Full Service Sermon Video Sermon Audio Scripture Verses Genesis 2:16-17; 3:15, 20-21; 4:1-16; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 53:3-5; Matthew 1:18, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 Worship Playlist All Creatures of Our God and King by Sovereign Grace MusicResurrecting by Elevation WorshipGood Grace by Hillsong Study Questions Read Genesis 2:16-17 and Genesis 4:7. Why do we find it so difficult to master sin? How does sin affect us? Why does cruelty of man seem to escalate exponentially? Read Genesis 3:15. What is God’s promise concerning Eve’s offspring? How does Genesis, and the Old Testament as a whole, begin to trace God’s promise through Adam and Eve’s offspring all the way to Jesus Christ? Read Genesis 4. What hopes might Eve had concerning her son Cain? Her son Abel? And finally, her son Seth? Read 2 Samuel 24:24. What do you think of David’s vow? How did you see that play out in Cain and Abel’s story? How do your thoughts about sacrifice measure up to that of David or Abel? How does the spirit of Cain creep into our attitude about sacrifice? Are we more like Cain or Abel? Read Romans 8:32. How does God’s ultimate sacrifice of Jesus eclipse that of men of like Abel, Abraham, or David? Read 1 Peter 3:18. Does it seem “just” that an unrighteous son should live, but a righteous son die? How does this foreshadow the manner and price God with which God would pay for sin? Praise God! It’s amazing to consider how deeply Gospel themes are woven into Genesis and the Old Testament! Downloads & Resources Sermon Video Download Service Video Download Sermon Audio Download Madness of Cruelty Dr. Jon Morrissette - 10/3/2021 God’s commandment to Adam and Eve, in Genesis 2:16-17 was, “. . . you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” As we saw last week, morality and immortality are inextricably bound up in one another. As we will see this morning, God makes the same essential declaration to Cain. Genesis 4:7, “If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” If you do what is moral and right and good, won’t life go well? Will you not enjoy fellowship with God? But if you don’t do what is right, sin is right there crouching at the door, ready to swallow you up! What is it about our human nature that we must test everything God says? Eve was deceived by the Serpent. She ate anyway. She tested God. If you interpret the “day” in Genesis 2:16-17 as a literal 24 hour day, Adam and Eve would have only had 24 hours to live. But we should think of this “day” as a marker of a pivotal moment in history, the beginning of a new era in human existence. The Hebrew expression in Genesis 2:17 is, “on the day you eat. . . dying you shall die.” When we sin, we don’t die instantaneously. A 24-hour hourglass doesn’t get flipped upside down. But on that day we welcome sin into our heart, it begins to germinate, and grow, until like thorns and thistles, death consumes the totality of our being. If the wages of sin was instantaneous 24-hour death, the human race would have been extinct within a single generation. But no, “dying you shall die.” God is gracious and merciful not wanting anyone to perish, but all to be saved As we saw last week God hangs the hope of humanity on an offspring of Eve. God tells Satan, Genesis 3:15, “I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” You struck out at Eve. Eve will have offspring. One of Eve’s offspring, one of her seeds, the heel of one of her descendants, will crush Satan’s head. Here at the beginning of human history, a narrative begins. A child is coming. A child savior will be born. He will be born of a “woman’s seed” not “Adam’s seed” or a “man’s seed” but of a woman!Isaiah the prophet captures the hope of Genesis 3:15. Isaiah 7:14, “. . .the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.” Immanuel means God with us. Isaiah 9:6, “or a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” We know how Genesis 3, Isaiah 7 and 9 is fulfilled. Matthew 1:18, “The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit.”In Gen 3:15, Adam and Eve have the gospel, but not the timeline. Adam and Eve could not master sin. On the day they sinned, they began to be devoured by death. “Dying you shall die.” But then we come to Genesis 4:1-2, “The man was intimate with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the Lord’s help.” 2 She also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of flocks, but Cain worked the ground.”Now what’s up with Genesis 4:1? “The man. . .” He does have a name, right? Adam? The attention of the Genesis narrative zeroes in on Eve. There is an equally curious statement at the end of Genesis 3! After the Serpent, Adam, and Eve fall under a curse… only then does Adam name his wife! Genesis 3:20 says, “The man named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living.”Every reference to Eve before Genesis 3:20 is as Adam’s “wife” or as “the woman.” But now it's Adam who’s called “the man” and the woman is elevated. She is now “Eve” and the “The mother of the living.” In the New Testament, Adam is not the Father of the Living. No, Adam is the father of the dying. Check it out: 1 Corinthians 15:21a, “For since death came through a man…” 1 Corinthians 15:22a, “For just as in Adam all die…”The reason Eve is the mother of the living is because one of her non humanly seeded or non humanly fathered offspring, would give birth to Christ (Genesis 3, Isaiah 7 and 9). 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 in full says, “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”So, in Genesis 4:1 Eve “conceives and gives birth.” Her firstborn son is Cain! She is jubilant! She says, “I have had a male child with the Lord’s help.” Notice, “The man” is completely excluded from her thoughts. Adam is like dead to her! So here is Cain. Did you know the name “Cain” in Jewish Tradition signifies “possession.” I wonder if in the back of Eve’s mind she might have wondered if Cain would be the One? Maybe this is the one through whom we’ll possess life and peace?Eve also conceives or gives birth to a younger son, she calls Abel. Now in Jewish tradition Abel means “sorrow.” So here you have a son of possession and conquest; and you have a son of many sorrows. If you were Eve, who would you hang your hope upon? These two sons lead diametrically opposite lives. Genesis 4:3-5, “In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also presented an offering—some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but he did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent.”Here you have Abel, the younger son. Jewish historian Josephus describes Abel as a “a lover of righteousness” who believed “God was present in all