Summary: To avoid Gods’s judgment, we must first understand God’s judgment.
THE PRINCIPLES OF DIVINE JUDGEMENT
GENESIS 4: 1-16
1. Illus. of Lowell and Walter
• Lowell- 50’ish golden gloves boxing instructor. Walter- 32 year old former marine.
• Kept on until Lowell boxed with him. Lowell beat him to a pulp.
2. We do God like that some times. God’s preference is to deal with humanity in love and mercy. But, if we push God far enough, He will deal with us in judgement. When God puts on the judgement gloves, we are in for a whipping!
3. The only way to avoid judgement is to understand how it works. If we knew why God judges, how God judges, we would have the knowledge necessary to see that we are never on the wrong end of God’s judgment.
4. Text: In our text, Moses records God’s judgement of Cain for the murder of his brother Abel.
5. Today: God’s judgement of Cain illustrates the basic principles of judgement that God still uses when He judges today.
6. What are these basic principles of judgement?
I. PRINCIPLE ONE: GOD’S JUDGEMENT IS ACTIVATED BY REBELLION
1. Look with me at the text:
In vss 3-5a, both brothers bring a sacrifice. God accepts the firstling of the flock that Abel brings, but rejects the produce offering of Cain.
See vss 5-7. Cain is mad at God, and he is mad at his brother. God come to him and warns him. “I know what is in your heart. Sin wants to destroy you (its desire is for you…), but you must master these sinful desires (you should rule over it…)
What does Cain do? Vs 8- He lures Abel out into the field, and he kills him. The Hebrew word killed (HAW-RAG) is not the word for manslaughter, but the word for cold blooded, first degree murder.
2. God drew a line in the sand. Cain was judged because he rebelliously stepped across that line. Here is the principle: God’s judgement is activated by man’s rebellion.
3. Illus. of my dad
• Took us to pool, he was in regular clothes.
• Told us it was time to leave, I said, “no, I’m not getting out.”
• Dad said, “son, get out of pool now.” Since he had on his regular clothes, I said, “No. What are you going to do about it?”
• Sat there patiently until I couldn’t stay in water any longer. Took me home, where he showed me what he was going to do about it!
• Dad never disciplined us for our obedience, only for our rebellion!
• It’s the same way with God! If an imperfect father won’t tolerate rebellion, do you think that a perfect God will?
4. Notice that before Cain crossed this line in the sand, God warned him. It may be that the same thing is happening to you today. There is something in your heart, and God has warned you through His Word etc., not to do it! I want you to understand that if you cross that line anyway, your rebellion will activate the judgement of God.
II. PRINCIPLE TWO: GOD’S JUDGEMENT IS CHARACTERIZED BY JUSTICE
1. See vss 9-12. Do you see the justice in God’s judgement of Cain? Cain had lured Abel out into the field, killed him, and then buried his body. God’s judgement (vs 12) is that Cain will be a vagabond and a wanderer, not living in one place long enough to plant and harvest.
2. In effect God is saying, “you planted your brother’s body in the ground, but that is the last thing you will ever plant!”
3. There is always justice in God’s judgements. The punishment fits the crime!
4. Illus. of Judge in my hometown
• A few years back, this judge got into trouble because he believed the punishment should fit the crime.
• Dr. T was a prominent cardiologist in Anniston. Riding bikes with his kids one Sunday afternoon, he was struck by a drunken driver and killed.
• This man had a long history of Dui’s, so Judge threw the book at him. He was to pay a fine, serve jail time followed by a five-year probation. One part of his sentence involved maintaining a memorial for this probationary period of 5 years at the spot where he had killed Dr. Tucker.
• Lawyer filed a complaint against Judge because he said, “it’s cruel and unusual.” Judge simply said, “I believe the punishment should fit the crime.”
5. So does God! Can I give you some for examples?
God told Israel to let every 7th year be a Sabbath year. Instead, they went ahead and planted and worked. After 490 years (7 times 70) God sent them into Babylonian captivity for 70 years.
Revelation 16: 4-7