Conference 2018, part 3. The line of Cain and the line of Seth, the struggle for humanity.

Class Outline:

Sunday 12,2018

Conference 2018, part 3. The line of Cain and the line of Seth, the struggle for humanity.


What is civilization and culture without God? They are not in themselves sinful, but without God they are breeding grounds for much sin and evil.


GEN 4:23 And Lamech said to his wives,


"Adah and Zillah,

Listen to my voice,

You wives of Lamech,

Give heed to my speech,

For I have killed a man for wounding me;

And a boy for striking me;


GEN 4:24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold,

Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold."


Lamech becomes the strong man or bully. The world is full of them.


How do we deal with the bully, the big man, the strong man? We do as David did that loud-mouthed Goliath - the Lord will strike you down.


Matthew Parris, a famous atheist, wrote an article about his African homeland. Much of Africa is still tribal and within their communities there is usually a strong man who rules by machete. He writes of the African Christians:


“Whenever we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we had to acknowledge that something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to: something in their eyes, the way they approached you direct, man-to-man, without looking down or away. They had not become more deferential towards strangers - in some ways less so - but more open.”


Lamech’s song is of boasting. He kills in the same way as Cain and boasts of it.


Further than attempting to overcome the curse of death, Lamech takes the place of the curse itself as his father Cain did, implementing it and then boasting openly of it. Lamech attempts to take the place of God as curse-giver.


At least Cain asked for God’s protection. There was a thin thread between Cain and God, but not so with Lamech. Lamech took the tools that his son made and killed. He took the curse into his own hands and had no need for God for any purpose.


Lamechs become dangerous to society. He becomes isolated from the brotherhood of man, as always happens when one separates from God and enters into cruel self-sufficiency.


It is in the family of Lamech the characteristics of Cain’s line are most distinctly seen, and the significance of their tendencies becomes apparent.


His line set out to make of this world a bright and happy home. They seek to subdue the world and make it yield to them in a life in which they alone can delight.


The line of Seth: men began to call on the name of the Lord.


GEN 4:25 And Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, "God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel; for Cain killed him."


Cain’s murder is mentioned for the second time. It must not be forgotten. It was the beginning, the first act of a race of men who would reject the grace of God, lay aside God’s warning, and pursue their own selfish interests.


GEN 4:26 And to Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord.


“Men began to call upon the name of the Lord.”


“Name” - shem = name, reputation, memory, renown. Significant is the fact that the actual name of God directly follows: (Yavah).


“to call” - qara = to call, to call out, to recite. Used of Adam naming the animals and so has the nuance of calling something according to its characteristics.


“God called the light day and the darkness night.” Therefore, this is more than Seth and Enosh praying to God. It is not the beginning of prayer since men and God had already communicated. It is also not the beginning of worship since that had already occurred as well.


It is a call to one’s aid, which would apply as the generations of the line of Seth would have to face difficult times; the curse of the ground and themselves (personal sin) and the curse of the line of Cain who would bring evil to its apex. They would call upon the name of the Lord for aid.


Also, calling on Yavah’s name means characterizing it or calling out His attributes. This means that they began to study and discuss and worship the attributes of God.


Man must know who he really is and who God really is and then he must call upon God for aid, for without Him we can do nothing.


“began” - chalal = to begin. God marks the beginning of the divide with those who call on His name vs. those who don’t.


Cain called his city Enoch, beginnings or initiation. His beginning was of a much different sort than Seth’s.


This is simply the beginning of the divide: as the line of Cain began to seek life through culture and prosperity without God, the line of Seth began to study and call out the attributes of God and call upon Yavah for assistance.


In the final message of Christ to the disciples, He mentioned prayer four times. We must constantly seek the Lord. You will know that you do this when you are in almost constant communication with Him.


