Verses 1-12

First Things in Genesis 4

1. First birth

2. First act of worship outside of the Garden of Eden.

3. First false system of worship. John says the Devil is the Father of Cain. I John 3:12, Jude 11 - the way of Cain.

4. First murder and first lie

5. First dwelling in tents (verse 20)

6. First building of cities

7. First building of tools

8. First bigamy

9. First killing for revenge upon another

10. First poem (verses 23, 24)

Verse 1 - And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

I. Sex was first noted as taking place outside the Garden of Eden.

A. This shows that sex was not the sin in the Garden of Eden.

B. Adam and Eve are now fulfilling the commands of God.

II. Cain, being the older male child, was named Cain meaning "Acquisition" because Adam and Eve thought Cain was the promised messiah.

III. Abel's name meant "temporary"; by the time Abel was born, his parents must have realized that Abel, not Cain was the messiah they were looking for.

Verse 2 - And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Each son had his respective job to do. This is how it ought to be today. Give each child something to do:

I. They can learn a trade.

II. Builds their confidence in themselves.

III. Gives them a sense of responsibility.

IV. Teaches them they must earn their own way, not looking to parents or government to supply their necessities.

Verse 3 - And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

I. In process of time.

A. When the boys were old enough, they begin worshipping God by themselves.

B. Job 1:5 - Job offered sacrifices for his children just in case they had sinned. The time was past when Adam would offer a sacrifice for his children.

C. This very likely was at a special appointed time. The regular observance of sacrifices will be given later to Moses for Israel, but before that was ever recorded in the law, Adam taught his children to observe those things from the heart.

D. Today, we ought to set aside every 7th day for worship. This is the first day of the week.

II. Brought before the Lord.

A. This is at a special appointed place.

B. Probably before God who dwelt between the Cherubims at the entrance of the Garden of Eden.

C. See notes on the Cherubim at the close of Gen. 3.

III. They understood about sacrificing before God.

A. Probably Adam and Eve had explained this to them. All parents ought to teach their children about proper worship to God.

B. Note this was before the law was given to Moses. Let the dispensationalists confront this!

IV. Cain evidently offered a "thank offering".

A. This implied that he had already offered a blood offering for his sins.

B. Leviticus 7:11-15 - Explanation of the ingredients of a thank offering.

C. The reason the offering was unacceptable was because there was no way Cain could be thankful, as he did not acknowledge the blood of Christ cleansing him from sin.

Verse 4 - And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

I. Abel brought an acceptable offering before God.

A. This is a sin offering.

B. Luke 18:9-14 - the Pharisee and Publican.

1. Cain represents the Pharisee, having nothing to repent of, therefore feeling no need of forgiveness.

2. Abel represents the publican, realizing his sinfulness, begging forgiveness from God.

3. The publican and Abel were looking to the shed blood of Christ, not to their own fleshly works.

C. Hebrews 11:4 - Abel offered a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain.

II. The Lord accepting Abel and his offering and rejecting Cain and his offering.

A. Note that God accepted the person of Abel because of his offering and rejected Cain because of his offering.

B. How did God show that He had accepted Abel and rejected Cain? Perhaps acceptance was shown by fire from heaven as happened to Elijah in I Kings 17.

Verse 5 - But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

I. Note the attitude of Cain.

A. Matthew 10:34, 35 - he hated Abel. The Gospel is a great separator.

B. Cain could have offered the sacrifice in innocence, but we see from the scripture that he didn't.

1. God did give him a "second chance".

2. This would certainly show God's mercy and desire for "all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." I Timothy 2:4: Note the two separate acts in verse 4.

C. Wroth means heated.

1. We call it "steamed up".

2. Note the physical reaction. No spiritual reaction at all.

D. Countenance fell means "face fell". We call this "pouting".

E. Cain's countenance revealed:

1. His hatred for God.

2. His hatred for Abel.

a. People rejected by God most likely reject those that are accepted by God. (Envy)

b. Those accepted by God have no evil thought toward those rejected by God, only that they would trust Christ and abide by His word.

3. Should have hated himself, instead, he hated others.

Verses 6 and 7 - And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

God "trying" to get Cain to see why he was rejected

I. This is an invitation to a lost sinner to trust Christ.

II. When a church extends an invitation to sinners, this is the same as Christ extending an invitation. (The church is the body of Christ.)

III. If thou doest well: Mark 10:17-22 - Christ telling the rich young ruler to "do" good.

IV. Thou shall bye accepted.

A. A promise to all believers.

B. Even after they've done wrong (especially then).

V. The message to Cain is: (sin lieth at the door).

A. Admit you're a sinner.

B. Offer the correct sacrifice in the proper manner. (faith).

VI. Unto thee shall be his desire.

A. I John 5:4 - We can overcome this world (sin and the prince and power of the air) through faith. It's not necessary to fall into sin.

