As Adam and Eve begin life outside of the Garden of God nothing must seem the same to them. Their holy spirit is gone, thus no regular communication with God. When you are around someone all the time, talking, laughing, enjoying life together, and suddenly that person is gone, a great emptiness and loneliness flows from within. Imagine the magnitude if that one who is now missing is the Creator of the heavens and the earth! Their hearts must have longed for that tender fellowship and gentle refreshing they experienced when they were in the presence of God. At first their grief must have been overwhelming.
Adam would now be working the ground but the results are not what he is use to seeing from working in God’s Garden. Their bodies don’t feel the same, now there are aches and pains at the end of a long hard day at work. Their minds have to work at staying peaceful and focused on God’s departing words as they left the Garden. And those words of God they are holding, they aren’t really sure they fully understand them.
As we enter Genesis chapter 4 there is a vast chasm between God and man. Sin has caused a separation that only the Redeemer will be able to bridge. Man is experiencing, for the first time, the greatest heartache of all times, separation from God.
And Adam knew Eve his wife;
and she conceived, and bare Cain,
and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
Immediately we can see the limited spiritual understanding. Eve thinks she has gotten a man from God. Already she is convinced that the Redeemer has been born. However instead of giving birth to the Promised Seed, Eve has given birth to the first person that will be of the Devil’s seed. Eve has given birth to the first murderer.
How hurtful this must have been to the heart of God. The very first person born, Cain, makes the decision in his life to stand with the Devil. The first man, who is born of man, is also the first to become a child of the Devil.
Could this first child of Eve have been the redeemer? The answer is yes. But in order for this child to be the Redeemer the believing of Eve must be in harmony with what God has told her. Eve did not believe the promise of God, she was only hoping it would happen. Eve is holding the promise of God in her mind, but the promise has no hold over her heart. Eve is mentally assenting to the promise of God.
And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep,
but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Notice that Eve doesn’t make the same proclamation when she has a second child.
And in the process of time it came to pass,
that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
“In the process of time” means, at the end of the days or at the appointed day. This tells us that all of what God has shared either with Adam and Eve or with their children is not recorded in God’s Word. God had more to say then what the Word records either in the Garden or after man left the Garden. For they have an appointed time, a set day upon which they are to bring an offering to God.
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.
And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
But unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect.
And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
What is the difference in these offerings that God does not accept Cain’s offering but He does accept Abel’s offering? They both have obeyed by showing up at the appointed time. They have obviously both come to the same place. So what is wrong with the offering of Cain?
I have heard these verses used to teach tithing or the law of giving and receiving. The teaching will generally flow along the lines of giving of your first fruits. The logic of the teaching is that Abel’s sacrifice was received because his sacrifice was of his first fruits, while Cain’s was rejected because his was not of his first fruits.
However, there are some problems with this being an accurate understanding of the Word of God. When believers, in any administration, gave a tithe or gave of their abundance, it was always in respect to a priest or leadership. There was no priest or leadership that Cain and Abel would be sharing with at this time?
God has never given man rituals or rules simply to keep man occupied. God has a point and a purpose to the things He has man carry out. The Word of God must fit from Genesis to Revelation and the logic of this account being about the law of giving and receiving simply does not line up with the rest of God’s Word. Actually, it doesn’t even line up with the immediate context.
A better question to ask yourself would be, what is the only offering that God has taught at this point in time? The answer is the blood covering, a sin offering, from Genesis 3:21.
The reason I mention that these verses have been used to teach about giving and receiving is to point out that anyone can twist the words of God. A person may be sincere and honestly trying to promote the will of God; but forcing the words of God to say something that isn’t there will never promote the will of God. Man never needs to “help” make a point or teach a subject. God has always provided enough information in His Word that can be taken in the heart with which it was written to express the Will of God. Stretching the Word of God only promotes bondage, fear and spiritual failure.
By faith [read believing] Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts:
and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Abel’s offering testified that he was righteous. Righteousness is right living; it is the absence of sin. Only the blood covering could hide or cover sin. Only by the blood covering could sin be removed “as far as the east is from the west.”
And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant,
and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
The comparison here is between the sacrifice, the offering of Abel and the blood of Jesus. The offering of Abel in Genesis 4 is that of a sheep. When a sheep is killed it sheds blood. But what was the offering of Cain?
And in the process of time [on the appointed day] it came to pass,
that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto he Lord.
Cain came to God with veggies in his hand! Have you ever seen a veggie shed blood? Do you remember a time when God gave instructions for veggies being the covering for sin?
