When God created the earth, he made it to be a treasure chest of wonders and materials to be fashioned into an endless variety of tools for man to use in life. God created the mind of man able to discover the riches and subdue them for use in this life. The wonders, powers, and beauty of the various properties of elements along with the laws of physics reveal the great wisdom and majesty of the Creator. After being driven from the church, Cain with his sons brought security to the family by building a city. Within the security of its walls, the family grew and set out to discover how to make their life without God to be more pleasant. The hollowness of their life and deadness of soul drove them with full devotion to earthly life and a pursuit of the pleasures and wonders that it offered. Like the root system, stem, leaves and husk, these wonders serve the kernel of grain which is the church.
To be sure, the unbelieving decedents of Cain were not the only scientists and inventors. The believer also applies his mind to unlocking the wonders of creation, but instead of basking in his own glory, gives glory to the creator. Understanding his fallen condition, his primary concern is the kingdom of God and he does not pursue technology as an end in itself. He knows of a new heavens and earth with wonders that will make this creation pale in comparison. He seeks to apply the technology to the service and praise of God. We have some examples in God’s word: Noah applied the woodworking skills of the day to bear the whole church and a seed of all creatures upon the waters God sent to save the church. Abraham and David prospered with cattle. God raised up skillful men to build the tabernacle: “See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee” (Exo 31:2-6).
Looking at a lamb, Abel saw the promised Savior, but Jabal saw profit for earthly life. His keen eye noticed the details in the ways of cattle. With careful attention to the needs of these animals, his herds grew and flourished. He learned how to move with them, guiding and protecting them. He understood how to use genetics to ensure strong, healthy animals with the characteristics most suitable for prosperity. Soon his skill and efficiency in providing an on-demand source for food and clothing in the cities would bring him fame as “the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.” Today he may have been the CEO of Wal-Mart.
Jubal was drawn to the beauty of sound. He perceived the power that sound had upon man for pleasure and excitement. He experimented with the vibration of strings: strings of different length and tension that could be plucked on the harp, amplified with chambers, and played together to create pleasing harmonics. He experimented with the vibration of reeds and the shapes of wind instruments. He experimented with the vibrations of air produced in a flute. Not only did he discover how to create attractive sounds, but also how to combine sounds to make music that would resonate with the rhythms and vibrations of the body, mind, and life of man. While his brother Jabal learned how to control and manage animals to serve the physical needs and desires of man, Jubal had discovered a power to inspire, encourage, excite, and control the mysterious depths of emotions within man. Not only could he provide man with pleasure, he held a power that could control and direct man to a particular purpose.
Tubalcain learned how to give “teeth” to the passions of man. He understood that man was physically weak in comparison to many of the large ferocious creatures, and that the secret of man’s power was to be found in his mind and ability to create tools. When his brothers saw mere rocks,… he saw elements that could be softened with heat and fashioned into weapons. At some point he discovered concentrations of copper, tin, and iron. Most men paid little attention, but he collected it, and his curiosity compelled him to study and test it for various uses. He noticed the changes upon materials under the intense heat of fire. With enough heat, pure tin would ooze from the dross and flow into a mold. With hotter fires the copper succumbed to melting. A mixture of tin with copper resulted in bronze, a metal alloy easily molded and superior in strength to copper or tin alone.
With a little practice, the new bronze weapons proved to be deadly. A man with sticks and stones was no match for a man with bronze weapons. His knowledge and technology brought power; power to exercise his will and desire over others. The passions and desires of man were bound and limited by his physical weaknesses, but advances in technology would expand that boundary.
Such discoveries are still being made today. Who would have thought that the sand along the seashores would become the foundation of computer chips as silicon wafers upon which the microscopic electronic circuits are etched? Today it is the man with electronic tools who has power. Perhaps it will be the tool used by Antichrist to manage and control a worldwide domain.
Together these brothers began to harness three main branches of science: biology, psychology, and chemistry. They had virtually taken over the world consisting of matter and living things. The boast of their father Lamech was not an empty boast. As long as he and his family stayed on the cutting edge in farming, entertainment, and technology, he would rule the world. As a result, every ounce of energy that was not used in enjoying the fruits of their labors was pressed into further advances.
It would appear that because they served Satan, all the power exercised with science would flow through the hands of Satan and serve his cause of thwarting God’s purpose of gathering a church. In reality, God brings everything, even the discoveries of Lamech’s sons into the service of his kingdom and church. Like the corn stalk serving the grain, so the world serves the church. When the time is come for harvest, “he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable” (Luke 3:17).
This is not to say that what these brothers discovered are worthless or evil in themselves. God commanded man to subdue the earth (Genesis 1:28), and these brothers did it with unmatched zeal. Many famous modern scientists were believers. Johannes Kepler [1571-1630], who developed our understanding of astronomy and laws of planetary motion, testified: “I had the intention of becoming a theologian…but now I see how God is, by my endeavors, also glorified in astronomy, for ‘the heavens declare the glory of God.’” Louis Pasteur [1822-1895], who is known as the father of microbiology, developed “pasteurization” and testified: “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator” and “Science brings men nearer to God.” Wernher Von Braun [1912-1977], who was the first director of NASA and a pioneer of space exploration wrote “Scientific concepts exist only in the minds of men. Behind these concepts lies the reality which is being revealed to us, but only by the grace of God.”
The believer rightly sees the glory of God and praises him. He is willing to use technology, the arts, and all earthly powers in the service of his Creator and Saviour. We read in Romans 1:18-25:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.