The Book of Genesis
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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise
Before we start this week I just wanted to let everyone know that, starting this week there will be an addition to the web site.
It will be a weekly study for youth and teens.
As with this stud,y it will be published every Saturday, and it is being taught by the youth pastor from the church I attend.
So check it out and send him an E-mail welcoming him to this site.
Also make sure you let everyone you know who has teenagers to check it out also.
It should be up by Monday the latest, and can be reached from the home page.
This weeks we will look at Cain, and Gods talk with him about Abel's death.
Let's take a look at the story from the previous week in Gen 4:1-8
· Gen 4:1-8 1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD. ' 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 6 So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." 8 Now 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 killed him.
This was a case of good son, bad son. Adam taught his sons the way of God, but he could not force them to obey God.
Adam now would realize that through his sin, it would bring death, and the true understanding of death, through his son, Abel.
Adam realized that God had to kill an animal for his sin, but now this is the first time Adam was without his son, Abel. He was gone, never to be seen on this earth again by Adam.
This is the death God was talking about years ago when He said, "for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Speaking of the tree of "knowledge of good and evil."
Adam was now realizing the consequence of his sin.
God warns us ahead of time what will happen if we continue in sin, or even if we start to sin.
But so many times we ignore God, and find out later that He was right.
God wasn't angry with Cain, but he tried to teach Cain as we see in verse 7
Cain was angry, so much that it caused him to kill his brother. This is what anger does. It separates us from the one we are to be brothers and sisters with and even husbands and wives.
I like the saying I heard "If we're going to be together forever in heaven, we should learn to get along here on earth now".
Lets get started in this week's study.
Ř Gen 4:9-15 9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" 10 And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 "So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 "When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth." 13 And Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 "Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me." 15 And the LORD said to him, "Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.
I like the way verse 9 it reads in the NLT.
· Gen 4:9 (NLT) Afterward the LORD asked Cain, "Where is your brother? Where is Abel?"
"I don't know!" Cain retorted. "Am I supposed to keep track of him wherever he goes?"
Doesn't that sound just like a bratty kid, a child who just won't listen to his parents?
Does the Lords words sound familiar also?
· Gen 3:9 Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"
God, once again is the loving parent of His children, calm and patient. God knew what happened, just like a parent knows what happens.
Just like God knows what's going on in your life right now.
God comes to you and says, "What are you doing?" and like little children we say, "Nothing" although we know we are wrong in what we are doing, and before God can get another word out we immediately say, "I'm sorry, I wont do it again".
But you know what? God knows if we will. God knows our weaknesses, and He still loves us. Just like a parent still loves their children when they do wrong.
It's the "love the sinner but hate the sin" syndrome.
God loves us, but He can't be in the presence of sin. That's where His Son Jesus comes in.
· 2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
God's not looking for excuses; He's looking for repentant hearts.
Do you think Cain had a repentant heart? Just by hearing his words, tell us he didn't.
What if Cain had said to God, "I killed my brother Abel, I am without excuse, I'm sorry, Please forgive me"?
· Psalms 51:16-17 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart--These, O God, You will not despise.
Cain did not have this kind of heart, if he did he would have offered the correct sacrifice to God.
Just as we try to offer things to God for the wrong reasons, trying to have God accept us in our way, and not listening to Him and doing it His way.
We think that if I give God 10% of my money, He'll be happy with me, but if I don't God will be angry with me, He will curse me this week and not bless me.
This is an example of doing things our way and not God's.
Just as we saw in Psalms 51:16-17, God doesn't want our sacrifices but our heart. So let's do things God's way and stop trying to please Him our way.
It's like for Christmas, I wanted to get my wife something for Christmas, something I thought she would like.
But it just didn't happen. I tried, but seemed to keep running into obstacles. But it finally hit me that what I wanted to get her was not what she was asking for. Once I realized that and started to get her what she actually wanted, it all ran so smoothly. And she was very happy.
God is also a God of patience, as we saw with Adam and Eve, and now here with their son Cain.
Even in the book of Romans it talks about God's patience.
· Romans 15:5-6 5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are instructed to be patient with one another. What if Cain would have been patient with Abel or even with God and took Gods advice in verse 7.