ROM 10:12

for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him;


You could be the biggest dolt in the world, have had the darkest past, and the gravest sins, but to believe upon Christ and then seek His name means that He will heal all wounds. Not take all your problems away. They will remain and you will have to fight the bullying and the temptations of the line of Cain, and the remnant of that line within you, the sin nature. Seek the Lord in the fight and He will fight for you.


PSA 8:4 What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?

And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?


PSA 8:5 Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God,

And dost crown him with glory and majesty!


PSA 8:6 Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands;

Thou hast put all things under his feet,


Gen 5 turns to the outworking of the curse in the human race.


This section of generations contains additional interpretive material. It shows God’s intention for the human race.


Meaning and purpose of my life: worship and represent God and enjoy His blessings.


Certainly the generations of Seth had cities and agriculture and livestock and even music and art, but they were secondary to the study of God and relationship with God.


It is significant that God records the building of cities, the making of tools and instruments, the making of tents and the art of raising livestock, and the making of music all in the line of Cain. Certainly the line of Seth did these things, but God is conveying something to us.


God conveys through the line of Cain vs. Seth: Life is not what YOU make of it. Life is worshipping God, waiting to see what He makes of it, and enjoying His blessings.


GEN 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.


GEN 5:2 He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.


When all the great inventors, rocket scientists, philosophers, surgeons, mathematicians, etc., appear before Christ, their morons like the rest of us. I doubt Edison was praised for his light bulb when he entered the next life, when He stood before the light of the world (if we assume his salvation).


That doesn’t mean that we don’t pursue the material things, but always they are evaluated in relationship to our walk with God.


There is a great struggle for the souls of men in human history. There always has been and always will be. From Egypt to Assyria to Babylon to Persian to Greece to Rome and on to all the great Gentile nations, man has basically been the same and each man caught up in the same struggle for life and death.


God mentions that they sought His name and then immediately the narrative of the lineage reminds us that the curse of death was still over them.


GEN 5:3 When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.


GEN 5:4 Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters.


GEN 5:5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.


God has made it so that we can worship Him and enjoy His blessings despite being surrounded by sin and death. This is the power of Jesus’ resurrection imputed to us at salvation.


1TI 6:12

Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.


We are created, to walk with God and enjoy what He gives us, but the sudden shift in mood is a sudden deepening horror that something had gone terribly wrong. Adam died! And when he died, we all died, ROM 5:12-14.


Vv. 8, 11, 14, 17, 20 - died, died, died, died, died!!


And then...


GEN 5:21 And Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah.


GEN 5:22 Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters.


GEN 5:23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.


GEN 5:24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.


Death repeats until Enoch where there is no death.


It is significant that Enoch is the seventh generation from Adam and Lamech of Cain’s line is also the seventh generation. God is holding them up to us side by side as if to say, “I set before you life and death, choose life that you may live.”


Enoch stands out as the hope of all who are under the curse of death. The one who walks with God overcomes the curse of death.


This is not to say that all who walk with God will be taken to heaven without dying. It simply and drastically shows all generations that walking with God is the only way to life.


That to walk with God is the true life of man is repeated again and again to Israel and the church. And in the church, we walk with the risen Christ, who brought life abundantly to us from heaven.


Enoch’s experience was undoubtedly held up as the model for others to follow in their earthly pilgrimage.


In contrast to the other panels, the report about Enoch prefers the verb “he walked with God.” Enoch did not “live” - he walked with God. Enoch did not die - he walked with God and God took him.


The expression became a common description of the life of fellowship and obedience with the Lord, as if to say that walking with the Lord was a step above living, maybe several steps.


LEV 26:3-4

'If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.


LEV 26:11-13

'Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. 'I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. 'I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you should not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.


COL 2:6-7

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.


GAL 5:16

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.


