Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 7 years ago

Hope in Heaven and Heaven's God

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Few are able. Please remain standing, and let's turn our attention to Genesis, chapter four, verses Seventeen through twenty six. Genesis four, verse seventeen. Genesis seventeen. Kane knew his wife and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. To Enoch was born Ir Rad, and irrad fathered Mahouahjel and Mahoujael fathered Mathushla Mathushale, and mathushale fathered LEAMIK and Laimeek took two wives. The name of the one was Adda and the name of the other was Zilla. Odda bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tense and have livestock. His brother's name was Jewball. He was the father of all who, those who play the liar and pipe. Zillah also bore Tubalkane. He was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubalkane was not Alma. Lamek said to his wives Adah and Zillah, hear my voice, you wives of Lamek. Listen to what I say. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If CAINE's revenge is sevenfold, then lamex is seventy sevenfold. And Adam knew his wife again and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him. To Seth also was born a son and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of Jehovah. You may be seated. These last lines in the song that we've just sung, a mighty fortresses our God, serve as an appropriate transition between the passage of scripture just before the one we read in Genesis A, Chapter Four. The beginning verses we read of Cain killing his brother Abel and, as we considered before, this is in many ways a great threat to the promise of God, God's promise that of Eve would be born offspring that would come and would set things right, would crush the head of the serpent, although bruised on himself in his heel. And so this offspring that was born cane, we find, instead of doing the right things, in the good things, instead of fighting evil, is the very manifestation of it. I'm he is, I'm evil. He is of this father of lies and a murderer who was from the beginning. On top of that, he kills his other, his brother Abel, and that's where we come to, as I put it, this line in a mighty fortress is our God. The body they may kill, God's truth abide is still his kingdom is forever. So we're here. We have a two brothers, one dead, the other a murderer, sent away, I'm from from God and from his presence, cursed, and just as Adam, I'm his father was. But though Abel was dead and in many ways it seems as if the promise would...

...be dead, we read that though they kill the body, God's truth Abideth, his promises are always sure, they always come true. His Kingdom is forever, and we get the the fulfillment of that in the last verses that I read in Genesis, for where Adam knew his wife again and she bore a son and called his name Seth, and she said God has appointed for me another offspring instead of able, for Kane killed him to seth also was born a son and he called his name Enosh. At that time, people began to call upon the name of Jehovah. You See, here God is establishing his kingdom, he's working in the world. Despite the work of Man Against Him, despite Satan's continuing work to destroy the offspring that is supposed to destroy him, God continues to keep his promise. His Kingdom is forever his promises and his word always abide. In between these two things, God's a promise interrupted, we might say, or at least seemingly so, we have another kingdom that is built, a kingdom or a city of Man, his kingdom by Kane. And when, as we consider this, the city, in this legacy that is being built up under Kane and his children, what we realize and come to see is that sin, just as it was passed on to Adams children, such as Kane and Abel, Kane, also passes it on to his children. Instead of going away, sins strong a strangle hold on man is just growing tighter and tighter. And you see this in the way the end of this this genealogy, with laymeck putting himself far above any expectations and things we have seen so far, in many ways setting him side outside of so many orders. God has already set up. I'm even, in many ways, seeking to be a god himself. As we consider these things, what we see is that there really is only one way to live. There's only one way to live, and that's under the authority of God and for the glory of God. That's how Adam was made, that's what he was made for, that's how he and all of us are designed to be, to live under God's authority and to Live for God's glory. If we were fish, this would be our water. This is where we live, this is where we thrive, this is the environment which God has made us for. But an Adam sin he makes that impossible, impossible for us, impossible for his children after him, for Caine, for Sath, for Lamick, for Zilla, for Auda, for you, for me, for all of us. After Adam and Eve sinned, we fell into this estate of sin and misery, as we confess in our catechism. We fall into this state where we are bound and and and and enslaved in a way that takes us out of that water, so to speak. It takes us out of this environment in which we were made to thrive. And we see that in these early chapters, first and canes lies in his murder and his false worship and his anger, and then it just goes on and on and on, continuing. Now in Caine's children we see more of these sins in the image of man. Instead of living under his authority, in and for his glory, man is more and more in open rebellion against God, with...

