] and a vagabond you shall be on the earth." So he was consigned now to a nomadic lifestyle. A wanderer. In the ancient cultures, the ancient Sumerian of that Persian Gulf area, Mesopotamia area, to be banished from the land was a phrase that was used. It was one of their greatest fears. It meant to be turned away from your family. You can't hang out at home, you have to leave, you're banished to be a wanderer. So you're leaving the protection of your family. So he said, 'Am I my brother's keeper?' Now God is saying, 'No one's going to be your keeper. You're now a fugitive. You're consigned to wander that nomadic lifestyle.'
"And when you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you." Do you realize that when Adam sinned he didn't just make it bad for all of us, he made it bad for the environment. I think the environmentalists should be down on Adam, because the earth, the ground, the environment was cursed. It says that all of creation, Romans 8, was made subject to futility. Not by reason of itself but by reason of the one who subjected it in hope all of creation, said Paul, in Romans 8. All of creation groans and travails in pain waiting to be delivered. One day it will be delivered. It's called the millennial kingdom of Christ. The reason a millennium must occur is for God to fulfill that promise. Until then, creation groans and we groan and we see its effects—the entropy, the second law of thermodynamics. That matter is degenerating, or energy is actually being lost, thus matter is degenerating, is fully in play. Things tend toward decay and getting worse rather than order and getting better.
Verse 13: "And Cain said to the Lord, 'My punishment is greater than I can bear!'" Oh really? Greater than you can bear? Now this is a case of self-pity when there should be repentance. I have to believe that if Cain would have said, 'Lord, I admit my wrong. I was angry and I did sin and it was murder—it was wrong. Please, God, forgive me.' That God would have forgiven him. That's His character; that's His nature. But here, he's saying, 'The punishment is worse than I can bear!' No it's not. In just a few chapters, God's gonna say in Genesis 9, 'Whoever sheds man's blood by man his blood shall be shed.' God could have killed him. That's what he deserved. He deserved capital punishment because if God gave humanity the right to exercise capital punishment, certainly God reserves the right to exercise it as well. But He didn't do it.
So here's Cain disregarding the previous instruction of what sacrifice to bring, entering into anger, letting the anger push him down, he descended to the level of being a murderer, and now he says, 'It's worse than I can bear!' Waa. "Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I that anyone who finds me will kill me. And the Lord said to him, 'Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.' And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him."
What was the mark that God set on Cain? A lot of books written about it. We don't know. That's the best answer. You can conjecture all you want, it just says, 'a mark.' Maybe it was a mark only God could see; sort of like invisible ink. God just says, 'You're a marked man.' It could just simply be that—God made a promise. In fact, the word 'sign' could also be translated 'pledge' or 'promise.' It could be simply that God made a declaration that, 'You're a marked man and because of what you just said is a possibility, is true, I'm going to make sure that you're marked; you're set aside.' Or it could have been a physical mark of some kind. It wouldn't be the first. If you've read the Bible before, you're familiar probably with Ezekiel 9. In Ezekiel 9, God tells the prophet to go through Jerusalem, actually a man with an inkhorn, and mark on the foreheads a mark, a sign, of all of those that mourn, or sigh, over the wickedness done in Jerusalem. Those who are broken-hearted because their culture is so decayed and so corrupt, and they go, 'Oh I hate it! I hate this sin that's around me!' God says, 'Find those people and mark them so that when I wipe this city out, they'll be spared.'
The second case of a mark on the forehead in Revelation 7. Remember that? 144,000. God said to the angel, 'Mark them. Put a mark, a seal, on their forehead so that they would be protected during the tribulation period.' So it could be either/or, physical mark or simply a pledge, a declaration. "Then Cain went out," verse 16, "from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden." I find that when I preach, some people dwell in the land of Nod. Nod means 'wanderer.' This was the land that he inhabited, called the land of the wanderer. "And Cain knew his wife." Now wait a minute. Where did Cain get his wife? It's always the big question. It's funny there are predictable questions that people have in Genesis. They're so interested in this man's wife. 'Where did Cain get his wife?' Well, look over at chapter 5 verse 4: "After he begot Seth [that is, Adam], the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters." That's a long time to have a lot of them. So no doubt, and I have no problem with it, Cain married one of his sisters. Which, at that time, wasn't a problem. It wasn't a genetic danger zone. Today, if you have close inter-breeding, there are all sorts of genetic problems that occur. The gene pool is polluted; it lowers I.Q., lots of other problems. But before pollution had fully entered the human race, this is close now to the very spring of life itself, this is the offspring of the first man and first woman. And so it was much purer than and by necessity, he could have married a sister.
