Lesson 13 第十三课

God rejected Cain and his offering, but He accepted Abel and his offering.

Scripture: Genesis 4:1-16

1.    God is the giver of life.

Read Genesis 4:1

Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the LORD’s help, I have produced a man!”

Eve knew that God is the giver of all life.

God had formed Adam from the dust of the ground and had breathed into him to give him life. God had made Eve from Adam’s rib and given her life. And we know from this verse that God gave life to Adam and Eve’s son.

Every person is given life by God. Your life was given to you by God.

2.    Cain and Abel were both born outside of the garden.

Read Genesis 4:2

Later she gave birth to his brother and named him Abel.

When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground.

   Cain and Abel were born sinners because their father, Adam, was a sinner.

Because Adam and Eve had sinned against God, they were put outside of the garden, away from the tree of life. As a result, Cain and Abel were born outside of the garden, away from the tree of life. When God created Adam and Eve, they were perfect before God. If they had obeyed Him, they would have continued to live in the garden and eat of the tree of life. Their children would have been born perfect and would also have lived in the garden. But Adam sinned when he ate the forbidden fruit, so he was put out of the garden and away from the tree of life. Therefore, his children, Cain and Abel, were born sinners, separated from God, outside of the garden, and away from the tree of life. Cain and Abel were born sinners because their father, Adam, was a sinner.

   All people have been born sinners because our ancestor, Adam, was a sinner.

Not only was Adam the father of Cain and Abel, but he was also the father of the whole human race. Adam was your ancestor, and Adam is also our ancestor. Because Adam disobeyed God and was separated from Him, all people in this world are born cut off from God.

   Cain and Abel were born into Satan’s family because their father, Adam, had chosen to listen to Satan.

When Adam decided to disobey God, he allied himself with Satan and entered his family. As a result, Adam’s children were also born in Satan’s family. That part in Cain and Abel that should have been in God’s image so they could know, love and obey God was under Satan’s control.

God gave life to Cain and Abel, but they were not born in friendship with God. When they were born, they were already separated from God because their father, Adam, was separated from God. They were born Satan’s children, under Satan’s control, and therefore, God’s enemies.

   All Adam’s descendants have been born in Satan’s family.

God is the One who gives life to all people, but we are not born in friendship or oneness with God. Satan has taken God’s place as our spiritual father. The part in us that should have been in God’s image so we could know, love and obey God was under Satan’s control from the time of our birth. We were all born sinners. We were all born Satan’s children, under Satan’s control and God’s enemies.

It is important that you realize you were born a sinner. You were born separated from God, with Satan as your father, just as all people are.

   Satan has told many lies to people about the beginning of the human race.

People all over the world have many different stories about their beginnings, where they came from and who their first ancestors were. You have your own beliefs about the beginning. But the Bible gives the true story of how all people began and why all people were born under Satan’s control. The Bible tells us that because Adam disobeyed God and allied himself with Satan, he and all his descendants became members of Satan’s family.

3.    Cain and Abel both came to offer sacrifices to God.

Read Genesis 4:3-4

When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift,

   Both Cain and Abel believed in the existence of God, and both came to offer sacrifices to Him.

Just believing that God exists will not make us acceptable to Him. The Bible says that even Satan believes in God and that Satan trembles through fear when he thinks of God. But believing in God does not make Satan acceptable to God.

Even offering to God what we think is very good will not make us acceptable to Him. Man can come to God only according to God’s will and plan.

   God told them what they must do in order to worship Him.

Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel were all sinners and were separated from God. The punishment for sin is death. Adam and Eve could not give anything to God to pay for their sins. Neither could Cain and Abel. There was no way that they could come to God and be accepted by Him.

But God planned a way so they could come to Him. It was not man’s way. It was God who decided on this way. No one else could provide the way for them. God provided the way for them because He loved them.

God must have told Adam and Eve what they must do if they wanted to come to Him. Adam and Eve probably told Cain and Abel what God said they must do if they wished to come to God.

God told them that, when they came to Him, they had to bring a sheep as an offering to God. They had to kill the sheep so that its blood would flow out.

The blood of the sheep could not pay for their sin. So why did God tell them to kill a sheep?

