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Tag Archives: Judgment

Lamech: How Man Views His Own Sin

"And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah." (Genesis 4:19)

“Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah.”  (Genesis 4:19)

There are several things that we can learn about Lamech’s attitude toward sin in general, and his own sin specifically. Apart from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, people still maintain these attitudes toward their sinfulness:

Failure To Recognize Sin

“There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”(Proverbs 14:12)

First and foremost, people are reluctant or unable to identify the sin in their own life. Genesis 4:19 tells us that Lamech married two wives. This was a direct infraction against what God had decreed to Adam saying, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24). Yet we see no recognition on Lamech’s part that he has done anything wrong.

Pride And Self-Importance

“And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech…” (Genesis 4:23a KJV)

While we can really only speculate, it would seem from what Lamech says here that he definitely considered himself the ruler of that “roost”, so to speak. It is unlikely that Lamech ever showed love or respect for either of his wives, but maintained this attitude whenever he dealt with them. “Listen to what I have to say, hear me speak!” A cavalier attitude toward sin demonstrates a lack of respect and reverence for God. Those without any reverence for God usually lack any real concern or respect for others, either. They are only concerned about themselves.

Revelry In Their Sin

“Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
The steadfast love of God endures all the day.” (Psalm 52:1 ESV)

When Lamech tells his wives that he has killed a young man (Genesis 4:23), his language is almost poetic; it’s as if he is singing a song about a heroic deed that he has performed! Shame and guilt over sin comes only by the convicting power of God’s Spirit; apart from Him, people rejoice and are proud of their wicked behavior. Look around us today at how many people are glorying in abominable sinfulness that they should be ashamed of.

Self-Justification

“…For I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.” (Genesis 4:23b KJV)

We are not given any details about this incident except what Lamech himself says about it. Was he truly justified in killing the other man? Was it self-defense as he is claiming? We really do not know, but it is highly suspicious to say the least, based on what we do know about Lamech. Like so many criminals in courtrooms around the world: in his own eyes, Lamech felt completely justified and blameless for the blood that he had spilled. People have the tendency to come up with any and every possible excuse, explanation, and alibi imaginable when it comes to their own sins. When it comes to others, however, they are quick to point a finger. Which brings us to the next point:

Comparing Themselves With Others

“If Cain is avenged…” (Genesis 4:24)

Man’s inclination is to compare his own behavior with that of others. We can all find an example of someone who has done far worse things than we have. The liar can point an accusing finger at the thief, who can point his finger at the adulterer, who can compare himself to the murderer, who feels satisfied that at least he is not so bad as the mass murderer, who can say that at least he is not so depraved as the wicked tyrant who has the blood of millions on their hands. People use this type of reasoning all the time, comparing themselves one to another, yet the only standard that matters at all is the perfect standard of God. Not one of us can live up to the perfect sinlessness that Jesus Christ maintained, and He is the only One that we are compared with. We have all fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).

Disregard For God’s Judgment

“If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” (Genesis 4:24)

Lamech’s arrogance and pride are vividly shown in his statement here: “If God withheld maximum judgment from Cain, then surely He will not judge me!”

Lamech is boasting to his wives that they have absolutely nothing to fear from the God of Heaven. Since Cain’s life was spared after he brutally murdered his brother, then Lamech assumed his own life would be that much safer since his actions were not nearly as despicable as Cain’s (at least in his own eyes). What a dangerous practice it is to assume that judgment delayed is judgment withheld! David encourages us to “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb” (Psalm 37:1-2 KJV).

Yet the wicked look at others and assume that since the outward manifestations of God’s judgments are not readily apparent in their lives, then they themselves are safe to do the same things. What a tragic mistake it is to think this way. Cain was judged for his sin, in this life and in the next. So was Lamech. Those who do not put their trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins can be certain, though they may have not experienced God’s judgment yet, they certainly will.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 27,  2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission

.*English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

[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?“]

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Cain: A Portrait Of the Lost Sinner

"And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground." (Genesis 4:10)

“And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:10)

There are many striking similarities between the judgment of Cain and the final judgment that awaits the sinner apart from Christ:

God Gave Cain The Opportunity To Repent

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

God reached out in grace to Cain before he killed Abel (Genesis 4:7); He reached out afterward in mercy (verse 9). As was the case with his father, Adam, Cain was approached by God with the opportunity to take responsibility for his actions and repent and turn to God. Before God became Cain’s Judge, He offered to be his Savior.

