Summary: There are Lessons to Be Learned About Worship from the story of Cain and Abel.
Our text is Genesis 4:1-16. Here we saw that apart from GOD, sin dominates us. We learned that sin comes from our NATURE, not our ENVIRONMENT. Now, there are Lessons to Be Learned About Worship from the story of Cain and Abel. Arthur Pink notes, “The central truth of the chapter is that God is to be worshiped, that He is to be worshiped through sacrifice, that He is to be worshiped by means of a sacrifice which is appropriated by faith” Arthur Pink, “Gleanings in Genesis” (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2005), 56.
We will follow Pink’s outline of the text.
There is a PLACE for Worship. Gen 4:3 “Cain brought to the Lord an Offering from the ground.”
Where is this place? In Gen 3:24 the Lord God put a “shining sword” to guard the entrance to the Garden. Jamisionm Fauset and Brown as well as others believe that the flaming sword is The Shekinah glory of God. - We have an appointment to MEET with God!
Imagine, first Adam and Eve and then their sons meeting God at the edge of the Garden. Because of their sin, their fellowship was broken. But the Lord always provides a way for fellowship to be restored, and for Adam and his children, that path was through sacrifice as they met the Lord at the Garden’s gate.
What lesson can we learn? Be careful that we do not say that the PLACE for worship is a CHURCH BUILDING! Nor should we spiritualize it and say that the place for worship is whenever “two or three are gathered.” Yes, we do worship that way, but the Glory of God does not dwell in a particular location.
Jesus speaks about the Glory of God being manifested through his sacrifice on the cross. Note the emphasis on God’s glory being shown through Christ’s death:
John 17:1 "After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you."
John 17:4–5 "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."
John 17:22–24 "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."
When Jesus went to the Cross, he went to the place outside the city gate where sin and death were judged. THIS is the place where we must go to meet God. We must go to Jesus in order to see the Shikenah glory of God! Notice what the author of Hebrews writes:
Hebrews 13:12–13 "And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore."
Hebrews 6:19 "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,”
Hebrews 10:19 "Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus”
Like Adam, provision has been made for us to see God’s glory. That provision is to accept Jesus in faith by coming to the cross, the place where God meets with all who wish to worship.
In the Bible Knowledge Commentary, Zane Hodges puts it this way, “A Christian has a special altar (probably a figure of speech for the sacrifice of Christ) from which he derives spiritual sustenance.” Zane Hodges in “BKC,” Hebrews.
The second observation from the text is that There is a specific TIME for Worship. Gen 4:3 “in the course of time.”
Some ancient translations read, “at the end of days.” This could possibly refer to the end of the week, or the Sabbath.
Although the Sabbath command would be solidified thousands of years later in the Law in Exodus 20, The command to rest is given in Genesis 2:3 "Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. "
There is a TIME for PERSONAL WORSHIP. We refer to this as our Daily Quiet Time. Our children and teens are encouraged to maintain a daily quiet time. Word of Life just launched a new tool to help in this manner called the Online Quiet Time. I encourage you to use this tool. It combines a daily devotional and a Facebook type experience. You can share accountability with a friend, family member or youth leader.