God told them to kill a sheep because He wanted them to remember that the punishment for sin is death. He wanted them to remember that they would die and go to everlasting punishment unless He saved them. If they agreed with God that they were sinners and that only He could save them from everlasting punishment, then they were to bring a sheep and kill it as God instructed.

4.    God accepted Abel’s offering.

Read Genesis 4:4 again

Abel also brought a gift—the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift,

   Abel brought sheep as an offering to God.

Abel brought sheep and the fat from the sheep just as God had instructed them. Abel killed sheep, allowing their blood to flow out. Then he offered the sheep, along with the fat, to God. By doing this, Abel showed that he agreed with God that he was a sinner and that only God could save him from everlasting punishment.

The Bible tells us that Abel brought sheep, killed them, shed their blood and offered them to God because he believed God. Abel believed what God had told his parents. God had promised that He would send a great Deliverer to destroy Satan and save man from Satan’s power.

Was God pleased with Abel’s offering? Yes, God was very pleased with his offering. Did God accept Abel? Yes, God accepted Abel.

   The blood of animals could never pay for sin.

It is important for you to understand that God did not accept Abel’s sheep as the payment for sin instead of Abel’s death. Sin must be paid for by the sinner’s death. The sinner must be separated from God forever.

So why did God accept Abel? God forgave Abel’s sin and accepted him because Abel trusted, not in himself, but in God who had promised to send the Deliverer.

5.    God rejected Cain’s offering.

Read Genesis 4:3 again and then 4:5

When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord.

5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.

   Cain brought the things that he had grown as an offering to God.

God did not accept Cain or his offering.

Why do you think that God did not accept Cain’s offering? Was it because the things Cain grew and brought to God were not good? Was it because God doesn’t like things grown from the ground? No, those are not the reasons.

Did God reject Cain’s offering because Cain was a worse sinner than Abel? No, that wasn’t the reason why God would not accept him. Both Cain and Abel were born sinners.

God rejected Cain and his offering because Cain didn’t come to God admitting he was a sinner and because he came to God in his own way, according to his own ideas, and not in the way that God had commanded. Cain did not believe God. He did not trust in God and in the way that God had told them to come. That is why God rejected him.

   Only God can provide the way so people can come to Him and be accepted.

Do you remember what happened when Adam and Eve made clothing for themselves out of leaves? God rejected that clothing, and God provided clothing for them. Why did God refuse to accept the clothing that Adam and Eve made? It was because God wanted to show them that they couldn’t make themselves acceptable to Him by anything they could do. It had to be done in God’s way. The animals had to die, and the animals’ blood had to be shed so that Adam and Eve could be clothed.

It was the same with Cain and Abel. God would not accept them unless they trusted in Him and came to Him in the way He had said. God would only accept them if they brought sheep and killed them, allowing their blood to flow out. Abel believed God and came God’s way, so God accepted him. Cain came trusting in his own way, so God rejected him.

   God has not changed.

God is still the same today. Although He is not telling you to bring sheep and kill them, nevertheless, God is the One who says how you can come to Him. You must come God’s way; otherwise, He will reject you as He rejected Cain. Listen carefully to God’s message so that you will know the only way that you can come to God and be delivered from Satan’s power and everlasting punishment.

   Only God can bring us back into oneness with Himself

Because Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they were separated from God. Therefore, Cain and Abel were born outside of the garden and were also separated from God. They could not bring themselves back into fellowship with God.

Adam and Eve made clothing to make themselves acceptable to God, but He rejected their clothing. Cain came to God in his own way, and God rejected him and his offering. Only God was able to provide the way so they could come back to Him and be His friends again.

We, too, are all the descendants of Adam. We were all born sinners, separated from God because of our ancestor, Adam. We cannot make ourselves God’s friends. Only God could provide the way for us to come back to Him.

6.    Cain refused to listen to God.

   God reasoned with Cain.

Read Genesis 4:6-7

“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

When Cain brought the incorrect offering, he was deliberately going his own way, and he became very angry when God did not accept him.

Even though Cain refused to believe God and deliberately went his own way, God reasoned with him. Because of God’s love and mercy, He talked to Cain and tried to get him to come the right way. God wanted Cain to know that he, too, would be accepted if he came as his brother, Abel, came. Cain would be accepted if he believed God’s words, made the right offering and trusted in God and His promise of the Deliverer.

   Cain would not listen to and believe God.

