Genesis 4-5 Notes
* One might assume that the reason Cain's sacrifice was not accepted and Abel's was is the material used for the sacrifice. Cain brought grain, Abel brought an animal. This is not true. Both were perfectly acceptable. the problem was that Abel brought the first fruits as an expression of faith and Cain brought the leftovers to satisfy the letter of the law.
* On Cain and Abel, Luther says, "This is the essence of our teaching. We teach and confess that a person, rather than his work, is accepted by God and that a person does not become righteous as a result of a righteous work, but that a work becomes righteous and good as a result of a righteous and good person."
* Commandments 1-3 deal with our relationship to God. Commandments 4-10 deal with our relationships to each other. The law thus governs every aspect of life. The Fall dealt with sins of the first table, Cain and Abel deals with sin of the second table.
* Note Cain's response to God when God points out his lack of faith. This is a natural reaction. We try to justify ourselves instead of repenting. God justifies us by grace through faith.
* Seth comes in the image of Adam. We lost the image of God in sin. The image of God was our perfection. Read Romans 5:15-21, Romans 8:29, and 1 Corinthians 15:20-22.
* Adam, as head of the household, was given the primary responsibility for the physical and spiritual welfare of the family. Thus the whole world was cursed because of him. (Romans 5:15-21, 1 Corinthians 15:20-22) The genealogy in chapter 5 records those who passed original sin by nature and the promise of Messiah by faith.
* Enoch has been a puzzle to many. Luther says the following... "therefore these words must be noted and carefully impressed on our hearts: that Enoch was taken away and received, not by some patriarch, not by an angel, but by God Himself. This was the comfort that made death bearable for the holy patriarchs, so that they departed this life with joy. Even at that time, before He had been revealed, they saw that the Seed which had been promised them was waging war with Satan and had crushed his head in the instance of Enoch. They had the same hope for themselves and for all their descendants who believed; and they despised death with the utmost unconcern, as if it were not death but a sleep from which they would awake to eternal life. For death is not death for those who believe; it is a sleep. When the terror, the sting, and the power of death (1 Cor. 15:55-56) are lacking, it cannot be called death. Therefore the greater faith is, the weaker death is; but the smaller faith is, the bitterer death is."
1. What made Cain's sacrifice unacceptable? What would be an unacceptable sacrifice today? Does God's church need such sacrifices? What made Abel's sacrifice acceptable? What would be an acceptable sacrifice today? Does the church need such sacrifices? What portion did Abel give and what does it mean? Why should you give your time, talent, and treasure to God?
2. Who governed Cain and Abel, and how? How do we apply that to our lives? What was Cain's punishment? How was that punishment carried out? Why was that punishment carried out? What does that say to us?
3. Over what area of the law can man govern? Is the government bound to the principles of God's law? Is God's law beneficial to the government? what is our relationship to the government? What responsibilities and opportunities do our present freedoms in this country give us?
4. In whose image was Seth born? What does that mean for us? What did God do about it? What does that mean to us?
5. What is headship? How is it expressed (Mark 9:35, Ephesians 5:22-33)? What comfort do we draw from the generations listed in chapter 5? What are we to learn from this?
6. How important is the promise of resurrection? Why? Did God omit it from His teachings to the pre-flood people? On what do we base our hope of resurrection? Is there any way to be a Christian without it (see 1 Cor. 15:12-22)? How does that affect our worship and witness practices?
Read Genesis 4:1-7
How would you feel if someone gave you a birthday present and said, "Here, I brought you this because I was told I was supposed to."? We give gifts because we care about people and we all hope that others do the same.
God has given us all we have. He has done so because of His great love for us. He desires that we have a loving relationship with Him by faith. He does not make us love Him.
The difference between Abel's sacrifice and Cain's is that Abel loved God by faith and brought the first and best of what he had to God. He gave what he did because of his deep love and thankfulness to God. Cain brought the leftovers because he felt he had to. He did not love God. He brought his gift because he had to. That's why God received Abel's sacrifice and despised Cain's. God saw the loving faith of Abel and He saw the lack of faith of Cain.
Why do we give gifts to God? Do we bring Him the time, talents, and treasures we have left because we should. God doesn't want what we bring because we feel we have to.
God has blessed us with more than we could possibly imagine. He came to us and gave His life for us to give us the hope of heaven. He supplies our need of body and soul each day. His blessings are far beyond what we deserve or need. He wants a loving relationship to Him. Are you thankful for His blessings? Make your gifts of time, talent, and treasure your way of showing your appreciation for what He has given. Bring the first and best because He has given it to you. Make your gifts a loving response to the One who has given you all. Pray and prayer of thanksgiving to God for His blessings and let that prayer continue as you show your love for Him.
Read Genesis 4:1-16
Why do people stop at stoplights? It is the law. The law is intended to keep peace in our society. What kind of government was there in Cain and Abel's day?