his actions, he excelled in virtue; and his employment was that of a shepherd.”But then you have Cain, the firstborn, who shows himself to be wicked in so many respects. He is wholly intent on getting and possessing. Josephus says Cain was the first to contrive of plowing the ground. In his greed he would force the earth to give up its crop on his terms. And then there is Abel, and the two come to sacrifice before God. The firstborn Cain gives second rate fruits of the earth; The second-born and sorrowful Abel gifts the firstfruits, the fat portions, he makes a blood sacrifice, of a precious lamb from his flock!In ancient times he hierarchy of sacrifice is you would easily sacrifice grain. But an animal, that would be very costly. And the only thing more costly than an animal would be to sacrifice yourself, and then after yourself, the next greatest sacrifice would be your own child. In 2 Samuel 24:24 King David vows, “I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing. . .” Most mothers, when forced to choose, would gladly sacrifice themselves before sacrificing their child. Nothing is more precious, valuable than a child. Abel’s animal sacrifice eclipses Cain’s grain offering.What’s the deal with these sacrifices anyway? Why all the sudden did Cain and Abel feel compelled to sacrifice anything? This Genesis book is so intriguing. In Genesis 3:21 we read, “The Lord God made clothing from skins for the man and his wife, and he clothed them.” When Adam and Eve sinned, they couldn’t hide from God. They were naked and ashamed. So God sacrificed an animal, and made coverings for them.Perhaps Abel “the man of sorrows” is commemorating God’s grace. Perhaps the sacrifice of Abel (a man of sorrows) is foreshadowing the great and precious sacrifice of God’s One and Only Son. Isaiah 53:3-5 foretold the coming of Jesus. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering (sorrow) who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; he was despised and we we didn't value him. . . we regarded him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds.”How costly it must have been not for God to sacrifice some lamb, but to sacrifice his One and Only Son, his son of sorrows, on that cross! God’s sacrifice eclipses all sacrifice once and for all. God distressed Abraham at the thought of sacrifice his One and Only Son Isaac, but relented and spared his son. But God did not spare his One and Only Son. Romans 8:32 says, “He did not even spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything?”Whatever hopes Eve might have had for her firstborn Cain being the Satan crushing Savior were quickly dashed. Genesis 4:6-7, “6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent? 7 If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”Cain was of Adam’s seed, the “Father of Dying.” Death devours him. Genesis 4:8-14, “Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s guardian?” 10 Then he said, “What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! 11 So now you are cursed, alienated from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood you have shed. 12 If you work the ground, it will never again give you its yield. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” 13 But Cain answered the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! 14 Since you are banishing me today from the face of the earth, and I must hide from your presence and become a restless wanderer on the earth, whoever finds me will kill me.”The unpromising, ungodly, unrighteous lives. The promising, righteous, good son dies. Try to read Genesis 4 from the perspective of Adam and Eve. Because of their sin, they’ve begun dying a slow death. Now, the fallout of their sin has escalated. They didn’t just lose one son, but two sons. One they lost to murder, the other to slow death--“Dying you shall die.” Cain conspired with sin. Instead of mastering sin, Cain the possessor let sin possess and devour him. He slaughters his good brother. He descends into sorrow, self-hate, and bitterness. He becomes depressed, angry, resentful, rejected by God, useless.When Cain went out from God’s presence, he had many offspring! Cain’s wife conceives, she gives birth to Enoch. Cain builds a great city and names it after his son. Several generations pass. None of Cain’s offspring are godly. None are the savior. In fact, before the end of the chapter. Genesis 4:23-24 tells us about a descendant of Cain named Lamech. “Lamech says to his wives… I killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain is to be avenged seven times over, then for Lamech it will be seventy-seven times!” If Cain has seven vigilantes after his blood, I’ll have 70 coming after me! Evil and Cruelty and Madness are multiplying!So what then is the meaning of Genesis 4? I listened to Jordan Petersen’s 2.5 hour presentation on Genesis 4, where he unpacks the moral, psychological, and societal implications of the Cain and Abel story. He has some great insights into human nature, his Bible series is worth a listen.But what no one has probably ever told you is that the story of Cain and Abel isn’t about Abel, nor is it about Cain. Its about a man you’ve probably never heard of named Seth. Genesis 4:25-26, “Adam was intimate with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has given me another offspring in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 A son was born to Seth also, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.”Did you catch that? She said. Eve! God has given me another offspring in place of Abel. I thought the promise would come through Cain? Nope. Then I thought maybe it would come through one of Cain’s offspring, like Lamech? Nope. Maybe it was supposed to come through Abel, but sadly Abel is now dead. But aha! God has not forgotten his promise. The Lord has given me another offspring! Seth! And from Seth comes Enosh. And notice, “At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.”In the Hebrew it can also mean, “People began to call themselves by the name of the Lord!” The laser beam focus of Genesis is how despite all odds, despite all the madness of Satan, of History, of Humankind, of the Nations… an offspring of Eve is coming who will crush Satan, bring peace, and bring everlasting life. Here comes Seth… then Enosh… Enoch… Noah… Shem… Abraham, Isaac, Jacob… David… In Christ, God is inviting us to get out of the lineage of Cain into the lineage of Seth. To step out from under Adam, and to bow our knee under Christ. As in Adam all die (as in Cain, and Lamech, all die). So in Christ… all will be made alive!In Christ, God fulfills his promise to crush Satan’s power, to end this death spiral of man, to establish peace and everlasting life.