3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.4 The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters.5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.- Genesis 5:3-5 (ESV)
Okay. Someone might have missed it, but when you look at Genesis chapter 5, it speaks of itself as “the book of the generations of Adam” in accordance with verse 1. Thus, somewhere beyond the reiteration of God’s creation of man in His own image and likeness, the Bible breaks down the real deal about man. The eventuality of Adam in the same for all of us. According to the last words of verse 5, we are simply told: “and he died.”
Adam died. He eventually meet his own end. At some point, after some 930 years of walking about the earth, Adam ceased to live any longer. His breathing stopped. His body simply stopped. Adam passed away 800 years after the birth of Seth, preceded in death by his son Abel at the hands of Adam’s other son Cain.
Learn this now. Death is eventual. Death is inevitable. Death is the end of all mean. I believe Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 9: “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten” (v. 5). It is the thing that patiently awaits us all. Be sure to never live in denial of that.
But be sure to live. Adam did not stop living because he lost a son due to murder. Adam did not stop living to simply mourn his son. He did not start a memorial fund in the name of Abel. He did not erect a shrine of sorts at the place where his other son killed the lad in the open field and shed his blood, taking his innocent life. Adam lived on.
Adam lived on. He did not put up a ransom for Cain to be returned home. He did not make an appeal for Cain to come back after being cast away by the Lord. No, Adam simply lived and he lived on. He had more children, starting with Seth, and he gives us an example to live fully while we still have life.
Live on. Live on with all of your energy and effort. Live on.
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Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace. Train these young men in the language and literature of Babylon. – Daniel 1:4 (NLT)
What influences you? Who influences you? Could conspiracy theories about Big Brother and plans for world domination be valid? Are they just modern urban legends or are such plans devised behind closed doors?
There was a royal plan to influence an entire generation. They wanted to turn the young ones against their own culture and heritage. They wanted to take a select group of captives and make them versed in the culture and teachings of their captors. They would assimilate into the culture of where they were being held captive. It was a royal plan.
The Royal Plan
- The Recipients Picked: These were to be the captives who were “young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families” (verse 3). According to verse 4, they were to pick “only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men.” In addition, the same verse said: Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace. These would be the recipients.
- The Recipe Prescribed: The recipients were to be trained in the language and literature of Babylon and provided food and wine. Keep in mind that these are the very things that make up any group’s culture; what they read and write, what they eat and drink, and how they interact with each other and outsiders. The recipe would acculturate these young men in alignment with their captors.
- The Results Predicted: They were to be trained for three years, and then they would enter the royal service (verse 5). The king anticipated how long it would take to “train” these young men and predicted them being able to enter royal service.
Let’s be sure that we keep in mind who is supposed to be influencing our children and youth. Sociology tells us that a child’s first teachers are the parents. The Bible teaches us in Proverbs to “train up a child.” We have to be sure that we invest in our young ones before the world gets a hold of them. Otherwise, they may be easily influenced by all of the trappings of what the world has to offer.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.- Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
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Wisdom is the principal thing. . . – Proverbs 4:7 (KJV)
These days we can see where lack of wisdom can get someone into a little bit of trouble. From Chris Brown to T.I., we find young brothers facing charges for everything from assault and battery to weapons violations. Would I rather have wealth or wisdom? It appears that wealth does not guarantee wisdom. With wisdom, I can at least manage my wealth. I say so because we see how the Bernie Madoff scandal and other economic turmoils have caused a major stress and strain among baby boomers and others. To exercise wisdom in such times, we have to be careful enough to use discretion and discernment beyond dollars and cents. Pray to the Lord for wisdom, much like Solomon did before he even made an executive decision.
I can”t believe how some folks can be in church so long but have so little faith. My soul grows weary of people who have been in the building but don’t feel a part of the Body. I recently read Chuck Colson’s The Body and still feel excited about what the Lord has to say about ministry. Let us not lose hope. Our work is not in vain.
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