...the exception of Seth that we see later in the chapter, because of God's working in working among men. We see what man does. He does not call on the name of the Lord, but he calls on the name of himself, naming cities after himself, establishing culture in his name and like a fish pulled out of water, his death is not far off. When a fish is pulled out of water and they don't often seem like they're going to die. They flop around, they're very strong in many ways, they seem as if there's a lot of life in them, and it's like that here with Kane and this this this civilization that he and his children are building. There is great strengthen them and even good things, and we see that many of these things God will employ, even in the worship of in his temple and other things I'm to care for livestock, to build culture, to build societies and work with the various things that God have given us. These are all wonderful and good things, but Kane and his children aren't not doing that in the way that God designed them to do. Things start normally enough, a testimony to God's continuing kindness and mercy to those that don't deserve it. But very quickly we have this figure of Lamech Laimek, you see, transgresses God's law in a number of ways. He transgresses God's law in the in his desire for power. You see that in many ways. I'm you see that. For example, and is taking two wives. The first instance of polygamy is not with Abraham or the other or other saints, but it is here in this sinful line of kin. Mean and Kane takes two wives for himself, though God has always commanded and an example has always been a one man and one woman our as being what was designed for marriage. Lay Mack transgresses that and he takes two wives. On top of that, he he executes justice in an incredibly improper way. Notice what he says in this prideful commands boast. He says I've killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. You See, lay mack is not saying hey, I just want to let you know this happened. I'm filing a report. He's boasting here. He's saying, look how powerful I am. This young man came and he wounded me, he offended me, he struck me and I killed him. That's the kind of man that I am, that's the kind of power that I am. And he says that not to his wife and his children, but to his wives and to his children. In many ways, this is often what polygamy is, not only a demonstration of man's lusts and passions, but also his lusts for power, to have more than belongs to him. And so he stands here having done this terrible thing, having committed murder, killing unjustly, and he says this to his wives and instead of repenting for this, instead of running for his life, instead of being afraid, he says, if CAIN's revenge is sevenfold, which was what God promised those who would might, anyone who might kill Kane, lay mix is seventy sevenfold, a kind of way of speaking of not only a complete...

...judgment but almost an eternal judgment, a judgment that will go on forever and ever. Laymick is taking the very prerogatives of God to himself. He is living in his own way, and we see then, that as sin controls mankind. Man, instead of living under the authority of God and for the glory of God, lives against God, lives in an atheistic way. He he clamorous, I'm for his own glory and for his own authority. LAYMEX actions shouldn't surprise us. They are as common as the cities that we dwell in. People continue to push the boundaries of sex in ways that pursue their sinful pleasures and seek after power and control rather than in God's design, whether that's polygamy, adultery, homosexuality, pornography, rape, the list of the evils in this one category go on and on and on and on, evils that we have to take very seriously and and and consider in our lives and how we live with them, how we deal with them. People push the boundaries and all kinds of other ways, taking God's creation, the things that he has made, and using it for purposes that are against him, against his law and for their own glory, whether that's the materials of the earth or instruments that we make, all kinds of things. And then, of course, we see today abuse of power as well, unjust sentences, lawlessness, people who don't deserve to be judges standing and as judge over men, I'm using their strength to their own advantages, doing what they can simply because they can, and all these things. We see what sin does, and we have to take this very seriously in our own hearts. This is not just something that is out there in the world. This is also in there, in here, in our hearts. This kind of pride, this kind of control, this kind of rebellion. That's what sin is. That's what it was on or Adam, that's what it was under Kane and it's what it was under laymk. It's what sin does. It captivates our desires for evil things. It makes us covet and want to control things that don't belong to us. It takes away the checks that God has given on man and society and seeks to live by one's own why, one's own rule, and in that sense, atheism is really methism, isn't it? It's not just being against God, but it's making oneself into God, taking your God's rule and his authority on yourself and saying I am powerful and I am great, and in many ways this seems to go very well for Laymik. There's nothing here in this chapter that seems to counter that or call that into question or or accept. For the counter example of Seth, so small, so weak, seth and his son, we read in that time they began to call on the name of Jehovah. This is a pattern we're going to see throughout the book of Genesis and really throughout all of history that often times the greatest civilizations and the greatest things that are built are are not built by God's people. God's people are found in places of weakness and suffering. Not Always,...

