Genesis 4

A close study of chapter 4 shows that there is a close connection with chapter 3.

In chapter 3 we see the beginning of sin in man.

In chapter 4 we see sin’s progress and fruits.

One of the great principles shown in each chapter is that God can only be approached by sinful man by means of a blood sacrifice.

v.21—“The Lord God made coats of skin and clothed them.”

This was the first Gospel sermon ever preached on earth.

By clothing Adam and Eve with these skins God taught them four lessons:

1. In order for a guilty sinner to approach a holy God he needed a suitable covering.

2. That the aprons of fig leaves which their own hands had made were not acceptable to Him.

3. That God Himself must provide the covering.

4. That the necessary covering could only be obtained through death.

This in essence is the Gospel message which we preach today.

Man is lost in sin and cannot approach God without the wedding garment.

All his righteousnesses are as filthy rags.

God Himself must provide the means of salvation.

Salvation is of the Lord.

This salvation could only be obtained through the death of another. “Behold the Lamb of God,” etc.—John 1:29.

All this was accomplished at Calvary by our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is the only way of salvation.

“For there is no other name”, “I am the Way,” etc.

I believe it is necessary to understand the principle laid down in chapter 3 to get the import of the right and wrong of chapter 4.

In process of time Cain and Abel were born.

It is beyond question that these young men knew how to approach God. Their parents had taught them.

Hebrews 11:4 tells us that it was “by faith” that Abel presented his sacrifice to God.

Romans 10:17 tells us that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

The time came when it was opportune/necessary for these young men to approach God on their own.

This is the first act of worship recorded in human history.

In coming to God Cain and Abel are representatives of two great classes of people:

1. They typify the lost and the saved.

2. The self-righteous and the broken-spirited repentant.

3. The formal professor and the genuine believer.

4. Those who rely on their own works and those who rest on the finished work of Christ.

5. Those who insist upon salvation by human merits and those who are willing to be saved by Divine grace.

6. Those who are rejected and cursed by God, and those who are accepted and blessed.

Into one of these classes all of you fall.

v.3—Cain’s offering—the fruit of the ground.

Cain was not an infidel or atheist.

He acknowledged the existence of God and he was prepared to worship him in his own way.

His offering was a bloodless one—it was the fruit of his own toil—the work of his own hands.

No doubt it was a very beautiful offering.

But the tragic thing about this is that in presenting this offering to God,

1. Cain deliberately turned his back on God’s revealed will.

2. He denied that he was a fallen creature.

3. He denied that he was a guilty sinner.

4. He approached God on the ground of personal worthiness.

Cain represents the natural man.

Those who turn their back upon the blood of the Cross.

Cain represents the class of people who reject the finished work of Christ and who depend on works of righteousness.

Cain is the father of the Pharisee, who prides himself that he is superior to the contritious Publican and who boasts of morality and self-righteousness.

Jude 11 says “Woe unto them who have gone in the way of Cain.”

Isaiah 64:6 says “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.”

Story of rich lady whose servant had been saved.

v.4—“Abel brought of the firstling of his flock.” “And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.”

1. In bringing this offering Abel confessed that he was a fallen creature, a guilty sinner.

2. He acknowledge that he was worthy of death.

3. By offering a lamb he admitted that his only hope of salvation was in the shedding of its blood.

This is what his parents had taught him—he believed it—and “by faith” presented his offering to God.

This is what constitutes saving faith. It is believing God’s Word and acting on it.

“Cast your net on the right side of the ship.”

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” etc.

“Come unto Me,” etc.

The picture now is of the offerings lying on the altar, waiting for God’s approval.

By comparing later Scriptures we may safely assume that God showed His acceptance by consuming the offering by fire.

So then as the two brothers waited for God to speak, fire suddenly appeared and consumed the lamb. Cain’s sacrifice was left intact on the altar.

The difference between Cain and Abel was not in their characters, but in their offerings.

In one word, it was the difference of blood.

Abel was accepted because he offered to God a bleeding lamb.

Cain was rejected because he refused to offer such.

Here then we trace back to their fountainhead the two streams which empty themselves into Heaven and Hell.

The dividing line between them is blood.

“Without the shedding of blood.”

“The blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin.”

That was the dividing line between the Egyptians and the Israelites.

“When I see the blood I will pass over you”—Exodus 12.

“God be merciful to me a sinner”—Luke 18.

The final test in the last day of judgment.

“All whose names are not found written in the Lamb’s book of life were cast into the lake of fire.”

The tragedy of refusing the blood.

Store of German officer.

Where did Cain get his wife? Land of Nod—wandering.

The first instance of polygamy—Lamech, v.19.

When Cain found that his offering had been rejected by God, he was very angry.

v.6—God asks him why he is angry.

v.7—God then reasons with Cain: “If you had offered the correct sacrifice, would you not have been accepted.”

The act of refusal substantiated the fact of guilt.

Yet there was no sign of repentance.

God then offers the remedy.

“A sin offering lieth at your tent door.”

The same Hebrew word can be translated “sin” or “sin offering.”

Though Cain had refused to come in the appointed way, God made another appeal for him to bring the required offering.

Though Cain had refused to come in the appointed way, God made another appeal for him to bring the required offering.

He evidently refused and as far as we know was lost.

Cain’s worship, like many in our day, was merely “a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.”—2 Timothy 3:5.

It lacked genuineness and reality. Pharisee—Publican.

The widow’s mite— reality/heart. Hypocrite—actor.

“There is a way which seems right unto a man, but,” etc.—Proverbs 14:12, 16:28.

Conversion is of the intellect—emotions—will—heart.

Cain refused the God-appointed way of salvation.

Present “the way” at this point. The plan of salvation.

Man’s ruin—God’s remedy—Man’s responsibility.

Will you accept this way—in other words will you accept Jesus Christ? Or will you be like Cain and refuse it?

The Murder of Abel

v.8—“Cain slew his brother Abel.”

When asked by God where Abel was, Cain replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”—v.9.

v.10—“The voice of your brother’s blood cries unto me from the ground.”

Sin cannot be hidden.

Tribes—families—households—man by man.

God saw Cain’s crime and God sees every sin.

This is a solemn lesson. “Be not deceived,” etc.

“Be sure your sin will find you out.”

“For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.”

Simon the sorcerer.

Cain made no attempt to confess his sin—instead he tried to cover it up, but Abel’s blood cried to God from the ground.

v.11—Cain was cursed. v.12—The ground would withhold its sustenance from him—he would be a fugitive and a wanderer all his life. Day of Reckoning—Ecclesiastes 11:9. Cut off from God—“My spirit shall not always strive with man.

v.13—“My punishment is greater than I can bear.”

Although realizing something of what he had done, his mind is more occupied with his punishment than with the sin that caused it.

This will be the cry of the lost in the “Lake of fire.”

The punishment of the unsaved will be unbearable, but will have to be endured forever. Luke 16—Great gulf fixed.

“From Your face shall I be hidden.” Cain dreaded the thought.

This will be one of the most terrible features of the sinner’s punishment—eternally banished from God.

Spiritual death.

Alone in the blackness of darkness.

v.16—“And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.”

What a tragedy—His descendants were destroyed in the flood. They were clever but godless. Seth was born—men began to call on God.

Peter went out from the presence of Christ and wept bitterly.

Judas went out from the presence of Christ and it was night.

He could have repented and would have been forgiven.

Describe his death.

The blood of Abel is mentioned in the NT—Hebrews 12:24.

Abel’s blood cried for judgment.

The blood of Christ brings peace and forgiveness.

“The blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son cleanseth us from all sin.”