Date: 
Sunday, June 3, 2012 - 6:00pm
Service: 
Author: 
Bible Reference: 
Genesis 4:16-26

REVIVAL: MEN BEGAN TO CALL UPON THE LORD

GENESIS 4:16-26

        Genesis 4:26 tells us that at this time, men began to call upon the name of the Lord.  This verse has intrigued me for several weeks now.  When I first began to study for these sermons in Genesis, this verse jumped off the page and screamed at me.  What caught my attention was that this verse stated that “NOW”, men begin to call upon the name of the Lord.  This implies that up until this point, men were not calling on the Lord.  Just several generations from the Garden of Eden, men had forgotten God.  Satan and sin had so blinded their eyes that men had gone from walking with God in the cool of the evening to living every day without one thought of His presence. 

        Don’t you know that it breaks God’s heart to look at our country and know how far we have come spiritually from the just a couple of decades ago. 

        Tonight I want us to look at the Condition of the faithless and then secondly, I want us to look at the Commitment of the faithful. 

I.  THE CONDITION OF THE FAITHLESS

1.  Man Left God’s Presences

        When Cain was banished from Adam and Eve’s home for killing his brother Abel, the Bible says he left the presence of God.  He didn’t just leave his home, his family, his way of life; he left the presence of God. 

        Cain killed Able because of anger.  The issue was God accepted Abel’s sacrifice but would not accept Cain’s offering.  God gave strict guidelines for how offerings were to be made.  Cain didn’t want to do it God’s way.  Cain wanted to do it his way.  If his vegetables were not good enough for God, then he didn’t need God.  If he couldn’t do it his way, he wasn’t going to play. 

Men today want to come to God on their own terms instead of His.  It amazes me that people get mad when we proclaim there is only one way to heaven.  They call us narrow minded and intolerant.  They call us arrogant when we proclaim that Jesus is only one way. 

There are certain things that can only be done one way.  Try making a cake with salt instead of sugar.  Try running your car on kerosene instead of gasoline.       Try running a DC current through an AC receptor. 

        There was arrogance in Cain’s heart, a proud and defiant willfulness.  When God confronted him, there was no remorse, no repentance, and no sorrow.  In fact, Cain responded with sarcasm.  With blood still on his hands, Cain virtually thumbed his nose at God. 

        Many today have turned their back on the grace of God, the mercy of God, the forgiveness of God.  They have rejected God and walked away from His presence.  They would rather live in sin, separated from God than live with Jesus in submission to the Father’s will. 

2.  Man Entered the State of Restlessness

        Cain traveled east to the land of Nod.  The word Nod means wanderer, or restless.  It is a land where men are never satisfied.  It is a land without peace, without security, without fulfillment because it is a land without God.  Until a man’s relationship with God is settled, he will not have peace in his heart, security in his life and fulfillment in his world. 

        The person who rejects God will always be restless.  This world is not our home.  It can’t meet our deepest needs, fulfill our truest longings, inspire our greatest dreams, our secure our utmost needs.

        That is why you see such a lack of content in this world.  That is why you see such a lack of peace. 

3.  Man Glorified Himself

        In verse 17 the Bible says that Cain built a city and named if after his son Enoch.  This is the first city the Bible mentions and it is named after the son of a man who murdered his own brother.  His heart is still concerned only with himself. 

        Our world has turned self promotion into an art form.  Our television, the internet and the magazines are filled with people who are famous simply for being outrageous.  They have made a name for themselves without really accomplishing anything note worthy.  What does it say bout our society when we know the names of all the Kardashian’s but don’t know the names of those who won Nobel Prizes last year?

4.  Man Had a Form of Religion

        Cain’s descendents were given religious names:

                Mahujael – smitten of God

                Jathusael – man of God

                Lamech – strong man of prayer

        Men are very religious, just not very godly.  Our churches are filled with people who outwardly conform to religious traditions, but inwardly are far from the Lord.  As I have shared with your several times, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to MacDonald’s makes you a hamburger”. 

II Timothy 3:5 describes a group of church attendees as people who have a form of godliness, but deny its power. 

        This all started with an unacceptable offering.  Cain didn’t want God to make the rules about how He was to be worshipped.  And even today, Cain’s false religion continues.  Today, people refuse to accept the timeless truths of the Word of God.  They see the Word as antiquated and the moral systems laid out in scripture as inappropriate for our day and time.  They believe the moral boundaries found in the 10 Commandments should no longer apply.  They believe the precepts and principles of the New Testament are outdated and obsolete.

        But God’s Word doesn’t change just as God doesn’t change.  We don’t rewrite God’s Word because our world no longer finds it appealing.  Society’s standards may change.  God’s standards do not.   We don’t bend God’s Word to fit us.  We bend us to fit God’s Word.    

        I want you to notice that although the generations following Cain were given religious names, there is no mention of their relationship with God.  Also, I want you to see that it never mentions that they died.  In chapter 5, we read about all the people that died.  In chapter 4, death is never mentioned.  That may seem odd.  But here is the deal, it is a sad fact when the lost die because of their eternal destination.  How different it is when a child of God goes into eternity.  Heaven stands ready to welcome them in with great celebration. 

