Summary: Today we consider what led to Cain's act of murder. In that we see the cause, the consequences and the cure of sin. And we have to ask ourselves "Am I A Cain?"
1. Are you a Cain?
2. I would think and hope that everyone here would quickly be able to answer "of course not", for as we just read, Cain was a murder - in fact the first murderer of all time.
2. How could I even think to ask this question? How could I ever think that anyone here is a murderer? Well, the problem with Cain was not that he was a murderer - for there were some things that led him to commit this horrendous crime.
3. I wonder if some of these same things within Cain might be within some of us.
4. This evening as we consider what Cain did, let us examine ourselves to see if there may be some similarities between ourselves and this murderer.
5. Perhaps this story that stands before us today does not seem that important - story of a brother killing a brother.
6. Today it would not be a headline in many big city newspapers - it might not even make the front page.
7. Yet this story was important at its time and still is today.
1. Here are the first two human beings created in the normal reproductive way - two brothers.
2. Not only first murder but the first record of the sin of man against man - a momentous moment in human history. It sets the stage for what will be. It reveals the human condition, how sin works - the cause, consequences and cure of sin.
3. To be very honest I used to feel very sorry for Cain. Here are two farmers - one farms livestock - that’s Abel, the other is a cash cropper or fruit farmer - Cain. Its like two farmers - a fruit farmer like _____ bringing an offering of fruit and a hog farmer like ______ bringing a hog to church as an offering to the Lord. I probably would prefer the fruit - less mess and trouble - so would caretakers. Annd yet we read in vs 5 that God did not look in favour on Cain and his offering.
4. That does not seem fair. But whay was Cain doing wrong?
5. NIV notes say that is because Abel put more thought into the offering than Cain did - that Abel picked the fat portions of the some of the firstborn of the crop. He gave the best. True but the problem is deeper than that.
6. I thank Michael Horton in book "In the Face of God" for talking about this problem. He says the problem has to do with how we worship God, even how we meet God and come to Him.
7. Later on in the desert with people of Israel we are told that the main sacrifice was to be the fat portions of the firstborn of the flock - but did Cain and Abel know that?
8. Well in Gen 20, after the flood, we read that Noah took some of all of the clean animals and birds and sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord - and the Lord smelled the pleasant aroma and said in His heart that he would never again destroy all living creatures as He had done.
9. Although we are not told directly, in those early days God had already told man to make sacrifices and what these sacrifices were to be. As I checked out Horton’s thoughts, I found it interesting to note in Gen 10:20 that Noah was a man of the soil just like Cain had been - yet he offered sacrifices just as God had told Him to.
10. The point of making animal sacrifices is clear throughout the Bible - Heb 9:22 says "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness". True in OT with animal sacrifices and in NT and today with shedding of blood of Christ.
11. And, of course, just as God sent His very best, His Son - so we are to give our best.
12. But not only that, we can only approach God in the way He commands not in the way we decide.
13. We can only approach throne with confidence because Christ died for us. Cain ignored the requirement for a blood offering. He ignored God’s command on how he was to worship him and so his sacrifice did not
14. Horton says that we have the same problem today - and while I believe He gets carried away with this premise at times, He makes a good point.
15. Today’s church does whatever it can to attract new people - perhaps for right or wrong motivation. Some churches do not even preach gospel because it may offend people. At least they do not read law and need for forgiveness. They accommodate the desire of man as to how they wish to worship God and come to Him.