| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 49 - Page 159 of 179 Index | Zoom | |
"From the earth." The Hebrew accent (athnach) after `cursed' suggests `more than
the ground' (Gen. 3: 17).
To alleviate the effects of this curse on the ground, Cain built a city with all its
attractions. Lamech's son Jubal invented musical instruments, while Tubal-Cain became
a worker in brass and iron. Lamech's boast about slaying a man and his contrast with
Cain's protection by God (4: 15) suggest that the metal working of his son Tubal-Cain
provided him with weapons. Today, civilization with its many inventions, has laid a
veneer over the curse of the ground and deadened the results of this curse. While life at
the present time is easy in comparison with life in the earlier ages of man, it nevertheless
prevents him from realizing his need for a Saviour and Deliverer.
The second Lamech took a different line. He called the name of his son Noah saying:
"This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the
ground which the Lord hath cursed" (Gen. 5: 29).
Toil of the hands and sweat of the face can be mitigated by the inventions of the line
of Cain and yet at the same time play into the hands of the evil one, to remove or cover
up the sense of utter need of a Saviour:
"This only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out
many inventions" (Eccles. 7: 29).
From one point of view it would be pessimistic defeatism to speak against the creative
urge implanted in man. What wonderful things beyond man's present attainment might
have been made had he not become a sinner! One thing we should have been spared is
the brilliance of his mind being turned to evil things, such as fabricating terrible weapons
of war leading to untold suffering and destruction. Yet, on the other hand, who among us
would willingly go back to smoking flax, to a tinder box, or the rubbing of two sticks to
produce a spark?
The reference to man's "inventions" in the Scriptures do not minimize their
advantages, but reveal the fact that they so often displace trust in God for a stronger
reliance on self, which in spiritual matters is fatal. In II Chron. 26: there is recorded
the tragic history of king Uzziah. He started so well at the commencement of his reign
for he "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord" (26: 4). Yet later on, "when
he was strong", his heart was `lifted up to his destruction', for he attempted to usurp the
office of the priest which was forbidden by God and he died a leper (26: 16-21). The
worst sin of all, pride, caused his downfall, for it is the one sin that God will not tolerate,
specially in the heart of His children. No wonder we have the constant stress in the N.T.
on meekness and lowliness of mind, these graces being the first characteristics of the
`worthy walk' in Eph. 4: relating to the Body of Christ.
However, other factors entered in Uzziah's case which ultimately led to this exaltation
of self and these factors were related to human inventions. In his early days `he sought
God', and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper (26: 4, 5). God
wonderfully helped him against the Philistines and the Arabians, and the Ammonites