Our last article looked at the ‘other’ Lamech. His foolish boast of unlimited vengeance upon any who got in his way contrasted with the Lord Jesus Christ, who taught and demonstrated mercy and love that knew no bounds!
The second Lamech was the father of Noah, and his last (and only) recorded words are concerning his son. He said, “This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed” (Gen. 5:29). Lamech must have thought a lot about his father, Methuselah (whose name means “When he is dead, it shall be sent”). Lamech felt this ‘great deliverance’ would come in his son’s day. Perhaps Noah (whose name means “rest” or “comfort”) would be the promised seed “sent” to crush the serpent’s head. This was to be the hope of all true believers down through all the ages of time. We look for rest from the toil of this life because this world has nothing to offer — we look for the world to come! We labour now to enter into that rest — “the rest of God” (Heb. 4:1-11).
Alas, the hope, or rest, that came in Noah’s day was in the form of a catastrophic flood! Lamech did not live to see the destruction of the earth and those on it. The only survivors were Noah, who “found grace” in the eyes of the LORD, and his immediate family. This devastation ironically brought a rest, or peace, to the earth, as Noah and his family looked out upon a “new earth,” one “reborn” as it were, through the cleansing power of the water. But it was only temporary. The root problem was not dealt with because man’s heart and imagination was still evil from his youth. There was still a real need for the true seed to come. True rest would only come through Christ!
Lamech felt the curse of sin acutely. Each day he was reminded of the curse as he tilled the ground and battled the impulses of his fallen nature. He longed for the “rest” of God, that time of refreshing and restitution of all things. Faithfully and with strong desire, Lamech would no doubt have kept the Sabbath day, ceasing from his own work, and “resting according to the commandment,” and meditating upon the wonderful promises of God.
Lamech lived by faith and hope — faith that God would keep His promise of sending a Saviour, and hope that the day of rest would soon come, for “there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest…” (Heb. 4:9-11).
A faithful and quiet assurance in the promises of God is the lesson from Lamech’s last words.