By his offering Abel demonstrates four things:
1. Abel acknowledges that a blood covering is needed because of sin. 2. Abel shows his belief that man could not and would not redeem himself. 3. Abel acts in believing. He shows his believing in the promise of God;
he has believed the integrity of God’s Word.
4. Abel lives in the hope of the coming Redeemer, the Promised Seed.
Abel’s actions show him to be a man of believing. And by his believing action God counts him as righteous. On the other hand Cain’s offering also tells us about Cain and what his heart was like.
We can see the following in the action of Cain:
1.Cain did not believe the need for a blood covering.
He saw no need for the animal substitute
2.Cain was strong in his own works.
“See what I grew, even with the ground being cursed, could grow this awesome carrot!”
If you remember, this is the same problem the Devil had when he was Lucifer.
He had too much pride.
3.Cain was not meek to God. 4.Cain did not believe nor hold the integrity of God’s Word. 5.Cain was not looking for the coming Redeemer,
the Promised Seed. Cain simply had no hope!
Another question that comes to mind is in regards to the acceptance of Abel’s offering. How did Abel know his offering was accepted? How did Cain know that God did not accept his offering? And how did they know where to take their offerings?
And there came a fire out from before the Lord,
and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat:
which when all the People saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
1 Kings 18:38
Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice,
and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
God showed His acceptance of a sacrifice or offering by consuming the offering by fire from heaven. This would have been very visible both to Cain and Abel as to which offering God accepted and which one He rejected.
So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
The word “placed” means to dwell as in a tabernacle.
Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the Lord thy God,
of the flock and the herd, in the place which the Lord shall choose to place His name there.
Cain and Abel knew where to go to offer their gifts unto God because of where God had placed His name. Later this word “placed” is used in reference to Shem, the son of Noah that was part of the Christ line.
God shall enlarge Japheth,
and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem and Canaan shall be his servant.
Here the word is translated “shall dwell.” The plural is used for tent because it is in reference to the majesty of the tent used for worship. Shem was considered the priest of God during his time.
Therefore, when the appointed day arrived, Cain and Abel took their offerings to the assigned place, the place where God had placed His name to dwell. Then God showed His acceptance of the offering by consuming the offering by fire from heaven.
But this is by no means the end to Cain’s story. God, as we have seen with Adam and Eve, walks in love and forgiveness and mercy to help Cain realize his actions and provide a way for him to change. For in his actions, Cain has also sinned. He has disobeyed the Word of God. Cain has rejected God’s way in favor of his own way.
But unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect.
And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
“Very wroth” means, to be sad and “his countenance fell” means, that he was despondent. Some have read this verse and immediately come to the conclusion that Cain was mad at God. But that is not what this verse shows us.
Cain was depressed. He was sad. He probably was caught off guard by God’s response to his offering. Generally, men do not see their own pride or lack of meekness. By his reaction, Cain probably didn’t see what was going on within his own heart and mind. Cain was not mad, rather his heart was hurt and God’s lack of acceptance of his sacrifice depressed him.
And the Lord said unto Cain, “Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen ?
So God starts working with Cain
by asking him questions.
Again this is the figure of speech, erotsis or interrogating. The asking of a question when you are not looking for any information. God is trying to get Cain to think, to acknowledge his sin, just like He had done with Adam and Eve.
It is God’s nature to live forgiveness and mercy. God is not out there waiting for the next person He can pounce on and wipe out. God wants people to live and fellowship with Him. God wants people to have a life that is full and abundant. But He will never force anyone to receive what He has to give. It will always be the individual’s choice. Cain has made the wrong choice and God is working with him, endeavoring to get Cain to change his mind, to change his heart, to make another choice. Does this seem like a God who can’t handle sin? A God who had to leave His own son when he was dying on the cross? It is very sad at times to see how men and women, who are trying to stand for God, have misunderstood the ways of God and the heart of God.
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?
and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.
And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
“If you doest well” means, if you do that which is right or good. That which is right or good, in this situation, is for Cain to offer the blood sacrifice, the animal substitute. If Cain does that which is right he shall be accepted. The word accepted means to lift up your face. Now that sounds strange, but at the same time, it also sounds appropriate for Cain who seems like he is doing a shoelace inspection at this time.
And Lot said unto them, “Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, Thy servant hath found grace in Thy sight, and Thou hast magnified Thy mercy, which Thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, the city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.” And He said unto him, “See I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.
This is the same word accepted. It means to lift up your face after your request has been granted. In the East it was customary, when making a request to your lord, to prostrate yourself on the ground before him and then to make your request. This word accepted is when your request has been granted and you are told to lift up your face.
God is telling Cain that with the blood covering, which would be his request for the removal, or covering, of sin, would be granted. This would allow Cain fellowship with God. Then God continues in verse 7:
...and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.