Cain Could Not Hide His Sin

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:16)

Nobody else may have ever discovered Abel’s body or concluded that Cain had murdered him, but God knew. Cain made an effort to deny his actions when he told the Lord that he did not know where Abel was. How is it that someone would believe that their sins could remain concealed from an omniscient God? Nevertheless, people have continued in this belief and will doubtlessly maintain this thought even on the Day of Judgment.

Cain Was Defiant Of God

“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” (Revelation 16:10-11)

Even in the face of judgment for their sinfulness, many will curse and blaspheme God rather than repent and turn to Him. Cain responds insolently to God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain is defying God by really saying, ‘I am not his keeper, YOU are, YOU go find him!’

Abel’s Blood Cried Out For Justice

“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24)

The blood of Christ speaks of better things because it is the only blood that has ever been spilled that cries out to God for mercy rather than vindication. We are gravely mistaken to believe that God will not demand retribution for every single act of sin that has ever been perpetrated. Cain believed that he had forever silenced his brother, making impossible any testimony from whom he believed was the only witness to his crime. But the very blood of Abel “cried out”, as it were, for retribution (verse 10). We cannot conceal nor can we cleanse away the bloodstains of our own guilt; those bloodstains, too, cry out to God for justice. Only through the covering by the blood of Jesus Christ can any of us avoid the penalty for our sins that we justly deserve.

Cain Bore The Curse Of God In Himself

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:” (Deuteronomy 28:15)

God cursed the ground because of Adam’s sin, but He cursed Cain himself when he murdered Abel (verse 11). As we saw with the judgment of Adam, Eve, and the devil, so we see here the ironic nature of God’s judgments. The very Earth whose harvest Cain had arrogantly placed his confidence in, bringing the work of his own hands to God, would no longer yield anything to him. The ground that would later “vomit” out the inhabitants who defiled her (Leviticus 18:25) would reject Cain and deny him the right to subdue it. Nor would it ever again provide a place of rest for Cain to set himself down, he would be a vagabond and a wanderer. He would be like the unclean spirits that Jesus spoke of who walk about the dry places of the Earth: seeking rest, yet finding none (Matthew 12:43). The lost sinner will be ultimately cut off from the presence of God, but his greatest torment comes from the fact that he can never be cut off from himself and the curse that he bears in his own flesh.

Cain’s Concern Was For His Punishment

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” (Luke 16:23-25)

Cain, who had shown absolutely no remorse or concern for what he had done, now becomes concerned over the sentence that God passes on him (verse 13). Like the rich man in Hell that Jesus told of whose only concern was for his own torment, Cain is unfeeling in all matters that do not pertain directly to his own desires and his own comfort. This is the way of the lost sinner, as well. Cain complains to God that his punishment is greater than he can bear. It is almost a brief afterthought to him that he will be separated from the presence of God; his biggest worry is that someone might kill him for what he did to Abel! Would he not deserve it if they did?

God Reserves Final Judgment

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

God marked Cain, preventing anyone else from taking judgment upon him for his murder of Abel (verse 15). Later, God would enact the law of judicial capital punishment (Genesis 9:6), but in the case of Cain, God prohibits any further exacting of judgment by other people upon him. This, too, is a portrait of the Hell-bound sinner: God will serve as the ultimate and final Judge.

Cain Remained Unrepentant

Absent from this entire conversation between God and Cain is any inkling of repentance or contrition on the part of Cain. At no point, before or after the sentence is passed, does Cain call out to God for mercy nor does he ever ask for God’s forgiveness. Some Bible skeptics have raised objections over the eternal nature of Hell and God’s final judgment of sinners apart from Christ; but there is absolutely no evidence in the Biblical record that any of these people will ever repent and turn to God. It’s not that they have not been given enough time, or if they had the chance after they stand before God to call on His name for mercy. The saddest part is that even then they will not repent. Sure, they will complain about the sentence that God passes and will express great concern over the fate that awaits them but, like Cain, they will depart from the presence of God without so much as a single ounce of remorse or confession over the offenses they have committed.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 18, 2009]

**All Scripture quotations in this post are taken from the King James Version (KJV) Bible

[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?“]

The Ironic Nature Of God’s Judgments

When we read Genesis 3:14-19, we notice the irony of the judgments that God places on the devil, Eve, and Adam. The consequences of their actions were not arbitrarily decreed by God, no, they are each symbolic of the motivation that each had for rebelling against Him.

