Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Devotion on Genesis 4 - The Value of the Non-Christian

Scripture: Genesis 4:19-22
Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

In the latter part of Genesis 4, we are given a snapshot of Cain's descendants. Though we cannot know for sure, because they are Cain's descendants, we are probably meant to assume that this family line does not acknowledge God in the same way that his younger brother Seth's will.

Notice, though, that not everything the Scripture says about Cain's line is negative. In verses 19-22, it enumerates some of the many accomplishments and societal advancements that Cain's line contributed to the world. From nomadic shepherding to music-making to metallurgy, Cain's descendants certainly made some important discoveries.

And yet, Seth's line would probably still regard their Cainite relatives negatively because of Cain's family's godlessness.

How do you feel about your relatives who are non-Christians?

It's often difficult (and rightly so) for a Christian to respect the life choices or perspectives of a non-Christian. We simply don't see things the same way, and we want more than anything for that family member to understand the truth that we do.

At the same time, we know that we cannot keep "hounding" our non-believing family members to accept Christ when they're not ready to do so, or else we will only make them resent our religion and push them further away from it.

So, what do we do?

We keep praying for them and sensitively bringing up the topic of God when it seems the time might be right. We keep living as a godly example. But the hard truth is that some people will never acknowledge God in this life.

So, as Christians, rather than allowing our religious views to separate us from our non-Christian family members, we should embrace them all the more. We will not have them with us in Heaven like we will have our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. Our time with them might be short. Enjoy it while you can, and acknowledge and focus on the good that they do, just as Genesis 4 highlights the good of Cain's line.

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