January 2

Genesis 4 -- 6

Adam and Eve were created without sin and were to be in submission to their Creator. This would assure a glorious and peaceful life. But, when they chose to be independent, to make their decisions without God, to be free from what God had to say, they forfeited life and became sinners who were dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). The physical, social, spiritual, and eternal consequences of sin are staggering and irreversible. Because of Adam's sin, all mankind inherited his sin nature (Romans 5:12).
It did not take long for Adam and Eve's sin nature to become evident. Soon their firstborn son Cain became jealous of his brother Abel and angry with God because his own worship and sacrifice were unacceptable. Abel . . . brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect for Abel and to his offering [received it with favor]: But for Cain and his offering He had not respect. Cain was very angry (Genesis 4:4-5).
God approached Cain in love and offered him an opportunity to repent of his sin: The Lord said to Cain . . . If you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door (4:6-7). Cain had sinned and needed forgiveness, for without shedding of blood there is no remission (Hebrews 9:22). While Cain's thanksgiving offering of the first fruits of the ground recognized God as Creator, it did not recognize Cain as a sinner. It is evident that Cain ignored what God had said.
The New Testament writer explains that, by faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts (11:4). Abel not only had brought the very best as a thanksgiving offering, but recognized himself as a sinner before a Holy God. He first brought of the firstlings of his flock and (then offered) of the fat thereof, which means he offered a blood sacrifice of an innocent lamb for atonement of his sins.
The genealogy of the sons of God (Genesis 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 fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. In man's judgment, it is often assumed that intermarriage of believers with nonbelievers can be an advantage. In this biblical account we read: When the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men who were of old, men of renown. The human heart could even swell with pride that these mixed marriages produced brilliant men of art, men of skill, men of might, and men of renown. But, they were not men who lived godly lives in obedience to God. The result was disastrous and exceedingly serious.
From the beginning, the biblical principle has always been: Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers (II Corinthians 6:14); The friendship of the world is enmity with God (James 4:4).
Word Studies:
4:4 had respect = approved; 4:5 wroth = exceedingly angry; 4:22 artificer = craftsman; 5:3 begat = fathered; 5:24 was not = translated to Heaven; 6:6 repented the Lord = was a grief to Him; 6:9 perfect = blameless.

Prayer:

Government Officials: Rep. Henry Bonilla (TX), Rep. Dennis Hastert (IL), Sec. Richard Riley (Dept. of Education), and Rep. Robert Wexler (FL) · BPM Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Pray for Stephen Wike, Media Management · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast sponsored by the Summer Institute of Linguistics, Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea · Country: Philippines (76 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Filipino and English · Religious persecution in some areas · 64% Roman Catholic; 11% Protestant; 8% indigenous Catholic; 8% Muslim; 7% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and praise God for His faithfulness and mercy in keeping all His promises (II Chronicles 6:14-15).
Optional Reading:
Matthew 2

Memory Verse for the Week:
Psalms 1:1