The Family Tree

Genesis 5

So…“What kind of legacy are you leaving?” As I reflected on this passage, I was reminded of the importance of legacy. What am I passing down to my boys? Will the generations to follow be those who “call on the name of the LORD”? If someone were to read my genealogy years from now, what would stand out. This week’s passage is easily overlooked, but we should consider the important implications of it.

Adam had several sons…two are highlighted. Cain and Seth. Same parents, but very different destinies. What made the difference? Surely not upbringing or environment. Each made a choice. But that choice had ramifications for those who followed.

Cain’s rebellion and murder would mark his family line. Not all are painted to be the worst of the worst, but the literary markers that Moses gives us show that they are no less seed of the serpent, focused on the earthy, living in rebellion against God. Lamech is just the worst of…murder, polygamy, pride, twisted good. So what identifies the seed of the serpent today? Same kind of things. Focus on the earthy. Rejection of the heavenly. Rebellion against God.

And Seth’s (Enosh’s) choice to “call on the name of the LORD” would mark his family line as well. Not all are painted to be the best of the best. In fact we are given very little detail even of the heroes…Enoch and Noah. But again, the literary markers that Moses gives us show that they are no less seed of the woman, focused on the heavenly, seeking to live in relationship with God. Enoch is the best of…walking with God. So what identifies the seed of the woman today? Same kind of things. Walking with God, which is only possible through faith in Jesus, the Head-crushing Seed of the Woman.

But what about you? What kind of legacy will you leave? Much depends on where you are right now. Are you walking with God? Are you pursuing a life with Him in His kingdom? Have you trusted in Jesus? Do you have a heavenly perspective? If so, teach your kids. Introduce them to the story. Remind them often. Pray for them and with them. Show them what it means to join God’s grand rescue mission of pulling folks out of the flames of hell.

But maybe you are not walking with God. Maybe you’re not pursuing a life with Him in His kingdom. Maybe you haven’t trusted in Jesus. Maybe you are totally focused on the earthy. If so, beware. The path that you are heading down leads to destruction. Building earthly kingdoms is a hollow pursuit. The tragic death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a somber reminder. Fame, fortune, success…heroin, overdose, death. He was a captive in need of rescue. So are some of you. But hope is possible because God delights in plot twists…to rewrite our stories. Only He can change your legacy because the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman has already come in the Person of Jesus and has defeated the Adversary. And by believing in Him, you can be reconciled to Creator God and have a new destiny, a new legacy.

Until next time…stay salty.

3 thoughts on “The Family Tree

  1. Reblogged this on One Man's Quest and commented:

    Check out the latest Genesis post…Genesis 5.

  2. Going back to Genesis 3 when the serpent said, “You will know good and evil.”
    Matt, I just want to point out that Cain and Lamech’s twisted idea of “knowing good and evil” is pointed out here by you. Although you do not bring direct attention to the passage, I can see here how Cain knows good and evil – good and evil in his own eyes.

  3. It simply amazes me that after reading Genesis many times and reading books and seeing movies about the lineage there was more to learn. The signifciance of making a choice not to pay heed to GOD is so clear. When we are young we do not think about a legacy but then when we are older we find that it is difficult if not impossible to go back in time and correct the bad choices we made. As we get older and time gets shorter even a flurry of activity for doing good is not enough. Our life;s story is well known especially by God who sees all and knows all. Fortunately for us if we repent and ask for forgiveness God is gracious. I desire that my legacy would reflect that I have a heart for GOD and I want to follow Jesus and do as He commands. The rest of my accomplishments pale in comparison to being known as being a faithful servant.

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