Read Genesis 4

Highlights:

Sacrifices of Cain and Abel; Cain murders Abel; genealogy from Adam to Noah; Noah's Ark.

God will forgive our sins when we repent and forsake our sins, but the physical and spiritual consequences are staggering and they are eternally irreversible. It did not take long for Adam and Eve's sin to become evident. Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. . . . And unto Adam He said . . . cursed is the ground for thy sake (because of what you have done) . . . Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth . . . In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground (Gen. 3:16-19). Physical death also became a reality as a result of their sin. Added to that, the LORD God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden (3:23).

Sin was now a characteristic of mankind. Adam and Eve's son Cain became jealous of his brother Abel and angry with God because Abel's sacrifice was “accepted” while his was rejected (4:4-5). The Lord approached Cain in love and offered him an opportunity to repent of his sin: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door (4:7). While Cain's offering of the firstfruits of the ground recognized God as Creator, it did not recognize Cain as a sinner. Without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness of sin) (Heb. 9:22). By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts (11:4). Abel brought the best as an offering. He apparently recognized himself as a sinner and brought. . . the firstlings of his flock, which means he offered a blood sacrifice of a lamb as atonement for his sins (Gen. 4:4; comp. Heb. 11:4; 12:24). In striking contrast, Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him (Gen. 4:8).

The genealogy of the sons of God (6:2,4) continued through Adam and Eve's third son Seth (5:3), through whose lineage Jesus would come (Luke 3:23-38). What often happens today is exactly what happened then: The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives (Gen. 6:2). It is assumed by some that marriage of believers (the sons of God) with nonbelievers (the daughters of men) may be acceptable. The heart could swell with pride that these mixed marriages produced brilliant men. They were mighty men . . . of old, men of renown (6:4). But, they were not men who lived in obedience to God.

From the beginning, the biblical principle has always been: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers . . . what part hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever)? And what agreement hath the Temple of God with idols? for ye are the Temple of the Living God (II Cor. 6:14-16).

Thought for Today:

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not (Rom. 7:18).

Christ Revealed:

Through Abel's blood sacrifice (Gen. 4:4-7). Christ is the Lamb of God, sacrificed for man's sin (John 1:29; Heb. 9:22; 11:4). Man's best achievements can never take the place of Christ's atonement made through His own sinless blood.

Word Studies:

4:4 had respect, approved; 4:5 wroth, exceedingly angry; 4:22 artificer, craftsman in metal; 5:3 begat, fathered; 5:24 was not, was translated to (disappeared into) heaven; 6:6 repented the LORD, grieved the Lord; 6:9 perfect, blameless.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Country: Malawi (10 million) in southeastern Africa • Major languages: English and Chichewa • Religious freedom • 34% Protestant; 23% Roman Catholic; 16% Muslim; 16% animist; 4% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Thank the Lord that you have no need to fear. Trust Him one day at a time (Matt. 6:33-34).

Optional Reading: Matthew 2

Memory Verse for the Week: John 3:14