Cain, Abel, and Noah, by Melissa Gibbs

Cain, Abel, and Noah, Genesis 4-6

Ok, so we left off with Adam and Eve being expelled from paradise and from a perfect relationship with God the Father. Like us today, their sin was in placing higher value on things other than God. The intrigue of the fruit was the possibility that it offered something more than what they had with God. If they disregarded His instructions, could they find something even better for themselves? Could they increase in knowledge and power and become like God himself? Of course not. And when we think that valuing our material possessions, careers, social standing, even other relationships, will bring the same satisfaction and fulfillment that God offers, we are sorely disappointed. Adam and Eve quickly learned that life would never be better than when they were walking in perfect union with God. In fact, life was about to get a whole lot harder.

So now we find Adam and Eve raising a family without the benefit of close communion with God. The Bible doesn't say much about His involvement in their lives post-Eden, but we do know that they taught their boys about God and about making sacrifices to Him. A connection must have been made between shed blood and the covering of sin back when God himself killed the first animals to make clothing for Adam and Eve after the fall. Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God, Cain from his crops and Abel from his livestock. God was displeased with Cain's offering. Why? Later in the Mosaic law, the Israelites were commanded to offer the first fruits of their crops to God. His displeasure could not have been related to the content of the sacrifice. A careful look at the wording in verse 3 of chapter 4 offers a clue. "Cain presented some of his crops" while "Abel also brought a gift- the best of the firstborn lambs". Cain offered something, Abel offered his best. God always looks at the heart, and what He saw was a fundamental difference between Cain and Abel's love for Himself. Doing the right thing with the wrong motivation is of no value to God. The true nature of Cain's heart is then clearly revealed when he kills his brother. Cain is cast away from his family as punishment, and also as protection, for he must have had many siblings by that time who may have sought revenge. So he leaves with his wife, and yes it had to have been his sister since there was no one else and marrying a sibling was not prohibited until much later. Adam and Eve had another son, Seth, from whose line came Noah and ultimately Jesus and all mankind.

At the time of Seth's son Enosh, people began to "worship the Lord by name". But seven generations later (which equated to a couple thousand years given the extended lifespans before the flood), the world had succumbed to gross immorality. The perplexing reference to the "sons of God" sleeping with the "daughters of man" seems to indicate the intermingling of the followers of God with pagans. God warned against this destructive combination throughout the Old Testament, and this seems to be the generation of it's origin. Some scholars have questioned whether these unions, which produced "giant Nephilites", were actually fallen angels with humans. But this is an unlikely view since angels are spirit beings and not capable of reproducing. The fact that the offspring were "giants" is not necessarily proof of such unions, as even today we see genetic anomalies that produce really big people. Does anyone question the parentage of Andre the Giant??? Anyway, I think the point of this aside, is that the pagans were pulling the believers down and bringing about new levels of immorality. This is why God repeatedly tells His people not to be yoked together with unbelievers. It grieves Him deeply when we are living apart from Him. Verse 6 says that it "broke His heart" that the pre-flood world had fallen so far away from Him. It now evil enough that God saw fit to destroy all that existed, save for one family that had stood for righteousness. Think about how amazing it is, that when God tells Noah His plan and asks him to play the leading role, he does it without question. Verse 22 reads "Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him". It must have sounded crazy. It surely cost him dearly, as it must have been very expensive to build the ark and would certainly have required him to devote himself fully to the job for YEARS. Additionally, he must have suffered ridicule as he undertook this very obvious task at a time when rain had not yet fallen on the earth. Before the flood, the earth was watered by a canopy of mist in the atmosphere which resulted when God "separated the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth" on day 2 of creation.

Of all the things we have ever felt nudged to do by God, how many have we balked at that required FAR FAR less of us than what Noah agreed to. I think of this blog, and how I tried to talk myself out of it for months before finally committing. Let it be said of us this year, that we "did everything exactly as God commanded us".

Tomorrow's reading: Genesis 7-10

About Melissa Gibbs:

 

Melissa is the mother of four boys and the wife of her junior high sweetheart, JD.  He is the President of Joe Gibbs Racing and the son of NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs.  JD and Melissa have been married 16 years and are actively involved with Young Life, Motor Racing Outreach, their church, and other ministries.  Their youngest son Taylor is nearing completion of a 3 year treatment protocol for leukemia, which has been a powerful faith walk for their family.  Since his diagnosis, Melissa has been called upon to share their family's testimony with many local churches. Much of her energy is now focused on a huge festival planned for mid May in celebration of Taylor's victory over leukemia and in effort to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer.  If you'd like to check out what she's up to while not blogging, go to www.finishlinefestival.com.

 

Visit Melissa at http://chronologicalbiblein2010.blogspot.com/.

 

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