Monday, March 28 2016
The story of Cain and Abel is one of the great crime stories of all time. It is the story of two brothers that came to worship God Almighty. Cain, the oldest, brought the "fruit of the ground" and Abel brought "the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof". The term "firstlings" means he brought the best to worship God.
The Bible says that God had respect for Abel's offering and had no respect for Cain's offering. Cain became "very wroth" which is defined from the Hebrew word "blaze up". Cain had an episode of rage. Genesis 4:8 describes the crime:
Genesis 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
There are four lessons that we can learn from Cain.
1. God is a God of Hope
Genesis 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
Prior to Cain killing his brother, God gave him a chance to make it right. God has given us an opportunity to do the right to thing. He saw that Cain was heading down the wrong path and warned him of the consequences.
Psalms 39:7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.
2. Sin is waiting to destroy
Genesis 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
God warns Cain that "sin lieth at the door". The Hebrew word for "lieth" means "to crouch". Sin is at the door like an animal of prey ready to devour those that step away from the presence of God.
Jesus says "I am the door" (John 10:9). He stands between the eternal life and damnation. Our hope for life and life more abundantly is to stay in the house of God and away from the destroyer (1 Corinthians 10:10).
1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
3. Sin is a Curse
Genesis 4:11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
If we measured our blessings and curses by the the size of our bank account or job status, there would be many Christians considered cursed. God's yardstick is spiritual. Jesus said:
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Paul writing to the Roman church says, "For the wages of sin is death". We cannot escape the consequences of sin. Sin produces nothing but heartache and disappointment. God told Cain that when he would farm that nothing would be produced. It would be sin that robbed him of what made him successful in the presence of God.
Ephesian 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4. Sin takes us to places that we do not want to go
Genesis 4:14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
Sin cannot separate you from the love of God, but it can sperate us from His presence. It will place us on a path that will lead us to destruction.
The prodigal son left his father. The love of the father travelled everywhere that the son journeyed. The prodigal son never envisioned himself in a pig pen eating the slop with the swine, but that is the path that sin took him.
Sin is destructive Just as in the story of the prodigal son, we have an opportunity for redemption. The father in the parable welcomed back the son, and Jesus waits for us ready to forgive and restore.