Wherever You Are, Someone's Been There(This article can also we found on our website at
http://www.bethelkingston.comunder the tab called "Blog")
This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
This past Sunday we looked at how Lordship Has Its Rivals. In other words, it may be our desire to put Christ first but we live in a world vying for that top spot. As a group, make a list of issues that either you see in your life or others that can really rival Christ being number 1.
The Text - Genesis 4:19-24
Read the entire chapter to get a sense of the context. The character we looked at was Lamech, representing the seventh generation from Adam and Eve. In the NIV, his story is only 107 words long but unfortunately his story will be repeated time and time again throughout scripture. If anyone is currently struggling with Lordship then they can be guaranteed they are not alone. Lamech has been there. “Been there, done that!” would be his comment. To say he struggled might be an understatement. It seems like he allowed the world to swallow him up.
What are the indicators showing Lamech is bowing to the rivals?
• He moved a fence (v.19) (he adjusted the truth)
G.K. Chesterton once said “If you move a fence you should pause to ask why it was put there to begin with.”
We seem to live in a world that loves moving fences and asking questions later. We pull up the posts of God’s truth and move them to where we think they should be. Anyone reading Lamech’s story should immediately notice the fence-moving that is going on here. Gen. 2 makes it very clear that marriage is not only between a man and a woman, but between one man and one woman. Lamech, for whatever reason, is the first recorded fence mover in this area.
What fences are being moved today?
What makes this particular fence interesting is that, for the most part, God does not seem to openly condemn polygamy in the Old Testament outside of Genesis 2. But the New Testament makes it pretty clear that polygamy is not part of the created order.
In the Old Testament it seems that God’s plan is to allow men and women discover by experience that his original institution of monogamy was the proper relationship. It is shown that polygamy brings trouble, and often results in sin, e.g. Abraham (Gen. 21); Gideon (Jdg. 8:29–9:57); David (2 Sam. 11; 13); Solomon (1 Ki. 11:1–8). Family jealousies arise from it, (1 Sam. 1:6; cf. Lev. 18:18).
In other words, sometimes the school of hard knocks, not another lecture, can serve as the greatest teacher. Agree?
Read what J.D. Unwin has to say about this fence post:
“Based on his extensive studies of both ancient and modern civilizations, the British anthropologist J.D. Unwin concluded that the whole of human history does not provide a single example of a society that achieved and consistently maintained a high level of culture without adopting heterosexual monogamy as the standard for marriage and family life. Societies that adopted more permissive sexual practices entered into periods of decline in art, science, religion and military power. The “track record of history” has confirmed the wisdom of the moral standards revealed not only to believers in Scripture, but to all peoples, through general revelation.” (In Evangelical Ethics, p. 12)
What fences in your estimation have been moved in our culture and are causing the greatest damage?
As a parent or friend, isn’t it tough to bite your tongue and, instead of preaching at them, let them move a fence? When have you thought it was better to shut up versus speak up? It might kill you to do this, but sometimes it’s the best thing to do. Nose bleeds are sometimes the best incentives for repentance.
Has a friend or parent ever allowed you to experience a bit of the pain of moving a fence?
Does allowing one to walk down the “fence adjustment road” always result in repentance?
Is it possible that these days, God is allowing you to move a fence and experience the consequences of doing that?
• He got intoxicated on..... (v.20-22) (ambition)
The mention of these kids and what they are known for is interesting in the development of culture: seemingly affluent, innovative, advancing, progressive, cutting edge. The Bible and archaeology point to the domestication of livestock, the development of music, and the invention of tools. BUT when you look at the bigger context of this chapter something smells.
Dr. Criswell said, “Man has learned to fly through the air like an Eagle; bore through the earth like a mole; and swim through the oceans like a fish; but has never learned to walk on the earth like the human being God intended him to be.” The image of God in us enables us to build great civilizations, but the sin in us causes us to tear it down.
Note the flow of this chapter. It starts out with a great birth announcement but things go south pretty fast. Note that the two main stories involve murder. You get to the end of the chapter and people are crying out to God. The only hope is found in another birth announcement - Seth. He would be in the genealogy of Jesus, our much-needed Saviour.
My understanding of Lamech is that he got intoxicated on ambition. Ambition is great, and societal advances as mentioned in this story are awesome as well, but they can rival Christ’s Lordship in our lives.
How does this happen?
What does it look like?
What kinds of ambitions can challenge the Lordship issue in your life?
• He wrote and sang a song (v.23, 24) (arrogance and pride)
On Sunday I gave a possible song title. Have you got any creative titles for this song?
Read through this song and make some observations. Many believe this was in song form with three couplets.
What is he getting at?
He is demanding greater leniency than whom? (See v.15)
Note that God set the law for Cain, but Lamech set the law for Lamech.
Note also that God is talking to Cain, but Lamech is singing to his wives. There is no recorded conversation between Lamech and God. Mmmmmmh… wonder why?
Most commentators, when seeing this in context, see this as an arrogant, belligerent boast.
Some believe that his name means “powerful, boaster destroyer, wild man”.
What would the title of the song be for the person you are praying for? (ie Not Now God! Running Free! – I am sure you can be more creative)
What tunes are coming from your heart?
What does the music reveal about your posture before God?
Perhaps Lamech was where you are.
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