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Saturday, December 29, 2018

GENESIS – An Expositional Overview of the Beginning of God’s Revelation: Chapter Four


Contributing commentaries by Sonny Islas and James Fire     

Notes on GENESIS 4 (and 5) by Lambert Dolphin - Adam's Account Part II: 

Commentary on GENESIS by Ray Stedman -

Chapter Four – by pastor Sonny Islas
[Note: supplemental commentary and notations in italics are mine, James Fire].


At this point God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden due their disobedience lest they stay there and eat of the Tree of Life and live in their sinful state forever. Eve chose to obey the word of Satan and Adam chose to obey the word of Eve, when they all should have obeyed the Word of God. In their fallen sinful condition, Eve gives birth to two sons, Cain and Abel.

GENESIS 4:1 
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.


The meaning of Cain’s Name and the great misunderstanding.

When Eve gave birth to Cain she said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.”

At first glance, Eve’s statement seems to have no real significance, but the name Cain means “acquired” or possessed.
Some bible scholars believe that Adam and Eve thought that through the birth of Cain, they had “acquired” or possessed the promised “seed/Jesus” that would crush Satan (GEN 3:15).

In other words, Eve is saying “I have given birth to the Messiah” but in reality, Eve gave birth to a first degree murderer. On the other hand, approximately four thousand years after this point, Mary gave birth to He Who is truly the Messiah.

GENESIS 4:2
And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

The meaning of Abel’s name and both of their occupations.
Eve named her second son Abel which means: "breath, vapor, vanity or nothing – which points to his short life".

This is something which may truly be said of us all, in the light of eternity:
JAMES 4:14 
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

It is of vital importance that we turn to the Eternal and Holy LORD of Life and there find salvation from this terribly short lifespan that will end in eternal hellfire if we refuse such salvation.

“Abel was a keeper of sheep and Cain was a tiller of the ground.” Abel was a shepherd and Cain was a farmer. One worked with sheep and the other with fruits and vegetables - respectable occupations of their day.

This points to the first men being more than capable – brilliant really. They were strong and knowledgeable unlike the dumb 'caveman' and supposed 'ape-men' school text books teach about. 

Even in the earliest chapters of the Bible, there are such craftsmen and skilled workers of considerable technological know-how. An example is Tubal-cain:

GENESIS 4:22
And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah
.


Continuing to vs. 3 to 6:

GENESIS 4:3-6
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

Cain and Abel come before the LORD as an act of worship to bring an offering.
Cain brought fruit and Abel  brought firstborn lambs (which is symbolic, a biblical type of Jesus – “Behold, The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the worldJOHN 1:29).

Let us remember that when the LORD brought judgment upon Adam and Eve, when it came to Adam, the LORD cursed the ground (GEN 3:17)that the Man would work "by the sweat of your brow". Thus would anything growing up from the ground would also incur such a curse? Would that be one reason why such offerings (at this time) would be unacceptable, in addition to considerations brought up by pastor Sonny? That is a possibility.

The text says that the “LORD respected (or accepted or was pleased with) Abel and his offering but did not respect Cain and (and in a sense, we are one with our offerings*) his offering.” But why? They both brought something – so what’s the big deal?

* This is the reason why the LORD looks to the heart of the one bringing the offering, as well as the offering. Any offering that was brought under Levitical law, had to be without blemish, and had other strict requirements as well. But even if these are all correct, but our hearts are wrong, the LORD is offended with such offerings; see ISAIAH 1; esp. vs. 10-16.

HEBREWS 11:4 gives us the answer – 
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.  
Abel’s offering (gift, animal sacrifices) continues to say that sinners are still only saved by faith in the great sacrifice – Jesus Christ!

“By faith” Abel believed in the forgiveness of sins only by the shedding of blood just as God had showed Adam and Eve in GEN 3:21 where God sacrificed an animal to cover their nakedness.

HEBREWS 9:22 says, 
without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Abel knew and believed this and proved it by sacrificing firstborn lambs, but Cain didn’t.