The devilSnake

“And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:14-15)

Satan’s original rebellion against God was summed up by his desire to “ascend.” In Isaiah 14:13-14, Satan is quoted as having said, “I will ascend into Heaven…I will ascend above the heights of clouds; I will be like the Most High!” Verse 15 tells us that the result of this was that, “…Thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Here, in Genesis 3:14, we see the same thing happen as God sentences the serpent to crawl on his belly. He sought to soar above the clouds of heaven, now he is relegated to slithering in the dust of the Earth. He who would mock God’s commandment and entice the woman to eat of the sweet fruit of the forbidden tree would himself dine on the dust of the ground. He attempted to form a union, an alliance against God with the human beings that would be bonded and cemented by their common disobedience, yet God would place enmity between the two. He desired to rule over man, yet he would find himself under his heel.

Eve

“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Genesis 3:16)

What should have always been an occasion marked solely by joy and celebration would now bear the stain of pain and suffering. Sin tainted the beauty of childbirth which would now be accomplished through sorrow. The woman whose desire had been to become a goddess herself would now be consigned to a subservient role to the man. She who sought to rule would be ruled over herself.

Adam

“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)
The labor of the man would be greatly intensified, as well. The ground which freely gave of its produce would now do so only by the sweat of man’s brow. Edible plants and fruits would grow alongside thorns and thistles, grains would now grow up beside tares. The Earth that Adam had held dominion over would no longer freely serve him. Desiring to be a god himself, the man, too, was brought low and reminded that he was but dust. Rather than reigning over the Earth as a deity, he would struggle for even his daily food until he himself returned to the dust from whence he came.

A Pattern Established

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

Not only throughout the Book of Genesis, but throughout the entire Bible we see this pattern repeated over and over. Whenever we “sow” iniquity, we can be assured that we will harvest the same. There is often a great deal of irony in the judgments that come upon people, both in Scripture and in the world around us. When we attempt to do things contrary to God, we often find that the consequences are quite ironic as we reap results that are the complete opposite of what we intended.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published August 28, 2009]

**All Scripture quotations in this post are taken from the King James Version (KJV) Bible

[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?“]

Jehovah Is A Man Of War — Exodus 15

The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” (Exodus 15:3)

Jehovah is a Man of war, Jehovah is His name. Back in Exodus 6:2-3, God told Moses that He would reveal Himself in a far more personal and intimate way than He had to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The patriarchs of old had definitely come to know some of the aspects of God’s attributes, but what Moses and the Hebrews would learn of Him on the Exodus march was unprecedented. He is the God of my fathers, the line preceding Exodus 15:3 declares, but he is my LORD, my Jehovah.

One of the very first qualities of God revealed to the Hebrews is that the Lord is a “Man of war.” It is striking that the Israelites would ever choose the term Man to describe God at all (the terminology is, in fact, identical in the Hebrew: “Man of war” rather than “God of war” is the intent even in the original). To employ an anthropomorphism, to ascribe human attributes to the Living God is indeed  a peculiar thing to find right in the middle of a poetic hymn exalting the strength and majesty of the Lord. For the Christian to speak of God in human terms is not strange at all; we know the Humanity as well as the Deity of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. But it is an unexpected thing to find in this earliest of Jewish literature.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” (Revelation 19:11)

A lot of people like to think of Jesus Christ as a gentle, meek, pacifist with flowers in His hair Who went around trying to get everybody to be nice to one another. But He Himself plainly stated that he did not come to bring peace to the world, but a sword (Matt. 10:34). If we receive the Salvation that He freely offers then, yes, we have peace with God (Rom. 5:1). But God is not the bringer of peace to those who reject and defy Him. Ask the Egyptians drowned in the Red Sea if Jehovah was a God of peace toward them. No, He was a God of judgment, a Man of War. Jesus Christ came to earth to offer Himself as Savior to any who would receive Him; to those who do, He is the Prince of Peace. For those who reject His offer and refuse Him, only judgment remains. The choice lies with each one of us.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

The Tenth Plague

“And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.” (Exodus 12:29)

When we consider the circumstances surrounding the Tenth Plague to fall on Egypt, and all of the events leading up to it, we see that there are some unchanging characteristics about God’s judgments revealed. Let’s look at them a little closer:

God’s Judgments Are Preceded By Warning

“And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:  And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.  And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more” (Exodus 11:4-6)

These words of warning were given to Pharaoh before the night of the Passover. The people of Egypt were not ignorant that this judgment was coming. In fact, Exodus 12:29 reads almost identically with Exodus 11:4-6. The Egyptians were even given the time of night that the Lord would move His hand in judgment!

