THE YEARS AFTER PERSONAL FAILURE
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.” At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.
People of Adam and Eve’s time lived 800-900 years. That’s a long time to labor on a cursed earth. That’s a long time for Adam and Eve to live with the memory of a martyred child. That’s a long time for them to watch the descendants of Cain mock God and propagate an evil race. I know my own reaction when I face pain and discouragement from time to time. I find myself saying out loud, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
How wonderful to read that Adam and Eve recognized God’s redemption. They experienced His comfort and His goodness when Seth was born. With the inception of this child of promise, a new line of descendants began to worship God again. Every time someone called upon the name of the Lord, I can imagine their deep joy.
Their sin in the garden didn’t kill their faith. Self-condemnation didn’t keep them from looking to a covenant keeping God. The hope of Genesis 3:17, the prediction that a Savior would come from Eve, was not abandoned. As soon as they saw the face of their newborn and named him ‘Seth’, which means ‘appointed’, they recognized the faithfulness of God. The memory of what God was like in the garden had not left them. His goodness, holiness, faithfulness, and tenderness served as a foundation for the years of personal famine. When they held their child, they knew he would birth the line of Christ.
How do I handle my sins? After I’ve confessed, after I’ve internalized that truth that God forgives, do I believe His promises to such a degree that I look for second chances? Do I really understand that His mercies are new every morning? Not if I think my life is ruined.
God is so gracious after repentance that He crafts another test; another opportunity for my faith to shine. If I don’t trust His promises, I won’t recognize it when it comes and I’ll believe God is mocking me. Instead, He’s giving me grace and wings to get it right this time. My ‘Seth’ is staring me in the face, begging the laughter of one who sees God’s prevailing love.
If you only blessed me when I deserved it, it wouldn’t be redemption and your love wouldn’t be all that different than mine. Help me believe in your radical forgiveness and mercy. Amen