I. ABEL—CONTACTING GOD IN GOD’S WAY
The characteristic of Abel’s life was that he contacted God in God’s way (Gen. 4:4). Do not say that as long as you contact God everything is all right. In whose way do you contact God—in your way or God’s? There are three peoples who claim to contact God: the Jews, the Moslems, and the Christians. The Jews contact God in their own way. According to Romans 10:2-3, the Jews seek to establish their own righteousness and do not submit to the righteousness of God. This means that they contact God in their own way. The Moslems are even more devoted to their own way of worshipping God. If you visit a Moslem mosque, you will find that the Moslems appear pious and godly, worshipping God by bowing themselves. Many so-called Christians, including Catholics, do their service to God according to their own way, not through the redemption of Christ, nor in the Spirit.
What is the origin of man’s own way of contacting God? The source is man’s troublesome mind, which can produce nothing except knowledge. Hence, men contact God in the way of knowledge, not in the way of life. Abel, however, contacted God in His way. As we shall see in the following message, his elder brother, Cain, contacted God in his own way. God’s way is life; Cain’s way is knowledge. We all need to be careful. Although you may say that you are for God, perhaps you are for God in your own way. You approach God in your self-invented way, and that way is entirely a matter of knowledge. Do not follow that way. We should observe the example of Abel and contact God by laying aside our thought, opinion, and concept. "Lord, I contact You in Your way. I don’t contact You by my thought, concept, or knowledge. Lord, You are my way." If we do this, we will enjoy God as the tree of life. Abel did partake of God as the tree of life. He truly ate of the fruit of this tree.
II. SETH AND ENOSH—
CALLING UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD
Perhaps the names of Seth and Enosh are unfamiliar to you. Seth and Enosh were the third and fourth generations of mankind, although the Bible considers them as one. After Abel was slain, the line of life seemed to be terminated. Nevertheless, Seth and Enosh were raised up to continue it. These two generations had one outstanding characteristic—they began to call upon the name of the Lord (Gen. 4:26). They not only prayed, but called on the name of the Lord. If you read the original text of the Hebrew and Greek, you will see that the word call means to cry out, not only to pray. Although all Christians pray, few pray in a calling way. Most pray very quietly, even in silence. However, the third and fourth generations of mankind learned that in order to contact God they needed to cry out to Him and call on Him. Do not argue that God is not deaf, that He is able to hear us. Even the Lord Jesus Himself prayed with a strong cry in the garden (Heb. 5:7). During the time of Seth and Enosh, men learned how to pray to God in the way of calling on Him. If you try it, you will discover that it makes a difference. The Apostle Paul said that the Lord is rich unto all who call upon Him (Rom. 10:12). If you want to enjoy the riches of the Lord, you need to call upon His name.
Suppose you are helping a new convert touch the Lord in prayer. He prays, "Jesus, You are the Son of God. You died for me. I take You as my Savior. Thank You." Although this is a good prayer, it is better for him to call on the Lord in a strong way. If he says, "O Lord Jesus, thank You for dying for me," his spirit will be stirred up and he will touch the Lord in a living way.
Although the third and fourth generations of mankind discovered the way of calling on the name of the Lord, this way of calling on Him was gradually lost. Many Christians today neglect it and even despise it. However, no Christian can escape calling on the Lord’s name. During peaceful and untroubled times you may retain your composure, unwilling to lose your face by calling on the name of the Lord. However, during a time of difficulty, perhaps after an automobile accident or in a time of sudden illness, you will call on Him spontaneously, saying, "O Lord." It is unnecessary for us to teach people to call on the Lord. One day they will call on Him. When troubles come, they will have the need to call on His name. To call on the name of the Lord is simply to enjoy Him and to eat Him as the tree of life.
(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)