...of course, he's often pleased to bless us and take care of us and many marvelous ways, but at the same time the flourishing of evil is a constant something David refers too often in the psalms, something solemn and refers to in Ecclesiastes, I'm something that's lamented and many times, in many ways, why is it that the righteous suffer and the unrighteous prosper? There is this way in which life seems to go on for the evil but, as will continue to see, and as we read the rest of the story, we actually don't even have to go all that far. We realize that, despite all this blustering and Saber rattling and supreme foolish confidence in ourselves, at any moment God can bring a sinner to his knees and even to his grave. We'll see that in Noah, in just a few chapters, will see how this great city and civilization that Kane is establishing will grow and grow and grow, until it's so bad that God says, I'm going to destroy the whole earth. Genesis's thirteen says, I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the Earth. This is the trajectory that sin takes us on. It takes us to destruction. LAMAC feels like he's sitting pretty, but God promises that he will not wink, and I'm injustice that he doesn't let Abel's blood rye in the ground without vengeance. He will, and he does, make an end to all all who rise up against him in this rebellious way. You see this not only in the generations following Noah, but of course an Adam sin that we've already discovered or considered, and also in the final judgment. God has promised that there is coming a time when the earth, when he will shake not only the earth, as he did in the days of Noah, but also the heavens. That's a quote from Hebrews twered and twenty six. He says, I will shake not only the Earth but also the heavens, and the descriptions of this time, this day of the Lord, that we considered in second Thessalonians, are powerful. God talks about the heavenly things being shaken like a like a garment, so that the things that remain can and remains steadfast. Jesus Talks about this in Matthew Twenty Four. I'll turn there and read his words of Matthew Twenty Four, verses thirty seven through thirty nine. He makes this comparison between Noah and the last day himself, he says, for as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the son of man. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered the Ark and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away. So will be the coming of the son of man. And so, you see, we are not to be foolish about these things and not to act like those who act like those who lived in the days before Noah acted. If we are enslave to our sin, if we are living our lives outside of God's authority and outside his law, we can't just continue on and pretend as if nothing's going to happen, because judgment. God has already shown himself in the history of the world to be a powerful judge, and the judgment that he's is coming, he says, is even...

...greater. Like the days and the days of Noah soul will the days, so will the day be when the son of man comes, and yet even more so. Yet, once more, I will shake not only the Earth but also the heavens also. There's one more place that we see God's anger against this kind of sin, this kind of this kind of living outside of the water in which we were created to live, and that's in Christ's death, this final destruction of the world, this great judgment that is rained down upon all that God has made. I'm came in a first installment, you might say, on the Cross of Christ, when God judged all those whom he had chosen to save there in Jesus, the great judgments of the last day being poured out here on on Jesus Christ. We know this from many passages, one thing, one place you might consider as Romans four hundred and twenty five, when we read that he was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Jesus went to the Cross to die for our sins, for the sins that we commit, just like Laim it committed, just like came committed, and many more that we might consider and we will as we read on in God's word. Here we see in all these places, in God's judgments of Adam and God's judgments of the earth, in Noah and God's judgment and on the last day, and in God's judgment not of Christ but of us in Christ, in all of these ways in which God execute justice, even on us in his son, we see that God does not wink at evil. The Lay Mak and people like him boast and our so feels so strong and so sure. God is promising over and over and over again that he will make things right and he will bring about justice against those who sin against him. But in Christ's death we also find hope and good news, because when we read that he was delivered up for our trespasses, we read that he was delivered up for our trespasses to know that our justification has already happened, that judgment for our sins has already passed for us in Jesus Christ. Well, that's good news, isn't it? And that's the kind of news that seth and his children and all who have been faithful to God and called upon his name. That's the news they were hoping for and hoping in. The judgment for sin of men in Christ is a substitutionary judgment, a mediatorial judgment, which our fancy ways of saying he died for you. He endured the cross. Jesus endured the cross for you. He became the offspring of Adam. He became the one that would be born from eaves womb for you. Jesus Christ became man so that he would go to a cross and die, so that he would come and not only fulfill what Adam failed to do. But also take on the punishment that Adam deserved. Christ was perfect, a perfect man. He lived every moment of his life under the authority of God and for his glory, and you hear that constantly throughout the Gospel's don't you? I come to do my father's will. I come to do my father's will, not my will, but yours be done. He does this because that's how the law is kept, and he keeps it...