And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
This is an awesome verse of scripture when you know what it is saying. “Doest not well” means when you have done that which is wrong. It is the opposite of the first part of this verse. Then God said, “sin lieth at the door.” This sounds bad, except the word sin really means sin offering.
And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements; once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the lord.”
“Sin offering” is the same word translated sin in Genesis 4:7. It means a sin offering. Next, “lieth at the door” means is lying at the entrance. God has brought a sin offering to Cain so that he can get right with God. At the door, or entrance, is in reference to God having brought an animal substitute to the place where Cain would be expected to offer the animal.
...And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
The end of this verse is very similar to Genesis 3:16 and you have to wonder how much the Lexicon writers mixed up the two verses in their minds. The latter half of this verse is often taken to mean that Abel will be under Cain and Cain will be the ruler. But that is completely out of line with the context of what God is dealing with here.
The word “his” should be translated “it’s.” I think they translated this word “his” because the word lieth is in the masculine. But surely Abel is not lying at the door! No one should be thinking that Abel was to be Cain’s sacrifice. How some have gone from a discussion of sacrifices to Cain ruling over Abel, I’m not really sure, but some have made this leap.
The sin offering is lying at the door and its desire is to Cain. We looked at the other two occurrences of this word desire. Remember the Lexicons define this word as affection to a superior. But we saw problems with that definition because of how it was used in the other two places.
It was used of Christ’s desire for Israel and the wife’s desire for her husband. Never is Israel considered to be superior to Christ, nor is the husband considered to be superior to the wife. However, in this verse, that definition, affection to a superior, could apply; for Cain is superior to a sin offering, the animal that is at the door.
Next, the word ruler, is the same word we looked at before in Genesis 3:16 and Judges 8:23. This word means to have authority but it also includes in it the sense of no fear. The husband, being the ruler of the wife, the one in final authority, should never produce fear. Nor should the husband ever try to rule or exercise authority that is based in fear; just as God does not teach us to act in fear toward Him but rather to act in love and with reverence.
Now let’s put this whole verse together and marvel at the greatness of our God’s love.
Genesis 4:7 literally says,
If you do that which is good, humble yourself before me, God,
by offering the animal substitute, the blood covering,
you will be accepted and told to rise up.
But you failed to do that which is right and good, so, a male,
a sin offering is lying at the door.
And it has affection for you, as its superior,
and it will not flee from you in fear.
God worked with Cain and tried to correct his disobedience that was born out of his pride and arrogance. But Cain refused. Cain rejected God and the sin offering. And then, between verses 7 and 8, a great change takes place in the life of Cain. A change that Cain cannot reverse and God cannot forgive.
And 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 slew him.
Cain kills Abel! What happened? How did Cain go from talking with God about the sin offering to a murderer? We are sitting here reading about God working with Cain, and suddenly, he is a murderer! How does this come to pass?
The answer is the Devil. Time is needed in here for this change to take place. Time is needed for the Devil to work his seduction on Cain. Again, like in Genesis chapter 3, time is not emphasized in these verses. Therefore, there is no time sequence set forth by God. However, no one changes in the time it takes us to read through this account. There is more time in here then we see from these verses.
1 John 3:12
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother.
And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
Cain has received seed, the wrong seed. Cain has become a child of the Devil. This takes place between verses 7 and 8 of Genesis, chapter 4. Now, how do I know that?
In Hebrews we read earlier that the blood covering would bring remission for almost all sins. There was one sin that the blood could not cover because it was seed and seed is irrevocable.
In Genesis 4:7 God offers Cain a blood covering, the animal to sacrifice. God would not have done this if Cain were a child of the Devil by seed, already. Then First John tells us that he was “of the wicked one” when he murdered his brother Abel.
“Of” is in the genitive case. Here we are looking at a genitive of origin, which shows us the relationship between the wicked one and Cain. The relationship was one of a son or by seed.
Here you can see the animosity the seed of the Devil has for the seed of the woman, spoken of in Genesis 3:15. Here the Devil attacks the Christ line, the line of the Promised Seed, and thus the seed of the woman.
Has Abel been identified in God’s Word as part of the Christ line? The answer is no. He was killed before he had any children and therefore could not be in the Christ line. But from the viewpoint of the Devil, he has one of the two sons. God calls the other son righteous, who else could be the Christ line? If you have one as your seed and you motivate your one to kill the only other, you have attacked the Christ line.
After Cain becomes wrong seed his attitude toward God also changes. In the earlier verses, when God is working with him, Cain is depressed and sad. Now, he becomes hateful and angry and the enemy of God, just like his father, the Devil.
And the Lord said unto Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?”
