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Monday, January 28, 2019

2019.01.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 4:1-5

Questions for Littles: What did Adam do to Eve in v1? What did she do? What does she say? What does she name the second son (v2)? What does he do? What job does Cain do? How long does Cain take to bring an offering (v3)? How long does it take Abel to bring his offering (v4)? Which offering does he bring? What does Yahweh think of Abel and Abel’s offering? What did Yahweh think of Cain and Cain’s offering (v5)?
In the Scripture for this week’s sermon, we have the sober reminder that since all children of believers are born sinners, each must be saved through his own faith from sin and guilt and Hell.

We don’t find out that “Cain was of the evil one” (cf. 1 Jn 3:12) until we see the fruit of his life. From the beginning, his parents are hopeful. Eve, who has received that name because she is the mother of all the living, triumphantly names her son “Cain” (gotten/gained/ acquired), declaring that it is in conjunction with Yahweh that she has gotten him.

Yet, the fruit of his life begins to appear long before he becomes the first murderer. The timing of Cain’s offering does not bode well. Most English translations say something like “in the course of time” at the beginning of v3. Literally, it is “at the end of days.” Yahweh is an afterthought to Cain, getting the leftovers. Abel, however, brings unto the Lord the first and the best.

What made the difference between the two? Hebrews 11:4 tells us: faith. It was not so much what kind of sacrifice. After all, the Lord would later command grain and drink offerings, and indeed Jesus affirms even the tithing of spices. No, the reason that it was a more excellent sacrifice is that it was offered by confidence in God’s promised salvation.

Cain, however, is not hoping in God’s salvation, but in his own performance. He expects God to be grateful for these afterthought/least portions that he has brought. How do we know? Because when God does not show the regard for his offering that Cain expects, Cain becomes angry and sullen.

Children of believing homes must learn to be grateful to God for His mercy in placing them there. But let them guard against being impressed with themselves or desiring that others would be impressed with them. Instead, let them see that God’s salvation is for God’s glory—displaying Himself as infinitely worthy by mercifully saving those who are infinitely unworthy. Let them come by faith, for it is Christ Himself whom God regards!
What do you offer God? Why? How? Why would He have regard for your offering?
Suggested Songs: ARP32A “What Blessedness” or TPH435 “Not What My Hands Have Done”

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