Jabal and Jubal


As I write these words, I have just finished reading about Cain and Abel and the fascinating story of two other brothers named Jabal and Jubal. We all know that Cain murdered Abel, but who were Jabal and Jubal? What exactly did they do to merit a special mention in the Bible? It turns out that these brothers were the sons of a man named Lamech who was himself (if I counted right) the great-great-great-grandson of the infamous Cain. Lamech followed in his ancestor’s footsteps for sure. He killed a man and then wrote a song about it, which I suppose would make him a rock star today. His sons went in two different directions. Jabal became the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. Jubal was a musician. He was “the father of all those who play the harp and flute.” Another relative named Tubal-Cain (son of Lamech by a different mother) became the first metalworker. Thus did civilization spread across the earth in the generations after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. And we are told (in Genesis 4:26) that in those days “men began to call on the name of the Lord.” All of that (and much more) can be found in the first two days of Bible reading of the new year. By the time you read this column, we will have made our way to the story of Abram being called of God to leave Ur of the Chaldees. That means between the time I write this and Sunday morning, we will cover Noah, the building of the ark, the great flood, the curse on Canaan, the scattering of the nations, and the Tower of Babel. That’s a lot of crucial history covering hundreds and perhaps thousands of years. By the following Sunday we will be reading about Joseph refusing Potiphar’s wife (and being thrown into prison as a result); the week after that we’ll join Moses as he considers God’s call to deliver his people from bondage in Egypt. Last Sunday, December 30, hundreds of people signed up to read the Bible all the way through in 2002. That’s wonderful. It also means that hundreds more didn’t sign up. You may have wanted extra time to think about it or perhaps you were out of town. It’s not too late to get started. You’ll find a Bible reading chart in your bulletin and a commitment card in the pew racks. Put the chart in your Bible and use it as a daily guide. Sign the card and put it in the offering plate. This is the sort of project that families can do together. Couples can take turns reading the chapters out loud. If your children are old enough to read, they can join you in this journey through God’s Word. Anyone and everyone can take part. Won’t you join us as we read God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation in 2002?

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