Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bible Notes: Gen 4

JUDGMENT WATCH: Gen 4:1-16. Cain fails twice and is judged twice.
  • First, he does not “do well” in terms of his offering to Yahweh, and Yahweh “had no regard” for it.
  • Second, Cain commits fratricide, and his punishment includes farming failure and expulsion. He is to be driven “from the ground, and from your face” (14). He is cast away “from the presence of the LORD.” His expulsion, as well as his parents’ from Eden, vividly portray the truth that sins separate us from God (cf. Is 59:2).
  • A promised third judgment becomes an expression of grace to Cain: if anyone murders Cain, he will be avenged sevenfold. (I assume this was somehow known by men so that they thought twice, or even sevenfold, before attempting his death.)

Gen 4:9ff. Abel is the first martyr, the first godly individual to be persecuted for his faith, and God notices when he falls. What’s more, he avenges his death. He hears Abel’s blood crying out to him from the ground, and in response he seeks out Cain and brings judgment upon his head. Here then is revealed, at the beginning of Genesis, the ways of God with his persecuted people. His eye is on them, he knows their suffering, he knows when they fall, and he avenges them. (Note Heb 11:4: “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead” [NIV].)

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