Summary: God's faithfulness in Genesis 4:1-26 teaches us that God was preserving the offspring of the woman until Christ accomplished his victory.
We are currently in a series of sermons on Genesis 1-11 that I am calling, “In the Beginning.” I plan to preach only six sermons on these 11 chapters. It is just an overview of redemptive history.
So far, we have looked at the Creation of all things (Genesis 1:1-2:3), and the Fall of man into sin (2:4-3:24). Today, I want to examine God’s faithfulness in preserving a line of descendants that will eventually lead to the birth, life, death, resurrection, and victory of Jesus Christ.
Let’s read about Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:1-26:
1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”
8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 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 the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. 19 And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
23 Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
24 If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold,
then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.”
25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord. (Genesis 4:1-26)
I just finished reading Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O’ Reilly and Martin Dugard. It is a book about how the United States defeated Japan in World War II. I was repeatedly astonished by the incredible battles that were fought throughout World War II. Individuals and nations were fighting for their very survival.
In a very real sense, these battles pale in comparison to the battle that began in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3 shows us how Adam and Eve rebelled against God and fell for Satan’s temptation. In Genesis 3:15, God said to Satan, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Here is the beginning of the battle between Satan and the offspring of the woman that has raged for millennia. Satan wants to be supreme and have all creatures worship him. However, God created all things (including Satan), and God alone is to be worshiped and served. He designed a plan to save a people who will worship and serve him. In his sovereign providence, God has preserved a line of descendants that will lead from the woman to the birth of Christ, who will accomplish victory over Satan.