Genesis Day 12: Sin: the gift that keeps on giving (until we call on God)
Our lives are not Disney movies. As followers of Jesus, we sometimes forget that. We even project to people who are not following Jesus that “if they just followed, they would live happily ever after.”
At times we quote a verse, Jeremiah 29:11 and note that God has great plans for us. He does. The point, however, is that His plans may not involve us having the perfect lives we are dreaming of.
Why do I say that? Lots of reasons, but one is that, if you know anything about Jeremiah’s life on earth (from whom we so often quote), you would know it was not prosperous by human standards—quite the opposite.
I also say our lives are not Disney movies for another reason: our sin has consequences—generational consequences.
Before I get too far down this path, let me point out that God never abandons. Never. Consider Cain.
He murdered – MURDERED! – his brother. He lied to God about it. Yet his life is spared.
He lives. And he lives with God’s protection. Consider the text. God marks Cain so that his life will be preserved.
The text then turns to Cain’s offspring. They build cities.
I am not surprised. Families, complete with all sorts of tragedies, soldier on. We soldier on with emotional scars, but we soldier on.
But notice, what do their lives look like? While their family tree goes back to God, the consequences of their family sin perpetuates more.
Cain’s great-great-great grandson Lamech begins the polygamy tradition (v. 19). What’s more, Lamech gets in a fight and kills a guy, carrying on the violent family legacy that Cain started (v. 23). And Lamech makes an outrageous claim that his vengeance is 10 time more important than Cain’s (v. 24).
Why is this claim outrageous? Because the text (v. 15) points out that if vengeance is going to happen, it will be by God.
All of this is to note that sin has real consequences—even in the midst of God’s grace to Cain and his family—rather than embrace this grace and turnabout (repent), the family legacy continues.
Please know, please remember, God will not abandon Lamech completely. He will, however, allow the consequences of their sin to play out in their lives.
Here is the first lesson for us… without repentance, our sin-filled lives roll forward. With repentance, God quickly moves to us.
You might wonder: without repentance, is all lost for our world? No.
No. Remember, God never abandons—look at the end of this chapter. Seth is born, and people begin to call upon the Name of the Lord.
Where are you and I left with this chapter of Genesis?
The question might be, “What sort of family tragedies have you endured, or are you enduring? Do you feel like God has abandoned you? Do you believe you are somehow beyond God’s reach? Are you willing to repent of these family sins?”
It is easy to get ourselves emotionally and spiritually parked in a dark place—yet God is there if we call upon His Name.