Sin’s Creeping Encroachment

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 fathered 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.”

25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord. – Genesis 4:17-26

American Goldfinch | Kleb Woods | February 2021

Maybe you’ve seen it yourself. Maybe you’ve lived it. A little nibble here of the forbidden fruit (take your pick). A small taste of the delights of this world. A larger drink from the cup of a more dangerous adventure. And soon you’ve got a real problem on your hands. Whether it’s addiction to alcohol, porn, or spending, little nibbles all too often become giant gulps. And we choke ourselves on the things we think we need to make us happy.

Adam and Eve sinned. Cain kills Abel. Now sin’s net widens its mouth and begins to swallow all of life. Cain, now banished from God’s presence, builds a city. Lamech has apparently murdered someone who looked at him the wrong way. He has two wives, a departure from God’s design for marriage: One man. One woman. The two become one…for life. 

We are seeing the results of sin being played out before our eyes. The depravity of sin and its impact are becoming more and more obvious in these verses. Bigamy, murder, and Cain’s apparent arrogant despising of God’s promise of protection unfold. Cain builds a city in defiance of God’s judgment that he would be a vagabond, and by seeking the shelter of a city, shows his rejection of God’s promise of protection by means of the mark God had given him. 

This is not the reign and rule of God. This is the cravings of sinful man. This is not faith. This is rebellion. This is not trust in God. This is reliance on self. There will be even more as life unfolds “east of Eden.” 

Yet there is a glimmer of faith and hope: people begin worshiping God. Calling on the name of the Lord. Praying to God. Seeking his help and perhaps thanking him for his favor and blessing. Most likely seeking protection and help in the face of sin’s creeping encroachment. There is talk of killing and retribution. There is warning. Most likely they are seeking God’s help. These are difficult times. And people – we do not know how many – begin calling on the name of the Lord.

I’m wondering if things need to get worse yet for God’s people to call on him in prayer, praise, and worship. Seems to me that things are bad enough now for us to rededicate ourselves to that holy practice. 


Psalm 23: The Blessings of God's Presence David Bahn – Reflections

The blessing of God's presence will be fully enjoyed by those who love him and yearn for his guidance, provision, and salvation. That's the promise of God recorded in Revelation 21:1-3 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them,  and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. God's presence is a blessing for which his people long. It's better even than a visit from the grandparents! Don't Make Me Have to Come Down There Dolly Parton Last night I had a dream about God He was standing on a mountain top Looking down, around in such dismay And in my dream I heard him sayDon't make me have to come down there My children, you had best beware If you don't pay attention, consequences will be dire Don't make me have to come down thereI've told you time and time again You can't disobey and hope to win I am still the boss here in case there's any doubt You know I put you in this world and I can take you outDon't make me have to come down there You've always been my cross to bear I've let you try my patience as all good Fathers do You're on my last nerve, I have had it up to here with youI gave you a book, you didn't read it I gave you my word, you didn't heed it Gave you a map, you said you didn't need it And now you've lost direction and you're wandering aimlesslyDon't make me have to come down there This is not a game of truth or dare Now I don't want to punish you, but if it has to be This is gonna hurt you more than it hurts meDon't make me have to come down there Bridge this great divide and make repairs Go to your room and pray 'til you can learn to play fair Don't make me have to come down therePolitics, earthquakes, erratic weather Pandemics, war, and hate Turn a deaf ear, a blind eye; I am wondering whether I should take my Bible belt and whip you into shapeDon't make me have to come down there My children you had best beware Clean up this mess and put on something decent to wear Don't make me have to come down thereDon't make me have to come down there My children you had best beware Why can't you learn to listen, and learn to love and share Don't make me have to come down thereDon't make me have to come down there Don't make me come down there… Source: Musixmatch Songwriters: Dolly Parton
  1. Psalm 23: The Blessings of God's Presence
  2. Psalm 23: The Fullness of God's Blessings
  3. Psalm 23: Who is leading you?
  4. Psalm 22: It all comes together in Jesus
  5. Psalm 22: The Cry of True Hope

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