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Sermon15 Gen4-5 Guide

Gen 4:16-26, 5:1-8,21-32, recitation verse Gen 4:26

The praise and honor and glory be to our heavenly Father who seeks true worshipers who worship Him with the Spirit and truth.

Once upon a time, a king called one of his courtiers and gave him a strange command, saying, "Go and fill that broken jar with water from this well.” Although it seemed impossible to fill the broken jar with water, the loyal courtier diligently fetched water day and night, solely focused on carrying out the king's command. Eventually, the bottom of the well was exposed, and then something shiny caught his eye. It was an enormously large lump of gold. The courtier kneeled before the king and reported, "Your Majesty, please forgive me. I couldn't fill the jar with water. However, I found this lump of gold at the bottom of the well." And then the king smiled and said, "You have worked hard to fill the broken jar with water until the well was empty. You are truly a loyal courtier. This lump of gold was prepared for a servant who obeys so faithfully." And the king handed the lump of gold to the devoted courtier. Why do you think the king gave such a command? What do you think the courtier thought as he carried out the king's order? Sometimes, depending on where we focus on and interest in our life, we can obtain different outcomes even when doing the same task according to focusing on drawing water from the well or on the broken jar. In Chapters 4 and 5 of the passage we read today, we find stories about two different kinds of people from two accounts the primeval era. While the people from one account, despite being driven out of the Garden of Eden due to the first sin to eat the forbidden fruit, lived in the presence of God, while they worshiped and praised God, participating in His redemption plan. On the other hand, people from the other account departed from the presence of God and lived according to their own thoughts, desires and wills, by building castle to make a name for themselves, but ultimately lived as fugitives and wanderers, engaging in wicked deeds. As we meditate on them together, we would like to learn few things together.

1) Today's passage, Genesis chapters 4-5, describes the primeval history of how Adam and Eve, who had committed sin and were driven out of God's garden, had lived with their children. The genealogy of Cain, the first son of Adam, is recorded in chapter 4, and the genealogy of Seth, their third son born after Abel's death, is recorded in chapter 5. In terms of chronology, it covers approximately 1,500 years of the primeval era, from around 4000 BC to around 2500 BC at the occurrence of the flood and in this era, human lifespans approached around 1,000 years.

2) However, during this primeval era, since human beings determined good and evil for themselves, as we can see from Cain's example, violence, including the act of killing, was prevalent. In particular, Lamech, the fifth generation descendant of Cain, proudly boasts of killing someone who wounded him and declares that if anyone were to harm him, they would receive vengeance seventy-sevenfold from him, while even God announced to revenge sevenfold to who harmed Cain. Anyhow finally due their prevalent sins such as their wickedness and violence and the fact that every thought and plan in their hearts was always evil, God lamented in chapter 6, expressing deep sorrow in His heart to judge upon the earth, including human beings, livestock, crawling creatures, and birds of the air, through the flood. The lesson through this primeval era taught that through our own judgments and actions, it is impossible for all the humanity to escape God's judgment.

3) In the genealogy of Cain's descendants, the six generations were mentioned in chapter 4, includes Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, Methushael, Lamech, and Lamech's three sons, Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-Cain. This genealogy can be characterized by Cain and Lamech, i.e., Cain killed Abel in his jealousy, when God accepted his brother Abel's offering, but did not accept his own, rejecting God's command to protect and support one another. And he complained to God when God punished him to be cursed from the ground and to be a wanderer and a fugitive from the land, regarding it too much. And following in the footsteps of Cain's rebellion against God, his descendants, Lamech, killed those who hurt his heart (the Hebrew פֶּ֫צַע, pesa, can refer to physical wounds or cuts, but it can also represent emotional wounds caused by sins or disturbances) or those who physically wounded him (the Hebrew, חַבּוּרָה, habburah, refers to striking with a fist or weapon or physical wounds such as cuts or breaks in the skin[1]). Even Lamech declared that he will avenge himself seventy-sevenfold against anyone who harms him. Notably, in today's passage, verse 16, it says that Cain left the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden (Nod, meaning "wandering," signifies the land of the wanderer). This indicates that Cain and his descendants started living a life without God, so that although they built castle there, the name Nod suggests that they lived a life of fleeing and wandering.

