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Current series in Galatians:


Saturday, February 9, 2019

2019.02.09 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 4:6-15

Questions for Littles: Who was talking to Cain? What two questions did the Lord ask Cain in Genesis 4:6? What further question did God ask Cain in Genesis 4:7? What is the assumed answer to that question? What did the LORD say lies at the door, if Cain does not do well? What did He say sin desired? What did He say that Cain should do instead? With whom did Cain speak in Genesis 4:8? Where were they in Genesis 4:8? What did Cain do? Who talked to Cain again in Genesis 4:9? What did He ask Cain? What was Cain’s first response? Was that true? Secondly, what did Cain ask the Lord? What is his implied answer to that question? What question does the Lord now ask Cain in Genesis 4:10a? What declaration does the Lord make in Genesis 4:10b? What judgment does God pronounce in Genesis 4:11? What does Genesis 4:12 say in explanation of what this curse means? What will Cain have to do, since he will no longer be able to farm successful? Now what complaint does Cain make in Genesis 4:13? What does he put at the center of his complaint in Genesis 4:14? From Whose face did he complain that he would be hidden? What ironic complaint does he make at the end of Genesis 4:14—what is he afraid that someone might do to him? What does the LORD say will happen to whomever kills Cain (Genesis 4:15)? What does the LORD do to him so that everyone will know not to kill him?
In the Scripture for tomorrow’s sermon, the Lord begins with mercy to Cain. We have noticed that whenever the Lord confronts us with our sin, and with the wicked condition of our hearts, it is a mercy unto us. Here, we can see that mercy not by the good that comes when Cain receives the Lord’s correction, but by the harm that comes when he rejects it. Be killing sin, or it will be killing you. Stomp out your sin, or it will dominate you. That’s the gist of Genesis 4:7 (which helps us understand how dreadful is the curse in Genesis 3:16!).

But Cain rejects the Lord’s warning, kills his brother, showing that while the first Adam has gone on to faith in the last Adam, the first Adam’s son Cain is still dead in his sins in the first Adam. In fact, his response is very similar. First of all, he lies when he says, “I do not know.” Second, he blames God. We do have a duty to defend our neighbor. It is part of “love your neighbor as yourself.” Young men, in particular, ought to be taught this duty. But we are not in the end the keeper of our neighbor. We are not, in the end, even the keepers of ourselves. God is! Cain is saying, “why are You asking me? You’re the One who failed to protect him” (!!!)

But, just like the wicked tend to do, when Cain receives a rather merciful (much less than what he deserved) punishment, he begs for the very protection that he accuses God of having failed to provide Abel—even disingenuously (but accurately!) claiming that the worst part of the punishment was being banished from the face of  the Lord. And the Lord actually grants him that protection. O, the inexplicable mercy of God—even to those who are perishing!
When does the Lord rebuke you? How do you respond? Where can you get help to do so?
Suggested Songs: ARP130 “Lord, From the Depths” or TPH130A “Lord, from the Depths to You I Cry!”

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