(Luke 17:26–30 ESV) Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
By this time there easily could have been millions of people on the Earth. And God only saved eight when he brought the cataclysm of the Flood.
God promised not to destroy this world again by water, but he is preparing once again for Earth’s destruction. This time by fire.
Peter tells us that scoffers will scoff. That’s what they do.
(2 Peter 3:3-7 ESV) Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing,following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
However the battle is not intellectual, but volitional. Humans want to do what humans want to do. And apart from the work of grace in our lives, we don’t want anyone, including (and sometimes especially) God, telling us how to live our lives.
(John 3:19 NCV)They are judged by this fact: The Light has come into the world, but they did not want light. They wanted darkness, because they were doing evil things.
Message: “Just As in the Days of Noah” Message Text: Genesis 5:25–6:13, Luke 17:22–30
All the history of this planet, everything that has been and will be … is all about God. He dominates the grand stage; God is the big picture.
Eugene Peterson writes: First, God. God is the subject of life. God is foundational for living. If we don’t have a sense of the primacy of God, we will never get it right, get life right, get our lives right. Not God at the margins; not God as an option; not God on the weekends. God at center and circumference; God first and last; God, God, God.
And often we do not get it right. A great part of the human experience is to believe that we are at center stage. If everything is okay in my world, then everything is okay. If I am not happy, if things are not going my way, then something is drastically wrong with this world.
It seems to be an easy thing for a human to forget who God is. Even Christians it seems.
In the theater a bit player is a person with a very small acting role with just a few lines to speak. We are bit players in God’s universe, but sometimes we demand the spotlight, the attention, the focus. We are very important people you must understand.
You have maybe heard the expression that history is “His” story, the story of God.
We will never fit together the pieces of the puzzle of this world—joy and sadness, failure and success, love and hate, kindness and cruelty, wisdom and foolishness, life and death—until we understand that the crowning moment of everything … all earth history, every person, every event, every circumstance directs us to God in his glory.
We will see in our text this morning that Cain didn’t realize this. The world he saw through the grid of his darkened mind was a mass of confusion and lies. He didn’t know who he was. He didn’t know who God was. He was a bit player demanding his way with the Star of the show, and when God refused, he was so angry that he could murder someone. So he did.
Did we leave them behind? Were they only relevant for Old Testament times? Or possibly they were only needed through the first century AD to establish the gospel but are no longer necessary?
Where are the mighty men of God? Could they be sitting on a pew at Faith Fellowship Church of Tennessee, IL? Are they necessary here?
Maybe that depends. If we are only interested in “doing church,” then maybe we don’t need mighty men and mighty women of God. But if we are intent on doing the work of God, then we need the mighty men and women of God to step forward and answer his call.
(Genesis 4:6–7 NLT)“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
Do what is right, and you will be okay. Refuse to do what is right, and sin is waiting to pounce.
Is it really that simple? Yes, it is. Almost as simple as, “Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Pretty simple.
Then why did they fail? Because they decided to reason through the options from their personal perspective, see the world through their eyes. It was all about them, not God. So even though the command was crystal clear, Eve reasoned through her options.
(Genesis 3:6 NLT)The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.
We don’t know the specific instructions that Cain was given to be able to present an acceptable offering. But we do know that God speaks clearly. Whatever the reason was that God did not accept Cain’s offering it was not because Cain misunderstood.
Cain demanded that God accept what he presented, and when God refused, Cain was angry enough to murder someone. So he did.
Cain worshiped the LORD. (Probably for many years leading up to the written account.)
Cain brought his offering one day and the LORD did not look with favor on Cain and his offering and did not accept him.
Instead of repenting, Cain defied God and sin pounced on him.
Cain murdered Abel.
Cain lied to God: “I do not know.”
Cain defied God: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Cain murdered his brother because of his great anger toward God.
Cain was cursed from the ground.
Now Cain was a fugitive and a wanderer.
Cain’s defiance shows again in his claim that God is unfair in his judgment.
Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod.
Cain was married and began a family.
Cain’s descendants made developments in the arts and in technology.
Abel was Cain’s younger brother.
Abel was a shepherd.
Abel worshiped the LORD. (Probably for many years leading up to the written account.)
Abel brought his offering one day and the LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering and accepted him.
Abel was in the field with his older brother and Cain murdered him.
Cain is condemned throughout Scripture.
We are warned to not be like Cain. He murdered Abel because Abel was right before God and Cain’s deeds were evil.
—(1 John 3:12 ESV) We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.
The way of Cain is the way of greed, manipulation and rebellion.
—(Jude 11 ESV) Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion.
Abel is commended throughout Scripture.
Abel was a man of faith and righteousness. Abel still speaks even today. Even now.
—(Hebrews 11:4 ESV) By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.
Abel was the first in a long line of righteous men to be murdered by self-righteous men.
—(Matthew 23:34–35 ESV) Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
The probable/possible family history of Cain and Abel:
It seems that Cain must have been the first child of Adam and Eve. They were expelled from the garden of Eden and Cain’s birth was a hopeful moment.
It is also very possible that Cain and Abel were almost as old as Adam and Eve—possibly close to 130 years old when Cain murdered Abel. Before the fall, Adam and Eve were two healthy, perfectly functioning humans, including their sex life. No children were born to Adam and Eve in their still-innocent state, so it is inconceivable that too much time would have expired before Eve would have become pregnant. Thus … their time in Eden was surely very brief. Thus … if is very possible that Adam and Eve were less than one year old when Cain was born. I know … crazy! 🙂
After the murder of Abel, Adam fathered Seth when he was 130 years old. This is our only definite number as we try to calculate their possible age. However, since Cain joined another society when he left after the murder of Abel and found a wife, then the most probable scenario is that Cain and Abel are almost as old as Adam and Eve, and they have all been fruitful and multiplying over the last 100 years or so.
Through the Genesis account and through Scripture, we must remember that God gives us what we need to know to come to him and to serve him with honor. Unless specifically stated, we do not count on Scripture to be a chronological and sequential account.
What we do know is that from Genesis 1:26 when Adam was created there were 130 years of history and fruitful multiplying and filling the earth going on.
That’s what went through Cain’s mind as his anger rose to “white hot” in intensity. “How dare you, God, stick your nose in my business when you have rejected me. How dare you judge me so severely. In fact, how dare you judge me at all.”
“Who do you think you are?”
Adam and Eve had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil setting a new standard of living based on the glory of humans rather than the glory of God. In today’s text we will see that Cain had followed in his parents’ footsteps. He also now had this knowledge of good and evil, and based on his standard of good and evil, he had brought an offering before God demanding God to accept what he believed to be good and true, what he had determined was right and acceptable.
But you see, Cain doesn’t know who God is. God doesn’t go for that stuff.
If you know who God is, then you don’t bring your nonsense and stupidity before him and demand agreement. In fact, you don’t demand anything from a holy God. But Cain doesn’t know these things.
And, secondly, if you know who God is, then you are listening to God. You aren’t a decider. You are a listener. You don’t set the standard. You bow before a God who is the standard. And you listen.
And what did God say?
(Genesis 4:7 ESV) If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.
And it hasn’t changed. Are we listening to God?
If you are listening to God, then you know who God thinks he is. He is God.
God says, “I am El Shaddai. God All-Powerful. I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.”
God says, “I am El and Elohim. I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid.”
God says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. For I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst.”
But Cain didn’t know these things.
Message: “Post-Eden World: Acceptance!”
Message Text: Genesis 4:1-5:5, 1 John 3:12, Jude 11