Too Much Too Soon
A daily devotion for April 22nd
17 Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.
19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain's sister was Naamah.
23 Lamech said to his wives,
"Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
wives of Lamech, hear my words.
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for injuring me.
24 If Cain is avenged seven times,
then Lamech seventy-seven times."
25 Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, "God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him." 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.
At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.
Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, God has granted me another child in the place of Abel, since Cain killed him,Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.(Genesis 4:25-26)
These names are most suggestive: Seth means
appointed. Eve said,
I will call him 'Appointed' because God has appointed another son to take the place of Abel. When the man of faith is taken out of the world, God's work does not end; He raises up another. I have been very impressed by the epitaph on the tomb of John Wesley in Westminster Abbey in London.
God buries His workman, but He carries on His work. And here, too, the work of God is going forward. He appoints another son.
The name of Seth's son was Enosh, which means
mortal. Here is suggested the idea that in the midst of this Cainite civilization, with its proud refusal to recognize the canker eating away at the heart of humanity and its desire to achieve falsely the luxuries and comforts that God designs, there were yet those who recognized their mortality, and, thus, their dependence upon God. There were those who took God's narrow way, and, as the account goes on to say,
they began to call on the name of the LORD. They recognized that God must heal our hearts before we can have all the things that our urges cry out for, that the cancer within us must be dealt with before we can begin to live.
From the start, the Scriptures take pains to point out to us that there are only two ways to live. There is the broad way, which many are taking, which looks so logical but leads to destruction; and there is the narrow way, which begins at the point where an individual stands alone before God and must make a decision, the narrow way that leads unto life, as God intended life to be lived (Matthew 7:13-14). Which way are you taking?
Young people are facing the siren call of the world, with its appeal to luxury, comfort, ease, achievement, and acquisitiveness. It is not that Christians cannot use these things. Paul tells us we are to use, but not abuse, the things of the world (see 1 Corinthians 10:23ff.). But throughout the Scriptures we are warned,
Do not love the world or anything in the world (1 John 2:15). Do not make anything in the world the center around which you build your life. If this is all-important to you, you are doomed. Jesus said that if you try to save your life on these terms, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for His sake, you will save it (Matthew 16:24-25).
Let God heal the sickness of the human heart with its hunger for self-centeredness and self-exaltation through the working of the gospel, through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ; then you can begin to live. It is the way that leads to life—life as God intended it. It may be that this life will not include in it luxuries and comforts, but they are down the line somewhere. God has these in mind for all His people. All that the heart hungers after will ultimately be supplied in Jesus Christ.
Lord, I choose to take the narrow path—the one that may not be the easy way, but it is the way that leads to life.
Life Application: The broad career choices for young people seem more bewildering than ever. Are we teaching them to know and rest in the Life that abundantly provides all we need?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.