by Kristen C. Strocchia
“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. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.” Genesis 4:23-24
Lest anyone find the Bible sexist, Adah and Zillah were also part of this reprehensible three-spouse marriage. If this was something that they entered into of their own freewill, you can be sure that they will have to answer to God for their choice to sin as will their very bold husband Lamech.
Lamech seems to think he’s really something special here. Hey honies, I just killed some guy who ticked me off. I sure showed him. By all accounts, it appears that this is the second murder in human history [and in six generations of Cain and his line]. A vengeful homicide. Self-defense without self-control. And for some reason, Lamech thinks he is justified for his action. Either that or he’s just trying to invoke God’s mercy without acknowledging who God is.
It’s interesting that Lamech claims he will be avenged seventy-seven times. Now where have you heard that number before? “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times,” Matthew 18:21-22. How many Judeo-Christians read Jesus Words and knew exactly what He was referring to? Should I forgive someone the Cain amount like God did? But Jesus answered, No, more like you should forgive them the amount Lamech demanded, even though he didn’t deserve it.
Often atheists–those who don’t believe that there is a God–still want the world to run as if there is a God. Cain wanted God to have his back so he could live without fear of retribution. Lamech wanted to be pardoned and protected from any recourse for his actions. People, in general, want justice–but only if it means forgiveness for themselves. They want equality–if it means they can have and do what they want. They want peace and prosperity–at least in their own lives if the world can’t have it. They want the freedom to do whatever they imagine they might enjoy whenever they feel like it. And they want others to respect their self-informed right to all of these things and more.
But therein lies the rub. Where there is sin, there are selfish people. And where there are selfish people, there are conflicts in love, respect, and justice. Cain wanted what he wanted, and he didn’t care how that effected someone else [or even everyone else on the planet]. Lamech wanted two wives instead of one, and he wanted to get back at a guy who injured him. He didn’t care what God had to say about it, or whether he was treating the other involved parties [and by extension their families and friends] with love or respect or justice.
That’s Satan’s lie rearing its ugly head again. Be your own God Lamech. Take all the wives you want. God’s just trying to stifle your pleasure. Be your own God Lamech. Don’t let that guy who hurt you treat you like that. Get even. Or better yet, make him an example that anyone who messes with you is gonna end up dead.
And Lamech actually believed it. Enough that he acted on his temptations and frustrations.
This is the last recorded account of the line of Cain in the entire Bible. And by it we can see that, tragically, sin was going to continue to increase through the rest of his descendants.
How do you exercise your freewill? Do you find yourself, like Lamech, wanting to do things your own way and trying to cite God’s Word to justify it? Try getting into God’s Word first and building a relationship with Him. By this you will begin to want to do things God’s way.