LastCall Digest: Daily Devotional - January 2010 - Week 2 - Thursday

Daily Devotional - January 2010 - Week 2 - Thursday

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Master Sin or it will Master You

 3:7 Sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.

After the fall of humanity's first family described in chapter 3, it wasn't long until sin revealed its true face. Rather than becoming gods as promised by Satan, we became trapped in the ageless battle between two opposing forces—God and Satan, righteousness and sin. The warning God gives to Cain should be written on each of our doorposts. "Master your sin or it will master you."

For Cain, the sin waiting to destroy him was his arrogance in not accepting God's animal sacrifice as the means of approaching God in worship. This sacrifice was vital because it foreshadowed what God would do one day in the death of Christ on the cross for the sins of all humanity.

Cain's rebellion against God coupled with the jealousy of his brother grew into a rage that resulted in humanity's first murder. Sin still lies at the door of each one of us. Who will be master, who will rule? Like Adam and Eve. we are tempted to think we can rule over life as gods. Yet in the end, we each find there are only two masters, and we are neither. God must master us for us to master sin, or Satan will master us and thereby sin will as well. Choose this day whom your master will be.

Genesis 4:1-26  Cain Murders Abel

1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD." 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

6 So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

The First Children of Adam and Eve (Verses 1-2)

v. 1 Adam Knew Eve – "Know" in Hebrew is yada and refers to the most intimate of relationships. Here it refers to the sexual intimacy of a husband and wife.

Cainganah (Heb.) means to acquire, get, or possess. She named him in the hope that Cain was acquired from the Lord as the immediate deliverer from Satan as a fulfillment of God's promise in Genesis 3:15.

v. 2 AbelHebhel (Heb.) means vanity, breath, temporary, or empty. It's unclear why Eve chose this name. Some speculate it was due to a realization that the promised deliverer was not Cain, and would not likely be Abel. Thus the difficulties of the fall were not going to be short-lived. She may have felt empty about the prospects of life.

keeper of sheep – The two brothers developed a balanced approach to serve their family. Abel, a herdsman of sheep, provided wool for clothing and Cain, a farmer, provided food.

Acceptable and Unacceptable Worship (Verses 3-7)

v. 3 an offering – This reveals that God must have established a place and method of worship that Adam and Eve passed on to their children.

of the fruit – This is the result of his farming.

v. 4 first born of his flock – The sacrifice of a prized young sheep was necessary to approach God. This would have been linked to the animal sacrificed to provide animal skin as a covering for the bodies of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:21).

Lord respected Abel – Why was Abel's offering accepted but not Cain's? Hebrews 11:4 gives us the answer. "By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." Abel's faith was in God's promised Seed (Jesus) who would deliver humanity from what Satan had drawn Adam and Eve into (Gen. 3:15). Abel had faith in the need for a substitutionary death of another to cover sin, as seen in the sacrificial lamb. This foreshadowed the sacrifice made by God Himself when God in Christ was sacrificed for the sins of the world (John 1:29).

v. 5 not respect Cain – The text in Hebrews 11:4 makes it clear that Cain's offering was not done in faith, nor was it an animal sacrifice. Jude v. 10-11 indicates that Cain was an example of one who seeks a false, or self-made, approach to God.

was very angry – Because Cain's offering was connected to himself rather than connected to God's will, he personally takes offense that his offering was not accepted.

v. 7 if you do well – God points Cain to what must have been made known about God's prescribed way of worshipping Him.

sin lies at the door – Self-made worship and religion is identified as sin and is shown to be ever present. No doubt this warning would remind Cain of how Satan laid in wait for Eve to tempt her toward a self-made religion where she could become a god.

rule over it – Since the fall, sin continually seeks to be master over each one of us. There can be no neutral ground, either we master and rule over sin, or sin rules over us (Rom. 6:12-22).

8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?"

He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"

10 And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth."

13 And Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me."

15 And the LORD said to him, "Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.

The Family of Cain

16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech.

