Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Genesis 4:1-24

Gen. 4:1-5 – Cain’s attitude toward God.
Gen 4:6-16 – Cain’s attitude toward sin.
Gen. 4:17-24 – Cain’s attitude impacts his legacy.

Gen. 2 and 3 Eve is called Adam’s wife indicating they were married.  The Bible doesn’t record the first marriage ceremony, but the date is not important.  What is important is that the ceremony is performed before God.  In Gen. 4:1 Adam “lay with his wife Eve” and she became pregnant so clearly they were married.  She gave birth to her first son, Cain.  “Pregnant” means “be with child”.  This clearly shows God’s view of human life – Life begins at conception!  A baby in the womb is not just tissue.  It’s a child!

Later she had another son, Abel.  Cain worked the soil and Able kept flocks.  They both gave offerings to God, but God did not like Cain’s offering.  Scripture says that Cain gave fruits from his crops, but Abel gave the best portions from the firstborn of his flock.  God required a blood offering.  Cain could have traded some of his crop for an animal, but chose not to.  God was very pleased with Able.  He was not pleased with Cain.  He had a bad attitude.  Cain was proud, selfish and probably gave only the leftovers to God.  In Heb. 11 scripture tell us that Abel gave by faith and was a righteous man and gave a better offering.   This implies that Cain had no faith.  God looks at our offerings today the same way.  He sees our hearts and our motives.  We should give God our best, because God gave it all to us.  It’s God’s anyway and we should give back to Him with thanksgiving. 

Cain was very angry that God did not accept his offering.  He knew he was in the wrong.  In our hearts we all know when we do wrong.  God saw on his face that he was angry and asked him, “Why are you angry?  Why is your face downcast?  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?  But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”- Gen 3:6-7  God tried to reason with Cain and gave him a way to repair his actions, but Cain refused.  He never confessed and asked for forgiveness or even owned up to what he had done.  Heb. 13:15-16 gives us two sacrifices that please God:  to continue to offer the sacrifice of praise confessing His name and doing good sharing with others.  God showed understanding of Cain’s unhappy heart.  He gave him good advice by telling him what needed to be done.  God shows us compassion and mercy when we mess up.  All we have to do is repent.

 1 John 3:10-16 lists ways we can repair the wrong we have done –Do what is right, do not be like Cain, do not hate or you are a murderer, love one another, be like Jesus and lay your life down for others.
2 Sam. 12:13 and Psalm 51 – David sinned like Cain.  David admitted his sin, but Cain did not.  David asked for mercy and for God to cleanse him.  He realized he had sinned against God.  Cain was just pure evil and selfish.

What is your attitude when you have sinned?  1 John 1:8“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”

Both Cain and Abel believed in God, because they brought an offering to God.  Living God’s way was not priority for Cain.  He lived his own way; rebellious to God’s authority and wasn’t concerned about his sin.  He was bitter toward God and life.  Abel kept flocks which was probably easier than working the ground like Cain did.  Cain resented him because he worked the land and had to work very hard all because of his parent’s sin.  He was angry about his life and at God.  Cain was trying to live life his way.  Anger is revealed in one’s life and it will impact your commitment to God.      

Do you resent those who have it easier than you? 
How are you trying to live your way? 

Cain’s sin multiplied when he lured Abel into the field and the first murder took place.  Cain murdered his brother, Abel.  Why?  He was jealous and probably thought if he got rid of Abel, he would get rid of the problem he had with God.  Here God comes again.  He asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” Gen. 4:9a.  God was giving Cain another chance to confess his sin.  God gave him a chance to change.  Cain then became more disrespectful and full of sarcasm.  “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Gen. 4:9b

God punished Cain.  Cain was cursed from the earth and would not be a successful as a farmer.  He would be a vagabond.  Cain was afraid others would kill him, but God protected him with a seal and said, if anyone kills you they will suffer vengeance seven times over.  This shows that God still cares for sinners, but will turn them over to their evil desires, if they do not repent.  So Cain left the presence of Lord and settled in the land of Nod.  Nod means shaking or trembling showing restlessness.  

We are told that Cain took a wife and had children.  Where did he find a wife?  We really don’t know.  Maybe God made other people after Adam and Eve and the Bible just doesn’t tell us about them.  I think the answer is in Gen. 3:20 and Gen. 5:4.  It says Eve was the mother of all the living and that Adam lived 800 years after Seth and had other sons and daughters.  So he must have taken one of his sisters as a wife.  There are a lot of things that will be made clearer to us some day.  The Bible teaches us not to marry blood relatives, because it can produce all sorts of genetic problems.  Remember the law was not introduced until much later in the history of mankind, but most importantly Adam and Eve were genetically perfect. 

Cain and his descendants made great advances in civilization.  He built possible the first city.  They lived in a rich culture.  They produced agriculture, worked the land forging all kinds of tools, and some of his family even played musical instruments.  Cain and his descendants represent the majority of the human race.  Instead of turning to God, they thought they didn’t need Him to survive.  They made up their own rules as they went along and felt no need for finding God.  Gen. 4:23 – Lamech broke God’s law of marriage and took 2 wives.  He was the first polygamist.  He also killed a man and bragged about it comparing himself to Cain saying, if Cain is avenged seven times then he would be avenged seventy-seven times.  Jude 11 says to watch out for godless men who have taken the way of Cain.

How have you defied God?
Do you have unconfessed sin?
Do you think you can live without God?

Our attitude toward God impacts our commitment to Him.
Indifference to God leads to indifference to sin.
Our attitude about God and sin can be passed along to the next generation.

Indifference to God leads to an empty life.  What impact does your faith have on the next generation?   Abel suffered for his commitment to God.  Where are you suffering for God?  Maybe you have a Cain in your life.  God knows your pain.  They are His to redeem and to save.  Ask God to give you a heart like God for your Cain.

Are you a Cain?  God knows you.  Maybe you are mad at God.  You matter to God more than your sin.  He wants to forgive you.  No one can untangle a heart like God.  Your life may be the same, but you can live it in peace.  Cain did not.

 It is not too late to confess your sin, repent and turn to God.  God said to Cain, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?”  If you are living outside God’s presence, will you hear His warning to Cain as a warning to you?

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