Genesis 4:17-18: No substitute.

“17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.” NIV UK

I heard Simon Sinek being interviewed, and he talked about the importance of knowing why you do what you do each day; not just the what, but the why. We need that sense of purpose. Why do you get out of bed each morning? But without God in your life, where do you get that?

People who live ‘’east of Eden’’, away from ‘’the LORD’s presence’’ have a gap in their lives. If they are honest, they know something is missing. They may try to find satisfaction in having children, or in some great project they undertake and give themselves to – like Cain’s ‘’building a city’’. The search for fulfillment and meaning may lie in other directions of course. The point is, we are aware of an aching void within. As someone said, people are like ‘Polo Mints’. They have a hole in the middle. The truth is, it’s a God-shaped hole, and only God can fill it. Children can give great joy (as well as dreadful pain), and we can find pleasure in putting our talents to good use on the earth. But if we make these things our idols, we will find that they are no substitute for the living God. In ‘Ecclesiastes’, Solomon describes how he tried just about everything on offer in the world, because he could, and he found it all to be ‘’Meaningless!’’ He could not find meaning ‘’under the sun’’. For this he had to look above the sun, as it were.

By the way, it is the case that godly parents can have ungodly children. But it also works the other way round. Ungodly parents can have godly children. As we will see, ‘’Enoch’’ is a name which has become synonymous with godliness.

Before I finish, I know you want to know where Cain got his wife. The only realistic answer seems to be that he must have married a sister.

PRAYER: Lord God, I have to thank you because everything now makes sense to me, and I have a reason to live. It’s not that I understand everything. I don’t. But I have a purpose for living that is greater than me, and I am so grateful.