Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Genesis Chapter 4 ~ The Affects of Sin and the Offspring of Eve

Genesis Chapter 4

Here we are at chapter four, and we are anticipating the seed of Eve that was promised to crush the head of Satan, and by God's grace Eve conceives and has a child. Her firstborn is Cain, and you can almost hear the anticipation in her voice of expecting a messiah or savior: "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD." (Gen. 4:1) Could this be the messiah promised to save them?

Well, Cain was a farmer, and Abel was a shepherd. They were Adam and Eve’s first children. Both Cain and Abel brought offerings to God from the produce of their trades, but God regarded Abel’s offering and not Cain’s, but it's not because Cain brought grain and Abel brought sheep. Something else was at hand. Something was wrong with the intentions of Cain's heart. God told Cain that sin was crouching at his door, and it’s desire was for him, but he must rule over it (Gen. 4:7). Cain sadly gave in and didn't rule over it. He was talking to Abel one day and he came against him and killed him. Because he killed Abel, God cursed Cain to no longer be successful in working the ground, and he would be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth. God also promised that no one should kill him, lest they receive a 7-fold punishment. Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in Nod.

Cain’s generations are (1) Enoch, then (2) Irad, then (3) Mehujael, then (4) Methshael, then (5) Lamech.

The fifth son from Cain's progeny was the first to distort the marriage covenant through polygamy. Lamech took 2 wives (1) Adah and (2) Zillah, and he boasted of killing a man who struck him and said, “If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.” (Gen. 4:24) It appears that he is boasting that if anyone would come against him God would take revenge on that person 77-fold because of Cain's self-perceived (and self-deceived) great worth. This is brute arrogance.

Adam knew Eve again and they had a son named Seth. Seth also had a son, Enosh. This chapter ends saying, “At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.” (Gen. 4:26)

In this chapter we begin to see the how a fallen humanity will choose to live. God chooses or elects some, and others are outside of His pleasure. Humanity owes something to God, namely offerings and sacrifices, but not just any kind of sacrifice. The offerings and sacrifices that mankind owes to God are the ones that are by faith from a humble repentant heart (Psalm 51:6, 17; Heb. 11:4), ultimately presenting our lives as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1). Other than God slaughtering the animals to clothe Adam and Eve, here we see the proto-type of the sacrificial system, which is the only means by which man may engage with God. He is pleased by some things, and not pleased by others. He is a particular God. We will see more glimpses of the sacrificial system in Genesis, and it eventually becomes the systematic and perpetual command for Israel to participate in it. Ultimately, it points to the need for Christ’s shed blood for His people (just read the book of Hebrews).

We also see the nature of sin here. It is crouching at our door and its desire is for people, and too often we are quick to give in and submit to its bloodthirstiness. We see arrogance in Lamech, but we also see hope in the birth of Seth and in the fact that many were beginning to call upon the name of the LORD. Eve's hopes that the messiah was there in her first son Cain were dashed, and yet she conceives again and there is still hope that God will provide a messiah, only now through the line of Seth. God is preserving a heritage in the lineage of Seth, which is the hope of the nations.

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