Sunday School Commentary and Preview 1- 2-22

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Greetings members and friends and welcome to another commentary and preview to this Sunday’s study of the Word.  This Sunday’s study text is entitled “Justice, Vengeance and Mercy” and it is based on Genesis 4:1-13

The bible tells us that Adam and Eve had two sons named Cain and Abel.  It also tells us that the older brother, Cain, killed the younger brother.  The bible does not tell us the reason Cain killed his brother.  We are given a few details about their lives from which we can infer a motive for Cain’s actions. 

Cain was a tiller of the ground and Abel a keeper of sheep.  Sheep are livestock and are generally considered more valuable than food which is raised from the ground.  While both can be consumed by humans to sustain life, sheep and animals represent a higher form of life and their flesh is likewise more valuable because it is more expensive to replace that any field crop. 

Both Cain and Abel brought an offering unto the Lord.  Why either of them felt the need to bring an offering we are not told.  The Lord respected or appreciated the offering Abel brought but not the offering of Cain. 

Abel’s offering consisted of the best firstborn sheep of his flock.  Instead of keeping it for himself, he offered it to the Lord and the Lord responded positively toward his unselfish act as a way of honoring Him. 

Cain brought unto the Lord the less valuable nothing special about it fruit of the field.  His offering didn’t represent the selfless sacrifice of what was worthy of the honor the Lord is entitled to.  It may be inferred that God didn’t give Cain’s offering respect because it was not worthy of His respect.  

It must be noted however that the intrinsic value of a sacrifice alone does not make it worthy or acceptable.  The means of the giver (meaning what they are able to bring) and the intent and disposition of the heart also matter.  

Sometime after Cain’s offering was rejected, he was found angry and his face and appearance which the text refers to as countenance began to reflect his angry.  The Lord asks Cain the reason for His anger.  Cain didn’t reply or give his own reason for being angry. 

The Lord suggest in a statement to Cain that the root of his anger was in something he was not doing well.  What was it that Cain was not doing well that also caused him to offer to the Lord an unworthy offering or sacrifice?  We are not told.  But we are told that whatever it was, sin was lying at the door or has a role in it. 

Here God warns Cain to get control over sin or it will take control of him.  It was some sinful thing or thought that was causing Cain not to do well and was a cause for his anger.  These things led to Cain killing his brother for no just reason or cause. 

Cain did not get control over what he was not doing well and this led to him being willing and able to kill his brother over something that should not have arisen to or resulted in death.  We see this same thing playing out everyday in 2021, and now 2022, and all the years since. 

There is something in humanity that we are not doing well that if left uncontrolled drives us be cruel to others.  It left Cain unfeeling and uncaring about his brother saying he was not his brother’s keeper. 

And so it is with man today and everyday since.  We can be uncaring and unfeeling toward others, cruel,  hurtful and indifferent about their pain or suffering.  No wonder the second command is to love others as we love ourselves. 

God punished Cain for his evil deed toward his brother.  God will not allow evil to go unpunished.  From Abel to the last person standing, everyone will answer for the life they have chosen to lead and the deeds we have done and are doing.  The good news is that God offers forgiveness, but only if we repent by beginning to do well and seek to do His will.    

Well, again be sure to look over the study again and come prepared to offer your comments, questions and perspective on the meaning of the study.  If you can’t attend your own Sunday School class this Sunday, you can join us live and online at 9:00 am at www.fbmbc.org and clicking the online services link

You can also join us live by dialing 508 924-2890.  If you have any comments or questions, be sure to place them in the comment section or you can share them on Sunday.  So, let’s all have a great lesson and discussion this Sunday and remember to fear God and keep His commandments.

 

Pastor Jordan

 

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