“Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.” (Genesis 4:25-26)
The Book of Genesis briefly follows the lineage that descended from Cain, ending with the tragic account of Lamech. We are told two things about this line: they fell into awful sinfulness, and they were apparently very resourceful. Lamech is mentioned only in connection with his sinfulness and unrepentant attitude toward God. His children are mentioned only in connection with their accomplishments. Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-Cain are commended as the “fathers” of various arts and sciences; while Lamech’s daughter, Naamah (whose name means “pleasantness” or “loveliness”), is simply mentioned without comment.
“…For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7b)
What a stunning contrast we have in the narrative concerning Cain’s line: people who seemed to be so filled with grace and beauty, yet with hearts that were dead to the things of God!
“For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:27)
The devil may have breathed a momentary sigh of relief when Abel fell dead to the ground, thinking that the seed that was to crush his head may have been snuffed out, but God’s plans are thwarted by no one. Eve called her new son “Seth”, the “appointed“, and recognized that it would be through this son that the Son would ultimately come Who would redeem mankind from the effects of sin’s curse.
“Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord”
When exactly the calling upon the name of the Lord began to occur is not certain. I do not believe that it was intended to be understood that nobody was acknowledging God before the birth of Enos. But I think a distinction is being made here between the descendants of Cain and the descendants of Seth. By reading just a little farther, it becomes readily apparent that there certainly was not a unanimous, all-encompassing turning toward God. Only that a very small remnant from this line would do so. So it has always been that it pleases God to preserve a small remnant (apparently only two individuals from Seth to Noah: Enoch and Noah himself) who will devote themselves wholly to the Lord.
And what is this great distinction between Cain’s line and Seth’s? It was not that one possessed greater wisdom and insight. It was not that one had more revelation from God than the other. It was not a different background, culture, or environment that made the difference. They called upon the name of the Lord. They recognized two extremely crucial things which those in Cain’s family did not: 1.) Who God was, and 2.) who they were. They acknowledged their need for God and that He was the only One Who could remedy the problem of the sin that separated them from Him. It is only by having a real understanding of these two things that anyone will truly call upon the name of the Lord.
To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,
[This post was originally published September 28, 2009]
**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.
[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]