EPH 4:1-3

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


Marcus Dods, Book of Genesis

“Only once is the monotony broken; but this in so striking a manner as to rescue us from the idea that the historian is mechanically copying a barren list of names. For in the seventh generation, contemporaneous with the culmination of Cain’s line in the family of Lamech, we come upon the simple but anything but mechanical statement: “Enoch walked with God and he was not; for God took him.” The phrase is full of meaning. Enoch walked with God because he was His friend and liked His company, because he was going in the same direction as God, and had no desire for anything but what lay in God’s path. We walk with God when He is in all our thoughts; not because we consciously think of Him at all times, but because He is naturally suggested to us by all we think of; as when any person or plan or idea has become important to us, no matter what we think of, our thought is always found recurring to this favorite object, so with the godly man everything has a connection with God and must be ruled by that connection. When some change in his circumstances is thought of, he has first of all to determine how the proposed change will affect his connection with God - will his conscious be equally clear, will he be able to live on the same friendly terms with God and so forth. When he falls into sin he cannot rest till he has resumed his place at God’s side and walks again with Him. This is the general nature of walking with God; it is a persistent endeavor to hold all our life open to God’s inspection and in conformity to His will; a readiness to give up what we find that does cause any misunderstanding between us and God; a feeling of loneliness if we have not some satisfaction in our efforts at holding fellowship with God, a cold and desolate feeling when we are conscious of doing something that displeases Him. This walking with God necessarily tells on the whole life and character. As you instinctively avoid subjects which you know will jar upon the feelings of your friend, as you naturally endeavor to suit yourself to your company, so when the consciousness of God’s presence begins to have some weight with you, you are found instinctively endeavoring to please Him, repressing the thoughts you know He disapproves, and endeavoring to educate such dispositions as reflect His own nature.

It is easy to understand how we may practically walk with God - it is to open to Him all our purposes and hopes, to seek His judgment on our scheme of life and idea of happiness - it is to be on thoroughly friendly terms with God … Things were not made easy for Enoch. In evil days, with much to mislead him, with everything to oppose him, he had by faith and diligent seeking, as the Epistle to the Hebrews says, to cleave to the path on which God waked, often left in darkness, often thrown off the track, often listening but unable to hear the footfall of God or to hear his own name called upon, receiving no sign, but still diligently seeking the God he knew would lead him only to good.”


When we stack the genealogies side by side we see the stark difference between Lamech and Enoch. We also see another Lamech, but in the line of Seth. Naturally we compare the two, as the design is leading us to.


Break: Communion


Humankind’s hope is for relief from the curse (5:28-31)


Both Lamech’s make a speech, but the Lamech of Cain boasts of his murders while the Lamech of Seth blesses his son Noah:


GEN 5:28 And Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son.


GEN 5:29 Now he called his name Noah, saying, "This one shall give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the Lord has cursed."


GEN 5:30 Then Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years after he became the father of Noah, and he had other sons and daughters.


GEN 5:31 So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died.


GEN 5:32 And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.


Seven generations given in the line of Cain and ten in the line of Seth.


Noah’s name is a play on words. It sounds like naham, which means to comfort or to give rest.


Noah’s name doesn’t mean comfort, but one couldn’t help but have the sentiment. Noah will give us naham.


It is clear that even in the line of Seth life was difficult and uncomfortable due to the curse. This is remarkable when we consider how long they lived. So, one could ask, does it ever get easy? We could confidently answer, “Not even if you lived 800 years.”


Lamech hoped in his son Noah, hoping that he would somehow relieve them of the toil and pain of their lives. Noah would certainly do that, but not in any way that his father thought.


Noah is the second bright prospect in an otherwise depressing existence.


Enoch walked with God and escaped the curse of death. Noah also walked with God and his life brought comfort under the curse.


Noah had faith, walked with God, and gave rest to his family.


MAT 11:28-30

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."


Imagine Noah and his family, knowing that God is going to judge the world in 120 years, building the ark. They are in the process of building that which is going to give them safe passage. Every day they see it under construction and it gives them rest.


