Entering God's Holy Presence
We are studying and learning about how God had revealed Himself to those who lived at the start of our world. Today let's really think about Cain and Abel. The Bible refers to Abel as righteous. In Hebrews it is Abel who heads the list of God's faithful, Heaven-bound servants. We need to follow his example.
But here in the Lost World we also meet Abel's brother Cain. God warns us that Cain is the one who started a way of life that leads to the most dreadful ending there could be. The "way of Cain" leads to death without Christ, death with one's sins, and death eternally in the blackness of Hell. Thus we need to heed the bad example of Cain. We need to avoid at all costs "the way of Cain."
To experience these elements and lessons of the Lost World, a mysterious part of human history involving up to 7 billion people who were alive on this planet before the Flood, open with me to the last verse of Genesis 3.
"After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man." Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock."
WHAT WAS AT THE EAST OF EDEN?
- God's Word is fascinating. When we slow down and look closely it all starts fitting together. So it is with Cain and Abel. To understand the enormity of God's love.
- To experience the reality of the revelation of God's way of salvation.
- To shudder at the gravity of Cain's sin, we need to see the hardness of Cain's heart in the face of the EVIDENT HOLY PRESENCE OF GOD. What I mean is, Cain got to see what few have ever seen. Cain and Abel were raised in the HOLY PRESENCE OF GOD!
- To find this lesson the Lost World offers us we need to look at that one word in v. 24. The word CHERUBIM tells us a vast amount about this time in history. Why?
CHERUBIM ALWAYS SPEAK OF GOD'S HOLY PRESENCE
Cherubim are "of the highest order or class, created with indescribable powers and beauty." Their main purpose and activity might be summarized in this way: they are proclaimers and protectors of God's glorious presence, His sovereignty, and His holiness."
- Here in v. 24 they stood guard at the gate of the Garden of Eden, preventing sinful man from accessing the Tree of Life and preventing Satan from hindering the sacrificial altar (Genesis 3:24);
- But most revealing about the CHERUBIM is the fact that they attended the glory of God in Ezekiel's vision (Ezekiel 1). There we find that Cherubim had an extraordinary appearance with four faces—that of a man, lion, ox, and eagle. They had four wings and feet like a calf, gleaming like burnished bronze. And in Ezekiel 1 they attended the glory of God preparatory for judgment.
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