Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can listen to the sermon below and download it here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.
We move on now in our study of Genesis to the fourth chapter — Genesis 4 — where you might say we begin the rest of the story. Through Adam, sin has entered into the perfect world God created, and death through sin. The serpent has been cursed, the woman has been cursed, the man has been cursed. All of creation has been cursed. The man and woman have been driven out of the Garden of Eden by God; the perfect, sinless, communion, the fellowship they knew with God, be it ever so briefly, being corrupted. Everything in the world has been corrupted.
And yet there is no lack of hope. God has promised already, in Genesis 3:15, the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent. One day Satan and sin and death will themselves be dealt a fatal blow. So moving on from Genesis 3, on the one hand we are looking forward to the day that will happen, but on the other hand, until then, sin is in the world, the wages of sin is death, and since all who come from Adam will be born sinners, we see the spread of sin… the spread of sin.
If you want an overarching theme to Genesis 4 that’s it: the spread of sin. Let’s begin by reading our text: Genesis 4:1-15…
Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to theLord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.
We do indeed see the depth of the spread of sin here. In just about every way, this account represents a decline even from what happened in the Garden of Eden. There man died spiritually and now, ejected from the Garden, this account shows him taking his own shovel to make his grave a deeper grave. Continue reading The Depth of the Spread of Sin (Gen 4:1-15)