Humanity had fallen and it was about to fall even further. In this passage, we read an account of 3 son’s of Adam and Eve and how humanity was split into two groups of people.The first of these groups were the sons of men. These were people that ruled over themselves and set their own laws. They lived away from God’s presence and descended from Cain. They are the world. The other group was made up of the sons of God and descended from Seth. These were persecuted and called on God for help. They are the Church of Christ.
Cain and Abel bring an offering to God and Cains offering is rejected (Gen 4:1-7)
Desiring to live in God’s presence more than we desire anything else leads to obedience.
Adam and Eve had intercourse and she conceived a child whom she named Cain which means ‘acquired’ because she said that she had acquired a son through God. She also gave birth to another son, Abel. Abel was a shepherd and Cain a farmer.
At the end of a particular year, Cain brought to God fruits of the ground as a gift to allow him to come close to God’s presence. Abel also brought a gift to God consisting of the fattest of the firstlings of his flock. God acknowledged Abel’s gift. God, however, did not acknowledge Cain’s gift and Cain was very angry and disappointed.
Hebrew 11:4 says, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Abel offered the fattest of his firstlings not only because God deserved that but because he understood that there was nothing else he was to desire more than God. Especially not even the best of his flock. The first commandment in Exodus 2:3 is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
Although we do not read of God giving humans this command, it seems it was obvious from the very beginning. Paul in Romans 2:15 writes, “…in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them;” Nobody can claim that they sin because they do not know God’s law because it is written in all the hearts of human beings. What else would a person do when they know that God exists (and there is evidence all around us) other than worship Him and desire Him more than anything else?
God asked Cain why he felt the way that he did and then told him that if he had done the right thing, he would have been blessed. God went on and told Cain that since he had not done the right thing he had to repent and be restored by a sin offering. God said that Cain had authority over the sin and could take steps to remedy the situation.
Being right with God is simple. All we need to do is follow what He was said in His word and where we fail we need to repent. We can not expect to do whatever we want with our lives and then feel blessed. In John 6:29 says, “Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’” and if anyone of us wants to live a blessed and full life now and then have eternal life, this is what that person needs to do.
In what areas are you living in sin today? How do those areas show that you desire other things more than you desire God?
Cain murders his brother and is cursed (Gen 4:8-15)
Repentance is starting to do the right thing.
Cain later asked his brother, Abel, to accompany him into the fields and when they were out there alone, Cain killed Abel. When God asked Cain where Abel was, Cain said that he did not know and being belligerent asked God if he, Cain, was God, Abel’s keeper.
God, I believe, in sadness exclaimed, “what have you done?” He told Cain that Abel’s blood was crying out of the ground for justice. God went on to say that Cain was now cursed and the curse was that ground into which Abel’s blood was spilt was an enemy to him. Now if he tilled the ground it would produce far less than it was capable of producing and that he would not find a home on it. Cain would continually be moving from place to place, without any fixed home.
Cain lamented at the magnitude of his sin but stops short of repentance and not acknowledging that it was his own sins which had driven him way from God, claimed that it was God who had driven him away. Cain was afraid that away from God’s presence and wandering the earth, he would be killed. He did not want to loose his life in punishment.
Cain cried out for his wickedness and the magnitude of his punishment but God does not want expressions of our emotions. When God rejected Cain offering, He had said that after sinning a person could only be restored through a sin offering. A recognition of one’s sin and a show of true commitment to change in the prescribed manner which is through Jesus Christ. In John 14:6 we read, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.” As bad as you might feel about your sins, you will not find justification until you come to Christ.
God, in His mercy, spared Cain’s life and assured him that he would not be killed. God placed a mark on Cain and decreed that anyone who killed Cain would suffer that curse that Cain had suffered because of the murder of his brother seven times more intensely.
Are there sins for which you have show remorse but have not repented of?
The descendants of Cain (Gen 4:16-24)
God’s patience should not be taken fro granted. Judgement is coming.
Cain moved from the presence of God and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. He had intercourse with his wife and bore a son named Enoch. He built a city and named it after his son.
Enoch sired a son named Irad who sired Mehujael who sired Methusael who sired Lamech. This Lamech took two wives named Adah and Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal, the predecessor of tent dwellers and cattlemen, and Jubal, the predecessor of a group of people that played the harp and shepherd’s pipe. Zillah gave birth to Tubal-Cain, who forged artefacts from copper and iron and a daughter named Naamah.
On a particular day, Lamech called his wives and told them that he had killed 2 people for wounding him and that if Cain was to be avenged seven-fold, he would be avenged seventy-seven fold.
Ezekiel 18:23 reads, “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?” In the words of Lamech, we see the wrong reaction to God’s mercy. While God spared Cain’s life to lead him to repentance, Lamech saw it as Cain being justified and claimed that he was even more justified than Cain when he killed the two men. Romans 2:4 says, “…do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”
Are there areas in your life where you have sinned for so long but because you have not been punished by God you have come to unknowingly believe are not wrong?
Seth is born and he sires Enosh (Gen 4:25-26)
The only standard of righteousness acceptable to God is faith.
Adam had intercourse with his wife again and she got pregnant. When she gave birth to a son she named him Seth which means “placed” because she said that God had given her a son to take the place of Abel.
Seth sired a son named Enosh. I believe that the people that descended from this lineage were called by God’s name. In their persecution by Cain’s lineage, they called on God. God was their king and rather than seek justice for themselves or through their own understanding, they looked to God for comfort and help.
Rom 1:16-17 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” Because of God’s patience, it might seem like living in obedience to His word to be of no benefit.
Psalms 73:2-14 says, “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them. And they say, ‘How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?’ Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.”
The psalmist, however, finished with the words in Psa 73:16-18, “But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”
How has seeing the prosperity of the wicked led you to sin or to doubt the word of God? Are you willing to repent of this misguided understanding?