March 15, 2017

Please use the comment section on this page to share insights from today’s reading OR your own personal Bible reading.

Reading along with us in Genesis? Here’s today’s reading:

Genesis 4 (ESV)

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”… Continue Reading

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This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. It didn’t take us long as a race to go from selfish desires to jealousy and murder. I used to wonder why God wasn’t happy with Cain’s offering but came to see the significance of how it is written. Gen 4:3 says that “Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground”, which seems to be reasonable since Cain was a tiller of the soil or farmer. Gen 4:4 says “and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions”. It seems to me that the “firstborn” or first fruits is the difference. As though Cain felt some sort of grudging obligation and Abel was offering in thanksgiving and honor to the giver of all things. Even at that the Lord gave Cain a chance to adjust his attitude, and I believe in love warned him that sin was crouching at the door and he must “rule over it”. Ultimately, Cain seemed to justify his own shortcomings by turning on his brother in jealousy and slaying him, another first for mankind- murder. When God asked him where his brother was, Cain became a petulant whiner. When God told him he would henceforth be a wanderer and a vagabond, he complained that the punishment was too hard! The dude had just killed his brother and he was blaming God for being too harsh! Even though God marked him so that no one would kill him but I sense that fear for his life never left him even with God’s mark. What a difference faith and trust can make.
    Even though God had said Cain would be a wanderer, we find him now starting a family and building a city. Still bearing pride and arrogance in the face of God.
    In verses 20 thru 22 some of Cains offspring are named. The fact that what these different individuals did for their occupations I think speaks to the importance God puts on what we do in regards to the various gifts and abilities he gives each of us.
    Lamech maintains family tradition when he kills a young man for “wounding” him.
    I find the final line in verse 26 interesting, “at that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.”

  2. Life outside the garden was certainly different than it was on the inside. God creates and it’s good. Man procreates and it’s not. Eve gives birth first to Cain and then Abel (twins?) and before long, Cain kills Abel. The firstborn after “The Fall” murders his brother.

    Leading up to the first recorded killing in human history, I see a glimpse into at least part of Cain’s motives for murdering Abel. Genesis 4:3-5 says, “In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.”

    While the text does not explicitly explain why Abel’s offering was acceptable and Cain’s was not or why the Lord had regard for Abel and not Cain, as I look closely at Genesis 4:3, it says, “Cain brought to the Lord AN offering of THE fruit.” But Genesis 4:4 says, “Abel also brought of the FIRSTBORN of his flock and of their fat portions.”

    Is this why God had regard for Abel and not Cain? Because Abel offered a “firstfruit” offering to God and Cain did not?

    Hebrews 11:4 says, “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” We read in 1 John 3:11–12, “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.”

    Cain’s reaction was not seeking to understand why he was not regarded or why his offering was not accepted. Instead, he got angry. To me, this implies Cain would rather God take whatever he felt like giving Him.

    Abel thought of God before himself and gave to Him firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. Cain’s regard for God amounts to giving Him leftovers.

    Where are we in this story?

  3. I read John 2 this morning, and am again struck by what Jesus said in response to His mother’s concern for the wine having run out at the wedding. What had been their relationship up to this point, that she would go to Him? His response is what makes me wonder that.

  4. How quickly things go south! From Cain’s pride over the offering to anger over the rejection of it to the first murder. God has placed a great value on human life and has gone to great lengths to show that.

  5. So sorry that I have not been posting here. I do my devotions at night and have not yet been able to log on with my home computer….but certainly the point in these first few chapters of Genesis is pretty clear. The sharp contrast between the perfect order, perfect provision and perfect relationships that God brings and the disorder, destructive provision and broken relationships that satan and sin bring. How the mighty have fallen from God’s purpose to selfishness.

    I too was struck by God’s different response to the offerings brought by Abel and Cain and the problem must have been in the heart since grain offerings were accepted by God in Leviticus. But I love the chance for recovery provided by God and the warning of what waits for Cain if he doesn’t choose the path encouraged by God. 4:7 “If you do what is right will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door: it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

    And we all live that out every day, don’t we? At least I do, but I can’t imagine I am the only one. I do like how doing what is right is a defense against the influence of sin though….

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