Friday, June 10, 2005

The House of Seth

And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” (Genesis 4:25)
The house of Abel — gone! The house of Cain — on its way out! How would the house of Adam now be fulfilled in its destiny. Who would receive its inheritance to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and exercise dominion?

Enter Seth, whose name means “appointed,” for he was appointed by God.

When Adam and Eve disconnected from their divine source and fell into sin, God made a promise, putting a curse on the deceiving serpent — that is, cursing the one who had introduced the curse — saying,
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel. (Genesis 3:15)
This is called the “protoevangelion,” the first mention of the Gospel. It refers to the Messiah who would come and bring redemption.

Not long after, when Cain was born, Eve said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD” (Genesis 4:1). No doubt, she understood this to be the “seed” promised by God. But she was mistaken, as history soon revealed.

When Seth was born, she said, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” There is a difference in her attitude. No longer was it about what she had acquired, which soon turned to dust. Now it was about what God appointed.
And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and name him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. (Genesis 5:3-4)
When Adam was 130 years old, he fathered Seth, then lived 800 more yeas. Seth was begotten in the likeness and image of Adam, just as Adam was created in the image and likeness of God. Seth was like Adam, not in Adam’s original state, but in his fallen state. By these words, “likeness” and “image,” the Scriptures are alerting us that this is the seed-line through whom Messiah would come, the seed-line appointed by God.

Consider the house of Seth. He was 105 years old when he fathered Enosh (“man”). He lived for another 807 years and had other sons and daughters.

Enosh, at age 99, begot Cainan (“possessor” or “possession”) and lived 815 more years.

Cainan was 70 years old when he begot Mahalalel (“praise of God’) and lived 840 more years.

Mahalalel was 65 when he fathered Jared (“descent”), then lived 830 more years.

Jared, at age 162, fathered Enoch (“dedicated”) then lived 800 years more.

Consider the house of Enoch. Enoch lived 65 years and begot Methuselah. Then for the next 300 years, he lived in complete and constant fellowship with the Lord. “And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).

The testimony of Hebrews is that Enoch pleased God. Therefore, it must have been a matter of walking in faith, for without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:5-6).

Now, Enoch did not die as the others had done, but went on with God without experiencing death. God took him. Enoch simply entered into the glory realm of God and never came back.

In his walk with God, Enoch became aware of how far the house of Adam and its subsequent generations had missed the mark. He realized that there would have to be a judgment to set things in accordance with the rightness of God.

The naming of Methuselah reveals this with prophetic significance. The interpretation of this name is varied:
  • Brown-Driver-Brigg’s and Strong’s both render it as “man of the dart.”
  • Hitchcock says, “he has sent his death.”
  • Jamieson, Faucett and Brown says “he dies, and the sending forth.”
  • Gill relates the meaning as “when he dies there shall be an emission,” and the significance as “sending forth of waters upon the earth, to destroy it.”
Methuselah was 187 years old when he fathered Lamech, then lived another 782 years. And now the significance of his name comes into play: At age 969, Methuselah died — and the Flood began!

Even in the midst of great descent and decline in the world, and looming judgment, there is still hope and the possibility of walking with God in the world, and even pleasing Him, but it is only by faith.