The Lamech Conundrum: Sermon By Deacon Rob Omol
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.Genesis 4:8-16 (ESV)
A conundrum is a confusing and difficult problem or question. A problem, difficult question, difficulty, quandary, dilemma.
God is omnipresent and omniscient yet He knowingly asked Cain where Abel was. (Genesis 4:6-7)
God asks these questions because these people were not where they should be and they knew it.
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”Genesis 3:9 (NKJV)
And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”Genesis 16:8 (NKJV)
There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”1 Kings 19:9,13 (NKJV)
These questions are of a higher knowledge.
Even when things are tough, we are not to flee, both from God or the uncomfortable situation.
Questions give us opportunities e.g. God asking Adam why he hid was an opportunity for him to take responsibility for what he had done.
God asked Cain what he had done because every action has a consequence and an opportunity to take responsibility of it.
The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.Genesis 4:10 (NKJV)
God could not sense Abel. He could only hear the voice of his blood crying out for vengeance.
They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.Revelation 6:10-11 (ESV)
In the case of Cain, the question was to bring him to the place of arising to the place of responsibility.
The consequence was a curse upon Cain.
You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the LORD dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.Numbers 35:33-34 (ESV)
Because of Christ, the perfect atonement, we are set free and receive the exchanged life of Christ.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
Without Jesus Christ, our cursed ground will in turn never bear fruit. The blood of Christ speaks mercy and grace and not revenge.
To Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.Hebrews 12:24 (NKJV)
As a result of his actions, Cain lost fellowship with God, fruitfulness of the land and became a wanderer/fugitive.
When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.” And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”Genesis 4:12-14 (NKJV)
God desired to have a good relationship with Cain. That is why He warned him that sin was knocking at his heart’s door and gave him an opportunity to take responsibility for killing Abel.
So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”Genesis 4:6-7 (NKJV)
We tend to put ourselves in a space where we act as though we have already been judged when we have not. So we run away and hide from God.
When God tells Cain of his punishment, Cain said that his punishment was stronger than he could bear. He lamented that he had lost his domain and the presence of God making him a wanderer and one that would be killed.
His relationship with God had been severed resulting in Cain losing his covering as his actions drove him away from God’s presence.
There was no covering for Cain as result. He is vulnerable and an easy target for his enemies who would want to kill him.
Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.Genesis 4:13-15 (ESV)
God put a mark on Cain so that no one could kill him. He did not want Cain to be killed but to live. God protected Cain even though he had not repented yet as He is a merciful God.
Cain, however, did not repent regardless of the mercy of God.
In the lineage of Cain, there was Mehujael (which means he who proclaims God) was Lamech’s grandfather. Methusael (which means he who demands for his death) was Lamech’s father.
Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.Genesis 4:23-24 (ESV)
Lamech (which means poor or made low) took what God had purposed for mercy to Cain and put it upon himself.
Lamech declared his vengeance 77 times to anyone who kills him for having committed murder compared to Cain’s vengeance of 7 times.
77 is hyperbolic in the degree of severity of the punishment would befall anyone that kills him.
Lamech is imputing on himself mercy in the place of God. It was God who spoke of a sevenfold vengeance to anyone who killed Cain but Lamech spoke in the place of God.
God was not establishing a principle when He said what He did to Cain. God was trying to limit the shedding of blood. Lamech missed it.
Humanity has failed to see that God hates bloodshed. We have instead acted like Lamech, multiplying wickedness instead of seeing God’s mercy.
Considerations In Our Walk With God:
1. Focusing on God’s works rather than His ways will lead you to invent principles and doctrine.
It hinders relationship.
We can’t legislate the move of God. The wind is not grasped in a hand. We need to be a people that listen to movements of the wind of the Spirit.
2. Don’t be ignorant of consequences.
Just because you have not faced immediate punishment for your wrongdoing because of God’s mercy does not absolve you from consequence. Don’t take grace or mercy for granted.
3. Don’t let reasoning overtake prophecy (which is the accurate speaking of the Lord in a situation).
It was Lamech who spoke in his case (Genesis 4:23-24). In Cain’s case, God is the one who spoke regarding Cain (Genesis 4:14).
Lamech spoke from his reasoning. It was not God that spoke.
Lamech was called poor and low, which was a state of his posture in light of worship. He exalted himself in the place of God. God humbles the proud and this is what exactly happened to Lamech. Lamech was not like his father Methusael that was one that proclaims God.
The first step in avoiding the Lamech conundrum once you realize you have sinned is repentance. Take responsibility for what you have done, how your mind and your heart is.
Repentance and taking responsibility for our actions fosters relationship, fellowship and communion with God.
Approach God on His terms not your own to get restored unto Him.
We need to be like Enoch – to walk with God until we are no more as the Body of Christ is in the season of relationship, fellowship and communion with the Lord.