If you were going to drink water from the Rio Grande, would you rather go up to Colorado at the base of Mt. Canby where the origin of the water is pure and fresh and drink from it there, or would you rather drink from it in New Mexico or Mexico or Texas, after it has run its course past several cities and absorbed the pollutants from those civilizations and animals? No way! And so too, the human race over time has been polluted as time went on, so the effects prohibit for a lot of reasons this kind of activity. But back then? Not a problem.
"And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch." Now you go, 'Isn't that sweet? What a great relationship he has with his family.' Don't be too quick. God told him he'd be a wanderer. Now he's trying to settle down and build a town. As if to defy the sentence that was leveled against him by God. Sort of like what will happen at the Tower of Babel: 'I'm going to build something that reaches heaven.' "To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot [isn't that a great word? It's a Bible word—begot. If you have an Old King James, 'begat'] Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech." Seventh from Adam on the side of Cain. "Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother's name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah."
The first bigamist was Lamech. He had two wives. Now God said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother be joined to his wife." Singular. This is the first time and it's in the line of Cain that two wives are taken by one man. So this is where it all started. He's the first bigamist. Now, he has three kids. And one is the head of the cattle grower's association; he's sort of the father of all those who are herders. The other is the music guild superintendent; those who play harp and the flute. And the other one was a metallurgist. So, they're doing sort of what God had told Adam and Eve they should do. They should have dominion over the earth and subdue it; but they're now subduing it not for the glory of God but for the glory of self. Now that's important to understand because this lineage is about to stop as far as recording its future. It's going to stop and another one's going to pick up for obvious reasons.
"Then Lamech said to his wives: 'Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech!'' I know a lot of guys that do that every night to their wives. He says, "For I have killed a man for wounding me." Now, this could be self-defense or it simply could be, 'You know, a guy injured me. He brushed up against me and it hurt a bit, so I killed him.' See, at this point it's very primitive. The 'eye for an eye, tooth for tooth,' hasn't been instituted yet to limit vengeance. So he says, 'Somebody hurt me; I killed him.'
"Even a young man for hurting me. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold." Interesting that Jesus told Peter that he should forgive seventy times seven. Or, some translations, seventy-seven times. One is revenge, the other is forgiveness. Verse 25: "And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, 'For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.' And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord."
I want you just to think about this. They had a child named Seth; that was a happy day for them. But up to this point, it was very sad for them. Adam and Eve lost two sons. They lost Abel, he was murdered by Cain. But then they lost Cain because God exiled him. So, as parents, they lost both their children. But now Seth has come. Now a godly line. And we have in these two chapters the difference between the godly line of Seth versus the ungodly line of Cain. Now the line of Cain will be dropped off; now the line of Seth will be picked up. Because Seth is the one through whom God will send His promise. Genesis 3:15: a son born of a woman who will eventually destroy the kingdom of the serpent, of Satan.
And it says, "Men began to call on the name of the Lord," or some translations suggest, "They began to call on the Lord by name." And the word Lord is Yahweh. They began to call on Yahweh by name. They referred to this One as the God who is the I AM. They began to call on Him by name. So chapter 5 is the genealogy of the line of Adam through Seth; Cain is now dropped. Now we're picking up a godly, not a godless, culture and it will end with Noah, who's also godly and the flood will be at his time.
Francis Schaeffer, he wrote a tremendous amount of books that influenced me early in my Christian walk. And he talked about all of society being two humanities: you're either in one or the other. And what he was referencing is something that St. Augustine wrote years before in a great monumental work called the City of God. Augustine said that all of the world, all of the human race, is in one of two cities, or societies, we would call them, one of two cultures. One that regards the love of God over the love of self, and the other one that regards the love of self over the love of God. And he drew many parallels to his day, including Rome, etcetera. But the City of God. And so here we see the two humanities, the two cities, by these two genealogies.
It says, "This is the book of the genealogy of Adam." So it's the history of man—Adam. "In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God." Now we're going to have a genealogy and I know what you're thinking, 'Bo-ring!' I mean, what could be worse than reading names of people you don't know, especially names nobody can pronounce, at least in English? That's boring! It's funny that some people would say a genealogy is boring and yet they'll pour over pages and pages of stock quotes and think it's cool. Or batting averages. 'Now you're talking!'
A genealogy isn't boring if your name is in it. And what's great is that now we have a genealogy where God is focusing upon those who are faithful to Him. And I think God has special regard for those who are faithful to Him. And more genealogy that includes faithful names are here than the unfaithful ones in the previous chapter. I think that's a principal. Malachi 3:16: "Those who knew the Lord spoke often to one another and a book of remembrance was written for them in the presence of the Lord." It's as if God is saying, 'I write a special little book of remembrance for those who are faithful to Me, who love to talk about Me and to remember Me. I remember them.' Beautiful idea.
