The First Family Tree
Pastor Adam Mallett, Jr.
Adapted from sermon by
Pastor Gary DarDar, Jr.
We discussed Seth’s influence last week, and you were encouraged to think about how your life affects those around you. Do you live in a way that leads others into a place of worship? Do you inspire others to glorify God? That is our greatest purpose! What are we accomplishing if we are not glorifying God? As we continue to read about Seth’s family and influence, there are two characters that I would like to examine and discuss. The contrast of the stories of Cain and Seth give us a great picture of what it looks like for a person to live with God versus apart from God. Even more so, the men I will point out today help us zoom in on some of the concepts of living in a way that honors and glorifies God.
Within Cain’s family tree, we find a man named Lamech. We will call him Lamech C, or LC for short. LC, following Cain’s poor example, boasted about his wickedness. He actually sought to be more wicked than his ancestor! He has a whole story in the Bible about himself, and that story reflects the wickedness of men in that time. Within Seth’s family tree, we find another man named Lamech. We will call him Lamech S, or LS for short. LS has a story as well, but it is on the other end of the spectrum in regards to the hearts of men. LS is the father of Noah. LS was a righteous man who regretted the condition of the hearts of men. He named his son Noah with the hope that God would fix what was wrong in the world. LS obviously sought after God and did his best to honor God with his life. These two men can teach us something very important about ourselves, if we will take the time to listen!
Both of these men have the same name, as we have established. But they couldn’t be more different! The Bible records one as being basically the opposite of the other! Despite being given the same name, they lived their lives in completely different ways. What is important to understand, to draw from this, pertains to our identity. Each of us has a name! We are all given a name at birth, and we pick up labels along the way. We are given titles, we attach ourselves to things, and all throughout life we search for identity. Lamech and Lamech were given an identity by their parents, but they are seen as two very different people. Why? Because of what they chose to be identified with! LC chose to identify with the world around him. He chose to attach himself to the wickedness of every other man on earth. However, we see that LS remembered God, and followed the example of Seth. LS chose to identify himself with God. LS, in identifying with God, put his own personal identity in the backseat. He put God’s name before anything and everything else in his life! And that is why he is a part of the line of Seth. That is why he is a part of the family tree through which God chose to redeem mankind! We look back on history and we identify LS as a good, godly man. But we are only able to do so because LS chose to identify himself with God!
As we live our lives, we will pick up many labels along the way, but ultimately, we will be identified by others in one of two ways: either we identify with God, or we do not. More importantly, we will be identified by God in one of only those two ways! We become tied to that with which we identify ourselves. But how do we identify with something? It is not enough to simply say that we identify with something. The Lamech’s are not mentioned as verbally identifying with God or with wickedness. But their actions give us the answer. In the same way, our actions answer the question of who we belong to. As human beings, we identify with God by behaving in a way that honors God. We identify with God by living a life that is ordered by God.
If your life was a story in the Bible, who would people see you as being identified with? Whose name does your life put on display? Is your name the most prominent name in your life? Or is the name of God the loudest, clearest, highest name in your life? For the Lamech’s the answer is obvious. LS lived in a way that put God on display, that put God first. That must be true of us, as well, if we are to truly call ourselves Christians. The title Christian literally means little Christ! We are identifying with God verbally, but our actions must affirm that. It’s not who we identify as, but who we identify with that determines the outcome of our lives! I am Adam. I am a pastor, a musician, a husband, a friend, a son, a nephew, a grandson, a store manager, an employee, etc. I am a Christian. The difference is found only with that last one! Being a Christian means being found with Christ, with God. And that determines the outcome of my life. That determines every day of my life, really! Nothing matters more than that!
Humans have an interesting relationship with God, but I am so grateful that Jesus identified with us in order that we might identify with Him! As you do life this week, I encourage you to examine your actions. Whose name are you putting on display? As a person who gets on a stage regularly, whether it is to speak or play music, I must always be conscious of this for myself! However, whether you get on a physical stage or not, you are living your life on a stage. There are people who see you, see your actions, and make a decision about you, the church, and God. Be sure that you are identifying with God with your actions, your words, and your everything! Do godly things, say godly things, think godly things, and put the name of God at the forefront of it all! In doing so, you will not only ensure that your life is as it was designed to be, but you will be setting up those with whom you interact for a greater chance at being drawn into the presence and family of God. Look at Lamech S! His godliness led to the godliness of Noah. Because LS chose to identify with God, Noah was set up for spiritual success! Let that be you this week!