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Summary: Genesis verse-by-verse

Genesis 9

You know, siblings can sometimes be the best of friends and sometimes be the worst of enemies. And that status can change in an instant! One minute brothers and sisters are getting along great and laughing and playing and hugging and the next minute they’re shouting and name calling and pushing each other.

A Sunday School teacher was discussing the 10 commandments with her 5 & 6 year olds. After explaining the commandment to “honor your father and mother,” she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a beat, one of the kids answered, “Sure, Thou shalt not kill.”

The first set of siblings could have used that commandment; Well at least one of them. Tonight we’ll be looking at the tragic events surrounding the brothers Cain and Able.

[Read Genesis 4:1-2.]

So here we have a joyous occasion, Adam and Eve have their first children. Oh that must have been an incredible event for them. To have life actually come from you. And you could see the joy and the faith of Eve as she said, “I have gotten a child with the help from the Lord.”

And eventually Cain and Able fulfilled man’s obligation for being the facilitators of creation. Cain became a farmer and Able became a herdsman. They were doing as the Lord wanted. Work the ground and rule the animals.

Now even though it’s not recorded in Scripture, the Lord probably gave the first family instructions of sacrifices. Just like the Lord sacrificed an innocent animal to provide coverings for Adam and Eve, they were to bring sacrifices to the Lord to show their obedience to Him. Why else would Cain and Able bring sacrifices to the Lord as we’re about to see?

But even though they both brought the Lord a sacrifice, only one was found acceptable in God’s eyes. Because one was brought in faith and the other was brought in sin.

Sin found its way from Mom and Dad to the brothers. They inherited the sin nature that Adam and Eve possessed as well. And this sin nature reared its ugly head in the most severe way possible – murder. But it didn’t start out that way. As a matter of fact, the sin that grew so big had humble beginnings, just like all sin. So let’s go through the story first looking at:

I. Sin’s seduction

[Read Genesis 4:3-5.]

Two offerings given. Both offerings came from the fruit of the brother’s labor. Both offerings, produce and animal, were acceptable forms of sacrifice as we find later in Scripture. So how come one was accepted and the other was rejected?

Well, the problem wasn’t in what was given but by the motivation behind the sacrifice. After all, the Lord isn’t interested in something to eat, He’s interested in our hearts.

The difference between the offerings went beneath the objects of worship to the heart of worship. The New Testament reveals that Cain’s heart was far from the Lord when he ‘worshipped’ Him with his sacrifice. But Able worshipped out of love and obedience to the Lord.

[Read Hebrews 11:4, I John 3:11-12.]

Abel brought the Lord a sacrifice of his best animals and the most richest part of the animal, the fat portions, because He loved the Lord and trusted Him. He knew he could kill one of his animals and present it to the Lord because the Lord would provide.

But Cain didn’t have this kind of faith. He simply brought the Lord some of his crop out of duty. His heart wasn’t in his worship. And when Cain’s self-righteous sacrifice wasn’t accepted by God he reacted in anger. “After all, didn’t the Lord see how hard it was to grow this stuff? How dare He not accept what I brought Him!”

Sin’s seduction has begun. It’s usually very subtle. It’s usually very quiet. Seemingly harmless. Yet ever trying to get a foothold into our lives.

Cain obviously didn’t want to bring the offering to the Lord. He might not have even wanted to be a farmer! Who knows. But when God didn’t accept his false worship Cain allowed sin to get a foothold into his life. God recognized this and warned Cain about.

II. Sin’s corruption

[Read Genesis 4:6-7.]

God begins to try and comfort Cain. He gives him hope that when he does right then joy will envelope his life and all will be good. And how true that is! When you’re living right, doing right, praying daily, reading God’s Word daily, loving others, living pure, worshipping with all your heart, you just can’t help but be joyful!

I got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Why? Because I got the Love of Jesus down in my heart! When the love of Jesus is flowing through your life like blood through your veins life is good! Joy abounds! Nobody has to tell you to be happy – you are happy. And it’s because you know that nothing is between you and God.

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