Now as we go through this, it's a graveyard. We're sort of like walking past tombstones… and he died, and he died, and he died. Except for one exception. A guy who doesn't die. "He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind [or, in Hebrew, Adam]" They were called Adam. They weren't called the Adamses or the Adam's Family, but just Adam. Mankind. "In the day they were created. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died."
Now I'm not going to deal again with the ages of people. I dealt with that when we were going through the creation story, as to the plausibility of people living up to that age. The plausibility of a vapor canopy and the electromagnetic spectrum—I'll leave that for that study. "Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters." I just want to throw something out to you. When Adam was created on day one, how old was he? He was one day old. But did he look one day old? No, he must have looked like a full-grown man, twenty, twenty-five. Fully developed. So in the first day of creation, there was an age factor built into Adam, as there was in the rest of creation. When God created birds in the sky and animals on the ground, it didn't say He created eggs in a nest that hatched, He created the birds. When He created plants and trees, He created them with seeds so it could continue. So there was an age factor built into the unit itself. It just is fun to throw out; it brings up the possibility that God could have done that with all of the universe. I know there is a debate as to the age of the earth. Is it 6,000 years old; is it 10,000 years old; is it 20 million years old; is it billions of years old? And there's a lot of different guesses. But God certainly could have done to the whole globe what He did to Adam or the birds or the plants: put an age factor in them that made them mature even though they were much younger than that.
"So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died. Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan. After he begot Cainan, Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years; and he died. Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel. After he begot Mahalalel, Cainan lived eight hundred forty years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years; and he died. Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared. After he begot Jared, Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years; and he died. Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters."
Did you know, just a little interesting fact, that though Enoch is an Old Testament person, he's mentioned more in the New Testament than in the Old Testament? There's five passages altogether in the Bible that mention Enoch. Two of them are in genealogies; so the three of them that have real substance are Genesis 5, there's some commentary on it here, Hebrews 11, and Jude verses 14 and 15. So there are three verses in the Old Testament and two verses in the New Testament. But if you count the words, 51 words in the Old Testament that speak of Enoch, 94 words in the New Testament. So more in the New Testament is written about Enoch than even in the Old Testament, this ancient, interesting man.
"So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died. Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years and had sons and daughters." Now that would imply that he hadn't always been walking with God, but now something happened that caused a turning, a desire to walk with his Creator. And the only event that we can find that caused that was the birth of a child. Isn't it amazing how when you have children, especially raising them in a wicked environment, you sense the need to get spiritual? Not bad. You sober up. You realize, 'Oh my goodness. This is the environment my child's going to be raised in? These are the values they're going to be exposed to? I better get me to church! And put that little boy in Sunday School!" Be careful, though. You can't pass on what you don't have. You have to have a relationship with God yourself and a desire yourself, because if you try to just pawn it off on the child, he'll see hypocrisy. Kids are good at spotting that really quick.
"So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him." Now here's the only break in the book, in the chapter, that says, and he died, and then we come to Enoch and he didn't die. It says, "He was not, for God took him." Again, Hebrews chapter 11: "By faith Enoch was taken away so he did not see death." He was transferred, the word could be translated. Transferred. He just was here one moment and in heaven the next. Sort of like a rapture. On the earth—didn't die—off the earth. The Bible predicts the event will take place in mass again. 1 Thessalonians 4: "When the Lord comes back for His church those who are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord will be translated." Taken instantly into heaven—the rapture is that.
"Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. After he begot Lamech, Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died." Imagine being the life insurance company that sold him his annuity. They had no idea how long this dude was going to hang out. This is the oldest guy in the Bible. Nine hundred and sixty-nine years. But it says he died. Now, you should know something. It says in the book of Jude that Enoch proclaimed judgment and prophesied judgment to his generation. Preached to them of coming judgment. Now how did he do that? The only guess I can come up with is in the name of his son Methuselah, which means when translated, 'when he is dead, it shall be sent,' or 'his death shall bring it.' If you were to do the chronology of his birth and the time of the flood, when Noah was six hundred years old, you discover that the year Methuselah was the year the flood came. I mean, who else would name his son "When he's dead, it shall be sent'? What kind of a name is that? It's a pronouncement of judgment. He could see that the flood was coming. How could he see that? Well, when you walk close with God for three hundred years, God tells you a few things. He named his son that. Which would make being his parents a little precarious. Every time the kid got a cold or wanted to go out and play, 'Oh my goodness. This could be it!' All the neighbors would give him vitamins and take care of him.
"Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. And he called his name Noah, saying, 'This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.' After he begot Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years; and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died. And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth."