Published January 1, 2009
Genesis 4:1-16, 25-26
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, Jan 18
I remember as my wife Marybeth and I prepared for the birth of our first child. We were so excited! We had the nursery in the pastorium that was beautifully decorated. Nothing could be too good for our baby!
Finally, the day arrived. No one could have been as proud as we were of our child. In our eyes, little Andrew was as perfect as could be!
I think that any parent can relate to these feeling of having a child. There is something magical about giving birth! What hope does that child bring? Will he or she find the cure for cancer? Will they be used of God to share the gospel across a lost and dying world?
When a child is born, there is always hope for future. One must remember that a child’s birth is a gift from God!
As we look in Genesis 4, we are reminded of this wonderful gift as Adam and Eve experienced the first human birth ever to take place. As Eve held little Cain in her arms, she must have glowed with joy. She had given birth and with this birth was hope. Perhaps this child could love and serve God!
However, it was not to be! This cute little baby was destined to be the world’s first murderer. After Cain’s birth, his brother Abel was born.
We are told in Genesis 4:2-5, that Cain was a farmer and Abel a shepherd. Both offered offerings to the Lord. Abel’s was accepted while Cain’s was rejected.
Why was that? Many have speculated, but it is my opinion, that the rejection and acceptance was due to the attitude of the heart. It was obvious that Cain had a heart angry toward God. Therefore, his offering was rejected. When his offering was rejected he reacted in anger not toward God, but toward an innocent party, his brother.
In verse 8, Cain lures his brother into the field, and kills him in cold blood. What a horrible and calculated murder. This was not done in passion or anger; this was premeditated murder!
God confronts Cain. God already knows what has happened. One cannot hide from God. God knows our hearts. But, God wants to confront Cain. He wants Cain’s heart to be opened like a book.
Cain readily agrees by lying to the Creator of life. He answers callously with “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This shows the true heart of this man. There is no sadness for the mindless murder of his brother, only resentment that he was caught.
God then curses Cain with the inability to be what he loves. He is no longer a farmer and then sends him into exile. Cain again reacts. Not out of guilt or sadness, but out of anger that he was found out.
But God in His mercy protects Cain from danger by giving him a special mark. Cain will go on to live a long life, but never again will it be the same. He will be separated from those who gave birth to him and loved him the rest of his life. His poor parents, at the death of Abel, lost not only one son, but really two sons. Cain had squandered something most sacred. He had taken human life!
The twentieth century and now the twenty-first century have been proven to be the most bloody and inhumane of all time. Humanity has shown great skill in killing each other many times over. People seem desensitized to killing and think nothing of it.
In spite of the millions poured into law enforcement and education, crime is at record highs. Murder is rampant. All one has to do is watch the evening news or read the daily paper to see how man inhumanly treats one another. We live in a calloused age.
That even goes to killing the unborn. We have witnessed many who have no problem supporting or practicing the mindless murder of the unborn child. There are those in high places in secular academia now encouraging the inhuman practice of prematurely taking the lives of the terminally ill or mentally ill. It is now common practice to routinely end the pregnancies when the unborn child is found to be carrying the gene for Down’s syndrome.
Practices once associated with Nazism are now being contemplated as common practices in this “brave new world” in which we live. Like Cain, humanity has thrown off all pretenses of holiness and goodness and seeks to do what is right in its own eyes.
When society forgets God the end result is evil. That is what we are experiencing. Many in this world have said it is time to throw off the vestiges of Christianity and all the humane teachings that go along with it and throw caution to the wind. If something gets in your way, kill it, get rid of it, push it aside.
What can the Christian do to help turn this terrible tide?
Pray for those involved in these violent practices. Pray for a change of heart for those caught up in crime. Pray for the abortionist to find Christ, for one who devalues human life to meet the One who creates life.
Take a Christian stand on the issues. Do not become desensitized to the issues, but keep informed of the subjects. Don’t be afraid to discuss and confront in a godly loving way.
Elect politicians who hold the same values. While we can’t change the world through the government, we can allow our Christian politicians to also be salt and light in a world that desperately needs it.
Realize that God is on His throne. He is aware of what is going on. Allow Him, ultimately, to be the judge.
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