The Way of Cain

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A. Genesis 4:1-6 Two brothers, Two Ways

1. Abel and Cain both offered sacrifices to God. Abel offered by faith (he trusted what God had said)
Hebrews 11:4 NASB95
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
2. Cain approached God his way (the way of Cain).
Jude 11 NASB95
Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

B. Genesis 4:5 Cain Doesn’t get His Way

Genesis 4:5 The Message
but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk.

C. Genesis 4:6-7 God Confronts Cain

1. Genesis 4:6a Why are you angry? - God directly confronts Cain. In order to give Cain a second chance.
2. Genesis 4:6b And why has your countenance fallen? - God knowingly confronts Cain.
3. Genesis 4:7a If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? (If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? NIV). God lovingly confronts Cain. God appeals to Cain’s conscience to recognize his error.
4. Genesis 4:7b And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you… God advertently confronts Cain. Cain does not realize the power sin has to overtake him. God is warning him of impending danger.
5. Genesis 4:7c but you must master it…God truthfully confronts Cain. God wants Cain to reflect and repent (change his thinking) and trust God.
In Summary:
God directly confronts Cain (if your brother sins, go to him…)
God knowingly confronts Cain (you who are spiritual)
God lovingly confronts Cain
God advertently confronts Cain
God truthfully confronts Cain

D. Genesis 4:8 Cain Ignores God’s Warning

1. First act of ‘social justice’
SOCIAL JUSTICE: a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity and social privileges. - Wikipedia
Genesis 4:8a Cain told Abel his brother. (Cain had words with his brother Abel- The Message). Cain decides to take matters into his hands.
b. Genesis 4:8b And it came about when they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Since the ends-justifies-the means, Cain murders his brother in the field.

E. Genesis 4:9a God Confronts Cain Again

1. Genesis 4:9a Where is Abel your brother? God patiently confronts Cain

F. Genesis 4:9b Cain Justifies his Case

Genesis 4:9bI do not know...” Cain lies to hide his sin.
Luke 12:2 NASB95
“But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
2. Genesis 4:9cAm I my brother’s keeper?” – since Cain has an ‘ends-justifies-the-means’ way, he is focused on the injustice that has been done but doesn’t realize that sin has pounced on him like a wild beast.

G. Genesis 4:10-12 God Pronounces Cain’s Punishment

Genesis 4:10 The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground… The ground itself was telling God of the injustice Cain had committed. God gives Cain another chance.
Genesis 4:11b you are cursed from the ground God would remove Cain from the place where Abel lay
Genesis 4:11c which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand The very place Cain used to get his way in secret, will be known forever as the place Cain killed his brother.
Genesis 4:12 it will no longer yield its strength to you. The land would no longer grow crops for Cain like it once did. God cut off Cain’s way to approach God.
Genesis 4:12b you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth. Cain will now wander aimlessly.

H. Genesis 13- Cain Requests Sympathy

Genesis 4:13 My punishment is too great to bear! Cain could not bear thinking someone else might take his life as revenge for Abel’s. Cain should be concerned about the murder of his brother, being shunned by God and the land. His thinking however is to take care of himself and only sees the physical.
As believers we know our struggle is not against the physical but against the spiritual! (Eph 6:12)

I. Genesis 15 - God Shows Mercy to Cain

God sets two protective measures on Cain’s life.
Genesis 4:15a whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold. God would avenge whoever killed Cain
Genesis 4:15b And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him. God placed a sign on Cain
Did God have to confront Cain?
What if Cain would have listened to the Lord?
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