17 Cain made love to 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 stringed instruments and pipes. 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 made love to 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 people began to call on the name of the Lord.
This passage is hard to understand, however if you read all of Genesis 4 it is evident the violent nature of Cain was passed down the family lineage to Lamech who boasted that any wrong-doing against him would be meet with great vengeance. Seventy-seven times to be exact.
V23-24 was in fact a poem known as the ‘Song of the Sword’ and was a warning that there was no forgiveness to be found if you transgressed against Lamech.
Regarding wrong-doing against a person the ‘Law of Moses’ taught there was to be an ‘eye for an eye’ meaning punishment should be in proportion to the crime. However, Jesus taught that for God’s people forgiveness is the only response to wrong-doing. In Matthew 18:21,22 and referring to the ‘Song of the Sword’ Jesus said we are to forgive seventy-seven times when a person sins against us.
I don’t know about you, but I am just not that forgiving, and in fact I don’t think anyone is that forgiving unless God has first empowered them. It certainly takes practice to forgive others.
So, how forgiving are you? Will you forgive the small stuff, can you forgive the big stuff?
Look for an opportunity to practice forgiveness today. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be genuine.
Lord, I ask you today, in the same way you have forgiven us of our misdeeds against you, please empower us to forgive those who have done wrong against us.
Written by David Newton