WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 26, 2020
TOPIC: HUMANS’ CONTINUOUS REBELLION AGAINST GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah” (Genesis 4:19 New King James Version).
Lamech was the fifth in descent from Cain, the first child of Adam. In other words, he was the fifth-generation descendant of Cain. Adam and Eve were the first pattern of marriage that God gave to the world. It was a pattern of one husband, one wife. But Lamech rebelled against God’s law of monogamy.
Genesis 4:19 says, “Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah” (Genesis 4:19 New King James Version). Where did Lamech get that idea? None of his ancestors married two wives. How come Lamech became the first polygamist recorded in the Bible? Why didn’t he follow God’s marriage ordinance?
What Lamech did, showed man’s progression in rebellion against God, which Adam and Eve started when they disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. Cain followed their footsteps by killing his brother, Abel. Whereas Adam and Eve were afraid when they heard the voice of God in the garden after they had eaten the fruit and saw they were naked, Cain was rude to God when He asked him for the whereabouts of his brother whom he had killed.
“Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’” (Genesis 4:9 New King James Version). Did you see that? He wasn’t remorseful after killing his brother. He didn’t go to hide anywhere. He spoke defiantly. This wasn’t the way Adam spoke. But they sowed the seed of rebellion against God. Unfortunately, Cain took it to the next level!
God thereafter placed a curse on Cain. “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. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth’” (verses 10-12 New King James Version).
What was the reaction of Cain? Did he show any repentance? No. He was more concerned about the punishment than the sin he committed. “And Cain said to the LORD, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me’” (verses 13-14 New King James Version).
Many people still behave like Cain today. They don’t genuinely repent. Some are more worried about their punishment than the sin or offence they’ve committed. When some people cry and beg for forgiveness, it is not because they’ve truly repented. It is because they want to escape punishment or want it to be reduced. A truly repentant person is more concerned about the sin he has committed than the punishment he will receive or the privileges that he may forfeit.
God is looking for true repentance. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10 New King James Version).
Be careful the example you set for your children or family. In most cases, where the parents set bad examples, the children do worse things. A father may smoke cigarettes as a habit, but the children may be addicted to drugs! If a parent is involved in one vice, his children may engage in multiple vices.
If someone is a polygamist, he may have succeeded in laying a foundation of this pattern for his offspring. The spirit of polygamy may take over the family such that there will hardly be anyone who does not marry more than one wife.
The same thing happens to women who may sometimes, by the divorce or separation they have gone through in marriage, unknowingly bring this spirit upon their daughters and female descendants. The daughters would have to defeat this spirit if they’re going to keep their homes. The demons that fought the parents often want to fight their children. Don’t start anything that will have evil repercussions on your lineage.
Don’t start a generational curse; start a generational blessing. Let your lineage learn that you’re the reason they are blessed or enjoying a particular benefit. The LORD told Abram, “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3b New King James Verse). Don’t you like that? I’m sure you don’t like the opposite!
You can be a blessing to generations after you long after you are gone. And someone can be a curse, too, long after he has gone. From Romans 5:15, we learn that by one man’s offence many died, but the grace of God and the gift abound to many by the grace of one Man, Jesus Christ.
The human race has progressed in evil from Adam until today even though, over 2000 years ago, Jesus came to die to save humans from sin. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in disobedience to the command of God. Cain killed his brother. Similarly, Lamech went ahead to marry two wives in rebellion against God’s ordinance.
Not only was Lamech the first polygamist mentioned in the Bible, he also took after Cain by being a murderer; although, he said he killed in self-defence. Hear what he told his two wives: “Listen to me, my wives. I have killed a youth who attacked and wounded me. If anyone who kills Cain is to be punished seven times, anyone who takes revenge against me will be punished seventy-seven times!” (Genesis 4:23-24 New Living Translation).
Different interpretations have been given to this piece of poetry by Lamech. Some Bible scholars agreed that Lamech’s utterance was not the confession of a repentant sinner. He was rather boastful that he killed a man for wounding or hurting him. However, other Bible scholars believe that he killed in self-defence as he had claimed.
The Bible in Basic English puts Lamech’s boast differently: “For I would put a man to death for a wound, and a young man for a blow.”
In the comparison that Lamech made between Cain and himself, he seemed to be claiming innocence and justifying his action. He said that if anyone who killed Cain would be punished seven times, anyone who killed him would be punished seventy-seven times. Who told him that?
In Cain’s case, it was God, not Cain, who pronounced punishment upon anyone who might kill him. But Lamech became a judge in his own case. By his verdict, Lamech appeared to be assuring his wives that because he was innocent or justified to have killed his victim, anyone who killed him would be punished eleven times more than anyone who killed Cain.
As I have said, there are divergent views on this Bible passage, but considering Lamech’s statement, one can say that the punishment he meted out to his victim was more than the offence he committed! He said he killed the young man for wounding or hurting him. I think death should not have been the penalty for wounding or hurting him. And suppose he didn’t intend to kill him, but the person died, he should have shown some remorse. He didn’t. Man was progressing in evil.
In the days of Noah, man progressed further in evil. “Now the LORD observed the extent of the people’s wickedness, and he saw that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil. So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them. It broke his heart. And the LORD said, ‘I will completely wipe out this human race that I have created. Yes, and I will destroy all the animals and birds, too. I am sorry I ever made them.’ But Noah found favor with the LORD” (Genesis 6:5-8 New Living Translation).
The negative narrative continues: “Now the earth had become corrupt in God’s sight, and it was filled with violence. God observed all this corruption in the world, and he saw violence and depravity everywhere. So God said to Noah, ‘I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. Yes, I will wipe them all from the face of the earth!’” (Verses 11-13 New Living Translation).
After the flood, which Noah and his family survived, did man change? No. God said people’s thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood (Genesis 8:21). Jeremiah 17:9a says the human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked.
Don’t act on just any thought that you have. It may not be the right thing to do. Genesis 3:6 says Eve saw that the tree of the forbidden fruit was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. That she considered the fruit good didn’t mean she was right. She should have obeyed the Word of God more rather than her senses.
Don’t follow strange thoughts that are contrary to the Word of God. When Cain was putting up a strange behavior because God didn’t accept his sacrifice, God came to him and warned him that he was going in a dangerous direction (Genesis 4:6-7). But he didn’t listen. If he had, he would have rejected that strange thought to murder his brother.
Don’t do something just because the thought comes to you. Reject it if it violates the Word of God. If Lamech had done that, he wouldn’t have married two wives or killed the young man who attacked and wounded him.
The psalmist says he has hidden the Word of God in his heart so that he might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). Let the word of God determine your thoughts and actions. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8 New King James Verse).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I shall not start a generational curse in my family; I shall start a generational blessing. I shall not mortgage the future of my offspring in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, help me to think thoughts that are consistent with the Word of God. I reject thoughts that are contrary to the Word of God.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947