I find it interesting that when Adam and Eve sought a remedy for their sin, they resorted to the use of fig leaves, but God slew an animal and shed blood, using the skins of such to cover them.
Likewise Cain sought for an offering for sin by his crop, rather than by the shedding of blood. 

In the New Age/Spirituality movement, many adherents are vegetarian and view the slaughter of animals, the shedding of blood as barbaric and even an offense to their 'God'.

Abel offered the fat of the lambs and listen to what LEVITICUS 3:16 says, 
and the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma; all the fat is the Lord’s. – Abel understood and practiced this way before the Levitical Priesthood came about under Mosaic Law.

Most likely the way in which Abel knew his offering was accepted and Cain’s wasn’t was through fire coming down from heaven and consuming his sacrificed lambs – we see this in 2 CHRON 7:1 when Solomon dedicate the first Temple and in other places as well as Elijah and Mount Carmel.

Here we see that Cain represents works-based religion and Abel represents faith-based salvation.
Cain represented works based on his own merit: man’s way based on and leading to disobedience and pride. This is dead works (HEB 9:14) and false religion (JER 7). Cain was a worldly man who saw no need for forgiveness and so was separated from God.
Abel, on the other hand, represented faith unto salvation, which is God’s way, based on and leading to obedience and humility. Abel was a godly man, who saw his need for forgiveness as a sinner, in need of a Savior. Abel looked to Jesus “The Promised Seed” (GEN 3:15) by faith.

Cain’s offering was more of a thank offering (LEV 7:13-15) and through it he acknowledged the LORD as Creator. But that is where he stopped; he came short of acknowledging God as Savior and Redeemer - in contrast with his brother:

Abel’s offering was a sin offering (EXOD 29:14,36) and through it he acknowledged the LORD as Savior and Redeemer.

By the way, in the OT, animals have always been sacrificed so that God could spare sinful men. Animals died in our place just as Christ died in our place. Some would say that God had a blood-lust, was cruel in His demand for these animal sacrifices. 
But it was either the animals to be sacrificed or His people that He loves! Sin must be paid for, the Holy God, the Judge of all the Earth demands it!
This is why the Lamb of God was offered up as our sacrifice - it was either all of us, or Him, and God the Father, out of love for us, chose His only begotten Son. THANK YOU LORD (And besides all of this, the meat from these offerings was then given to the priest and their families to eat and enjoy in the LORD’s presence. What a good God we serve)!

The text says, that Cain became very angry with God but because he couldn’t murder God, he murdered his little brother instead. 
As we fast-forward approximately four thousand years later, what Cain couldn't do, we see man murders God in Christ on the cross. And for very much the same reason: because man prefers his own religion to God's way of righteousness!
Yet on the gloriously bright side, man’s evil act of crucifying God became their salvation! This baffles the Cain’s (the self-righteous) of our day!!!

GENESIS 4:7
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.


God gives Cain a chance to do right.

God says, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” What does it mean to "do well"? It means to obey by faith what God wants – in this case a blood sacrifice for sin by faith. It’s to do life and salvation His way -  through faith and obedience (EPH 2:8-9; ROM 10:16; 2 THESS 1:8; 1 PET 4:17).

“And if you don’t do well, sin lies (or crouches like a hungry lion) at the door. And its desire is for you (to destroy), but you should rule over it.” Cain was given a chance to repent and overcome/rule over sin by admitting his failure, humbling himself and doing sacrifice and offerings God’s way. But nope! Pride wouldn’t let him! He chose his works over faith.

Cain murders Abel
GENESIS 4:8 
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

Instead of repenting of his sin, Cain commits first degree murder (premeditated and well planned). Cain was the first murderer and Abel the first Martyr because he was killed for his faith and righteous living. 1 JOHN 3:12b says, “why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.”

God interrogates Cain the cold-blooded murderer
GENESIS 4:9
9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?


