Beginning of the End


Seth: When Men Turned to God

This chapter is based on Genesis 4:25 to 6:2.

Another son was given to Adam to be the heir of the spiritual birthright. The name Seth, given to this son, signified “appointed,” or “compensation,” because, said the mother, “God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” Seth resembled Adam more closely than did his other sons, a worthy character following in the steps of Abel. Yet he inherited no more natural goodness than did Cain. Seth, like Cain, inherited the fallen nature of his parents, but he also received the knowledge of the Redeemer and instruction in righteousness. He worked hard, as Abel would have done, to turn the minds of sinners to honor and obey their Creator. BOE 30.1

“As for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.” The distinction between the two classes became more marked—an open profession of loyalty to God on the part of one, contempt and disobedience on the part of the other. BOE 30.2

Before the Fall our first parents had kept the Sabbath, which was instituted in Eden, and after their expulsion from Paradise they continued to observe it. They had learned what everyone will sooner or later learn, that the divine laws are sacred and unchangeable and that the penalty of transgression will surely follow. The Sabbath was honored by all who remained loyal to God, but Cain and his descendants did not respect the day upon which God had rested. BOE 30.3

Cain now founded a city and called it by the name of his eldest son. He had gone out from the presence of the Lord to seek possessions and enjoyment in the earth, standing at the head of that great class of people who worship the god of this world. His descendants became distinguished in things were relate to mere earthly and material progress, but they were against the purposes of God for the human race. To the crime of murder, Lamech, the fifth generation from Cain, added polygamy. Abel had led a pastoral life, and the descendants of Seth followed the same course, counting themselves “strangers and pilgrims on the earth,” seeking “a better, that is, a heavenly country” (Hebrews 11:13, 16). BOE 30.4

For some time the two classes remained separate. The race of Cain, spreading from their first settlement, scattered over the plains and valleys where the children of Seth had dwelt. The latter, in order to escape their contaminating influence, withdrew to the mountains and there continued the worship of God in its purity. But after some time they began to mingle with those living in the valleys. “The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful” and the children of Seth displeased the Lord by intermarrying with them. Many of the worshipers of God were drawn into sin by the temptations constantly before them, and they lost their holy character. Mingling with the depraved, they became like them. The restrictions of the seventh commandment were disregarded, “and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.” The children of Seth went “in the way of Cain” (Jude 11). They fixed their minds on worldly prosperity and enjoyment and neglected the commandments of the Lord, so sin spread widely in the earth. BOE 31.1