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Summary: Verse by verse study of Genesis 4

Genesis 4

Sunday Morning Bible Study

November 26, 2006


It isn’t easy raising a family. Many of us have made plenty of mistakes as we’ve raised our kids. Even when parents do things right, kids go astray.


God’s Kids

Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to God’s kids. After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing He said to them was: “Don’t.” “Don’t what?” Adam replied. “Don’t eat the forbidden fruit.” God said. “Forbidden fruit? We got forbidden fruit? Hey, Eve... we got Forbidden Fruit!” “No way!” “Yes, WAY!” “Don’t eat that fruit!” said God. “Why?” “Because I’m your Father and I said so!” said God, wondering why he hadn’t stopped after making the elephants. A few minutes later God saw the kids having an apple break. “Didn’t I tell you not to eat that fruit?” the First Parent asked. “Uh huh,” Adam replied. “Then why did you?” “I dunno,” Eve answered. “She started it!” Adam said. “Did Not!” “DID so!” “DID NOT!” Having had it with the two of them, God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed. But there is a reassurance in this story. If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give them wisdom and they haven’t taken it, don’t be hard on yourself. If God had trouble handling children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

:1-15 Cain and Abel

:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife,

knew – yada‘– to know, learn to know; to know by experience; to recognize, admit, acknowledge, confess; to consider; to know, be acquainted with; to know (a person carnally); to know how, be skilful in; to have knowledge, be wise

We sometimes think of this as some sort of “codeword” for sex. But I don’t think Moses used this word just so the children would be able to stay up and listen to the story.

God wants a man to know all about his wife. Marital intimacy is much greater than just having sex. Peter wrote,

(1 Pet 3:7 NKJV) Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

The word Peter used for “understanding” is related to the word “know”.

Grow to understand your wife. Pay attention to her. Study her.

:1 and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD."

Cain – Qayin – “possession” or “acquired”

It is thought that Eve looked at the birth of Cain as the fulfillment of God’s promise of a deliverer:

(Gen 3:15 NKJV) And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."

Cain is the first child born in the world. Why not think that he might be the one promised to bruise the serpent?

Yet John tells us (1Jo. 3:12) that Cain was “of the wicked one”. What a shock it would be to Adam and Eve to find that the one they had expected to be their deliverer was no deliverer at all. He would in fact become the world’s first murderer.

Talk about being disappointed in your kids!

: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.

Abel – Hebel – “breath”; “vanity”, or “vapor”. One suggestion is that Eve might have been disappointed in knowing that Cain wasn’t the promised son of Gen. 3:15. How would she know that Cain wasn’t the deliverer? Because she was still having pain in childbirth.

: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.

in the process of time – the child born to Adam and Eve after the death of Abel would come when Adam was 130 years old (Gen. 5:3). It has been suggested that if Cain was born the first year after Adam’s creation, that Cain and Abel might be over 100 years old at this time.

: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.

There are things that are pleasing to God and things that aren’t.

Both men brought gifts to the Lord. Both offered a form of worship to God.

One man’s gift was acceptable, the other man’s was not.

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