Rest and Re-Creation

By naming his son Noah, Lamech was looking forward to one who would bring rest from the curse. Noah’s name sounds like rest. The question naturally arises as to why Lamech would do this? He was right to do this, for the Lord himself had promised to send a deliverer (Gen. 3:15). Even Eve was apparently looking for this hope when Cain was born as she said “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Lamech’s faith was hope in what God had promised. Lamech’s hope was premature in that Noah could not give complete rest, but it was through Noah that line of Cain was destroyed and the godly seed was preserved. It was through Noah’s son Shem that the giver of rest, Jesus Christ, finally came.

The hope Lamech looked to in the birth of his son was one of rest and re-creation. When the flood comes, we see the dove sent out hovering over the waters much like the Holy Spirit was in Genesis chapter one. Noah is sent forth like Adam to be fruitful and multiply, to care for the earth, and to execute justice. Sadly enough, this new Adam failed like the original. As a result of his drunkenness we find him shamed in nakedness much like our first parents after they sinned against God. Noah brings us closer to rest, but he cannot truly give it to us and to the created order. Noah was a type of Christ, the last Adam who says to us “Come unto me all that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Neither Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, or David could give true rest to God’s people. Noah’s family was baptized through the flood (I Peter 3:20) and made to enjoy a new creation, but Christ baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and in doing so makes us participants of the new creation as we by the Holy Spirit and through the means of grace have a foretaste of the age to come.

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