Genesis: Cain & Abel

Last week in Genesis 3:21, we found out that to make atonement for Adam’s sin it consisted of the killing of an innocent (a blood sacrifice) to make a covering of skin. In the Days of Creation animals and grains were meant for man’s provision. But because of man’s sin, animals and grain also had to be used for man’s sacrifices and offerings.

Generational Sin

At this time we need to examine our lives. Because, our sins and shortcomings will follow our children and grandchildren for generations. We need to “break free” for their sakes.

Exodus 20:4–6 (NIV)
4“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments

Cain and Abel (Genesis 4)

Genesis 4:3–5 (NIV)
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4But Abel brought fat portions [A foreshadow of Leviticus 3:16] from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

First sacrifices mentioned in the Scriptures:

  1. Cain offered some of the fruit of the soil (Genesis 4:3).
  2. Abel offered the firstborn of his flock (Genesis 4:4).

As stated in the previous blog entries, God set the order for offering which is an animal sacrifice (Genesis 3:21). Abel’s acceptable offering (an animal substitute) was more acceptable to God both because it was a blood sacrifice and, most importantly, because of Abel’s attitude when he offered a firstborn animal.

Hebrews 11:4 (KJV)
By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
1 John 3:12 (KJV)
Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.
Proverbs 21:27
The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable–How much more so when brought with evil intent!

Cain’s unacceptable offering:

  1. In verse 3, Cain was bringing to the LORD the fruit of his labor and his hard work. (A thought: How many times do we bring the fruit of our labor and our hard work expecting God to reward us?)
  2. In verse 6, Cain was angry and downcast.
  3. In verse 7, the LORD warned Cain about what could happen and telling him to master the desire to commit sin. He was telling Cain to get over his jealousy of Abel and do what is right. But, Cain didn’t listen.
  4. In verse 8, Cain killed Abel.
  5. In verses 11–12, God punished Cain.
  6. In verse 15, God put a mark or sign on Cain so no one would kill him. (Another nugget: Despite Cain’s sin, God provided for his safety.)
  7. In verse 17, Cain left the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nob.

This should be a warning to us to listen and heed to the LORD’s warnings and take His advice. Don’t give sin a foothold in our lives. Master (overcome) it!

Adam’s curse

Genesis 3:17–19 (NIV)
17To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Not only did man have to make sacrifices and offering for sins but, man had to work to produce them.

Man’s labors:

  1. Animals – raise and care for their needs. (food and water)
  2. Grain – tilling the ground, plowing, planting, sowing, and reaping the harvest only to start over for the next year.

Farmers can tell you about thorns, thistles, insects that eat the plants, and droughts. Ranchers can tell you similar stories. At a bible class the subject came up about sheep and goats. A goat rancher said, “Have you ever tried to tend goats?” He went on to tell how stubborn goats are, how they don’t obey, and tend to butt heads together.

Another example of God’s order and provision:

  1. God did the first sacrifice in Genesis 3:21.
  2. Man did the rest of the sacrifices and offerings first mentioned in Genesis 4:4.
  3. Jesus, the Lamb of God, did the final blood sacrifice in the four books of the Gospel.

A look at our Messiah

Nugget: Think about this nugget. In Genesis 3:18, God cursed the ground to produce thorns. God in His great love for us caused thorns to grow already knowing that one day thorns would be placed on the head of His Only Begotten Son. (Matthew 27:29). Meditate on that for a moment.

Now, let the Words of our Messiah conclude this week’s blog post.

Matthew 22:36–40 (NIV)
36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ [See also Deuteronomy. 6:5] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ [See also Leviticus 19:18] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

John 15:13–14 (NIV)
13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command

Jesus laid down His life for us on Calvary!

Next time, we will present Abraham and Isaac.

Until then,

שָׁלוֹם (Shalom!)