God didn't misplace Abel, or lose him; that wasn't the reason for God's question: “Where is your brother Abel?” In other words, come clean Cain (or dirty! Confess your sin!). This points to the fact that we will all give an account to how we’ve cared for our brothers and sisters in Christ, how we’ve treated them. 

In MATT 25:35 Jesus says, 
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in

MATT 25:40 says, 
The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

Cain reply’s “I don’t know” - playing dumb and outright lying to God’s face. Then to add gas to the flame, Cain smart-mouths God by saying “Am I my brothers’ keeper?” In other words, he’s not my problem or responsibility, he’s Yours! However, we are our brother’s keeper! 

PHILIPPIANS 2:3-5
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (see also JOHN 15:12-13; ROM 16:4; PHIL 1:8)

Now comes the disciplining hand of God!
GENESIS 4:10-15
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

God cursed the ground Cain tills (curses are the result of sin – God also curses the religious self-righteous works of men) – no more fruit and veggies for you Cain! God also drove Cain off and away from His benevolent presence to live out his remaining days as a vagabond - a bum . . . 

But because Cain showed a speck of humility, God showed a large measure of mercy by putting a mark of protection on Cain and made a decree that if anyone kills Cain (takes vengeance) God will do to them seven times over! This gave Cain some peace. God is very merciful, even to the wicked.

Cain lived a godless life.
GENESIS 4:16
Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD

Cain gets married.
GENESIS 4:17
17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch
.


“Cain knew his wife” – who was Cain’s wife? – the golden question. The only biblical and reasonable answer is that he obviously married his sister (not an alien, not a member of another family in the Garden of Eden) because it says in:

ACTS 17:26
And He (God) has made from one blood (Man/Adam) every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth,” – This wasn’t considered incest until LEV 18 because the bloodline was still very pure. So, don’t go thinking you could marry your cousin!

For more on this, see the brief article from GOTQUESTIONS.org:

WHY DID GOD ALLOW INCEST IN THE BIBLE?

GENESIS 4:18-19
18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

Cain’s godless family line and the first-time marriage becomes distorted.

One of Cain’s offspring decides he wants to go Mormon (polygamy)! “Then Lamech (powerful) took (this may have been forceful) for himself TWO WIVES:” In GEN 2:24 God clearly starts the pattern of marriage between one man and one woman – “two (not three) shall become one flesh.” Even when married brothers watch porn or check out other women our attitude is like Lamech’s. Again, this is a blatant defiance of God’s way of doing marriage.

GENESIS 4:20-24
20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
21 And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

Again, what we are seeing here, is not primitive humans, cave-dwellers with ape-like characteristics and lacking intellect or understanding!

GENESIS 4:25
25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
God gives Seth to Eve in place of Abel
.


Seth means: Compensation, replacement or reward (and appointed).

Eve says, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel…” Seth was to take the place of Abel and both continue the faith and eventually bring about the Messiah – Jesus the Christ!

GENESIS 4:26
26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord
.


Through Seth, revival takes place!


Then (after the birth of Enosh: man) men began to call on the Name of the LORD” After Abel was murdered by Cain, true worship had declined. But now that God raised a righteous man in place of Abel a revival broke out.

To “call on the Name of the LORD” means to call on Him to save, to forgive, also as an act of worship, to trust, to pray and even to preach in His Name i.e. Enoch, (JUDE 1:14) preached the coming of the LORD for 300 yrs. (GEN 5:22). (If we desire a revival in our hearts, family, church and nation, we must PRAY!)

The bible has many verses that refer to “calling upon the Name of the LORD.” But in ROM 10:13 Paul says, referring to Jesus “For whoever calls on the Name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved.”

This is clearly pointing to Jesus being Yahweh the Son. Jesus is the same LORD that Seth and His descendants called upon! And the same that Enoch and Noah preached about by faith.

So how is that here we have a great revival then in chapter 6 we have pure wickedness and the flood? The only reasonable explanation is that from Enoch to Noah (approx. a one thousand year span) there was a great spiritual downgrade (a great apostasy). Amen.

1 comment:

Biranchi said...

Thank you for sharing.keep up the good work

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