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May 9, 2021 | Chris Baselice
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“Then Lamech said to his wives: ‘Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, even a young man for hurting me. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.’”—Genesis 4:23–24 (NKJV)
The passage above holds the unique honor of being the first recorded song in human history. Unfortunately, it’s composed by a man who is, for all intents and purposes, bragging and boasting about his actual, real-life exploits over someone else!
Lamech (Cain’s great, great, great, grandson, referred to by scholars as "rude and ruffianly, fearing neither God nor man” and is also the first recorded human to violate the original covenant of marriage, having two wives) is telling his wives that he killed a man for hurting him, and that he’s not one to be messed with because he will always be avenged. He is legitimately bragging about killing a young man (yalad: boy, youth, child) and then pretty much claiming to be invincible.
It’s interesting that a lot of today’s songs send the same essential message, “Check me out! I’m the man! Nothing’s gonna slow me down! You can’t touch this!”
Alright, I admit I really dated myself on that last one. But it’s undeniable that the same self-exultant thread that first appears in Lamech’s song is woven throughout human history all the way up to today.
So many songs are about people boasting and bragging about themselves. That’s because songs are really a reflection of the human heart, and the human heart hasn’t changed much since Lamech’s day. It’s inclined towards pride, to prop itself up above others, and even exalt itself before God.
Thank goodness Lamech’s song isn’t the only song recorded for us in Scripture! There’s another thread that we see woven throughout God’s Word when it comes to lyrical content, and that’s a heart that is bowed down and humble before God. Instead of glorifying one’s self for taking another man’s life, glory is given to the One who gave His own life for our sakes.
Here are a few permanent songs in heavenly rotation:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12 NKJV).
“Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13 NKJV).
“Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!” (Revelation 15:3 NKJV).
We can sing about ourselves or we can sing about the One who deserves our song. The choice is ours . . . and what we choose to sing about says a lot about our hearts.
DIG: What distinction does Lamech have?
DISCOVER: What’s wrong with Lamech’s song? What lyrical content should we seek to sing?
DO: Search the Psalms and find a song of honor and praise to God to reflect on and sing to the Lord today.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.