7 "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."
Don't you think that maybe, he wouldn't have committed murder if he had patience and followed God's advice?
Before you answer, let's look at two churches in the book of Revelations that had patience.
· Rev 2:1-4 1 "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, 'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:2 "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 "and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. 4 "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
· Rev 2:18-20 18 "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, 'These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:19 "I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 "Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
Patience is what God calls us to have with one another. But why do you have patience?
Is it like the church of Ephesus or Thyatira who had it to look good? Or are you doing it out of love like God desires us to do?
So even if Cain did have patience, I think it would have been an outward appearance and not one from the heart.
What about you, is yours an outward appearance, or from the heart?
If it's from an outward appearance listen to the words of Jesus to the same churches and repent, return to your first love; Jesus.
· Rev 2:5 "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent.
· Rev 2:25-26 25 "But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations--
Gen 4:10 And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground.
The Hebrews believe that if you kill one person you are not just killing one, but many people, even generations of people.
So it was with Cain, he not only killed his brother, but all of the people that were to be born from Abel. All his grandchildren and great grandchildren………
Is that what God meant when He says here that, "your brother's blood cries out to Me"?
I really don't know.
It could also mean that Abel was crying out from what was called Abraham's bosom. (See Luke 16:19-31) Which is thought to possibly be in the center of the earth.
11 "So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 "When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth."
Think of this, as a farmer who plants his crop, but it just won't grow.
Or think about going to work everyday and accomplishing nothing, and not even getting paid for it. Trying to go look for another job with the word being put out on how bad of a worker you are, basically being called worthless.
This is what happened to Cain. Abel's blood spilled into the ground, and the place that the blood fell into was now cursed to Cain.
The NLT puts it this way:
· Gen 4:12 (NLT) No longer will it yield abundant crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless fugitive on the earth, constantly wandering from place to place."
· Ex 21:14 (NIV) But if a man schemes and kills another man deliberately, take him away from my altar and put him to death.
Cain was taken, so to speak, from Gods alter or provision. Wasn't Cain's dad to suffer the same thing for his sin in the garden?
Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden for his sin, just as Cain is driven from Gods creation and how He created to earth and plants to be fruitful and multiply.
· Gen 1:11-12 11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
And Cain's response to this is.
13 And Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 "Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me."
Notice one thing that Cain never did; recognize his sin.
Cain was still only thinking of himself. He did acknowledge that he would not have a relationship with God, but that was not God's choice, it was Cain's words not God's.
We do the same thing when we fall into sin. We think, "God will have nothing to do with me anymore God hates me".
But God never said that, He never even implied it.
God doesn't hate you when you sin, just like you don't hate your kids if they do something wrong.
We pay the consequences of our sins; not because of God's anger toward us, but rather because of the sin we committed.
I've said it before, but if you drink and drive, you may go to jail, lose your license, pay a huge fine, and there is also the possibility getting in an accident and hurting someone, or even killing them.
Now this is not God's punishment towards you, but the consequence of your sin.
If God didn't love you, would he send His Son Jesus to die for your sins even though He knew that you would continue to sin after you accepted Jesus?
Don't allow the lies of Satan to discourage you.
So God response to Cain;
15 And the LORD said to him, "Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.
I know the first question is always, "What was the mark?" The answer, I don't know, I won't even try to speculate on what it was.
Even though Cain did not acknowledge his sin, God still had compassion on him. God knew that He would give the law of punishment for murder to the children of Israel.
· Ex 21:12 "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.
We even see in God's law that if you even hurt someone in any way physically that you should be given the same pain as punishment.
· Ex 21:23-25 23 "But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24 "eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 "burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
But Jesus came and made this even more clear to us:
· Matt 5:38-42 38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
God gave us the example in Genesis, and Jesus gave us the same example by His death.
What example are you giving to non-believers? What about your children, or even your spouse?
James teaches us how to be:
· James 1:19-20 19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Next week we will see how a man has taken God's grace toward Cain and tried to apply it to his own life, although it wasn't mentioned for him.
Read the rest of the chapter 4 to find out what I'm talking about.
"But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out.