4) Rather, in chapter 5, we encounter the eight generations of Seth's descendants, including Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah. In this genealogy, we see individuals who are characterized by their devotion to God and their religious practices. Enosh is noted as the first to call upon the name of the Lord. Mahalalel bears a name that signifies praise, and Enoch walked with God and was taken by Him. Noah, whose name means "rest" or "comfort," is mentioned as the one who will bring relief from human toil and labor. They worshiped and praised God, walking with Him, and live in the prophesies of God, i.e., Methuselah, which means "his death shall bring judgment," and Noah which signifies that through the judgment of the Flood, which came as a consequence of the first sin, the earth, burdened by toil, will find redemption and relief and enjoyed the blessings of being in communion with God.

5) Through today's passage, we would like to learn few things: Firstly, as it is said that Jabel, the sixth great grandson of Cain, was the ancestor of those who dwell in tents and have livestock, Jubal was the ancestor of all who play the lyre and pipe, and Tubal-Cain was the forger of all instrument of bronze and iron, even though it proves that the bronze and iron existed in the primeval era (around 3000BC), while the Bronze Age started around 2300 BC and the Iron Age around 1600 BCE, we can observe that Cain's descendants still adhered to God’s Cultural mandate by engaging in the development of culture, arts, and civilization, even though they did not mean to and also additionally, we also know that Seth’s descendants were also involved in Cultural mandate, through the fact that Kenan bears the meaning of a craftsman. But, while Cain's descendants were involved only in the development of culture and civilization, the descendants of Seth participated in both the progress of civilization with religious acts. And also through this, we can know that God used all the people to advance culture and civilization. That’s why Anthony Hoekema said, "Our efforts in all the realms of politics, culture, civilization, and religion, including those of non-believers, are used as materials to create a new heaven and a new earth." I hope we may reflect on what mission we are invited and which calling we received from God. Secondly, we can see clear contrast between two accounts. I mean, Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve, offered sacrifices according to his own thoughts, while Abel offered sacrifices in faith. Enosh, the third generation from Adam, sought to make his own name, but Enos, the son of Seth, called upon the name of the Lord and sought to exalt God. Lamech, the seventh generation of Cain, committed murder in rebellion against God's will and exhibited arrogance, on the other hand, Enoch, the descendant of Seth, walked with God. Reflecting on these examples, I hope we may reflect our lives in what manner we are living our lives. Thirdly, and also it would be beneficial to examine the meanings behind the names here. When the Hebrew word "Enoch" carries the meaning of dedication or devotion, Cain's son, Enoch dedicated to make his own name, while then Enoch, the fifth generation of Seth, dedicated to walking with God. This prompts us to reflect on to what we are devoting ourselves and where dedicating our lives. Furthermore, as the Hebrew word "Lamech" means to make low, Lamech, the sixth generation of Cain, exerted all his strength to humiliate others through violence and murder, while in contrast, Lamech, the eighth generation of Seth, acknowledged the wretchedness of human existence, bore a son named Noah, and proclaimed, "This one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands because of the ground that the Lord has cursed." This contrast makes me to think about whether I humiliate others or make low myself. I pray that we may live the life to exalt God and humble ourselves to worship God, every day after asking these questions: "Am I walking with God?", "Do I call upon the name of the Lord every day?", "Am I living by faith?", "What am I offering myself to?" and "Am I growing in humility?"

Key Questions as Small Group Activity

Q1 We all have names, and I believe that each name has a background and a meaning. I hope you take some time to explore the background and meaning behind your name and mediate on how your name has influenced your life and then you may share your own story to get to know each other more.

(Through these questions, I hope you may have a time to know each other more.)

Q2 Today, as we examine the lives of people who lived in the primeval era and also their names, we had a time to try to answer to the following questions: "Am I walking with God?", "Do I call upon the name of the Lord?", "Am I living by faith?", "What am I offering myself to?" and "Am I growing in humility?" I encourage you to reflect on one or two of these questions that resonate with your heart and share your thoughts with one another.

(Through these questions, I hope we can take a moment to reflect on our own lives and think about how we will live in the future.)

Love you. Thank you. God bless you.

Prayer Note

Dear ( God’s attribute which you found Today ) God!

Thanks for ( something you received through the sermon or even during the week )

Praise, gratitude and glory be to You, Lord!

Today, I realized my sin (pains) that ( the sin God reminded through the sermon ),

please forgive (or heal) me and help me not to repeat ( the sins you recognized ).

I learned that ( something you learned through the sermon )

Please help me to live in that ( learned way of life )

I pray in ( Jesus’ attribute you find ) Jesus’ name. Amen.


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