Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Society of the Future

"Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD" (Genesis 4:26).

Yesterday we looked at the unholy line of Cain. Today we consider some of the highlights of the righteous line of Seth. Seth was born to Adam and Eve after Abel died. He was a replacement son, and about the time his son Enosh was born, we read that men began to call on the name of the LORD. This probably means that worship was instituted among these people. This is a striking contrast to what we have read about Cain’s family.

While the Bible traces Cain’s line only seven generations, showing the maturation of evil to a tremendous climax in Lamech, the Bible traces Seth’s line ten generations in Genesis 5, and later traces it all the way to Jesus Christ. The City of Man may spring up first, like a mushroom, but it does not have staying power. The society of the future, the society destined to rule the cosmos for all eternity, is the society built on the worship of the true God. That society may grow more slowly, but it grows to a mighty tree.

The strong humanistic culture of Cain claims to speak for true humanity, but Genesis 5:1–3 has another viewpoint. We are brought back not to Seth but to Adam and Eve, and we are reminded that they were made in the “likeness” of God, just as their children were in their “likeness.” In other words, true humanity is found in the godly line of Seth, who are the true representatives of what Adam and Eve were supposed to be, the true children of God. As we shall see tomorrow, they are called “sons of God.” Sinful humanity is an aberration; true humanity is in covenant with God.

True history is linked not with the City of Man but with the City of God, as we see from the fact that a chronology is found in the line of Seth, not in the line of Cain. It is not the ungodly but the godly who control history through their preaching and their prayers. The godly father of Noah prayed that God would deliver the world from wicked men and prophesied that in Noah’s time it would come to pass (5:29). The godly Enoch, who like Lamech was seventh from Adam, preached righteousness to an ungodly generation and was rewarded by escaping death.

What encouragements do you find in this lesson as you face the culture of Cain today? Read Jude 14–15 to find a capsule of Enoch’s preaching. Do we need preaching like this today?