And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.( Genesis 5: 21-24)
We have been examining the two contrasting lines which developed from among Adam’s children. Cain, the world’s first will worshipper and murderer, set out “east of Eden”, away from the presence of the Lord, to inaugurate a new start for mankind, the city of “Enoch”, and the civilization which would develop out of it.
Cainite civilization quickly advanced, exercising dominion over the earth in spite of its God estrangement; building cities, developing technology, metallurgy, agriculture, animal husbandry , music and the arts. They would overcome the curse upon the earth, without repentance. There would be no turning to God, rather they would rely on human ingenuity, intelligence, strength, and innovation to make a life for themselves in this world.
The names of some of the great innovators survive from this people, Enoch, for whom the first city was named, and Tubal-Cain, Jubal and Jabal, who developed arts, science and agriculture. There are prominent woman named also, such as Adah and Zillhah, the wives of Lamech.
The other line, which was not as well-known for advancement in technology or for the prominence of it’s “great men” and well-known women, flowed through Seth, the substitute son for the slain Abel. The one aspect that marks this line was that in the days of the birth of Seth’s son, they began to “call upon the name of the LORD”, in an organized fashion.
We are given a contrast, in Genesis 4-5, between these two lines of humanity, (for they currently flow together in our world also), by highlighting an example from the seventh generation of each, for by seven generations the seed of each line comes to its fullest expression.
In the case of the seventh from Adam through the line of Cain, we come to Lamech.
And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.(Genesis 4:23-24)
How far will God allow godlessness to develop? Where does it end up? What does a society of Lamech’s look like? Cain was a will worshipper, but at the beginning he at least acknowledged God as Creator. The first dispute involved approved or disapproved worship.
But Cain leads to Lamech. And Lamech led to the flood.
But by the time of Lamech, note the fact that the primal law of marriage is completely disregarded, and that the first recorded song is a blasphemous boast of Lamech’s prowess, and that his vengeance of a perceived slight would be greater than the Holy God’s eternal sentence on transgressors.
Our own Cain generation has long forgotten the Judeo Christian roots which once nourished us. Could we have dreamed of the degraded society which we now inhabit, thirty years ago? The fact that there should even be such a subject as “Gay marriage” would have been unthinkable to many of us, in our lifetime.
Could it be true that America has come upon the fortieth year of “legal abortion” and has killed more than 50 million of our most innocent?What has happened to us? How we have died! How we have rotted and corrupted! How ugly our once beautiful civilization has become!!!
But alongside the tares, the God defying ‘seed of the serpent”, and among the din of the self magnifying, violent, boasting Cain culture, there also developed the wheat, the line of Seth. The contrasting seventh from Adam representative of this generation was a preacher of righteousness named Enoch.He saw a vision, of the final judgment, and of the coming of the Lord in glory.
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.(Jude 13-14)
To Enoch also was shown the fact that the flood would come, in the final year of his son ,Methuselah. The name Methuselah is itself a prophecy, meaning,”His death shall bring”, and the flood came the year he died. This is a testimony to the long suffering of God for Methuselah is recorded as being the oldest person to ever live, 969 years!
Centuries later the apostle Peter would point out to us the reason for the long delay in Divine judgment, that the story of Methuselah underscores,
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance( 2 Peter 3:8-9)
Where does the line of Abel, and Seth lead? What is the fullest expression of this line, in the seventh generation from Adam? That long suffering generation, not as flamboyant as the Cainites, mocked and ridiculed, and which could not point so much to the “great men” in their midst, or to the famous women, but which humbly gathered to “call upon the LORD” in the day of apostasy and defection.
It leads to Enoch, who walked with God, preaching, teaching, warning, admonishing for three hundred and sixty five years! The godly line, the humble ‘seed of the woman’ , which extended from Abel, who was murdered, through the line of worshippers unto Enoch, the seventh from Adam. What happened to Him?
He was raptured.
As Hebrews reminds us, it matters not so much whether we are slain like Abel, or raptured as Enoch was, what matters is the testimony of saving faith within.
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.(Hebrews 11:4-5)