Summary: Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10, "These things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did." There is much we can learn from bad examples in the Bible.
A. Growing up it seemed to me that there were two ways to learn something
1. On rare occasions –someone of exemplary character pointed out –more like him?
2. But more often than not –my parents would observe a friend of mine doing-wrong
3. Point, “You better never let me catch you doing something like that”
4. Which one did I learn from better?
B. As we get older I think we tend to look for positive examples –role models
1. People whose stories we want to pattern our own after – look up to
2. But we can’t miss that we learn a lot from – well – cautionary tales
3. And the Bible is full of cautionary tales – people who are – bad examples
4. But bad examples we can learn from.
C. In fact, Apostle Paul says as much. In 1 Corinthians 10 –bad examples from OT
1. Read – 1 Corinthians 10:6-13
2. We read verse 13 to comfort ourselves –difficult times –but God is faithful
3. But that verse is tied to warning – verse 12
4. Something for us to learn from some very bad examples.
D. I can think of no better place to begin than with the original bad seed – Cain
1. INTRODUCE TEXT: GENESIS 4:1-7
2. Let’s be real honest for a moment –you know how –look at a kid –rotten? C’mon
3. Eve had no idea what a rotten kid looked like. To her, her son was perfect.
4. In fact –she put all her hopes on her son. Remember curse? Promise –Genesis 3:15
5. Read the first verse of chapter 4 –thought this was her promise – her savior
6. READ TEXT
E. These things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.
1. They were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
2. What is there for us to learn from Cain’s mistake?
3. I think this story leads us to ask three questions of ourselves
I. ARE WE GIVING GOD OUR BEST?
A. Someone asked me a few weeks ago – what was the big deal? Wrong with Cain’s offering
1. Text tells us –Abel kept sheep – Cain worked the ground
2. And so it seems natural –time came to present an offering –Abel brought sheep…
3. Cain brought “fruit of the ground” – logical – each man brought what he had
4. But verses 4b-5 – what was the difference?
B. Hebrews 11:4 –First thing see – Abel’s offering took faith- firstborn of flocks – what if all?
1. Given in faith – given in trust – knowing God asks for my best –I’m giving my best
2. Wasn’t given as an obligation, given just to appease God –to buy his favor
3. Also -Cain’s response in 5 –Angry- with God for rejection. With brother -acceptance
4. Should cause us to ask –are we giving God our best?
C. Every now and then you hear one of those stories about churches –just make you cringe
1. Years ago –story from a missionary –supported by local churches-contributions/supplies