6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: God approached Cain with the question, "Where is your brother?". This question was for Cain to be brought back to the truth of his situation! Cain’s response was a lie and he knew it. “I don’t know” and "Am I My Brother's Keeper"? Do we tell these lies?

This morning we will be continuing the series I’m calling “Questions”

• We are looking at several famous questions that were asked in the Bible and what we can learn from them.

• Last week we discussed one of the very first questions in the Bible, “Did God Really Say…?”

• Just like us, once Satan got Eve to question God’s word. He had her right where he wanted her

• This led to the fall of man and the situation we find ourselves in today

• Satan is still effectively asking that very same question with alarmingly the same results!

Because of this Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden

• Even in their sin God didn’t abandon them.

• In fact, God took an animal and offered the first blood sacrifice as a covering for their sins

• God even blessed them with many children; the first was a son they named Cain.

• Her second son was Abel.

• Scripture tells us Cain became a farmer and Abel a herdsman.

Genesis 4:2-5 (NIV)

Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Cain and Abel brought offerings to the Lord

• Cain from the fruit of the ground and Abel the firstborn of his flock.

• God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected Cain’s.

• We are not told exactly why God rejected Cain’s offering but He did

• There is much speculation as to what the issue was but I believe the real clues are found in scripture

Hebrews 11:4 (NIV)

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.

To God, true faith carries with it much favor (currency of Heaven)

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)

We live by faith, not by sight.

So to God the opposite of by faith is by sight. (This is our struggle)

• Cain worshipped according to “sight” — according to what his own senses and wisdom dictated would be an honorable sacrifice to the Lord.

• No doubt, his produce was wonderful to the eye. (Israel)

• No doubt, he labored over those crops until the harvest.

• No doubt he anticipated that all the hard work, time, and care he had spent on those offerings would be acceptable.

• His expectation of acceptance is clearly demonstrated by his reaction to the Lord’s rejection of his sacrifice.

• His offering was rejected because it was offered according to his own presumption and not by faith.

• Faith is not simply a feeling of confident expectation. Cain had that.

True faith is the result of hearing God’s word, submitting our mind and body to His authority, and acting according to what the Lord has instructed.

Saul offered many sacrifices…

Samuel told King Saul, “Obedience is better than sacrifice”.

Abel offered his sacrifice by faith (Heb. 11:4).

• Abel offered his sacrifice by hearing and obeying the word of God.

o Disobedience brings death

o (Fig leaves) Produce from the ground will not cover sin

o Blood sacrifice was what was required

• Abel offered in true faith and obedience

Cain did not offer his sacrifice by faith filled obedience. Therefore, he did not worship according to the word of God. And God rejected his offering.

Cain brought the fruit of the cursed ground, the work of his hands.

• Here we have a contrast between the God-revealed doctrine of blood sacrifice versus humanity trying to please God with their own self-efforts.

• Cain's offering is reminiscent of Adam and Eve covering themselves with fig leaves after their sin in the Garden.

• It is our attempts to work our way into a relationship with God instead of leaning on God's grace that gets rejected.

We may not know all of the details, but we do know that God had demonstrated first-hand the correct sacrifice for sin when He provided the covering for Adam and Eve

Cain didn’t take his offering being rejected very well

Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV)

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

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