Genesis 4

Specifically 4:1 and 4:25

In Genesis 4 we see the first human birth in history. Eve delivered a baby boy and named him Cain. He is followed by a brother who is named Abel. The chapter ends with another son being born, Seth but there is a lot of what we would call life in between these births.

As the chapter opens, Eve delivers her firstborn and declares:

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” Genesis 4:1 ESV

As this chapter progresses we notice the passing of time very quickly. With that little verse, we see the passing of nine months. In the next verse, at least a year passes as Eve conceives and delivers a second son then a number of years fly by as the boys grow up and take on vocations. We really do not know how many years are passing here and speculating is not the point.

For our focus today I am going to skip the details of the Cain and Abel story. It is absolutely worth the read and I encourage you to take a few moments and read the whole of Genesis 4.

As the chapter comes to a close we see the birth of another son in verse 25:

And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” Genesis 4:25 ESV

My how time has flown. Adam and Eve give birth to another son and name this boy Seth. We can put a marker on this son because the next chapter of Genesis tells us Adam’s age:

When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. Genesis 5:3 ESV

Time has flown by, indeed. Adam has outlived anyone you or I will know in this age and there are no signs of wear on him yet. In fact, the next verses tells us Adam lived on another 800 years to a ripe old age of 930 and had other sons and daughters. How many sons and daughters? We don’t know. God called Adam and Eve to multiply and fill the earth. Seems like they were following orders!

Here is what I want to catch on these few verses. Adam and Eve had perfection before their disobedience to God. They had a perfect environment on earth. They had a perfect relationship with each other. They also were in perfect union with God. Their sin in disobeying God took all of that and cast the rest of humanity after them into a fallen world.

When Eve delivers Cain after the fall she uses a couple of words I want to highlight:

“I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.”

Eve calls this son a man. Here is a shocker: in the original language this word literally means man. She is declaring this child is a man. Ok, thanks Steve, for that deep insight. I know, this seems like a waste of words. Trust me, it is important as we go on.

Eve also declares she has gotten this man child with the help of who? The LORD. Most Bibles will capitalize that to indicate who specifically is being mentioned. The LORD is Jehovah in the original here. Jehovah is the proper name of God. This word is used over 6,000 times in the Bible to name God by His proper name. Eve is naming the One who gave her this son. She is attributing creation of life to the Creator of Life! Cain is not an accident, not a random chance. He is a gift of God. So are you. So am I.

Let’s fast forward a little to verse 25 where Eve declares:

“God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.”

Right off the bat she uses a word for God in attributing the source of another son. Note here, however, the word is different. So what, Steve! You’re lost in the tall grass here. Follow me for a minute. In verse 1 Eve names God personally. In verse 25 she uses another word, ‘ĕlôhı̂ym. This word is used over 2,600 times in the Bible and quite often of other, false gods. These are often unnamed references to deities that are not real. You will find it commonly with a lowercase g. When used to name the LORD God you will see those two words together: LORD God. Intestingingly, when Satan is deceiving Eve in the garden he uses this word alone to name God. What difference does this word change make? A lot in the measure of my faith and your faith.

In who or what is your faith? Is it a false god of this world of the LORD God?

A lot of life happens for Eve in chapter 4. She has babies and they grow up. She has one son murder another son. She has a son banished from the family. She fears the retaliation of murder on Cain, the banished son. She experiences more pain and suffering than we ever would hope to as her life moves along. Imagine Eve as a wife and a mother. Her joy and her pain. He gain and her loss. Her faith and her failure. She started in perfection. She now sits at the birth of Seth naming an unknown diety for giving her yet another child. My how far she has fallen from the days she walked beside the LORD in the perfection of His creation. Can you relate? Can you see where you have been on the mountain in your faith? Can you see where you have been in the valley unable to find that faith in your life? Maybe you find yourself in one of those two points right now.

Don’t stop reading yet. Eve’s next few words speak volumes to us as Christians.

“God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.”

Eve calls Seth “another offspring.” Here is another subtle wording change. She called Cain a man, literally a man. This one she calls an offspring. Literally a seed. This is the same word used by God in Genesis 3:15 when giving the curse on Satan:

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15 ESV

Here is our hope. Here is Eve’s hope. Here is the promise God made coming true. Here is the light in the valley of Eve’s darkness. Here is the glimmer of something better to come. The dots on this offspring are connected throughout the Bible. We know this hope, this seed will manifest in our Lord Jesus. (Gal. 3:16, Rom. 16:20). He is our hope. He is the light.

That is where we are, friends. Not just in this present pandemic, but in our faith. Adam and Eve lost everything that mattered, but God did not lose them. Adam and Eve failed miserably at the one thing God told them to do. But God did not fail them. The murder of Abel and the banishment of Cain was not the end. It was a messy part of life. We can connect to messy parts of life. When the world seems to fall apart around us and so much is out of our control we can hold on to two things: Faith and Family.

Today is not the end. COVID-19 is not the end. Brighter days are ahead. We are called to do as Seth’s line did:

To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD. Genesis 4:26 ESV

Live our lives calling on the name of the Lord. You caught the word. LORD. The personal, eternal, self-existing God. The one who granted you the faith to believe and will hold you for all eternity. Nothing can separate us from His hand.

Make today the day you begin to call on the name of the LORD.