Under normal circumstances parents expect great things for their children.
We want them to be wise, handsome or beautiful, filled with grace, successful.
In some cases we look to our children to live out our own limited successes or overcome their failures.
But here we are going to look at a child who has grown up to be what we would not want our children to end up like.
We are going to talk about Cain and Able.
Cain is the example of not mastering sin but sin mastering Cain.
We are going to learn how to deal with anger and how to control it rather than anger controlling us.
We are going to learn about deception, murder, ignoring and rejecting God’s warning and Word and choosing to follow the way of sin rather than the way of the Lord.
Listen to *Psalm 1*:
"Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish."
(Psalm 1:1-6, NKJV)
!! A. The deception and murder (v.8).
!!! 1. “Cain talked with Abel his brother, Cain rose up against Abel and killed him…” (v.8).
!!!! a) Cain lured Abel into a field, attacked and murdered him.
!!!!! (1) Note a few facts:
!!!!!! (a) Cain had been angry at both his brother and at God (Gen.4:8).
He was angry because God had rejected him but God accepted Abel.
!!!!!! (b) God had warned Cain that sin was crouching at his door (Gen.4:7).
(i) Sin was just like a wild beast, ready to lurch forward and consume him.
(ii) Cain allowed his bitterness and hostility against his brother and against God to fester and consume him.
(iii) Cain did not allow himself to be mastered by God and so became enslaved by the devil.
Sin had its way with him, and he became the first murderer.
!!!!!! (c) Cain is now seen deceiving Abel.
Cain deceived—deliberately and wilfully deceived—his brother so he could carry out his murderous plot.
!!!!!! (d) Note how often Abel is said to be Cain’s “brother” throughout this passage (six times).
This graphically shows how terrible Cain’s sin was: it was his /very own brother/—the very brother who came from his own mother’s womb—whom he plotted to kill and whom he eventually murdered.
!!!!!! (e) The ungodly seed was now planted upon earth.
Cain was the first man...who let sin consume him (James 4:1-3).
*James talks about how sin starts, grows and finishes, he says *"each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."
(James 1:13-15, NKJV)
*James asks the question *"Where do wars and fights come from among you?
Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?
You lust and do not have.
You murder and covet and cannot obtain.
You fight and war.
Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures."
(James 4:1-3, NKJV)
!!!!! (2) So here we see the deceit in Cain’s heart.
*Cain sounds exactly like the description of Proverbs 26 that says *"He who hates, disguises it with his lips, And lays up deceit within himself; When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart; Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.”
(Proverbs 26:24-26, NKJV)
*The worst deceit of all is when* "Jesus said to Judas, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48, NKJV)
\\ !!!!! (3) Cain plotted Abel’s slaughter and then pulled it off.
!!!!!! (a) He said, “Let’s go out to the field”.
Then, when they were in the field out of sight of others, “Cain attacked his brother and killed him.”
!!!!!! (b) But Cain was not out of God’s sight.
God sees everything, and God saw Cain.
!!!!! (4) Note the sins of Cain:
!!!!!! (a) Anger, deception, murder
!!!!!! (b) ignoring and rejecting God’s warning and Word
!!!!!! (c) choosing to follow the way of sin and of Satan
*When it comes to murder, we must always remember the words of Christ: *"But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council.
But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire."
(Matthew 5:22, NKJV)
!!!!! (5) The lesson for us is clear: anger held within the heart is equal to murder in God’s eyes.
*Exodus 20** says* "You shall not murder."
(Exodus 20:13, NKJV)
*Peter said *"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters."
(1 Peter 4:15, NKJV)
*John says that Cain *"Was of the wicked one and murdered his brother.
And why did he murder him?
Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous."
(1 John 3:12, NKJV)
!! B. The confrontation with God (v.9-10).
!!! 1. “Where /is/ Abel your brother…?”
!!!! a) God questioned Cain (v.9a).
!!!!! (1) God was not asking for information; God knew exactly where Abel was.
God wanted Cain /to think/ about his sin and what he had done so that he would cry out for mercy.
!!!!! (2) Note that Cain is not seeking after God, but God is seeking after Cain.
!!!!! (3) God is love—His very nature is love—therefore, God set out to demonstrate His love.
God went after Cain, like He did Adam asking: “Adam, where are you?”
This is the call of God as the seeking Savior.
*Jesus said *"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?”
(Luke 15:4, NKJV)
*Jesus *"has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”“
(Luke 19:10, NKJV)
*To the church in Laodicea, the Lord said* "Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20).
!!!!! (4) Here is a prime example of the mercy of God.
!!!!!! (a) God still speaks to Cain and gives him an opportunity to repent.
!!!!!! (b) Jesus also gave Judas and opportunity to repent (Lk.22:48).
!!! 2. “I do not know.
Am I my brother’s keeper…?” (v.9b).
!!!! a) Cain denied responsibility for his brother (v.9b).
!!!!! (1) Think how evil this reply is.
The lie was Cain’s denial that he knew his brother’s whereabouts.
!!!!! (2) But sin had mastered him at this point that he not only lied; he lied to God, no doubt thinking that he could get away with it.
!!!!!! (a) It is true that Adam and Eve had tried to shift the blame when God had confronted them with their sin on the occasion of the fall.
!!!!!! (b) But they did not lie; they told the truth even though they were trying to escape from under it.
But now Cain lies, and the lie is to God.
!!!!! (3) Second, he asks a question and this is even worse than the lie.
!!!!!! (a) So hard is his heart that he now suggests that his brother, whom he killed, is not his responsibility.