Year 2 Day 197
Read - Genesis 4
Message - Scott Woodburn
Adam and Eve were blessed with a son called Cain and in response Eve cried out “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” (v1) Eve knew all too well what had happened in the garden and yet here was evidence that the Lord was going to keep His promise to destroy the works of the devil. The seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. Unfortunately Cain would prove to be of his father the devil (John 8v44).
Cain and his brother Abel came one day to the Lord with offerings. Cain was a worker of the ground and so he brought an offering of the fruit of the ground (v3). Abel on the other hand was a keeper of sheep and so he brought to the Lord the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions (v4). The Lord only had regard for Abel’s offering and not that of his brother Cain. At first glance this seems incredibly unfair. Both brothers come to worship the Lord with their respective bounty. Both have worked hard. Both have taken the time to come. Why would the Lord accept only one offering?
Scripture interprets Scripture and in this instance Scripture tells us the problem was faith. Here’s what the Apostle writes in Hebrews “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” (Hebrews 11v4)
The Lord accepted Abel’s offering because Abel was a man of faith. Indeed the Lord Jesus Christ describes Abel as “righteous” (Matthew 23v35). Even in the early days of human history the ancient battle between the seed of the woman and the seed of the devil was showing itself. Cain was exceedingly angry at God’s rejection and despite the Lord’s warning about his sin (v7), Cain ended up taking his brother’s life (v8).
Amazingly even in the midst of Cain’s rebellion the Lord still extended a hand of grace. Cain believed that he would also end up murdered but the Lord says “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” (v15) To confirm this promise the Lord marked Cain so that no one would attack him. God meets sinners with grace!
Later Adam and Eve are blessed with another son called Seth (v25). The promises of God would not be thwarted by sinful man and as humanity increased upon the earth, some would remain in sinful rebellion while others began to call upon the name of the Lord (v26).
Abel’s sacrifice was made with saving faith. He was looking forward to the day that the Lamb of God would come to atone for the sin of many. In this way Abel’s sacrifice pointed forward to Christ. The blood of Abel’s lamb was a shadow of the sacrifice to come for “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9v22) Christ’s blood has been shed and through faith in Him your sins have been forgiven!
Today the Lord still extends His hand of grace. You cannot please Him by your works, instead the work of the Lord is to believe on the One whom He has sent (John 6v29). Call upon Jesus, trust in Him for without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11v6).
Q78 What is forbidden in the ninth commandment? The ninth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbor’s good name.