Bible Pathway - Jan. 2, 2011


Read Genesis 4

Highlights:

The Lord contrasts the worldly sacrifice of Cain with the godly sacrifice of Abel. About 1600 years later, universal corruption brings about the third great event of history — the flood in Noah's day. Worship of God revived (Gen. 4:25-26).

Cain had become jealous of his brother Abel and angry with God, because Abel's sacrifice was accepted while his was rejected (Gen. 4:4-5). The Lord reproached Cain in love and offered him an opportunity to repent of his sin: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door (4:7). While Cain's offering of the firstfruits of the ground recognized God as Creator, it was not a sacrifice for his sin. Without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness of sin) (Heb. 9:22). By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous (11:4). Abel recognized himself as a sinner and brought . . . the firstlings of his flock, which means he offered a lamb as a blood sacrifice to atone for his sins (Gen. 4:4; Heb. 11:4; 23:24). Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him (Gen. 4:8).

From the time of Cain and his family (4:26), mankind throughout the world became increasingly sinful, and eventually, a godly witness was reduced to just one family. Consequently mankind's rebellion resulted in the flood. It was the greatest catastrophe ever experienced by the inhabitants upon the earth (Matt. 24:37-39; Heb. 11:7; I Pet. 3:20; and II Pet. 2:5; 3:3-7). And God saw . . . only evil continually. . . . But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord . . . . Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God (Gen. 6:5-9). The word grace reveals the love of God for His creation and the mercy of God to establish a new life and hope for mankind.

The geneaology of the sons of God (6:2,4) continued through Noah from whose lineage Jesus would come (Luke 3:38). What often happens today is exactly what happened then: The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives (Gen. 6:2). It is assumed by some that marriage of believers (the sons of God) with non believers (the daughters of men) may be acceptable. But from the beginning, the biblical principle has been: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers . . . what part hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever)? And what agreement hath the Temple of God with idols? for ye are the Temple of the Living God (II Cor. 6:14-16).

Thought for Today:

But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).

Christ Revealed:

Through Abel's blood sacrifice (Gen. 4:4-7). Christ is the Lamb of God (John 1:29; see Heb. 9:22; 11:4). Man's best achievements can never take the place of Christ's death on the cross, which cleanseth us from all sin (I John 1:7).

Word Studies:

4:1 knew had intercourse with; 4:4 had respect unto approved; 4:6 fallen angry, resentful; 4:15 a mark a sign of protection; 4:18 begat fathered; 4:22 artificer metal craftsman; 4:23 to my wounding for wounding me; 5:22 walked with believed in and was obedient to; 6:2 sons of God followers of God; daughters of men worldly women; 6:6 repented 6:8 grace the Lord's favor; 6:9 perfect blameless; 6:15 cubits about 18 inches; 6:16 to for; 6:18 My Covenant finding agreement with qualifications given by God.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Government Official: Rep. Robert Wexler (FL) • Country: Nigeria (113.8 million) in western Africa • Major languages: English and Hausa • Government permits all types of religious activity • 45% Muslim (largely Sunni); 40% Christian; 9% Indigenous; 6% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice over and pray for those who share the Good News (Nah. 1:15).

Optional Reading: Matthew 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Genesis 1:1

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