God does not bring about His judgment except He first sends out a warning. No one who comes under the judgments of the Lord can claim that they did not know that judgment was coming. They may not have believed the warnings, but the warnings were given nonetheless.

God’s Judgments Are Impartial

From the firstborn of Pharaoh to the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon. No one in Egypt escaped God’s judgment on the basis of who they were. God never takes into consideration our position or status in this world; what office we hold or how much money we have is irrelevant. If we reject God, regardless of who we are, we will come under judgment. Our worldly success and prominence can do absolutely nothing to save us.

God’s Judgments Are Fitting

Back in Genesis, I wrote about the “Ironic Nature Of God’s Judgments” following the Fall in the Garden of Eden. God’s judgments are always appropriate for the one coming under judgment.  It is hard to imagine that Pharaoh, embracing the lifeless body of his own son, his eyes filled with tears, his heart filled with sorrow, did not reflect on that wicked decree coming so many years prior, the executive order handed down from the very throne upon which he himself now sat, calling for the murder of the sons of Israel (Exodus 1:16). Though his heart was hardened, he must have recognized the ironic justice now being meted out against himself and his people.

God’s Judgments Are Merciful

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NASB)

Consider if the first time Moses entered the court of Pharaoh, issuing his demand for the release of the Hebrews, that God decided to strike Pharaoh and all of his advisers dead the moment he refused. Would this have been unjust? No. The Lord could have very well taken the life of Pharaoh the moment he defied Him. The same is really true for any of us. God would be perfectly just and holy even if He blotted all of us out the very first time we rebelled against Him.

But God is not only just and holy, He is merciful. Not only does God send a warning, as we have already considered, He keeps sending warning after warning! The Lord does not wish for anyone to be lost or to come under judgment, He wishes for all of us to turn to Him and avail ourselves of His mercy. We must keep in mind that not only one, not only two, but nine separate plagues preceded this Tenth act of God’s judgment upon the land of Egypt. Pharaoh had several opportunities to obey God before his son was taken. He chose not to.

God’s Judgments Are Avoidable

Something very interesting about all of the instructions given by the Lord concerning the Passover is the fact that, while God stipulated specifically who could and who could not partake of the lamb, nothing is said about who could be covered by the blood. For a person to enter into fellowship, to become part of the congregation of Israel, certain steps needed to be taken. The bread needed to be prepared a certain way, the lamb needed to be cooked a certain way, but no specifications were given in order to avoid the coming judgment. Every one was free to be covered by the blood of the lamb, both Jew and Gentile.

Suppose one of the Egyptian families had believed God and what He was about to do. What if they had decided to cover their own house with the blood of the lamb? Or had they asked one of their Hebrew neighbors to come into their house, would they have been turned away simply because of their race? As far as we can tell, the Spirit of the Lord moving across the land that night, taking the lives of the firstborn, was not looking in each house to see who was inside. He wasn’t doing a “background check” of the occupants of each house to make sure they fit a certain criteria in order to be saved. We can be certain that any Israelite family that had failed to cover their house with the blood of the lamb would have received the same fate as the Egyptians, would not any Egyptian family that had covered their own house have been spared?

Escaping the judgments of God has nothing to do with what race or background a person comes from, it really has nothing to do with who we are at all. As we saw, who a person was or their position in society could do nothing to save them; we see now that it also could do nothing to prevent them from being saved. Anyone, Hebrew or Egyptian, who believed God and was covered by the blood of the lamb would be saved. It is the same today. Anyone who believes God and is covered by the Blood of the Lamb will be saved, regardless of who they are.

We are warned throughout Scripture that God judges the sins of man and He will continue to do so. Ultimately, all sin will be judged and those who die apart from Christ will be forever lost. Let us heed the warning and avail ourselves of God’s gracious mercy. He Himself has provided a Lamb for each of us in the Person of Jesus Christ and if we will be covered by His blood we will not come under God’s judgment.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

*New American Standard Bible (NASB)Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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