Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 1/02/2004

January 2

Read Genesis 4 -- 6

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. 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 . . . brought . . . the firstlings (firstborn) of his flock. . . . the LORD had respect to Abel and to his offering: But to Cain and to his offering He had not respect (Genesis 4:4-5). The Lord approached Cain in love and offered him an opportunity to repent of his sin: If you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door (4:7). While Cain's offering of the firstfruits of the ground recognized God as Creator, it did not acknowledge Cain as a sinner. The Scripture is clear: Without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness of sin) (Hebrews 9:22). 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 brought the best as a thanksgiving offering, but acknowledged himself a sinner when he brought. . . 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 eventually come (Luke 3:38).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 (Genesis 6:2). Even now, it is often assumed that marriage of believers with nonbelievers may be an advantage. Man's 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 . . . not unequally yoked together with unbelievers (II Corinthians 6:14).

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 (disappeared) to heaven; 6:6 repented the Lord = was a grief to Him; 6:9 perfect = blameless.

Christ Revealed:

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

Pray For:

Government Officials: Rep. Henry Bonilla (TX), Rep. Dennis Hastert (IL), and Rep. Robert Wexler (FL) · Country: Ireland (4 million) off the coast of western Europe · Major languages: English and Irish (Gaelic) · Religious freedom · 93% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and the Lord will free you from your fears (Psalm 34:4).

Optional Reading: Matthew 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 1:23

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