And he said, “I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?”
The word “keeper” means a guard or protector. Who is supposed to be Abel’s protector? Who is Cain slamming here? Cain is getting in God’s face and trying to lay a human guilt trip at God’s feet. Aren’t you, God, my brother’s keeper? Aren’t you supposed to know where he is and what is going on with him?
Now we have anger! Now we see hate for God coming from Cain. He is no longer a sad man or a depressed man. Cain is an angry man. His pride and arrogance has led him to become the enemy of God.
And He said, “What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
Now we have a third cursing.
First, the Devil is cursed, then the earth is cursed, and now Cain is cursed. Cain is cursed “from” the earth; the word “from” means, more than. Cain was cursed more than the earth. Now the big question is why? Why is Cain cursed more than the earth? Has God gotten a little extra vengeful with Cain because he is a murderer? Perhaps God is being especially hard on Cain to let others know there is a price to pay when you walk in the way of rebellion and disobedience. How could God, who is Love, be so harsh to Cain?
And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord,
and do all His commandments which I commanded thee this day.
And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand,
in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good:
for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as He rejoiced over thy fathers:
Cain is cursed more than the earth because the earth has a reprieve from being under the dominion of the Devil. When a person believes God and walks with God, God will cause the earth to produce, to be fruitful. But as one who has seed of the Devil, Cain has no reprieve. His wrong seed will always remain. The curse of Cain is more than the earth because he has made it unavailable for God to bless him or protect him. There is simply no reprieve for Cain.
What is the effect that Cain wanted that would not be coming to pass? Remember, this word cursed is in regard to effects.
Well, from what we can see here in Genesis and what God had to say in First John, Cain was jealous of Abel. Cain was walking according to his corrupted nature. He was not controlling his mind to move with the words that God had given. The corrupted nature of man is a jealous nature. A jealous nature that can move a person to murder!
Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy ?
The word “think” is the Greek word, dokeo , and it means to form an opinion or to give an estimate of a thing ; while the word for “scripture” is graphee and is used of the scriptures in reference to their authority. The question being posed in James is, “Is it your opinion, that the Word of God is without authority...”
Sadly enough, that is the opinion of far too many people; far too many Christian people, even Christian teachers and ministers have the opinion that the scriptures are without authority. Mostly people will declare a lack of integrity to God’s Word when the scriptures disagree with a preconceived idea or personal belief.
The word “vain” is kenos and means without substance, meaningless or empty. The word “lust” here is a longing or yearning that moves you to action or directs your actions. And the spirit being spoken of here is the spirit of man; your natural man verses your spiritual nature.
So, James is asking, “Is it your opinion, that the Word of God is without authority, that the Word speaks without meaning or profit when it says, that the spirit of man within you moves you to jealousy?”
The spirit of man, for today’s Christian, is our old man nature. But to Cain, our old man nature is his only nature and this nature is jealous to the point that it moves the natural man to action; even such an action as murder. It is in this area of jealously that we can see the Devil working with Cain.
There are some teachers who question whether or not there really is a seed of the Devil. I have no argument for them. I would simply tell them to read the Bible themselves and this time without private interpretation. Then, if they still want to argue about whether or not there are two seeds, take the argument to God. After all, He is the One who inspired the book. This is His Word!
Cain became the seed of the Devil, a child of the Devil. Cain made his own free will decision, a decision that God was required to honor.
When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
Cain also will never receive from the ground the way a person who believes God can receive from the ground. That makes life harder when you have decided to be a farmer. This is another effect Cain will not receive.
And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
The way this verse is translated, it sounds like God was too harsh on Cain but that is not the case. Cain has caused his own trouble by walking with the Devil. God cannot be blamed for the problems in Cain’s life.
The word “punishment” is the word sin or iniquity. And the word “bear” is the word forgiven. The statement Cain is making is literally, “My sin or iniquity is more than can be forgiven.” The reason Cain’s sin was more than could be forgiven was that it was the sin of becoming a child of the Devil, of accepting wrong seed. This is the only unforgivable sin in God’s Word.
God has always gone above and beyond to care for man and to keep man right. But man often fails to see or receive the goodness of God because he is too busy making his own way and exalting himself. Yet, God holds true to His nature in every account set forth in the Word of God.
Adam and Eve turn their backs on God, opening up a vast chasm between mankind and God, and yet, God works to restore fellowship with them. Never has a man or a woman committed a sin that carried such awesome results for the rest of mankind and the world itself. There has not been a sin committed since the world began, short of accepting spiritual seed of the Devil; that God has not been willing and able to remove from the individual. It’s why He promised to send “the seed of the woman”, mankind’s redemption and salvation.