The Way of Cain
The Way of Cain
“An Obsession with Self”
Pastor E. Keith Hassell
Genesis 4:1-15; Jude 1-13; 1 John 3:10-12
The Way of Cain
1. Lack of faith
a. Faith is putting God and others before ourselves
i. Hebrews 11:4 (NKJV) “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.”
ii. Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
b. We must reject the lie that says giving is losing
i. Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
ii. Acts 20:35 (NKJV) “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
a. Without faith in God we focus on self as the source and center of all happiness
b. Cain brought an offering from the fruit of the ground but Abel brought a blood sacrifice from the firstborn of his flock along with its fat.
c. Giving people are happy people. Selfish people are unhappy people.
d. Because Cain wanted the best for himself, he was not willing to give his best
3. Feelings of Rejection
a. Rejection of the gift
i. Genesis 4:4-5 (NKJV) “Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.”
b. Rejection of the giver (wrongly assumed)
i. “If you reject my gift, then you reject me.”
4. Jealous Anger
a. Feelings of rejection can lead to jealous anger over God’s favor on another
i. Cain toward Abel
ii. Esau toward Jacob
iii. Eleven brothers toward Joseph
iv. Ten disciples toward James & John
v. Peter toward John
c. We must learn to control and resolve our anger
i. Genesis 4:6-7 (NKJV) “So the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.’”
ii. Ephesians 4:26 (NKJV) “‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,”
5. Concealed Hatred
a. Unresolved anger can lead to concealed hatred
b. Hatred is murder in the heart
i. Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 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.”
ii. 1 John 3:15 (NKJV) “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
c. Hatred concealed
i. Proverbs 26:24-26 (NKJV) “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.”
ii. Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV) “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.”
iii. 1 John 4:20-21 (NKJV) “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”
6. Open Attack
a. Separates in their mind loving God and loving their brother or sister
b. Cain’s concealed hatred changed him from a brother to an enemy
c. Cain plotted his brother’s death
i. Genesis 4:8 (NKJV) “Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.”
7. Denial of Responsibility for Others
a. Genesis 4:9 (NKJV) “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’”
b. Cain claimed no responsibility as his brother’s keeper.
c. “Keeper" is shamar (Strong's #8104):
i. “to keep, keep watch over, keep within bounds, take heed to, tend, guard, preserve, protect, regard, and save.”
ii. It is translated sometimes translated as "watchman."
iii. The picture is of one who is given responsibility to watch over and tend to a vineyard or to sheep.
iv. Cain could have said, "Am I my brother's shepherd?"
d. Cain’s attitude violates:
i. Jesus' example of laying down our lives for one another:
1. 1 John 3:16 (NKJV) “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
ii. The covenant community of the church that is built on the foundation of togetherness, accountability, and caring.
8. Self-Pity in Consequences
a. Genesis 4:13-14 (NKJV) “And Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.’”
b. Cain expressed remorse because of his consequences rather than for the death of his brother.
1 John 4:21 “And this commandment we have from Him; that he who loves God must love his brother also.”