Read: Genesis 4-5
Cain and Abel, the first two sons of Adam and Eve, exhibit sibling rivalry. Sibling rivalry has been around a long time and spans across cultures. Cain is a farmer and Abel is a herdsman or shepherd. The competition and conflict for the use of land between farming and grazing has been around a long time and spans cultures. Homicide too has been around a long time and spans cultures. Cain, the murderer, must leave the land. He will go to live among other people. He will produce offspring who become rival nations to the lineage of Adam and Eve and their new son, Seth. Now we see the origins of the nations, and the competition and rivalry between them. The story of Genesis tells us about ourselves, our human nature. Genesis chapters 1-11 explain how and why the way things are in life; that’s its purpose.
The genealogies of Cain and Seth speed through the generations. The genealogies follow the firstborn male. After naming the eldest son, it often says of the father that he, “had other sons and daughters”, but gives no names. In a few places there is a pause to give us details about a particular person or event, but the momentum takes us quickly to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis ch. 12. This is a rapid recounting of the family tree and a thumbnail sketch of human history. Bible scholars refer to Genesis ch. 1-11 as “pre-history” or “faith history”. These chapters of Genesis are strange to us. The interaction between people and God is unusual. The span of human lives is tremendous; Methuselah sets the record at 969 years. Bible scholars suggest a pattern: that the greater a person you were, the longer you lived. Still, we are told little about Methuselah’s long life. The timeline is a problem; it means that Methuselah would have still been alive when the Noah/Ark/Flood occurred.
My favorite concise remembrance is that of Enoch: In Genesis 5 it reads, “21 When Enoch had lived sixty-five years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with God after the birth of Methuselah three hundred years, and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him.”
Have you ever wondered how you will be remembered? For what would you like to be remembered? What are you doing now for that legacy? How will it honor God?
Pastor Rob Nystrom