Lent day 38: who is Lamech?
Luke 3 v 36 “the son of Lamech”
Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that: “The old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind.”
In Genesis 4:23-24 we read an event confirming the reason why the law of Moses stated “an eye for an eye” for it was to make sure that punishment was not harsher than it deserved to be.
Lamech, the father of Noahhas a name meaning ‘strong man’ or ’wild man’. Not only was Lamech the Bible’s first recorded polygamist (v19) he seemed to be even worse than his ancestor Cain. It was not because he took more than one wife. But it was because he presumed on God’s grace after he took revenge.
We don’t know what happened but it would appear that the punishment did not fit the crime. He truly believed that those who tried to take revenge on him for his revenge will receive the vengeance of God 77 times over. A huge presumption on the mercy of God.
Interestingly when Jesus teaches Peter to forgive he says that he should forgive not 7 times but 70 times 7 (Matthew 18:22).
People with a deep desire of justice. Those who carry a sense of right and wrong are prone to revenge and retaliation.
Has there ever been a time in our life that we wanted to take revenge? Of course! How we retaliate is dependent on where we are in God. However, all retaliation is wrong, whether that be in words or actions.
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
1 Peter 3: 9
Lamech’s son, Tubal-Cain, invented what was the first primitive sword (4:21), weapons of war are seen for the first time. Lamech came home not only boasting to his wives of how he took revenge on some person who wounded him but worse than that. Lamech believed that with his son’s swords in his hands though Cain would be avenged 7-fold, for him it would be 77-fold. The sword would now bring about greater retaliation from any attack of the enemy.
Lamech was now self-confident and self-sufficient because of the weapon he had in his hand. The sword meant he did not have to trust God even if it was still a thought of doing so.
So how strong are you and is it in you to be ruthless with people?
What is in your hands can be a blessing or a curse.
We have all seen how position and power can inflict a retaliation that is way beyond what is equal to any mistake or pain inflicted on you. We have seen that in the regime leaders around the world, government leaders and sadly we have seen it with Church leaders.
The abuse of power. Justified in the eyes of those who hold the sword in their hands but not in the sight of God.
Let’s be different today. Where there is hurt let us bless. Where offence comes let us take every barrier down. Where there is war let us bring peace. Who do you struggle with today? Bless them. Show kindness. Demonstrate the cross. Die for them. Do not pick up the sword no matter what they have done.