GENESIS 4:1-5:32


If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

Why did God treat Cain's person and offerings differently from Abel's? What was Cain's response? 

v1 Adam lay down with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and she gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man." v2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. v3 In the course of time Cain brought some of fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. v4 Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, v5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. v6 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 

Through both God's advice and Cain's response, we can know why the Lord did not accept Cain and his offering.

First, his practical life was not good.


God said to him, "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?"

The reason God did not accept Cain was because he did not do what was right in his day to day life.  When he did not do what was right positively, sinful desire caught him and led him to sin.  Thus, he ended up living a sinful life.  So God did not accept him even though he brought offering to God.  

 Here, we learn very important lesson.  Today many people go to the church on the earth.  But not all of them are ac cepted to God.   Only those who do what is right will be accepted.  God looks not only worshiping itself but also how their practical life is.  So we have to make efforts to follow the God's law in our practical life and keep the Sunday worship service absolutely.  

Second, Cain brought offering to God as if he was showing great favor to God. 

When God rejected him and his offering, his face was downcast with anger.  He must have thought something wrong with God in rejecting his offering.  Why?  Because he had worked hard to bring this offering.  Since he worked hard and brought such precious offering to God, he thought that God would have to accept it with thanks.  Such offering is detestable to God.

Sometimes we are like Cain when what we have done is rejected despite we have really struggled hard to do it.  We think, since we worked really hard, our effort must be appreciated and accepted.  Then, when our service is rejected, we easily grow angry.  Then, we become like Cain.  Why should God accept what we bring to Him?  What will you say if God rejects your service?  Will you get angry like Cain saying, "Why don't you accept my service?"

Cain was very angry and his face was downcast.


Can you imagine to angry to God in the front of God?  But Cain did it. Also it is not easy to imagine that he would live in the hand of God.  But how did God treat him?  God did not punish him.  On the contrary, God gave some advises to him.  Here we can know that God loved Cain very much. God did not intend to make an issue of his attitude but to help him to repent. 

What was the Lord's advise for Cain?  Despite God's advise, what course of action did Cain take?

v7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." v8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

a)  First, "if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door."

The way to overcome our sinful nature is to do what is right positively instead of trying to oppress it.  So serving God's mission wholeheartedly is the best way not to sin.  

b)  Second, "sin desires to have you."  

It means that sin wants to make us its slaves who obey whatever it asks us to do.

The temptation of sin is sweet.  Sin looks enjoyable.  But once we obey its desire, we become its slaves.  Then, we have to sin continually defiling both our body and soul even though what we want is noble and spiritual.   

c)  Third, "You must master it."  

This is God's direction for all people in dealing with sin problems.  However strong your sinful desire may be, God wants you to fight against it and master it.  In all circumstances, we must not given in to sinful desires.  We must put the desires of the flesh under our full control.  This is God's direction.  Don't say, "I am weak and my sin is too strong."  Read Romans 8:13.

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

When Cain heard God's counsel, he had to repent.  But in rebellion, he killed his one and only brother.

What was God's inquiry to Cain (9a)?  What was Cain's response (9b)?  What was God's punishment for Cain's sin (10-14)?  Yet, what did the Lord do for Cain (15b)?


v9 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know." he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?" v10 The Lord said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. v11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. v12 When you worked the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a   restless wanderer on the earth." v13 Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is more than I can bear. v14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." v15 But the Lord said, "Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.

Where is your brother Abel?" 

God was not asking information. Now a murder happened already and God knew it.  But God asked this question to give him a chance to confess his sins and be forgiven.  Still there was a chance for Cain to be forgiven even after he murdered his brother.  Read 1 John1:9.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful, he will forgive our sins and purify us." 

He replied, "I don't know." "Am I my brother's keeper?"

Now Cain was repulsive to God. While Adam became fearful and shameful after committing sin, Cain became repulsive to God. Adam's sin was brought up from disobeying to repulsive mind.  Today, many people rebel against authority of their parents or of teachers or of society.  This is a repulsive mind.  Also someone is going to do good deeds voluntarily, but he doesn't do it when he is asked to do the very thing.  This is a repulsive mind.  The repulsive mind is expressed as anger.

Now God cursed him.

The main point of God's curse upon Cain was to leave him severely alone. To leave before God means that God interfere in him no more.  So Cain could do whatever he wanted without any restriction of God's words.  Even though it sounds good, this is God's real punishment.

Once man is driven away from God, his soul cannot find rest, because he is disconnected from the source of life.  So no matter where Cain would go, he could not have rest and peace.  No matter what he did, he found no happiness.  He had to live such a cursed life until he would die.


After receiving a punishment from God, Cain became so fearful for death.  So God gave a mark to Cain so that no one would kill him.  

If Cain did not repent in spite of divine counseling from God directly, was there any possibility for Cain to repent and come back to God by himself?  No!  But still God loved him and had some hope that Cain would come back.  So He put a mark on him.

We can put hope upon any kind of sinners because God gave a mark of love and hope to Cain.


Read v.16.  What does this show about Cain's life after sinning?  Compare the lifestyle of Cain's descendents recorded in 4:18-24 with that of Seth's in 4:25-5:32.

Cain lived in the land of Nod.  Nod means wandering. 

Since he could not find the meaning of his existence in God any more, he tried to find his identity in his son or in achieving some gorgeous activities in the world. 

Cain's descendents (4:18-24)

Lamech was proud of killing young man.  Even he made a poem of it to boast about himself.  Also he mocked God's grace.  He shows how quickly man becomes evil when he leaves God.

They developed technology, music and industry.  Through these physical things, they tried to find their identity and the meaning of their lives.  

A society without God was full of violence, polygamy.  Indeed technology without God cannot bring Utopia.  Sin makes the world difficult and dangerous to live.

Seth's descendents (4:25-5:32)

But Seth's descendents maintained a spiritual life.  At that time man began to call on the name of the Lord.  From Seth's life, God's remnant was raised such as Enoch who walked with God and Noah.  Enoch pleased God so much by his faith that he did not experience death.


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