Cain and Abel

God gives us the answer to this question in the story of Cain and Abel in Exodus 4.

Cain and Abel were sinners, like all of us. They couldn’t give anything to God to pay for their sins. So God planned a way that they could come to Him. He made a way for them to come to Him because He loved them, just like He loves us.

This is the way God planned.

When they came to God, they had to bring a sheep as an offering to Him. And the sheep had to be killed in a way so that the blood flowed out of it. Now you have to understand that the blood of the sheep couldn’t pay for their sin… but God wanted them to remember that the punishment for sin is death. He wanted them to remember that they would die and go to everlasting punishment unless He saved them.

If they agreed with God that they were sinners and that only He could save them from everlasting punishment, then they would bring a sheep and kill it in the way that God had told them.

Leviticus 17:11 God promised that if they came by faith, offering to Him the blood of animals, He would accept them and forgive their sins.

Genesis 4:2-5 …And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.

And Cain was very angry, and his face showed it.

Abel brought his sheep as an offering to God. He agreed with God that he was a sinner and that only God could save him from everlasting punishment.

God was very pleased with Abel’s offering and He accepted him.

What about Cain?

Cain was a tiller of the ground and he brought the fruit of the ground as an offering to God. God rejected Cain’s offering.

Why? Because Cain didn’t come to God in the ONE Way that God had said was acceptable. Cain came to God in his own way, according to his own ideas, and not in the way that God had commanded. Cain didn’t trust the way that God had told them to come, and so God rejected him.

What about us?

God has not changed. He is still the same today. He still says there is only one way that we can come to Him. And we have to come to God in this ONE WAY or He will reject us just like He rejected Cain.

What is that way that we can come to God?

John 14:6 gives us the answer. Jesus says I am the way, the truth, and the life; No man comes to the Father but by Me. Jesus is saying I am the way, the only Way. No man comes to the Father except by me. I am the only way YOU can come to the Father.

When Abel offered the sheep to God, it was a picture of what Jesus would do for us later. Jesus would die for us as that offering.

Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God. He offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. His died in such a way that His blood flowed out of his body. His blood that was shed paid the death penalty for our sins.

All you have to do to come to God is agree with Him that you are a sinner, and trust that Jesus paid for your sins when He died on the cross. Three days later, Jesus rose from the grave, victorious over sin and death.

Some of you know may know Romans 6:23
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The payment for our sin is death. Jesus paid that price. But the gift of God is eternal life. How do we accept that gift? Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. Believe that He died for your sins and rose from the dead and you will be saved – Romans 10:9. You will be accepted by God. You will have come to God in the one way that He has said is acceptable.

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Sin Entered the World

Deceived (vs 1-7)

The serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yea, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Who is this serpent? Revelation 20:2 speaks of “the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan.”

Satan questions what God has said.

The woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.

Eve knew the one rule. She knew God’s Word.

And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die.

Satan denies the truth of what God has said.

Because God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Satan lied.

John 8:44 tells us that he is a liar and the father of lies. (HCSB says the father of liars.)

It is said that the best lies have a little bit of truth in them. That little bit of truth makes the lie more believable. If Adam and Eve were to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they WOULD know good and evil, but it wouldn’t be the good thing Satan made it seem like it would be.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit of it, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father, but is of the world.

These three are the root sins.
– the lust of the flesh
– the lust of the eyes
– the pride of life
All sin is a symptom of one of these root problems.

Satan tempted Eve with these three: the fruit was good for food (lust of the flesh), pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eyes) and would make one wise (pride of life).

And you can see in Matthew 4 and Luke 4 that Satan also tempted Jesus with these three.

And the eyes of Adam and Eve were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Hiding (vs 8)
Adam and Eve heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Adam and Eve knew they had done wrong. Their first response was to hide their sin.

Opportunity for Confession (vs 9-13)
The LORD God called to Adam, and said to him, Where are you?

And Adam said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

God asked, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded you that you should not eat?

God gave Adam and Eve an opportunity for confession. 1 John 1:9 says if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Adam said, The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

The LORD God said to the woman, What is this that you have done?

The woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

But Adam and Eve blamed others for their actions. Adam blamed God and Eve. Eve blamed the serpent, Satan.

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Satan still uses his old tricks.

  • He still questions God’s Word.
  • He still denies the truth of God’s Word.
  • He still tempts us with the three root sins: The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

And we still respond to our sin in the same way as Adam and Eve.

  • We feel shame.
  • We try to hide our sin from God.
  • We often blame others for our sin. We blame God, others and Satan. “Satan made me do it.

Adam and Eve

Genesis 2 zooms in on Day 6 and gives us some extra details.

God Created Adam

Genesis 2:7 LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.

When the KJV Bible says LORD with all capital letters, the original language called God by His name, Jehovah. God is called by this name for the first time in Genesis 2. God is called by name several times in Genesis 2.

