Genesis 4:17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathere Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. 19 And Lamech took two wives.
The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. 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. 24 If Cain's revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech's is seventy-sevenfold."
Our text today takes us five generations past Cain. Lamech, the fifth generation from Cain, began the first recorded multi-wife family. This seemed right in the eyes of man, but went against how God created a family (Genesis 2:23-25; Matthew 19:3-9). God created a family to be one man and one woman for a lifetime.
Lamech's offspring became the initiators of those who live in tents and have livestock, those who play instruments and make music and those who make tools and weapons of bronze and iron. Though sinful, mankind was taking dominion over the earth and multiplying (Genesis 1:28). The farther away from Adam and Eve mankind went, the more evil the earth became. Lamech returned multiplied evil for evil. He killed those who struck him or wounded him. He took revenge seventy-seven fold. Compare how God limited the punishment among people during Moses' time where He established "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" (Leviticus 24:19-20). Sin unchecked by God's instruction (Law) escalates into extreme evil. Why? "There is a way that seems right to a man and ends in death" (Proverbs 14:12) and
"Where there is no revelation (meaning God's word), the people run out of control" (Proverbs 29:18).
What lessons can we learn from this passage of Scripture. We learn how sin warps a culture. A culture without the word of God taught and lived by each generation becomes an increasingly wicked culture. It is essential for each family to learn and live God's word. It is the only way to control the ravages sin brings. Jesus Christ came to earth to set people free from the control of sin by dying on the cross, rising again from the dead and ruling as Lord over all who come to Him by repenting of their sin and believing the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 10:9). Those who come to Him experience the blessings of His reign as Lord even in the midst of living in a world controlled by sin and Satan (Romans 8:7-8; 2 Corinthians 4:4). Those who don't come to Him now do not experience His blessings personally, but do continue to experience only the ravages of sin. As a culture increasingly rejects the Word of God, it becomes increasingly evil. We see this happening in the United States of America.
It is essential for each of us to take seriously Jesus' commands in Matthew 28:19-20 and obey them. We are commanded while going about our life to make disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit and to teach each one to obey the commands of Christ and their ability in Christ to do so. If every Christian did this in his family and among all in his sphere of influence, it would be the means of transforming a culture.
Are you learning and living God's word? Are you making disciples in your family? Are you making disciples among the people in your sphere of influence? If you are not, then you can begin by making the attempt expecting the Lord to fulfill your act of faith with His power. If you need help. Ask me.