From the Author
Very honestly, I've neglected to follow through with this series on the book of Genesis. According to HubPages statistics, I published Part 12 over ten months ago. I'm now teaching this series in a Bible study at a nearby apartment complex and my hope is I can keep up the writing from week to week as I teach it. My face is a little red as I'm already a week behind. Oh well . . . better late than never.
Here's a quick review and a link to the last article. We looked at the creation of the universe including the fashioning of man after God's own image. We've seen the first man and first woman united in the first marriage. We saw the entrance of sin and the resulting agony. We saw the fall of Cain and the consequences of his rebellion. In this article, we'll continue to see the life of Cain.
We covered much in the first three chapters of Genesis, and now, moving on, there is much more to examine.
- In the Beginning, God - Part 12
Nothing can take the place of Christ's sacrifice. Abosultely nothing.
From Part 12
As a picture of the Messiah yet to come, Abel shed the innocent blood of a lamb and presented it to God (Genesis 4:4). Cain, on the other hand, in his rebellion, brought the fruit of his own sinful hands, harvested from the cursed ground - an offering that God could not accept (Genesis 4:5).
In God's loving way, He asks this question of Cain in verse 7, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?" God is still reaching out to Cain, offering him the opportunity to repent and make things right. God's love still reaches out to us. We can either come Christ's way or bring our own offering as Cain did and face the terrible thought of being rejected.
Are you trusting in the fruits of your own hands? Several years ago, Lifegate Baptist Church visited our town door to door and took a survey. The survey was meant to help us get a handle on the spiritual pulse of our community. We asked the question, In your opinion, how does a person get to Heaven? We then gave multiple choice answers from which our neighbors could choose. These were the choices: baptism; good works; love your neighbors; church membership; trust Christ; live a good life; keep the Ten Commandments; other.
The only correct answer is to trust Christ. Although the others listed may be good (and they are), they are still the works of our own hands. It is a way sinful man tries to bridge the gap between himself and his Creator. it is not a matter of how we attempt to bridge the gap. It is completely a matter of how Christ bridged the gap, and that took place at Calvary.
Picking up the Story in Genesis 4:7
Cain ignored God's generous offer of forgiveness in Genesis 4:7, so we read in verse 8, "And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
Cain could have walked the same path as did Abel, but he didn't. He could have brought the required blood sacrifice, but the cost was too high. It was no doubt easier to just bring a basket of fruit and vegetables than to find a lamb without blemish, bring it to the Lord, and perform the bloody sacrifice. Cain did his best to avoid stepping out of his comfort zone. He did his best to avoid putting in the time of what God required. He did his best to avoid true worship.
How about you? What has God called you to sacrifice? And have you followed through?
We know from the Genesis account that, ". . . Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." (Genesis 4:9). In this book of beginnings, the first murder took place. We are given the backstory in John 8:44. ". . . [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning . . ." There can be no doubt that Cain had free will and free choice in the matter, but ultimately the idea to murder Abel was fed by the devil himself. Satan is a murderer, and he has been since the beginning.
Further, we read of the devil in the same verse, " . . . he is a liar, and the father of it." When we read Genesis 4:9, we see that the Lord asks Cain a question, "Where is Abel thy brother?" Cain answers with an outright lie, " . . . I know not . . . " Should it be surprising that Cain who followed the devil in murder also followed him by lying. We are told in Ephesians 4:15 to always speak the truth in love. Lying and deceit are in violation of the Ninth Commandment. Lying and murder are nearly as old as human existence itself.
In verse 10 we read that the blood of Abel cries to God from the ground; the same ground that was cursed for Adam's sake in chapter 3; the same cursed ground from which Cain grew his corrupted sacrifice to the Lord. From that same ground, Cain was cursed.
God Himself pronounces the curse in verse 11 and 12,
"And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. "
We see in the following verses 13 and 14 that Cain realizes the harshness of God's judgment. it is overpowering for him, but we are never told that he realized the harshness of his crime. God is a just God, a righteous-in-judgment God. So often we miss the fact that God is holy. That indeed is His main attribute. God cannot sin, and He will not let sin go unjudged.
Cain's future life as a fugitive and a vagabond seems overwhelming to him, but the real curse is found in verse 15, "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden." He was cast out from the presence of his family and all that he knew, but further, he was cast out from the presence of God.
Unconfessed sin always brings us to that point - losing fellowship with God Himself. We are told in Ezekiel 18:4, " . . . the soul that sinneth, it shall die." The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
Physical and spiritual death is the result of sin, and all have sinned. We have all been banished from the presence of God without hope. But God, from the halls of heaven, in the person of Jesus Christ, steps forward in His love and mercy to redeem His lost creation, to buy back that which has been cursed, to offer the only hope through forgiveness to those who ask of him. Sadly, Cain did not. Have you?
Genesis 4:17 tells us, " And Cain knew his wife . . . ", a term referring to sexual intimacy. Many times one asks, "Where did Cain's wife come from?" The only answer is, he married one of his sisters. Early on, before sin completely destroyed the gene pool, intermarriage was possible with no ill effects. But as generations moved on, sin left a devastating mark on human genes. It was of this time we read about in Leviticus 18:6 - "None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin . . . " Through the union of Cain and his wife, the earth began to be populated.
- In the Beginning, God - Part 14
Continuing in the series, let's look at chapter five.
© 2018 William Kovacic