5.  The Achievements of Man

        One of Cain’s descendents was named Lamech.  And Lamech had four children.

                Jabal – known as the father of tentmakers and cattle ranchers.  He didn’t just live in tents and raise cattle, he was famous for being the beginner and the best at it.

                Jubal – known as the inventor of the harp and the flute.  He didn’t just play music; he was famous for being the inventor of the first musical instruments on earth.

                Tubal-Cain – forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron.  He created the first   tools and the first weapons.  He set up the first farmer supply store and started the first arms race. 

                Naamah – her name means beauty.  This is the world’s first beauty queen. 

        Doesn’t that sound just like our society?  We admire, actually we worship the successful, the creative, the innovative and the beautiful.  We reject the creator for the creation.  We elevate men and ignore the God who gave men their talents, abilities, their intelligence and creativity.    

6.  The Lawlessness of Man

        Verse 23 tells us that Lamech killed a man.  He struck down a young man for injuring him.  He didn’t turn to society’s law enforcement.  He didn’t seek justice.  He wasn’t concerned with the well being of his community.  He bragged to his wives that he killed a man, pretty much because he could.  This young man had harmed him in some way, and Lamech exacted his revenge.  There was not thought of justice; just blind arrogance that challenged the whole world to hold him accountable for his wrong. 

7.  Man Even Challenged God

        In Verse 24, Lamech refers back to the promise that God made Cain that if any one harmed him, God would avenge him 7 times.  Lamech steps up and announces that he is greater than Cain, he is even greater than God.  If he is harmed he will avenge 77 times.  And if he is harmed, it won’t be God who seeks the revenge it will be Lamech himself. 

        Lamech threw down the gauntlet so to speak.  He declared for the whole world to hear that he did not need God.  He glorified human independence because he wanted to glorify himself.  His children were rich, successful and well thought of.  They had art, culture and entertainment. They had weapons, tools and power.  And they were known for their beauty and social achievements.  Sounds just like our world. 

II.  THE COMMITMENT OF THE FAITHFUL

In the midst of the narcissistic, hedonistic, self-aggrandizing world, men began to call upon the name of the Lord.  There is a revival.  Let me show you what happened. 

1.  Eve

Let’s look at Eve for a minute.  I want you to see a transformation and you need to understand it is huge.  Look in 4:1:

        “With the help of the Lord, I have brought forth a man” 

        Do you hear the emphasis?  She gives herself the credit for doing the work with a little help from the Lord.  God was there to assist, but He wasn’t really necessary.  Eve thought very highly of what she had done.

Now look at 4:25:

        “God has granted me another child…”  Hear her words describing the birth of her third son, Seth.  God has granted, God has given, God has provided.  She didn’t do it.  A gracious God has given her another child.  Do you see the change in Eve’s attitude?  What a beautiful change of heart.  She didn’t earn it, she received it.  It wasn’t an accomplishment, it was a gift.  She saw Seth as a gift from a gracious God.  And don’t you know, she communicated this perspective to her son.  In Eve’s heart, it became all about God instead of all about Eve.  Seth saw this and he bought into it. 

2.  Seth

        Seth had a son and named this child Enosh.  Enosh means weak, frail.  Rather than proudly boasting of the greatness of his child, Seth confesses the weakness of humanity.  Seth acknowledges his frailty, his weakness, his need for God.  Seth professes his dependence on God.  And others followed his example.  People begin to call upon the name of the Lord.  Revival breaks out. 

        In Eve and in Seth, we see two parents who were more enamored with God than their children.  We see two parents who were living for the Lord instead of living through their kids.  We see two parents who were more concerned with teaching their kids right and wrong than they were with how much credit or how much attention their kids got.

         If God can raise up a generation of people in that narcissistic, arrogant and violent society, then God can raise up a generation today that can turn this nation back to Lord. 

        In the 1850’s, America was in very bad shape.  The crime rate was soaring.  Violence was common.  City streets were unsafe.  Prostitution was rampant.  Economic instability haunted the nation.  Unemployment was raging out of control.  And, corruption and injustice was everywhere. 

        In the midst of this growing spiritual darkness, God’s people got serious about praying for revival.  Where most historic and verifiable revivals centered around one man, this revival was centered on God’s people crying out to God for a movement of His Spirit. 

        A business man named James Lanphier began a noon time prayer meeting in New York City.  It started slow but eventually took off.  Some reports estimate that as many as 50,000 New Yorkers were converted and baptized over the next three years. 

        There is no reason that can’t happen today.  And there is no reason that can’t start right here.  Like Eve, let’s look to give God credit for the accomplishments in our lives.  Let’s look to God for leadership, direction, wisdom and understanding.  Let’s give our kids the very best examples we can and see what God does in their lives.  Just maybe, revival may break out.