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Pastor Brant Seacrist

MARCH 1, 2019

TEXT:  GENESIS 4:  1-16
READING: 1 JOHN 3:  1-24

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SUBJ: The beginning of the struggle of good and evil as it is seen in the murder of Abel because of jealousy and in total rebellion against the Lord.

AIM: That we might ever be reminded that “by one man sin entered into the world and death passed upon all” and that sin and death has become progressively worse and thus be driven to Christ.

INTR: The effects of the entrance of sin into the world are quickly presented to us in scripture and that which exists in the heart is soon manifested in action against God and all that He approves.
1. Cain and Abel have become symbols of this conflict, but we would be reminded that they were real people who have exemplified the stark distinctions in fallen man and the righteousness of God.
2. We must recognize that operations of evil is first and foremost directed against God and especially against Christ Jesus our Lord.
3. Again, as we look to this account we will try to avoid the oversimplistic storybook type of narration and rather seek to see the purpose of the Holy Spirit in preserving these things to us millennia later.

THESIS: The challenge of evil manifests the desire of the father of lies is seeking to establish dominance over the things of God and ultimately to wrest the power from God. He will rule in righteousness.

I. The birth of two sons (vv. 1-2)
1. The point in time of the first conception is not mentioned and may have occurred years from the fall. What is significant is that Even declared that she had gotten a man from the Lord and may have been remembering the prophesy about the seed of the woman.
1) Her expectation may have been tied to the promise. It is said that every Jewish woman wanted a son in hope that he might be that promised Messiah.
2) Nothing beyond what we know to be normal happened as to the conception and birth and
3) What we do know is that the DNA would have been identical and Adam’s dying body was passed on and so was his fallen nature.
2. Several questions arrive here (we will not spend much time on speculation) such as no conception being mentioned with the birth of Abel (they may have been twins) and some have supposed the birth of a twin sister with each of them.
3. What we do know is that sin made its first passage from Adam on into the world.
4. Of note here is that Adam was a farmer and Cain followed him in that while Abel was a shepherd.

II. A question of sacrifice (vv. 3-7)
1. An immediate distinction is made in that although Cain was the eldest, the sacrifice of Abel is mentioned first, and we learn that it was faith from Hebrews 11:4.
2. It seems evident that they had both been taught the form of worship and the proper manner of sacrifice before the Lord.
1) They would have heard of the promise of the seed of the woman and what He would do and
2) They would have surely connected the thought of sacrifice with the Lord’s provision.
3) The offering of a blood sacrifice as the proper manner and the fat belonged to the Lord. (Leviticus 3:16)
3. The problem with the offering of Cain was multiplied
1) It has been suggested by some that it may not have been what he offered so much as how he offered it. He could have obtained a blood sacrifice.
2) Jealousy seems to have entered here in that Cain was the eldest and the heir to the birthright, but in that his sacrifice was not accepted he may have feared the loss of status.
3) It may have been at this point that he perceived Abel as a threat.
4) The Lord’s response was doing well – implying obedience and compliance or
5) Sin was at the door (of conscience and heart) to place him into servitude. While this is the consensus as to the meaning here, many other thoughts have been suggested that do not seem to fit what happened.
6) The changed in countenance was a manifestation of his challenge to the authority of God and of defensiveness in contending to so as he would. Jude called it the way of Cain.
7) He would take it out on his brother.

III. The first murder (vv. 8-13; 14-17)
1. The cruelty of jealousy determines that it cannot leave it at rejecting something – it must try to assert dominance. It was more than just killing hid brother of whom he was jealous, it was to take away the one whom God approved.
2. It may have been that he thought that Abel was the seed that would crush the serpent.
3. Satan demands dominance and was launching an attack against all who he thought might be the promised seed.
4. The absence of repentance is notable. (Could Cain have been reconciled).
5. The blood of Abel spoke condemnation and God heard it. In Hebrews 12 we learn of the blood of Christ that speaks better things than that of Abel. It speaks forgiveness which Abel had by faith received.
6. The curse was expanded and intensified for Cain and he was preserved from immediate death and left to suffer in the misery that sin had brought upon him.
7. WE rejoice that Abel stands at the head of a long line of faithful saints who have looked the merciful provision of God in sending His own Lamb into the world that “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.