“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.” Genesis 4:26
This is the first recorded emphasis when mankind began to call upon the name of the Lord. While others offered sacrifices, this is the first time that anyone called on God.
Recall the context of this scripture. Seth is the third son of Adam and Eve. Before Seth, the track record of men with God was checkered at best. Adam and Eve disobeyed God. After their fall, two boys were born to them, Cain and Abel. Later Cain will kill Abel and leave the presence of his family and God.
Eve sees a new beginning with the third son born, Seth. One change in the outlook of Eve is that she focused on herself in the birth of the first two saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:1) When Seth is born after the death of Abel and the removal of Cain from the family, Eve’s outlook is different. At Seth’s birth she says, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” (Genesis 4:25) It seems that Eve had spiritually matured to see a need for God’s role in the creation of life.
Another insight is that God sought man, but man did not seek God. Man seemed resistant and afraid of God. While God created man in His image to fellowship with Him, man seemed to desire to go at life alone. Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and created a new life without reference to God.
But Seth is a new beginning. To this point man’s efforts to walk with God seemed futile at best. So, the sign of a new way is revealed in people beginning to “call upon the name of the Lord.” The word, “call,” is an interesting Hebrew word. It can mean “to call,” or “to proclaim.” An illustration of how it can be both is how a child lost in a crowd of adults will call for his Mama. He will be public and loud as he attempts to find safety in his mother’s arms. Possibly it is the way Seth called upon God. He realized such a need in his life that he didn’t care who saw him seeking God. The scripture refers to others calling on God as well.
A powerful witness to a world that does not seek God is for one who does seek God to be public with their approach to God. Sincerity and unashamed commitment are convincing signs to an unbelieving world that God is real and God is the help we need in life.
When you realize how badly you need God, you will not care if others hear you confess your desire for the Lord to be your partner in your day. Don’t be so concerned about the unbelieving world around you, you fail to seek God. Even when you are the only one, God will be there for you.
Bro. John A. Temple is retired pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, currently serving as chaplain for the Lauderdale County Sheriff Office. From the Shepherd's Heart is published Fridays in The Meridian Star.