I am out of town today on retreat. So I’m unable to write the devotional I am personally reading today. Today’s devotional is an encore of a devotional I wrote a few years ago. You’ll see my style has changed a bit but The Holy Spirit has not changed. I hope you enjoy this one.
Genesis Chapter 5 lists the descendants of Adam to Seth to Noah and his sons Shem, Ham, and Japeth. When Noah was born his father Lamech gave him the name Noah because it meant “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” (Verse 29). This genealogy comes from Seth, the son born to Adam and Eve to replace the sons she lost when Cain killed Abel.
But there is a genealogy of Cain, and there are some similar names. Going back to chapter 4 we can read it. In chapter 4 Cain is father of Enoch, who fathered Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech (Genesis 4:18)
Seth’s descendants also include an Enoch. Enoch is described in Genesis 5:21-24.
When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
This amazing godly man fathered Methuselah who then fathered Lamech. These two family trees resulted in two men with the same name but they were very different men. They both referred back to the curse left to them by their ancestors. But Cain and Seth had different reactions to their interactions with God.
Cain’s Lamech had two wives. Two wives was not in God’s plan. This man probably did not live a life of calling on The LORD. His ancestor Cain had left the presence of the LORD and made it part of his punishment even though those words never came from God’s mouth. Cain had chosen not to repent from the murder of his brother and as he had children I would venture that he didn’t teach them to call on God. He passed down his legacy and lesson of murder from his bitter perspective. The result reveals itself in a conversation Cain’s Lamech had with his wives one day. Chapter 4 verses23-24 read,
“Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
24 If Cain's revenge is sevenfold,
then Lamech's is seventy-sevenfold.”
Lamech had murdered someone. He claimed it to be self-defense and since Cain had been protected by God, Lamech felt he would be protected even more so. His pride led him to believe that he could punish anyone who tried to avenge the man he had killed. He had no basis for his assumption. He had been taught what had happened to Cain. He didn’t have a relationship with God. He didn’t call on Him or know Him. He made excuses for his evil and he passed that evil onto his wives and children.
Seth’s Lamech was the grandson of a man who had walked so closely with God that God took him to be with Him. His Father was Methuselah who lived to be older than anyone else in recorded history. We can guess that teaching love for God happened in this family. We have evidence of it in Lamech’s prophetic words as he named his son Noah. “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” We have evidence in the man Noah came to be, described in Genesis 6:9 “…Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.”
Who you are affects your children and your children’s children. How you respond to God, how you walk, and how you pass those lessons on impacts future generations. You do not live in a bubble. People in your life now, see how you live and learn from how you live. Your children especially will learn from you. It is never too late, to stop, to repent, and to end a destructive lifestyle, dangerous habit, or damaging trait. What is it your children are learning from you that you’d rather them not? Deal with God now. End this burden now, before it affects your descendants. Instead of passing down the curses, pass down the blessings.