Week 4: Genesis 4
Read Genesis 4:1-16
This is the account of the first persecution, the first martyr and the first that went to heaven under Christ’s redemption. Here we see the contrast of two brothers: Abel raised flocks from the animals. Cain raised fruit from the soil. When they both brought sacrifices to the Lord, Abel brought his first and his best. Cain’s sacrifice was mediocre. Abel’s sacrifice involved the shedding of blood while Cain’s did not require a life. Abel’s sacrifice was pleasing to the Lord and Cain’s was not. We see the mercy of the Lord pleading with Cain correct him to repentance, but he will not turn. Before long, unre-strained sin gives birth to murder. A younger brother’s blood cries out from the ground. Blood from another son of Adam will cry out in the future, not for vengeance, but for mercy.
Think about it: Abel was humble in worship. Cain was not humbled under correction. Which attitude do you tend toward?
Pray about it: Pray for humility in places where you have been lifted up in your spirit.
Read Genesis 4:6-9, Luke 13:1-8
See how the Lord strives with Cain to do right. He is angry and his face is showing it. There is not an angry look, a fretful look, or an envious look that escapes His observing eye. It is His triple-braided cord of mercy, patience and tolerance that would keep us from sin’s danger. God puts blessing before him: “If you do right will you not be accepted?” Abel had found rightness in the redemption of Christ. Like the shed blood and the skins provided for his parent’s guilt and shame, he offered a sacrifice that looked to Christ also. He owned himself as a sinner and brought a sacrifice of atonement. Cain would have none of God’s pleadings nor would he have any of Christ’s sacrifice. Instead of finding life, he took the life of his righteous brother.
Think about it: What has been the look upon your face lately? Has Christ been kindly and patiently striving with you?
Pray about it: Pray for a softened heart. Be thankful for Christ’s mediation for you.
Read Genesis 4:10-12, Hebrews 12:22-24
The blood of righteous Abel cries out from the ground. Hatred in the heart, uncurbed, had become murder. Crimson blood trickled into the ground where Abel’s body had no doubt been hidden. But it wasn’t hidden from God. Abel’s blood cried out. Abel was the first martyr. He died because of his faith in Christ. Revelation 6:10 tells us that the martyred souls under the altar in heaven cry out: “How long, O Lord…until you avenge our blood…” Blood calls for blood, the blood of the murderer for the blood of the murdered. God has kept an account of every drop. In fact, God has kept a record of every sin. This should make all of us to tremble. But consider this: Christ’s blood speaks a better word on behalf of sinners like us. It pleads, not for vengeance, but for mercy!
Think about it: Consider the trials you have endured and the temptations you have faced. Have you yet resisted to the point of shedding blood?
Pray about it: Thank God for the mercy translated to you. Christ’s blood speaks justice satisfied for your sin and mercy overflowing.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
The Fall of his parents had opened up a chasm the world cannot fill with enough tragedy, suffering and mortal death. Their son, Abel, was the first to fall into it. Yet, he was a redeemed man. A saint, he was the first to die and the first to go to heaven. He trusted in the sacrifice of Christ. God prophesied that the serpent would war against Eve’s seed. Jesus said that the devil was a liar and murder “from the beginning” (John 8:44). So, Cain, the son of disobedience, murdered Abel and lied about it too. But the other side of the prophecy was that Christ would crush Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15). On the cross and to the resurrection, Christ gained the victory, not only for Abel but for us who trust Christ also!
Think about it: Christ is called the firstfruits from among the dead. Is Abel at the front of the line at resurrection?
Pray about it: Trust Him in prayer. When the saints go marching in, we who trust in Christ will all be counted in that number.
Read Psalm 2
Did you know that David, who lived one thousand years before Jesus, wrote this psalm that sees righteous Christ under attack by the unrighteous world? Peter and John later quoted from this Psalm when they were speaking to the Jewish religious rulers (Acts 4:25-27). They told them that Jesus was the one David described as the Lord’s anointed and that the people who plotted against Him were his Jewish brothers. These were the same who killed him. The patient entreaty: “Kiss the Son” is the same patience that was shown to hateful Cain before he murdered his brother. Cain would have none of Christ’s salvation and neither will these brothers. This dead Christ is very much alive and He will return to judge the world and every sinner in it.
Think about it: David describes people who rage and get angry and plot to kill Jesus. Can you see Cain in this Psalm?
about it: Ask God to help you love the Lord and live for
Him like David did.