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Home Sermon Collection (ENG.Ver) English version Lessons from The Life of Cain
Lessons from The Life of Cain PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ir. David Kurniadi   
Sunday, 14 June 2015 08:47

Cain was born after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. The name “Cain” was given as the expression of faith of Adam and Eve to God. They admitted that they had got their firstborn son “with the help of the Lord” (Genesis 4:1). They made this expression of faith was because Eve had given birth to his first son with painful labor (Genesis 3:16). From this situation we could see that Adam’s faith to God had been restored.


By giving the name “Cain” to his firstborn son there was an expectation that this child would walk faithfully with God as Adam had lived in the Garden of Eden before the fall. Adam had taught Cain about the history of the fall: about his intimate relationship with God before the fall, about his disobedient and the punishment he had to suffer (Genesis 3:1-24).


But it seemed that Cain didn’t show the godly life as expected. This was shown by the name of his second-son “Abel” (Genesis 4:2). The name “Abel” means “emptiness.” This was the expression of what was Adam felt about the situation when he saw the spiritual life of his firstborn son.


Abel, the second son, showed a different attitude. He honored God sincerely as Adam had taught him. Adam taught both of his sons to worship God. So they both brought their offering to the Lord. Abel offered “fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock” because he honored the Lord and wanted to please God’s heart (Genesis 4:4). This God-pleasing offering later became the statute for the Israel in giving the offerings. 


“Set apart for the Lord your God every firstborn male of your herds and flocks” (Deuteronomy 15:19).


“They shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the Lord” (Leviticus 4:31).


But Cain only brought “some of the fruits of the soil” and not the “first fruits” because he didn’t honor the Lord. He just did it as an obligation to God and not because he loved and honored the Lord (Genesis 4:3).


So God did not look with favor on Cain’s offering not because he offered the fruit of the soil. God would also accept the fruit of the soil as an offering as long as one offered it with the heart that loved and honored Him.


“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops” (Proverbs 3:9).


The Lord put more attention into their heart rather than what they offered. He looked with favor on Abel and his offering, because he offered it with a heart that honored the Lord. But on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor, because Cain did not honor the Lord (Genesis 4:4-5).


“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).


This is the problem with many Christians nowadays: they go to the church regularly but without the heart that honor God and want to please God’s heart. They just do it as an obligation and not more. And they do it as they please without regard whether God is pleased or not.


This unrespect heart toward God became a chance, a small gap for the devil to infiltrated into Cain’s heart. When God didn’t look with favor on his offering Cain was very angry (to God), and his face was downcast (Genesis 4:5). The devil exhaled anger and envy into Cain’s heart. He became envious of his brother and angry to God.


Actually God’s judgment upon Cain’s attitude was not final and could be changed if Cain would humble himself before God, admit his wrong attitude and change it immediately.


“Now plead with God to be gracious to us” (Malachi 1:9).


When King David brought back the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem the first time, he brought it in the way that was not according to the Law. He just did it according to his own idea. He thought it would be pleasing God, but in fact the Lord’s anger burned because of irreverent act. Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath and afraid of the Lord and was not willing to take the Ark of the Lord with him. But after sometime when he realized his mistake he was preparing again to pick up the Ark and bring with him to Jerusalem. This time David consulted the priests and the Levites how to take the Ark according to the Law of God, and David was successfully brought back the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:1-14; 2 Chronicles 15:1-29).


So, if we would change our attitude toward God by giving Him an honor and reverent heart, God will surely be gracious to us and accept our worship and offering.


The Lord admonished Cain about his wrong attitude that had made God looked on his offering without favor. He also exhorted Cain to change his attitude and warned him that if he hardened his heart the evil one was waiting for him to persuade him to commit wickedness (Genesis 4:6-7).


But Cain who since the beginning did not honor God refused to hear God’s admonition. This attitude opened wide the chance for Satan to carry out his evil plan. Satan then whispered into Cain’s heart that full of envy and anger, to kill his younger brother Abel. And Cain searched for opportunities to kill him.


“When tempted (to do evil), no one should say: God is tempting me (to do evil). For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone (to do evil); but each person is tempted (to do evil) when they dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived (with evil plan and intention), it gives birth to sin (sinful act); and sin, when it is full-grown (multiplied and becomes habit), gives birth do death” (James 1:13-15).


Finally, Cain had an opportunity to kill his brother, and he did it (Genesis 4:8).


Now, God was merciful to Cain, because God is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). So, God tried to open the chance for Cain to confess his wickedness and repent that He might forgive him.


“Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23).


Then God asked Cain about his younger brother Abel (Genesis 4:9). It didn’t mean that God didn’t know about the murder of his brother. Nothing is hidden in the presence of God. He knows everything. God asked Cain just to open the chance for Cain to talk and confess his crime with contrition. But Cain now had become “child of the devil”: he followed the devil’s desire.


“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).


Cain murdered his brother. And now he lied to God who asked him about his brother and defied God. He said: “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9).


It began with a small gap: disrespect God, and then continued with “envy” to his brother and “anger” to God, and it went further with “evil plan and intention” and it crystalized into the act of murder. Finally it enhanced with “lies” and “rebellion” to complete it as “perfect sin.” And behind this scheme was the Devil himself with Cain as his disciple-child who carried out all his desires. Satan never feels enough just to get an eyehole. He will proceed until he can carry out all his plans and desires that is “to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).


This can be happened with any believer if he does not guard his faith with fear and respect toward God. 


“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (toward God)” (Philippians 2:12).


“So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).


Cain refused to confess his sin and to repent. He hardened his heart to rebel against God who had helped him out of his mother’s womb; who taught him through his parent to live a faithful life before God; who admonished him and gave him a chance to repentance from his sins several times. But now the gate had been closed.


“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of a raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:26-27).


Cain put himself as the enemy of God. He stood at the same position with Satan. So he was under the curse and driven from his place. The ground now was against him. Whatever he did to till the ground it will not yield its crops for him. He had to live with his own strength and Cain became a restless wanderer without God’s purpose in his life (Genesis 4:11-12).


But, instead of pleading for mercy to God, Cain blamed God unfair for his punishment and rejected God’s protection (because actually, God by his mercy wanted to protect Cain from anyone who wanted to kill him by putting a mark on him). So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and he lost his faith (Genesis 4:13-16).


Cain became the father of humanism. He built a life apart from God. He tried to meet all he needs and protect himself without God’s help. He was depended upon himself. He built a city and named it after his son Enoch (Genesis 4:17).


By building the city he tried to live in sufficiency without dependence on God. He believed that if he have initiative and dedicate himself for it he can be successful and he can boast.


“Come, let us build ourselves a city,…. so that we may make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 11:3).


All of this is the devil’s plan to separate man from God. This was what he did with Adam and Eve, when he enticed them to eat the fruit of the forbidden three that could make them like God (Genesis 3:4-5). And that had made them expelled from the Garden of Eden away from God.


The descendants of Cain became a worldly-minded people. Whatever they did was in order to suffice and protect themselves without dependence on God and for their own glory. Their initiative and dedication was their mainstay for their achievements. Within their hearts there were always an ambition to challenge God and to deny His existence. 


Eventually, God wiped out all his descendants because they had become wicked generations. But “the spirit” of Cain, the spirit of independency from God, is still working nowadays and will continue till the end of time. But thank God that He had created another descendants of Adam who became “the sons of God” (Luke 3:38) that was through Set, “another child of Adam in place of Abel” (Genesis 4:25), “a son in his (Adam) own likeness, in his (Adam) own image” (Genesis 5:3).


Now, we may choose whether to become “the descendant of Cain,” or to become “the sons of God.” 

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