God governs us all. He has given us laws to live by, but desires that we fulfill them as a response to His love. He uses parents to share His Word with us and to teach us how to apply that love. Adam and Eve did this for Cain and Abel, but there was no question that they were representing God. God is God of families and governments. Adam and Eve carried out God's punishment on Cain out of love for him and their other children.
God has established our families. The family is the main way that God governs us. Fathers and mothers are to teach their children the love of God and apply that love each day in every day living. Punishment, when it occurs, is intended to teach a lesson in life. These lessons are necessary to equip children to live in this world. God's wisdom is the truth. Godly lives work. Godless lives don't. We need to know what sin is and avoid it. We need to know how God has dealt with our sins. This knowledge comes from God through our parents. May God bless us in the privilege of teaching His Word in our homes. Pray about these things.
Read Genesis 4:3-16
"I pledge allegiance to the flag, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Is it right for Christians to say the pledge of allegiance? should we pledge our devotion to the government? What does "under God" mean?
God has put governments on earth. They are God's way of keeping peace in society. Laws exist to prevent chaos in society. Government has a divine purpose.
While the family is the best way of governing, it is necessary to form governments. God places on those governments the responsibility to govern wisely and well according to His purpose. We are not free to disregard the government or its laws.
The only time we are allowed to disregard the government is when the laws ask us to sin. If there was a law that forced us to hurt others, we could not obey that law. If there was a law that made us deny Jesus, we could not obey that law.
Americans have been richly blessed by God in that we live in a land whose laws are determined by representatives of the people. We should use our opportunities as citizens to be a positive influence on our society. We should participate in the democratic process as good stewards of the blessing of our freedoms. Christians should be positive, upright citizens who rejoice in their freedoms and use them for the spreading of the gospel. Pray about your citizenship.
Read Genesis 5:1-3
"Gee, you look just like your father when he was little." We hear people say things like this all the time. Children tend to resemble their parents. Is that what it means that we were created in the image of God? No.
In Genesis 5 it points out that Seth was born in the image of Adam. We might think that he received the image of God from his father. The reason it says that he was born in Adam's image is that Adam had lost the image of God.
Adam and Eve were created in God's image. That does not mean that they looked like God, it means that they were like God; perfect. They lived in perfection, like God. When they sinned, they lost the image of God because they were not perfect anymore. So Seth was born in Adam's image, by nature a sinner. We, too, are born in Adam's, and our parents, image; sinners. We do not possess God's image by birth. We don't look like Him or act like Him.
But God did not leave us to live forever in the image of sinful man. He sent Jesus to take sin on Himself on the cross. The scriptures say of Jesus, "He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be the righteousness of God in Him." This means that Jesus was punished for our sins and for sin in general. He took the filthy rags of our sins off of us and replaced it with the righteousness He wore. By faith, we are not left in the image of Adam. Jesus has restored us to God by faith in Him. We will fully enjoy the image of God in heaven. You are God's by faith and will dwell in Paradise in His perfect image forever. Thank Him by living as one who bears the righteousness of Jesus. Pray about these things.
Read Genesis 5:1-32
BORING!!! Genesis chapter 5 contains the record of generations from Adam to Noah. We read a lot of names we have a hard time pronouncing and it seems to be just general information that the story could surely do without. Why is this in here?
These are the generations of people who passed the image of Adam, our sinful nature, from generation to generation. we are reminded that we are all sinners, something we need to face each day.
But, more importantly, this is a record of the sons of promise. It is through these people that God fulfilled His promise to send the Savior. These men passed that promise from generation to generation. In them, by grace, God fulfilled His promise to mankind to save us from sin. So these people remind us of sin and grace.
We come to God in sin each day. We place our sins at the foot of the cross where Jesus paid for them. Ours is a generation reminded each day of sin. But we are also people of promise. The purpose of family devotion is to be like the men in this chapter. We, too, pass the promise of the Savior from generation to generation. Let us resolve, whether parent or child, to continue the heritage of these men of faith as we pass the faith from generation to generation. Pray about this.
Read Genesis 5:21-24
Some things are just curious. Here we are reading about this father who had this son, who had his son and so forth, with their ages at the time of death. Then we come to Enoch. Enoch is in the line, but he is a new twist. He was not here as long as the others and he does not die. God takes him. How curious. Why would God do that?
God had promised the Savior from generation to generation. The Savior was to give eternal life. As the years go by these people are faithful in passing this promise, which they trust in without seeing. Enoch is a man of faith who trusts God's promises and passes them to his children. then God uses Enoch to reassure those who follow that eternal life is real. He takes Enoch to heaven without death as further assurance that this promise is true.
What about us? We also have been given this assurance of eternal life which we pass from generation to generation. God has also assured us of eternal life through the resurrection of Jesus. Christ is risen! Because He is risen we know that we too will rise to eternal life. We worship on Sunday because it is the day Jesus rose. Each Sunday service is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Every time the sun rises, remember that the eternal day is coming. Every Sunday remember Jesus' resurrection and the assurance that we will also rise. Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for the assurance of eternal life.
NEXT: GENESIS 6-9