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Posted about 3 years ago
In Genesis chapter 4 we read about Adam and Eve conceiving, at first, two sons – Cain and Abel. We read on about Cain working the field and Abel tending the flocks. When it came time for sacrifice, Abel brought an acceptable sacrifice and Cain did not. The problem we immediately see here is that Cain got angry at Abel NOT at God.
We often see this in the church world today. I don’t care which denomination you belong to, if you have not seen this – you will. "How?" you may ask. Watch what happens when someone in church gets a blessing. It may be financial, recognition, a promotion, church position, etc. There will be someone who gets angry with that one person. When God told Cain to bring an acceptable sacrifice, Cain became angry with Abel. Why? Jealousy. Notice how God warns Cain about sin. We must stay on guard against jealousy, contention, all sin. Jealousy destroys unity in the church – local and spiritual church.
Next in the chapter (v 8) Cain kills his brother. Just like in the Garden of Eden, God asks the obvious questions. He was making Cain take responsibility, but Cain tries to dodge – just like his parents. Because of his actions, Cain was cursed. The ground that he worked (his talent, gift, area of ministry) would no longer be as productive as before (v 12). In addition to that, Cain was to be a fugitive and wanderer. He evens stops in Nod, which means wandering. If we allow our talent, gift, area of ministry to become a source of strife, it will not be productive. We will be spiritual wanderers, always looking for a place to rest, but never finding it because of that strife we have caused.
When Cain tells God he will be killed, God has mercy on him and places a mark upon Cain letting others know that their punishment will be "sevenfold" worse (v 15). Even in His punishment of Cain; even though Cain had to leave God’s presence – God had enough mercy on Cain to spare his life. This tells me that no matter where we go or what we do; we have a loving God who is always – ALWAYS – bestowing mercy on us in some way. His mercy stands ready and waiting for us.
I won’t go into what all the names mean – it gets lengthy. If you are interested I can post them separately, and would be glad to do so. They are not listed just to take up space but often because they have a meaning together when listed in succession.
Notice in verse s 23 and 24, Lamech (Cain’s great-great-great-grandson) admits to killing a man and recall’s Cain revenge. Five generations later, they are still talking about Cain and his deeds. Your actions today do not die when you do. They affect the people around you and your family for generations to come.
We return again to Adam and Eve in verses 25 and 26. Their third son’s name was Seth – meaning ‘He appointed.’ She named him that because she said God appointed her another son to replace the one Cain slew. I learned this next point by accident a long time ago. "When man takes what God has given you or shuts a door He has opened. That person will be judged by God. BUT God will restore to you what He has given you – often greater than the first."
I did this chapter a little different. This time, I would like to ‘hear’ your thoughts on this chapter and the points I’ve made. I would also like for you to ask questions – Please ask questions!