Hebrews 11:4, Genesis 3:20, I Corinthians 15:45-47, Romans 5:12-ff, Genesis 5:6 & Acts 14:26-27
We returned to Genesis today, with Pastor Steve reviewing Cain and Abel in chapter 4. Many people don’t understand why God rejected Cain’s offering, but he said the answer is found in Hebrews 11:4: Because Abel offered his faith, it was a more acceptable sacrifice.
“That means you can do the right thing the wrong way,” Steve said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone on ‘Christian autopilot.’ You know the right things to say and do because you were raised in church. . . . The flesh likes autopilot more than on-your-face-before-God faith.”
He said he takes the fact that God rejected Cain’s offering to mean that he just slopped it down. Before Cain lost his temper and killed his brother, God warned him sin was trying to master him, but he must resist. Cain didn’t listen and the result was murder, which Steve said skipped past gossip, cussing and R-rated movies (the things legalistic Christians often list as no-no’s).
Though Cain probably thought he could get away with it, God soon told him Abel’s blood was crying out from the ground. When Cain lamented that his punishment was greater than he could bear, Steve said some people think that was a sign of repentance. In any case, God was graceful and told Cain He will place a mark on him so that anyone who hurts Cain will be subject to God’s vengeance.
“Sin has dreadful consequences,” Steve commented. “The first born child (of Adam and Eve) commits murder. . . Genesis 3:20 says Eve was the mother of all living. Because of that, we are all sinners.”
This motherhood is an important issue because it answers questions skeptics raise, like: Where did Cain’s wife come from? Obviously, from other children of Adam and Eve. Steve pointed to verses 25-26, which say that their son, Seth, fathered Enosh when Seth was 105. Prior to the flood, men and women were much different and lived much longer lives.
Twenty-five hundred years later, Moses handed down the law against inter-marriage of siblings, but the first humans lived in a much different era. Steve also commented on how far people fell because of sin. By the time of Lamech (verse 23), he is bragging that he murdered a man for wounding him and had two wives.
“This shows the progress of sin,” Steve said. “Seven generations have people bragging and making up songs about murder. There are two lines here: one of Cain and one of Seth (who was part of the bloodline of Christ). . . Hope is found in God. We all find salvation in Jesus.”