by Kristen C. Strocchia
“Adam [knew] 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.’ Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.” Genesis 4:25-26
The heaviness of belly gave way to breath snatching, tightened muscles, which themselves broke with the cry of a newborn son. “Seth,” Eve pronounced. “Compensation for my Abel, the son whose life Cain stole.” A God-given equivalent for loss? Maybe Eve had hoped it would heal her pain. But as a mother, one child can never really replace another.
And a part of me wonders if Eve was also mourning the loss of Cain. Though he was still alive, he was no longer the sweet little baby she’d nursed or the toddler whose skinned knees she’d kissed as he learned to walk. He’d completely turned his back on their Creator and left his parents’ home as well.
Whether or not Seth ever brought emotional healing to his mother, Eve, spiritually, God was already fulfilling his Genesis 3:15 promise to Satan. Perhaps Satan saw how Abel loved God and took advantage to plant the seed of discontent jealousy in Cain. Perhaps Satan thought that killing Abel would remove the offspring that God promised would one day crush his head.
Yet God had appointed this to Seth. Not that he himself would crush Satan, but that his line would preserve right living–righteousness–by God’s standard and would one day bring forth the promised seed, a Messiah, to save the whole world from sin.
It didn’t happen in the second generation of Seth’s line. Here he had a son that he named Enosh, meaning man or mankind. Perhaps named after Grandpa Adam–meaning earth, but which was also used as the generic term for man in Hebrew Notice how close the name is to Cain’s first son, Enoch. Though the meanings vary drastically–experienced, profound, dedicated, teacher–it’s clear that Cain named his first son after the self-sufficiency in his heart whereas Seth named his son to reset the world stage back to the beginning, when the Creation was pure, and holy, and good.
And then there were people on earth–all descended from Adam and Eve–who began to call on the name of Yahweh [the Lord]. In the original Hebrew, the word liq-ro translated called on here can also mean to summon, to proclaim, to preach or to read. They began to preserve and pass on, “undimmed and undiminished,” as A.W. Tozer puts it, “that noble concept of God,” that they received from those who came before.
They summoned, or prayed for God’s presence and divine intervention.
They proclaimed, or taught, and preached God to every family member who would listen.
They maybe even read? Though historical accounts don’t credit most ancient peoples with writing much before 2600 BC [evidence to confirm a worldwide flood around this time] there are hieroglyphs and tablets that may be as old as 3500BC, just 500 years after the Creation. And it’s possible that earlier writings were just completely destroyed in the flood. These earliest people groups also used the oral tradition–basically memorizing the stories of history and passing them from generation to generation.
Regardless of whether they read and wrote at this time, the message is clear. Seth knew the importance of praying to God, preaching, and teaching others to know Him as well.
How about you? Do you have a daily prayer life? Like Seth, do you long to share the truth of God with all who will listen?