And The LORD Said Unto Cain...


Lesson Plan

Genesis 4:6-7 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

Envy, jealousy and disappointment are eating at the soul of Cain. The word wroth in the passage means to burn and to be furious. Cain's anger was hot but his anger was misplaced. If Cain should have been angry with anyone it should have been himself. As this passage opens to us we see first of all the Lord is conversing with Cain. God has not cut off communion with man even though man now is a fallen creature.

Since all this trouble that has come to Cain originated around an incorrect sacrifice, and in the context of the Lord talking to Cain, it is inconceivable that Cain did not know the proper offering. Abel knew and sacrificed correctly. Cain knew and sacrificed out of a stubborn heart not willing to embrace what he had to offer was not acceptable to God. God has never accepted any offering for sin that did not portray the work of Jesus. In the law there was an exception made for a personal sin offering to be of fine flour if the person was too poor to buy even so much as a turtle dove in place of sheep, goat or bullock (Lev. 5:11). In Cain's situation it would not have been for lack of ability to obtain. He could have gone to his brother and traded food that he had raised for one of Abel's flock. But for the exception mentioned sin offerings were to be animal sacrifices. Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

When God questioned Cain about why he was so furious I believe it was to bring Cain to an acknowledgment of his error in both sacrifice and anger. "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?" The opportunity to repent is being offered to Cain. God is not going to make him but he is going to make him face his error and give him knowledge of it so he can repent and make amends. From the beginning God has been longsuffering when it comes to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). God has always stood ready to forgive when anyone approached Him with a contrite spirit. Cain had brought an unacceptable sacrifice to God and God rejected it. Instead of repenting of his foolishness Cain goes into a deep rage and festering jealousy that ultimately brings about tragedy in his and his brother's life. The sacrifice that God wants from Cain now is found in Psalm 51:17; "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.""And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." Cain's falling into displeasure with God means the remedy has to be toward God in obedience. Notice the warning from God that if he continues on his path "sin lieth at the door." It is a warning to Cain and it also stands as a warning to those of us who read of Cain and his jealousy and misplaced burning anger. If we let jealousy and anger build it will destroy us. Sin indeed lies at the door and if we go through that door as Cain did we may reach a point of no return as he did. It was God who had no respect to Cain's offering and I venture that it was God with whom Cain was so mad at. He couldn't hurt God but he could take his anger out on the one with whom God was pleased.

"And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. " God told Cain if he would "do well" he would not only be accepted of God but also his younger brother would desire to please him and he would have the rule over his younger brother. I think we should understand the nature of tribal hierarchy in the nomadic way of life of the early peoples. The oldest male had the birthright and would wind up being head of the family when the father was gone. The importance of this can be seen in the lives of Jacob and Esau and the wresting of the birthright and inheritance from Esau by Jacob. The word of the head of the family was law. Again it is helpful to realize the communication that God had with man at this time. The fact that he is talking to and instructing Cain speaks much to the knowledge early people would have had in the family structure, birthright, sacrifice and relationship toward God. God would have told his "image and likeness" how to make tools, till the soil, raise livestock for clothing (Gen. 3:21) and possibly for food although it is not specifically mentioned that animals were to be for food until after the flood (Gen. 9:3). Even if the flesh was not eaten at this early time there would be milk, butter and cheese to be made. It is also possible that God showed them how to gather the wool from sheep and make coats for clothing.

Genesis Study presented by Brother Dwight

Heard From The Ground

Two brothers two souls
Given different roles
Abel tends the sheep
Cain labors the ground
For nowÖCain is found
Tilling the ground.

Abel desires to bring
His best offering.
Cainís gift did not suit
God gives him warning
For picking the fruit
Fruit of the ground.

Sin knocks on Cainís door
Rage gets loose to roar
Causing ill demise
Abel breathes no more
God hears Abelís cries
Cries of the ground.

Poured blood had spoken
Though Abel lay broken
By brotherís strife
The ground soakiní
Precious blood of life...
God heard from the ground.

Julie Pisacane © 2006

Based on Genesis 4
Gen 4:10 And he said, What hast
thou done? the voice of thy
brother's blood crieth unto
me from the ground