God’s breath made man a living soul. The Bible speaks of the body as a tent. (2 Corinthians 5:1,4 and 2 Peter 1:13-14) In our tents, there lives that eternal part of us, our soul. God did not breathe on any other creature, just man.

Our souls consist of three parts: mind, emotion and will.

Our mind allows us to know God.

Our emotion allows us to love God.

Our will allows us to choose to obey God.

The Garden of Eden (2:8-14)

The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and he put the man whom he had formed in the garden. And the Lord God made every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food grow out of the ground. The tree of life was also in the middle of the garden and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden…

The passage goes on to say that the river branches into four river-heads, one of which is the Euphrates.

Work – The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (vs15)

Even in the garden man had work to do. Work is good. In the garden, man’s work would have been enjoyable not laborious. Man did not work by the sweat of his brow until after sin and the curse.

One Rule – The Lord God commanded the man, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden, except of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You shall not eat from it, because in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die. (vs 16-17)

A Help Meet – (vs 18-22) The Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a help meet (help-mate, helper) for him.

Adam named the animals

Out of the ground, the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air. And God brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatsoever Adam called each living creature, that was the name of it. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him.

God Created Eve

The Lord God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep, and God took one of Adam’s ribs and closed up the flesh. And with the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, he made a woman and brought her to the man.

Marriage – (vs 23-24) And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Innocence – (vs 25) Adam and Eve were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Let US Make Man

In Genesis 1, we are told that God created man on Day 6.

God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… (Genesis 1:26)

Notice the words “us” and “our.” God said, “Let US make man in OUR image.” This is the first indication of the Trinity – God in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost).

John tells us of the presence and participation of Jesus in John 1:1-3

In the beginning was the Word.

The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Word was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him.

Nothing was made without him.

But how do we know John is talking about Jesus when he says “the Word?” He tells us in John 1:14.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us….

What about the Holy Spirit?

…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Gen 1:2)

Creation Day 7

Genesis 2 starts with Day 7 of creation.The heavens and the earth were finished and all the hosts of them. God then ended his work; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work. (vs 1-2)

“God rested.” Did God need to rest? Was He tired? Isaiah 40:28 says, Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does no faint nor grow weary…

God didn’t need to rest. He rested as an example for us. Man needs to rest. If you work, work, work or play, play, play without resting, you will wear out. God knew that man needed to rest.

God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because He had rested from His work that He had created and made. (vs 3)

The word “Sabbath” is not used for this day of rest here in Genesis 2. We learn the term Sabbath when Moses is instructing the Israelites about gathering manna in Exodus 16:23-30. Moses explained that there would be no manna to gather on the day of rest, the sabbath, so the Israelites would need to gather and prepare double on the sixth day.

Then God uses the term sabbath again when he gave the Ten Commandments.

#3 of the 10 commandments says, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the 7th day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son, your daughter, your servants, your cattle, nor the stranger who is within your gates. Because in six days, the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11)

Our calendar is made up of days, weeks, months and years.

Our day is based on the rotation of the earth. It takes 24 hours for the earth to completely turn.

Our month is based on the revolution of the moon around the earth.

Our year is based on the revolution of the earth around the sun.

Our week – There is no physical reason for the week. It is based solely on the seven days of creation.

Creation Days 1-6

Day 1 – Genesis 1:1-5 (summarized)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…

God said Let there be light and there was light. God saw the light, that it was good. He divided the light from the darkness.

He called the light Day and the darkness He called Night. The evening and the morning were the first day.
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Day 2 – Genesis1:6-8 (summarized)

God created a firmament that divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters above the firmament. God called this firmament Heaven. This Heaven is the atmosphere. God saw that it was good. The evening and the morning were the second day.

There are three heavens

– the heaven where the birds fly (the atmosphere),

— the heavens (outer space),

— the third heaven (the place where God lives).

In 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 Paul said I know a man who was caught up to the third heaven, whether in the body or in spirit we know not. I agree with the Bible scholars who say Paul was speaking of John and the revelation.
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Day 3 – Genesis 1:9-13 (summarized)

God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together in one place and let the dry land appear. God called the dry land Earth and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. God saw that it was good.

And God said Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself. And it was so. And God saw that it was good. The evening and the morning were the third day.
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Day 4 – Genesis 1:14-19 (summarized)

God said let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night. Let them be for signs and seasons, for days and years. God made two great lights – one to rule the day (that would be the Sun) and the lesser light to rule the night (that would be the moon). And God made the stars also. God saw that it was good. The evening and the morning were the fourth day.
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Day 5 – Genesis 1:20-23 (summarized)

God said, Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures and let the fowl fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens. God saw that it was good. And God blessed them and said be fruitful and multiply. The morning and the evening were the fifth day.
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Day 6 – Genesis 1:24-31 (summarized)

God made the beasts of the earth, the cattle and every thing that creeps upon the earth according to their own kind. (Remember God has called the dry land earth.) God saw that it was good.

