In Today's Reading:
Sacrifices of Cain and Abel; Cain murders Abel; genealogy from Adam to Noah; Noah's ark.
The physical, spiritual, and eternal consequences of sin are staggering and irreversible. It did not take long for Adam and Eve's sin nature to become evident. Their firstborn son Cain became jealous of his brother Abel and angry with God because his sacrifice was unacceptable.
Abel . . . presented . . . the firstborn of his flock. . . . The LORD had regard for Abel and his offering (received it with favor), but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering (Genesis 4:4-5). The Lord approached Cain in love and offered him an opportunity to repent of his sin: If you do right, won't you be accepted? But if you do not do right, sin is crouching at the door (4:6-7). While Cain's offering of the firstfruits of the ground recognized God as Creator, it did not recognize Cain as a sinner. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22). By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain. . . . he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts (11:4). Abel brought the best as a thanksgiving offering, but recognized himself as a sinner when he presented . . . the firstborn of his flock (Genesis 4:4), which means he offered a blood sacrifice of a lamb for atonement of his sins.
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 3:38).What often happens today is exactly what happened then: The sons of God saw that the daughters of men (the people who lived in disobedience to God) were beautiful; and . . . they chose wives for themselves (Genesis 6:2). It is often assumed that marriage of believers with nonbelievers may be an advantage. The heart could swell with pride that these mixed marriages produced brilliant men. They were powerful men of old, the famous men (6:4). But, they were not men who lived in obedience to God.
From the beginning, the biblical principle has always been: Do not be mismatched with unbelievers (II Corinthians 6:14).
Through Abel's blood sacrifice (Genesis 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 the atonement of Christ, made through His own sinless blood.
Government Officials: Rep. Henry Bonilla (TX), Rep. Dennis Hastert (IL), and Rep. Robert Wexler (FL) · Country: Kenya (29 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: English and Swahili · Religious freedom · 46% Protestant; 27% Roman Catholic; 17% belief in mystical powers; 6% Muslim; 3% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your words and thoughts will be pleasing to the Lord (Psalms 19:14).
Optional Reading: Matthew 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 1:23