Summary: First of a series of sermons inspired by the book "Bad Kids of the Bible and What They Can Teach Us" by Thomas J. Craughwell.


Text: Genesis 4:1 – 16

Before I get into this morning’s sermon, I’d like to show you three videos. We’ve had a lot of bad weather this winter, and lots of snow and ice can weight down trees and make them dangerous. This first video is called, “How Not To Cut Down a Tree.”

Not only can snow and ice be dangerous on trees, it can also weight your roof down and cause it to collapse. This next video is called, “How Not To Remove Snow from Your Roof.”

And finally, when the weather gets bad outside, a lot of people stay indoors. If the weather is bad for very long, people start to get cabin fever and start looking for things to entertain themselves. This last video is called, “How Not to Use a Treadmill.”

Not only are videos like these entertaining to watch, but they are very instructive as well – they teach us what NOT to do!

Today, I am going to begin a new series called, “Bad Kids of the Bible.” The Bible is filled with stories of good children like David, the three Hebrew children, and Samuel, and we can learn a lot about how we should live our lives by looking at theirs. But the Bible also records the stories of not so good children, the “bad kids of the Bible.” Over the next several weeks we are going to look at some of their stories, not because they are good examples of what to do, but because they are good examples of what NOT to do.

Our first story is about the original bad kid of the Bible – Cain. You can find his story in Genesis chapter 4. Let’s turn there and read about it now.

[1] And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. [2] And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. [3] And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. [4] And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: [5] But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. [6] And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? [7] If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. [8] And 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 slew him.

[9] And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? [10] And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. [11] And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; [12] When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. [13] And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. [14] Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. [15] And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

[16] And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

Adam and Eve had been cast out of the Garden of Eden because of their sin. We don’t know how much later, but eventually, they had a son, and they named him Cain. Again, we don’t know how much time passes, but another son, Abel, is born as well. Cain and Abel probably sat at their parent’s feet and heard them tell tales of what life was like before they sinned. They talked about living in the beautiful garden that God had created for them, and how that God would come down in the cool of the evening and talk with them. But things were different now. Before, God had provided for their every need. Now they had to work to survive.

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