Friday, July 15, 2011

Regret or Repentance or Something Else

Today's memory verse is a little confusing. Not confusing like what does it mean. It's a pretty straightforward verse. It's confusing in the sense of why do the makers of this particular Bible reading Devotional think that it's important to memorize. The verse is Genesis 4:23.

23 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.

The first thing to notice here before we get into the verse is that Lamech had two wives. This is the first time in the bible that it is noted that a man has more than one wife. Is this important, for this verse no, in general that's still in the air.

Now for breaking down the verse itself. In order to better understand this verse we need to know the context. Chapter 4 of Genesis starts with the birth of Cain and Abel, which are the first two children born of a woman. The story continues with Cain becoming jealous of Abel because God favor's Abel's offering to God more then his own. Out of Cain's jealousy we have the birth of our very first physical human murder. God ask Cain where Abel is, and he lies and says he doesn't know. This harbor's God anger and he curse's Cain and all his descendants. Cain shall no longer be able to easily toil the land, and is cast out to be a wander. Cain becomes grieve because he is concerned that he will be killed by whoever finds him. So God still being the loving father has compassion on him and marks him, then says if anyone kills Cain God's vengeance would be seven times worse. Then we get the genealogy of the descendants of Cain until we come to the man Lamech. And so now we see that Lamech is like a great great grandson of Cain. So in this verse that we opened with he is repenting to his wives about the murder he committed because he fears punishment. If we read on to verse 24 we see the rest of what he was telling his wives. 24 If Cain's revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech's is seventy-sevenfold." So basically he is telling them they shouldn't worry because, hey if Cain gets away with murder and God was generous to protect him then he'll be even more generous to protect Lamech.

So I know this was a little long and had a lot in it, but I feel like without an explanation of the context this verse is almost meaningless. But also I'm begging to see that this verse is about pride, and just expecting God to do for you what He has done for others, even if you're not living righteously, or living for God. This one verse points out two sins committed by Lamech, 1. He married two women, 2. He killed a young man.

If this verse seems silly to you, or it just doesn't make sense, I encourage you to read the first four chapters of Genesis for yourself so you can better understand. But I beg you, don't expect things from God just because you see Him working in other peoples lives, or just because you think He owes it to you. God doesn't owe any of us anything. We all deserve the death that Cain should have suffered, but like Cain, God gave us a second chance through the death and resurrection of his only son Jesus Christ. So cry out to him for forgiveness of your foolish thinking. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.