Cain was very angry. He refused to listen to and believe God. He was listening to Satan, just as his mother and father had done in the garden.

   Don’t be like Cain who refused to listen to God.

Refusing to listen to God always leads to trouble and death. It is very foolish to refuse to listen to God.

God speaks to people today by His Word, the Bible. But Satan does not want you to listen to God. Satan may be using other people to try to trick you. They may say, “Don’t listen to the Bible.” Remember, refusing to listen to and believe God will lead to death. Don’t be like Cain and refuse to listen to God.

Read Genesis 4:8.
One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.

   Cain killed his brother, Abel.

Who was leading Cain? To whom was Cain listening? Who do you think put the idea into Cain’s mind to kill his brother? Satan did. Satan is a murderer.

Satan deceived Adam and Eve so that they would die. Satan told them that they wouldn’t die if they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but he lied to them. Satan knew that Adam and Eve would die if they disobeyed God and ate the fruit. Satan wanted Adam and Eve to die so he lied to them.

Satan wanted Cain to kill Abel so he put the idea in Cain’s mind.

Satan is a murderer. He hates all people. He lies and deceives because he wants all people to go to the place of everlasting punishment where he is going.

7.    God judged Cain for killing Abel.

Read Genesis 4:9

Afterward the Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?”“I don’t know,” Cain responded. “Am I my brother’s guardian?”

God already knew that Cain had killed Abel. God saw him do it. God is everywhere and knows everything.

So why do you think God asked this question when He already knew the answer? God was giving Cain an opportunity to admit what he had done.

Read Genesis 4:10-15
10 But the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! 11 Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has swallowed your brother’s blood. 12 No longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.”

13 Cain replied to the Lord, “My punishment is too great for me to bear! 14 You have banished me from the land and from your presence; you have made me a homeless wanderer. Anyone who finds me will kill me!”

15 The Lord replied, “No, for I will give a sevenfold punishment to anyone who kills you.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who might try to kill him.

   God avenges evil done against other people.

God is the creator of all people. He had created Abel so he rightfully belonged to God. This is why God avenged Abel’s death.

God punishes anyone who says or does anything harmful to another person.

God gave Abel life, and He gave life to each one of us. Even though we are separated from God, He still cares for us.

   All people rightfully belong to God.

By deceit and lies, Satan stole Adam and Eve from God. And by stealing Adam, he also stole all of Adam’s descendants. But because God has given life to all people, we all still rightfully belong to Him. Therefore, all evil done against another person is also sin against God. God will avenge all evil done against anyone.

This doesn’t mean that God will immediately avenge all evil; nevertheless, all sin will eventually be punished by God. The payment required for sin is death. Sometimes people try to make up for evil that they do against other people. They may apologize, or they may pay other people. But this is not the final payment for sin against others. God will eventually punish all evil done against other people, because God is the rightful owner of every person.

Read Genesis 4:16
So Cain left the Lord’s presence and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

   Cain would not repent.

Cain still would not listen to God. He chose to follow Satan. Cain refused to repent. Cain would not change his attitude and admit that everything God had said to him was right. He refused to acknowledge that he was a sinner and was unable to save himself from his sinful desires and ways which had control over him. He would not agree that he had done evil things that deserved God’s judgment.

Cain’s descendants followed him in his rebellion against God. When Cain died, he went to everlasting punishment. So did Cain’s descendants.

 


Questions

 1.     Who gives every person his life?

2.     Where were Cain and Abel born?

3.     Why were Cain and Abel born sinners and separated from God?

4.     Why are all people born sinners and separated from God?

5.     What offering did Abel bring to God?

6.     Why did God accept Abel and his offering?

7.     What offering did Cain bring to God?

8.     Why did God reject Cain and his offering?

9.     Why did God reason with Cain?

10.     Did Cain believe and agree with God?

11.     What did Cain do to Abel?

12.     Who put the idea into Cain’s mind to kill his brother?

13.     Why did Satan want Cain to kill Abel?

14.     How did God know what Cain had done?

15.     Why will God punish us for saying and doing evil things to other people?

16.     Sometimes people try to make up for evil that they do against other people. Does God forget about the evil that is done against other people if we make it right with the person we have wronged?

17.     Did Cain repent?

18.     What was the result of Cain’s refusal to repent?