A Tale of Two Families


There is a ride at Cedar Point Amusement park called the Demon Drop. You sit in an enclosed cage and slowly travel to the top. Suddenly your cage free falls as you plunge to the bottom of the ride. As you have read through the first four chapters of Genesis, perhaps your mind and emotions have felt like the Demon Drop ride. We have gone from the joyful high of creation and the garden to the deepest plunge of sin and the fall. Adam and Eve have been banished from God’s presence, and we have witnessed  the first murder when Cain killed Abel. From here on, the rest of the Bible portrays the pursuit of a loving God as he reaches out to fallen people, some who respond to God’s love and some who do not.  

  • Were you raised in a Christ-centered family or a self-centered family? What was the impact on your life?


17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. 19 And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

23 Lamech said to his wives:

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
    you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
I have killed a man for wounding me,
    a young man for striking me.
24 If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold,
    then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.”

25 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.” 26 To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What five activities did Cain and his family give attention to (vss. 17, 20, 21, 22)? 
  2. In verses 17-24, is there any evidence of God’s involvement in their lives?
  3. Contrast Lamech’s revenge in verse 24 to Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 18:21-22: “Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” When do you struggle with forgiveness?
  4. What is present in the line of Adam in verses 25-26 that is missing in the line of Cain?
  5. How do your life and your family’s life reflect the reality of God being in the midst of it?       


Cain and his family went about living life after Cain left God’s presence (Genesis 4:16). They made babies, built a city, raised livestock, made music, and forged tools. They lived their lives in the same way many of us and our neighbors do. The missing component of Cain’s family was a recognition and relationship with God. Adam’s family knew and worshiped God. The lives of those who follow Jesus and those who don’t experience many of the same life experiences. There are mundane tasks we all do, there are tragedies we experience, families we raise, and teams we cheer for. But for the Christ follower, Jesus is in the midst of all of those things, making all the difference.

  • Ask the Lord to reveal to you how you have lived your life like Cain’s family, apart from his involvement. Ask God for forgiveness and for the faith to invite him into your life.
  • Ask God where you need to be more aware of his presence and leading. Pray that he will give you awareness and a plan.