Two Lamechs, One Jesus

Scripture Focus: Genesis 5.28-29
28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.” 

Matthew 5.43-48
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  

Reflection: Two Lamechs, One Jesus
By John Tillman 

Noah’s world was cursed by anger, hatred, division, and sin. Sound familiar? 

Lamech, the father of Noah, is a descendant of Adam’s son, Seth. Lamech the father of Jabal and Jubal is a descendant of Cain. The two Lamechs have their hopes in and represent very different things.  

Cain’s Lamech is his sixth descendant, a number often associated with humanity and with the days of creation. Lamech multiplies all of Cain’s sins. (Genesis 4.19-24) His hope is in violence and oppression. He violates God’s establishment of marriage by “marrying” two wives. (The Hebrew is not the same word as “marry” or  “wed” but means “take” as in carry away or seize. This implies violence in the taking of these women.)   

Cain’s Lamech multiplies violence. He is proud of being more violent than any other man. He escalates violence and rejects peace. He seeks to weaponize God’s curse on Cain for his violent advantage. 

Seth’s Lamech is his eighth descendent, a number associated with the “eighth day” or rebirth of creation. To Eve, Seth is God’s replacement for Abel, who Cain killed. Seth’s line represents hope in God and rebirth. This is the hope in which Lamech names his son, Noah. Through Noah, Lamech prophesied that the curse of the garden would be lifted and God would comfort his people. (Genesis 3.17; Romans 8.20

The peace, comfort, and the breaking of Eden’s curse did indeed come through Lamech and his son, Noah. They are both included in the genealogy of Jesus, who gives us peace and comfort in a world flooded by darkness. 

Noah was placed on a wooden ark to save himself and his family from evil, violent people who filled the earth with bloodshed. Jesus placed himself on a wooden cross and drowned himself in the flood of our sins. Jesus brought us up from the watery grave of our sin, to deliver us from destruction. Through Noah and Christ, we have a new covenant. We are to love, not hate, our enemy. We are to not be self-serving but bless all around us. 

The literal sons of Cain’s Lamech died in the flood. But his ideological descendants abound. There are two lines of mankind. 

There are those who multiply and escalate violence, trusting in and glorying in their strength.
There are those who work to reverse the curse, flooding the earth with hope, peace, and rebirth. 

Which line of Lamech will you follow? 

Divine Hours Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Love the Lord, all you who worship him; the Lord protects the faithful, but repays to the full those who act haughtily. — Psalm 31.23

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle

Today’s Readings
Genesis 5 (Listen – 3:18) 
Matthew 5 (Listen – 6:03)

Read more about Responding to Political Violence
Despite our sense of moral superiority, we have not advanced beyond violence for political ends.

Read more about Choosing Gentleness Over Violence
We cannot continue posting and liking things that are resentful, quarrelsome, and the opposite of gentle, yet expect to represent Christ.

A Restoring Sabbath

Matthew 4.1-2
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Reflection: A Restoring Sabbath
By Dena Dyer

I’m sick of the constant “ding” of Facebook messages, tweets, and emails. My shoulders ache from the tension of trying to fit too much into an already-packed schedule. And my head hurts from trying to remember all the people who need something from me.

What about you? Are you tired of 24/7 restaurants, instant messaging, and the strain of trying to pack one more thing into a week full of obligations? If so, you’re not alone…and our numbers are growing.

Peter Smith of the Courier-Journal reports that Dr. Matthew Sleeth, a former emergency room physician, is encouraging stressed-out folks to consider an ancient principle: keeping the Sabbath. Sleeth is the founder of the Christian ministry “Blessed Earth” and the author of several books, including the new release, 24/6: The Prescription for a Happier, Healthier Life.

The biblical Sabbath God commanded his children to take in the Ten Commandments included “not just work-free days, but also allowing pastures to rest and not harvesting a field completely, leaving gleanings for the poor and hedgerows as a sanctuary for wildlife,” says Sleeth.

He notes that a day of rest doesn’t necessarily mean “a day of just kicking back. It can involve such deliberate activities as walking and light gardening. What it does mean is powering down the laptop and smartphone. And slowing down enough to listen.”

*This devotional was originally posted as a part of The High Calling devotional series.

From John:
Many key leaders in technology have been public about taking strong measures to reduce technology use by their families and especially their children.

As you begin this year, think and pray about ways in which you can abstain from technology’s addictive elements, while still using its powerful tools to spur your spiritual growth.

Weekly sabbaths teach us that the sabbath doesn’t condemn the week of work, but it blesses it and redeems it. Sabbath is not a punishment to be endured but a blessing. Use a fast or sabbatical this month to reset your ideas about technology and how you will use it in 2019.

Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me out of all my terror. — Psalm 34:4

– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Prayers from The Divine Hours available online and in print.

Today’s Readings
Genesis 4 (Listen – 3:54)
Matthew 4 (Listen – 3:09)

This Weekend’s Readings
Genesis 5 (Listen – 3:18) Matthew 5 (Listen – 6:03)
Genesis 6 (Listen – 2:48) Matthew 6 (Listen – 4:35)

Additional Reading
Read More about The Value of Words
Words and writers are undervalued in the marketplace. But encouraging words? They are remarkably undervalued. Our purpose at The Park Forum is to produce words that are filled with life, not death.

Read More about Supporting Our Work
When you donate to The Park Forum, you are investing in sharing God’s word, primarily. But you are also investing in words of life, words of encouragement, and words to build up our readers across the world in love.

How far will you travel in God’s Word this year?
On January 1st we restarted our two year Bible reading plan in Genesis and the Gospel of Matthew. Join us on the journey. We read the Old Testament over two years and the New Testament and Psalms each year.

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Where will a journey through the Bible take your faith in the coming year? Jesus calls each of us, saying, “Follow me.”


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