Though death enveloped the existence of man, there is the grace of God extended to all mankind. Those who see that grace and accept it will find that they will want to walk with God, and they will despite the curse. The grace of God, His gifts bestowed to man under the curse, gifts like faith, promises, commands to show us the way through, will give man joy, hope, and peace despite the curse.


The curse is all around us, but we enter the ark, which in our case is akin to entering into union with Christ, which all believers have at the moment of salvation.


No one else besides God can do this. Cain’s city and the civilization of his descendants with all its culture and fulfillment of fleshly desire could not give ease from the curse. It always hung there, like a humid, hot day, no matter how distracted they could get themselves.


Everyone has to cope with death and pain in their life. But those who enjoy the blessing of the calling of God may anticipate victory over the curse as they walk with the Lord.


God created man to represent Him and worship Him and to enjoy His blessings. Through grace, God has given us life abundantly despite the curse all around us and in us. However, now there is a condition to that fulfillment of our existence; we must walk with God in our lives as a rule.


So, how did things go? How did the ideas of Cain’s line work out? God was stricken with grief over the wickedness of mankind.


Evil is a major theme in the Book of Genesis. Men like Enoch and Noah stand out like bright lights.


There is so much to study and know in this sixth chapter, but we do not have time in our gathering this weekend.


We will close with the grace of God.


The condition of the world before the flood is a warning to all mankind. Each person’s decisions impact their entire life. Men find themselves in a world of wickedness and darkness. The gospel is their only hope. Believers remain in the same world and the beauty of their lives depends on their clinging to God and His ways. We can all be as Enoch or Noah or we can be fooled into thinking that life is really good in the ranks of Cain. We can’t lose our salvation, but we can lose our goodness of life and godliness of soul and blessedness of impact. 


Noah walked with God and was a righteous man. He and his family was spared because he found favor in the eyes of the Lord. But I must concede that I have reversed them.


Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of the Lord and he was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.


GEN 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.




GEN 6:9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.


GEN 6:10 And Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.


GEN 6:11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence.


GEN 6:12 And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.


“Grace” - chen [first usage] = unmerited favor. Noah was blessed with unmerited favor because he had faith. In every instance, your faith frees God to act.


I confess that I have stated this as an anthropopathism, which is completely appropriate here. We don’t free God to do anything; that would give us power over Him. Yet it is clearly true all throughout scripture that “by it [faith] men of old gained approval.” (HEB 11:2)


If we lack faith in God we put our faith in ourselves or in another. God allows us to see the power and the work of ourselves and the other. It’s not much. We put our faith in God and He allows us to see His power and His work, and it is superabundant.


This is the first time this word is here.


Other uses:


GEN 18:3 [Abraham had faith]

"My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please do not pass your servant by.”


GEN 39:4 [Joseph had faith]

So Joseph found favor in his sight, and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge.


GEN 39:21

But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.


EXO 3:21 [Who had faith in this granting?]

And I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed.


EXO 34:9 [Moses had faith]

And he said, "If now I have found favor in Thy sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go along in our midst, even though the people are so obstinate; and do Thou pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Thine own possession."


RUT 2:10 [Ruth had faith]

Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, "Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?"


It is clear that the world means unmerited favor. Yet, if grace is unmerited, then why did it fall upon Noah and not the rest of humanity? Noah had faith and faith results in grace. God makes war with the proud (the Nephalim are no more) and gives grace to the humble.


When we look at the world around us we truly see that there is nothing new under the sun. The world is as corrupt as it has ever been. Many pagan ideas and symbols reemerge. What was tried before is tried again. What is used to draw man away from his Maker is the same as it was millennia ago. It all reminds us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers. They appeal to man’s senses. God’s warning that the curse of death still hangs heavy over man will provide any clarity. One cannot rebel against God’s order and survive. One cannot become like God by rebelling against God.


So we sit at our Lord’s table and eat and drink abundantly of Him. Let us remember Him.

This bread is His body, which was given for you.

This cup is the New Covenant in His blood.