The Murder of Abel and Judgment upon Cain (Verses 8-15)

v. 8 Cain talked with Abel – Cain apparently deceived Abel into going out into a field where this premeditated act of murder would not be seen by others.

killed him – The seeds of anger and jealousy had born their fruit—anger. Jesus warned it is the seedbed of murder (Matt. 5:22).

v. 9 Where is Abel – Obviously God didn't ask because He didn't know, but rather to bring Cain to an honest reflection of what he had done.

I do not know – Cain's sin had so blinded his mind that he thought he could talk his way out of accountability for his sin and deceive God.

v. 10 voice of…blood – What a chilling fact to think our sins against others done in secret are not silent or unknown to God. In fact God hears the cry for justice throughout the ages and not one sin or unjust deed against others will go unaccounted for on Judgment Day that is not under the blood of Jesus Christ.

v. 11 cursed from the earth – In great difficulty Cain would survive on the earth.

v. 13 fugitive and vagabond – Cain would find himself wandering from place to place seeking to survive. As he wanders he experiences the rejection and shame as a fugitive seeking to flee from the results of God's judgment upon him.

v. 13 greater than I can bear – Even after judgment Cain does not repent or acknowledge his sin, but complains that God is too severe.

v. 15 whoever kills Cain – God in His mercy comforts Cain's fear of someone taking vengeance upon him be decreeing an even more severe judgment upon anyone who would kill him.

set a mark – God sets Cain apart in some way to warn people not to harm him.

v. 16 from presence of the Lord – Rather than repent and seek God's presence in his punishment, Cain's hard heart accepts the withdrawal of God's presence.

Noderets Nodh (Heb.) means the land of wanderings—trembling or shaking.

v. 17 knew his wife – This wife would have been a sister or half sister of Cain. It has been figured that if only half of Adam's children (Gen. 5:27-32) lived, and half of those who lived had children over the course of Adam's 930 year life span, there would be over a million descendants of Adam.

v. 17 bore EnochChanoch (Heb.) Enoch means beginner, dedicated, or initiated. There seems to have been no danger of deformity or harmful genetic results by close interfamily connection to children during the early years of human civilization.

built a city – Cain seeks to overrule his curse in being unable to reap produce from the earth without great effort by establishing the beginnings of a city and an organized civilization, an environment interdependent upon goods produced by others.

v. 18 Irad – townsman, citizen, or the ornament of a city

Mehujael – smitten of God, the purified

Methasael – man of God

Larnech – can mean strong youth, or a man of prayer or youth. It seems that Cain continued to seek to create his own religious system within his family line as indicated by their names.

19 Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. 20 And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother's name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. 22 And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.

23 Then Lamech said to his wives:

"Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech!
For I have killed a man for wounding me,
Even a young man for hurting me.

24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,
Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold."

v. 19 took two wives – Within seven generations of the fall, man had forsaken the institution of marriage as designed by God.

v. 20 Jabal – This person became so wealthy through acquiring livestock that he became the first to develop tents for a nomadic life. This provided a way for him to move his herds to distant lands for grazing.

v. 21 Jubal – He invented a form of a stringed instrument, calling it a harp. He also developed the first flute, which was a reed pipe for music.

v. 22 Tubal-Cain – He developed the ability to make utensils, jewelry, tools, and weapons from brass and iron.

Naamah – This is a rare instance when a woman is included in these ancient genealogies. Her name means beautiful, attractive, or pleasant. Her beauty or other accomplishments had distinguished her for generations.

v. 23 I have killed – This is the first poetry recorded since the fall (Gen. 2:23). This seems to be said in a boast, having killed a man with a sword designed by his son (v. 22). He includes in this poem an arrogant statement that God will protect him for this even more so than Cain was protected. So ends this account of the ungodly line of Cain. They had taken their God-given abilities and developed a civilization that was increasingly self-defined, self-reliant, and proud.

A New Son

25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, "For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed." 26 And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD.

The Godly Line of Seth (Verses 25-26)

v. 25 SethSheth (Heb.) means set, settled, appointed. The idea behind his name is that he was set in place to replace the godly line that could have been established by Abel.

v. 26 Enosh – This word means frail, mortal, weak. It is possible that Seth realized the frailty of man as he considered the fall of his parents, the murder of his brother Abel, and the ungodliness of Cain. Seth's family seeks the face of God for renewal and revival for their lives.

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