Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tuesday - June 3 - Tiffany

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Kings 13-14; Psalm 110; Acts 21
Today's scripture focus is Genesis 4:1-16

Cain and Abel

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 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, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 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 for you, but you must rule over it.”
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

I've heard several sermons (and John MacArthur agrees) that somewhere along the line, God had commanded animal sacrifices. So when Cain brought "fruit of the ground" (we don't even know if it was the best of the crops, or the first harvest, or what), he wouldn't be following a command of animal sacrifice.

It could be that Cain's attitude about the offering wasn't correct.

Either way, Cain's offering wasn't accepted, and he was angry about it. And though Adam and Eve and their sons obviously still spoke with God, Cain took his anger out on his brother, Abel.
And like his parents before him, he didn't want to face his sin.

Cain doesn't repent in these verses, he just complains that God handed him a death sentence.

God's mercy is ever present. Even in Cain's sin, his unrepentant heart, his turning from the presence of the Lord, God protects him from being killed the same way he, Cain, killed Abel.

God gives us every chance we need. His mercy and love never fails.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Genesis 4:17-26
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 1 Kings 15-16; Psalm 111; Acts 22


TammyIsBlessed said...

His grace, mercy, and love is truly amazing.

TammyIsBlessed said...

The name choices for her sons is very interesting. Cain's name suggests that Eve hoped the promise of the one who would bruise the serpent's head would be fulfilled immediately with her firstborn - it symbolized both her faith and her hope. But Abel's name suggests that Eve realizes that the consequences of sin wouldn't be quickly done away with - it symbolized her despair.

It's also interesting that Cain was not irreligious - he believed in God and even wanted His approval - but he wanted it on his terms instead of God's.

A good lesson for parents in here as well. God did not compare Cain's sacrifice with Abel's (just like we should not compare our children with each other), but rather with the standard set by God Himself.

We also see the difference between worldly sorrow and godly sorry. Cain was not repentant. He was sorry he got caught, and he was sorry for the consequences of his sin, but he was not repentant. He turns away from God instead of towards God.

What's amazing to me is that at any point, Cain could have repented and God would've forgiven him. But he refused. I know we are sometimes tempted to purposefully sin, knowing that God will forgive us when we repent. The problem is that it's not "when" we repent, but "if". When we purposefully disobey God, we are hardening our hearts to Him - and we don't know when we will harden our hearts to the point of no return, as Cain did here.