Sunday, November 2, 2014

Devotion on Genesis 4 - Seventy-Seven Times

In verses 23-24, Lamech, one of Cain's descendants, boasts about the vengeance he has taken on another man who hurt him in a fight. He refers to the fact that Cain was to be avenged seven times if someone killed him and then makes himself greater than Cain by saying that he has, and will, take vengeance seventy-seven times.

Lamech lashed out in anger against someone who hurt him physically. Putting this in more common application, how do you react when someone hurts you emotionally? 

Do you become angry and strike back at them with your words or actions? Or do you keep quiet and resent them internally?

It's interesting how Jesus contrasted this seventy-seven times vengeance taken by Lamech. In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asks if it is enough to forgive someone who sins against him seven times. Jesus tells him to forgive seventy-seven times in the same day.

As Christians, we know that people will sin against us and hurt us, but our command is to forgive them, not to seek vengeance or to harbor resentment. Notice that in Genesis 4:15, it says that Cain will be avenged, but not that Cain was to take vengeance himself, like Lamech did. If there is punishment to be dealt, God will take care of it, not us. As Romans 12:19 says, "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[Deuteronomy 32:35] says the Lord."
 

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