Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
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.
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.
9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
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.
15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
The study of God’s Word has always been important. There is nothing more important for people than to know God and to know what He is doing.
We are living in a time when more and more so-called “educated” people are saying that the evil one world system is dead and a new arrangement is on the horizon. They claim that “sanity” is going to take back the world and it is going to be great. Those who say this as well as those who believe in these people are deluded. They have rejected the Bible. They are anti God. The problem is that those who are following these lies are wrong. They will be shocked one day soon when they take their last breath and find that they are in hell. Prayerfully, some of them will be shaken to the place where they turn to God in repentance and are saved.
We are currently looking at a series of devotionals that examine God’s standard of righteousness, as compared to man’s misconception of God’s standard of righteousness.
In Genesis 4, God addressed the first descendants of Adam and Eve. God spoke of two sons, named Cain and Abel. Both of these men were born as lost sinners. They both had the same parents. They did not have the many distractions that we have today, but they were still born as lost sinners who needed to choose whether they would believe in God or not.
We read that Cain chose not to believe in God. He chose to believe in a god, but not in God. Abel chose to believe in God. He had the same evidence before him as his brother Cain. Abel chose to believe the truth, rather than believing the lie.
Abel did not just have a secret faith. His belief affected his actions. We read in our text that both men chose to bring an offering to God. Cain was a gardener and took some of his best produce and brought that for a burnt offering to God. Abel was a “keeper of sheep” and he chose the best of his flock and prepared it and brought it for a burnt offering to God.
The Bible tells us that God had respect to Abel’s offering, but He did not have respect to Cain’s offering. Abel did not need to go prancing around his brother and taunt him about this. Cain knew that God had rejected his offering and he knew that God had accepted Abel’s offering. Jealousy is sin. Jealousy is an unjust emotion of man. It is a resentment expressed toward another person, brought on because someone received something you did not receive. You did not receive it because you did not meet the required standard, but you do not like being rejected.
Cain allowed his wicked heart to dominate his life. He could not help it because he had already chosen to reject God. As a lost sinner, his sin nature dominated his life and his response was the result of that wicked heart. I John 3:12 tells us that Cain “was of that wicked one”. His response was not right, but it was expected due to his sinful nature.
We read in verse 5 of our text that Cain was very wroth and his countenance fell. He was burning up with anger and he showed it in his face.
In verse 6 we see that God knew what Cain was doing. He had a righteous standard that Cain did not want to meet. Cain could not meet that standard because he did not believe in the true God. He did not want to meet God’s righteous standard. He wanted God to lower His righteous standard.
This is the same thing we find in New Evangelicalism. It starts with a corruption of the Word of God which thus makes provision for the flesh. Once the righteous standard is removed, then there is all kinds of license to do as we please. When man rejects the holiness of God, then the wickedness of the flesh will dominate and the will of God will be revised. We must understand that even though people may seek to revise the will of God, in reality, it cannot be changed.
God approached Cain in verse 6. God did not come with fear and trepidation. He came as the holy and righteous God that He is and He addressed Cain with a heart of love and compassion. That is Who God is. Biblical love and compassion do not mean compromise and carelessness. God questioned Cain’s response to what God had done. Was Cain truly justified in being angry because God was righteous?
How many times have we witnessed a child who sticks out their bottom lip and pouts because they did not get what they wanted. They have no right to pout, but many parents seek to appease the pouting child rather than address the problem Biblically.
In our text, God did not need to change what He had done. He did not need to apologize for what He had done. The problem was not with God.
A parent does not need to apologize to the pouting child. He or she does not need to give in to that child. The sooner the child realizes that pouting does not help, the better off the child will be. It does not help to start calling the child names either. It helps to address the sin Biblically.
God told Cain what the problem was. He gave Cain wise counsel. Cain could resolve this problem right there. He could repent and trust in God as His God right then and there and he could then bring a proper sacrifice to God. God was not being unreasonable and He was not expecting anything from Cain that he could not do. Abel was not a greedy brother who would charge an exorbitant fee for Cain to be able to purchase a lamb from him for a proper sacrifice. They could have bartered with Cain’s vegetables and Abel’s lamb. It would have worked, but Cain had a heart problem.
Cain rejected God’s wise counsel and he chose to follow his corrupted emotions. He went out and killed his brother. We read that he talked to his brother Abel, and chose to kill him.
The LORD again approached Cain and asked him where his brother Abel was. God knew where he was. God was giving Cain the opportunity to turn to God in repentance. Cain was not interested in that. He lied about the situation. He claimed ignorance. He was a fool to think he could get away with that in the presence of the LORD.
The LORD showed Cain that He knew exactly what had happened. He knew that Abel’s blood was crying out to God for justice. Abel did not deserve what he had received. Abel was not suffering. He was resting in God. However, Cain’s violence needed to be addressed.
God did not accept any of Cain’s actions. In verse 11 God cursed him further. Man was already under the curse due to Adam’s sin. Now Cain was going to find life even more difficult. He would not do well in his farming ventures. He also would be a fugitive in the earth. He would need to keep a look out for anyone who might want to attack him and kill him. Criminals can never be at peace. They always have to watch out for someone who might want to attack them. They live in a violent world. They might try to run from it, but they cannot hide against it. Trouble will follow them.
In verse 13 Cain complained that the LORD had made his punishment too severe. Cain did not want to repent. He insisted that God change His righteous standard. God did not appease Cain. He had given him all the opportunity he needed to repent. Cain rejected all of God’s counsel.
God did not all of a sudden call Cain a righteous man. Cain died a wicked man. He died in his sin because he chose not to repent. He insisted on living his way, in spite of God’s clear counsel to him.
As we look at the multitudes of people today who want religion, but they want it on their terms, we who are truly saved need to be careful that we do not endorse this rebellion. We are not God. We do not need to play God. All we need to do is obey God’s Word.
Cain chose to be angry with his brother and kill him. Throughout the Bible we see righteous men who have been attacked by ungodly people. The righteous do not need to find a way to accommodate the ungodly. The ungodly will be held accountable for their sin. Righteous people sometimes seem to get the “short end of the stick” on this earth. However, as with Abel, he was the righteous one. He is resting in peace today. Cain died and went to hell. He will be resurrected and stand at the great white throne one day and he will see his wicked deeds opened before him and he will then be cast into the lake of fire. God’s justice will be done. We do not do the wicked any favours when we try to white wash their wicked hearts. It does not change anything. We might be able to deceive them into thinking they are ok, but God has already declared who is ok. Only those who follow the example of Abel are declared righteous. Those who want to follow the way of Cain are in trouble. The truth shall make them free if they choose to accept it.