B. Maybe Cain was worrying about his birthright. God is telling him that he need not fear Abel. Cain would not be following Abel (the younger) just because Abel was right and Cain had to be corrected and be in agreement with Abel.

C. Some believe God was going to put Abel first because he offered the right offering. Cain decided to get around Abel being first by killing him, and Cain still wouldn't have to offer the right sacrifice.

Verse 8 - And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

I. Cain talked with Abel.

A. Genesis 3:1 - Cain following way of his father (Satan)

B. II Samuel 3:27 - Joab taking Abner aside quietly and killing him.

C. II Samuel 13:28 - Absalom feasting with Ammon and all King David's sons, then killing Ammon.

D. Sinners will still do the same thing with God's people. Put one arm over their shoulder proclaiming friendship, and stab them in the back with the other hand.

II. In the field.

A. Probably with their herds and crops.

B. Jews say they were working together.

III. Abel killed. (See above, verse 7, F. 3.)

A. Cain rose up. It was his anger.

B. Jews say Cain began saying there is nothing to religion, judgment and life to come. Abel began objecting and Cain's anger flared up and he killed Abel.

C. The first martyr

D. The first death was also the first fruits of the human race.

E. Death has reigned since Adam sinned; now we read of its first captive.

Verse 9 - And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?

I. Lord said unto Cain.

A. Giving him another chance to repent after sin is revealed in the flesh.

B. Don't know how much time went by or if anybody else asked Cain about Abel.

II. Cain's answer.

A. Cain declares -- Not Guilty!!

1. First lie by a human.

2. All liars tell their lies before God.

3. John 8:44 - all liars have the devil as their father.

B. Am I my brother's keeper?

1. Meaning - "observe, preserve" not "keeper" (4:2) "feeder".

2. The elder is to protect the younger - not so in this case.

3. Brothers are to love one another - not so in this case.

4. Remember the story of the "Good Samaritan." Luke 10:30

C. Note difference in:

1. God questioning Adam and Eve (Their attitude).

2. God questioning Cain (his attitude).

Verse 10 - And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

I. What hast thou done?

A. God knew what Cain had done. This is a second invitation to Cain to realize his sinfulness and accept Christ, the proper sacrifice.

B. Compare with Genesis 3:11.

1. God questioned Adam and Cain alike.

2. Adam repented, Cain didn't.

3. If God treats all sinners the same, shouldn't we?

4. Don't be discouraged if some don't believe when we witness to them.

5. They're refusing God, not us.

II. Thy brother's blood - the first religious martyr.

A. Not the voice of Abel, the voice of his blood.

B. Revelation 6:10 - the souls under the altar crying for vengeance upon their blood.

C. Luke 23:34 - Compare with the shed blood of Jesus who says, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

1. Invitation is open to all sinners now.

2. One day those that have trampled the blood under foot (for it was soaked up by the ground under the cross) will stand guilty before God for rejecting that blood for forgiveness of their sins.

D. Today, the shed blood of many innocent victims cries out to God for vengeance. Some examples:

1. Murder victims.

2. Abortion victims.

Verses 11,12 - And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

I. The Curse Upon Cain - not talking about eternal hell, but punishment during this life.

II. The curse is in two parts.

A. Ground will no longer yield its fruits.

1. Compare Genesis 4:2.

a. Before curse Cain could raise a good crop, now he can't.

b. This would be a constant (yearly) reminder to Cain that he was still cursed.

2. As years went on, Cain would describe his actions (without admitting guilt) and his "undeserved" punishment to his descendents.

a. Cain was, no doubt, an important man in the town he built (Enoch) and everybody would listen to him and agree with him. {They really only heard one side of the story.}

b. Genesis 4:24 - The seventh from Adam (Lamech) knew all about the curse on Cain and disagreed with it.

3. An appropriate curse. The earth had received the blood of Abel at the hand of Cain; now the earth will not yield her strength to Cain's hand.

B. Fugitive and a Vagabond.

1. Fugitive - from justice.

a. One who will be looking over his shoulder, afraid someone will kill him because of his crime. When God put the 70-fold vengeance on the murderer of Cain, it did not relieve Cain of expecting to be killed.

b. This will be a constant reminder of his crime. Never will Cain be able to forget. He will go to the grave with this crime on his mind.

c. Note: that which he did not admit is unforgettable. So it is with men today.

2. Vagabond - one with no place of rest.

a. Compare 4:17 - Cain built a city. Had a home, a wife and family, and a place to get physical rest, but no place to get spiritual and mental rest.

b. See again comments on Verse 11, 12, II, A, 2.