...for you. He died for those who didn't do this, who didn't fulfill God's law, and this is, of course, God's great gift to us. This is God fulfilling his promise, first here in with Seth and e Enosh, and continuing on and on and on until the Christ is born, the Messiah comes, and it's through this gift of the son of God that you are made, as scripture puts it, children of the promise. When Seth was born and Enosh after him. This, as eve points out, is the work of God. She says, we'll read it again. She says, God appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Kane Killed Him. We see here that the difference between Seth or able or enosh and kine and lay meck and his line. The difference between these two is not something that's inborn in them. Seth is born, just like came sinful and bound to sin. What's the difference? The difference is what Eve says. God has appointed, God intercedes and does something special. That's why we seek God. That's why we, who are the children of the promise, call on the name of Jehovah. We don't call on our own name, we don't call on ourselves, we don't live to our own glory, because God has worked, because God has brought us a gift life and life in Christ. We don't please God by picking up Adams work. We receive Christ's work and we call on his name. Paul says in Romans nine eight, this means it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of the God of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. So in this sense we see that God's promise to Eve about offspring is a promise that needs fuller explanation and is given here in Genesis. For that it's not just being born of Eve that's going to make the difference, but it's being born of God, it's being born through Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. It's God again interjecting himself into the world and acting in this saving and redeeming way that is going to change things. We see it with Seth and Enosh, and we'll see it with Noah when that as the whole world is destroyed in judgment, God promises to save a people for himself, and he does that Noah and his family, Genesis. For then, in the context of scripture, is God's message to us that he keeps his promises and that those who die in Adam's sin can live in Christ's righteousness. And this has a powerful effect on our life, doesn't it? It makes us call on the name of Jehovah. We do so because we are a changed people. As those who are no longer bound to sin, we call on the one to whom we should call. We obey God in this way and we seek his face in this way. We do these as those who have passed through judgment and who have received a city that cannot be shaken, Mountain Zion. This is what God promises to us. He promises and us not only life in Jesus Christ, but a city, a dwelling place, a...

...kingdom of God that is eternal, that is everything that it was supposed to be from the beginning lay mack and Caine, and that whole project is going to end. It's going to be burned up, washed away. But God promises to give us something that cannot be taken away. Eight thirty Romans, thirty two. He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, with him, graciously give us all things? Paul says that as we die in Christ, we also live and reign in him. We do our work, we work in this world and we do it for God, but we do it in the hope for something lasting, as Hebrews says. A continuing on to quote from Hebrews, here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city to that is to come, the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, beloved. This is the message of God's grace, this is the message of God's taking you and your rebellion and your sin and just giving you something that you'd never deserved, that you are fighting against and that you are working against in Atheism, atheism, in Metheism, and setting yourself up over and against God to establish your own pitiful kingdom. The one day burn and judgment, God rescued you, that false king and brought you under the Authority of Christ by dying for you, by raising for you and by causing you to live and reign in him. And that is why we call on the name of Jehovah and not the name of ourselves. That's why we seek after him and him alone, and and not ourselves. That's why we find our strength in him. He is our rock, he is our redeemer. Jesus Christ is the offspring that we were seeking. Let us pray now and ask that God would establish us in these things.

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