Lamech and His Sons

At the end of Genesis 4, Lamech bears sons who take dominion well over animals, music and metallurgy.   But Lamech himself is barbaric.

The lesson: never confuse cultural advancement with moral uprightness and wisdom.

Just because we are technologically advanced does not mean we are wise.
Just because we are an economic powerhouse does not make us morally great.

The 20th century saw a deadly combination of the ability to create massive weapons and the barbarism of being willing to use them in conquest.  Likewise, the Canaan that Joshua conquered had advanced chariots of iron, but they sacrificed their children to idols.

Cultural achievement can be a siren song that draws believers to paganism.  But taking dominion over God's creation is our calling, and its fruits are a gift.  A gift with a risk.  It brings a certain glory and prosperity that can draw our hearts away from the living God.  Beware the pride of life (1 John 2:16).

But it is wrong and misguided to avoid "culture," to avoid this risk.  We will find plenty fodder for sin in our own hearts, in a pietistic "just me and my Bible" attitude that dismisses "the world," or in a Wendell Berry-esque rejection of progress and advancement.

Let us cultivate the garden God placed us in, and enjoy its fruit, while not idolizing the fruit in our hearts.

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