God said Let us make man in our own image. Let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air and the cattle and every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, male and female. God blessed them, and said be fruitful and multiply.

And God said, I have given you the herb on the earth and the fruit of the trees to eat. And to the beast of the earth and every fowl, I have given every green herb to eat.

God saw every thing that he had made and it was VERY good.

(Notice man and animal ate only the herb and the fruit. There was no death.)
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Can you see the pattern?

In the first three days, God prepared places. In days four, five and six, God filled the places (in the order He prepared them).

1 – Day / Night                      4 – Sun in the day / Moon & Stars in the night

2 – Heaven / Waters             5 – Birds in heaven / Fish in waters

3 – Dry Land, Plants              6 – Land Animals, Man, Woman on dry land

Conclusion #1: Our God is a God of order!!

God provided everything that we would need to live before He made Adam and Eve. He gave us the perfect atmosphere for life. He gave us green plants for food and oxygen. He positioned the sun just the right distance from the earth so we would not burn up or freeze. He placed the moon the perfect distance from the earth so the tides would not flood the land.

Conclusion #2: Our God is a God of provision!!
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What is your impression of God after reading Genesis 1?

Genesis 50 – Death of Joseph

Joseph Died 

When Jacob died, Joseph fell on his father’s face, wept on him and kissed him.

Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel.

The embalming process took forty days. The Egyptians mourned for him seventy days. And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spoke to the house of Pharaoh.

Joseph (to the household of Pharaoh): If I have found grace in your eyes, I beg you, speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, My father made me swear, saying, I die. You shall bury me in my grave which I have dug for me in the land of Canaan. Now therefore let me go up and bury my father, and I will come again.

Pharaoh: Go up, and bury your father, according as he made you swear.

Joseph went up to bury his father, and all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, and all the house of Joseph, and his brothers, and his father’s house went up with him. Only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company. And they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and Joseph made a mourning for his father seven days.

When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning of the Egyptians: therefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which is beyond Jordan.

Jacob’s sons did to him according as he commanded them. For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a burying place of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.

After he had buried his father, Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brothers, and all that went up with him to bury his father.

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they conferred one to another.

Joseph’s brothers (to each other): Joseph will perhaps hate us, and will certainly repay us all the evil which we did to him.

And they sent a messenger to Joseph.

The message: Your father did command before he died, saying, So shall you say to Joseph, Forgive, I pray, the trespass of your brothers, and their sin. They did evil to you: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.

Did Jacob really say this? Probably not. The brothers were just afraid that Joseph would seek revenge after their father died.

Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

His brethren also went and fell down before his face.

His brothers: We are your servants.

Joseph: Do not fear not. Am I in the place of God? You thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save the lives of many people. Now therefore do not fear. I will nourish you and your little ones.

And Joseph comforted his brothers and spoke kindly to them.

Joseph and his father’s house dwelt in Egypt.

Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. He saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children of Machir the son of Manasseh were also brought up on Joseph’s knees.

Joseph (to his brothers) I die, and God will surely visit you and bring you out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel.

The oath: God will surely visit you, and you shall carry my bones up from here.

So Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Genesis 49 – Death of Jacob

Jacob’s Death 

Jacob called to his sons.

Jacob spoke to his sons:

Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, sons of Jacob; and listen to Israel your father.

Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power. You are unstable as water. You shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed and defiled it. You went up to my couch.

After Rachel died, Israel journeyed. While he was away “Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Israel heard it.” (Genesis 35:22)

Simeon and Levi are brothers. Instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not into their secret. My honor, be not united to their assembly. In their anger they killed a man, and in their self-will, they “digged down a wall.” (Other translations say, hamstrung an ox) Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce. Cursed be their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise. Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies. Your father’s children shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s cub. My son, you are gone up from the prey. He stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the people be gathered.

This is the prophecy of the Messiah. The Christ will come from the line of Judah.

Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine, he washed his garments in wine and his clothes in the blood of grapes. His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea, and he shall be a haven of ships. His border shall be to Zidon.

Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens. He saw that rest was good and the land was pleasant, and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant to tribute.

Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. I have waited for your salvation, O Lord.

Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.

Naphtali is a hind let loose: he gives goodly words.

Joseph is a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him. But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from there is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) Even by the God of your father, who shall help you; and by the Almighty, who shall bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lie under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb. The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my ancestors to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brothers.

Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf. In the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that which their father spoke to them, and blessed them. Every one according to his blessing, he blessed them. And he charged them.

I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying place. (Genesis 23)

There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah, the purchase of the field and of the cave that is in the field was from the children of Heth.

And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, yielded up the ghost and was gathered to his people.

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