The Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary on Genesis

Genesis chapter 4
Verses 1 through 10

written by
Kraig J. Rice
www.7-star-admiral.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Clicking on these links will move you down this web page)
Genesis chapter four verses one through ten

  Genesis 4:1-2 Cain and Abel
  Genesis 4:3 Cain's sacrifice to God
  Genesis 4:4 Abel's right sacrifice- God accepted it
  Genesis 4:5 The Way of Cain
  Anger
  Genesis 4:6-7 God communicates
 
Demon possession
  Genesis 4:8 Cain murdered his brother
  Genesis 4:9-10 Cain refused to confess and repent
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A devotional commentary is different from an exegetical commentary. In a devotional commentary like this one I can give the application of a verse rather than just the interpretation of a verse.






Genesis Chapter 4
Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel:
"And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground"
(Genesis 4:1-2).

The name, Cain, means "possession". Generally speaking, children are a blessing from the Lord and Adam and Eve had many, "...children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the body is his reward. Like arrows in the hand of a man of war, are the children of the young. Happy is the man who has a good store of them, he will not be put to shame, but his cause will be supported by them against his haters"
(Psalm 127:3-5 Basic English Translation).
Righteous parents who raise righteous children are to be highly praised. But righteous parents have children who have free will and sometimes those children grow up and choose to live lives contrary to the wishes of their parents. When children grow up to be rebellious adults and choose against the Lord, problems can occur in family relationships. Righteous adults and sinful adults do not mix together very well. We see that in the life of Joseph, later on in Genesis, as the brothers of Joseph persecute him, attempt to murder him, and sell him into slavery. And we see it here in this chapter of Genesis. So, the war goes on between God and Satan over the ownership of the soul of every individual.


"And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord"
(Genesis 4:3).

Cain's sacrifice to God:
Let us talk about ownership. Who did Cain belong to- God or Satan? In my opinion, I think Cain belonged to Satan. Jesus appeared to indicate that to us when He called Satan "a murderer from the beginning" referring to Satan instigating the murder of Abel by Cain
(John 8:44). If Cain belonged to the devil, why would he want to render an offering to God? Cain probably wanted to come to God in his own way, called the way of Cain, so Cain rendered an offering of his own choosing. Offering vegetables from a cursed earth to God did not wash away the sins of Cain. God rejected the offering from Cain. How is that relevant? Many folks today want to come to God their own way rather than through the blood of Christ. But what does God say in His holy word? "...neither is there salvation in any other (than in Christ)- for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved"
(Acts 4:12). Let us talk about this.

There are many ways to offer a sacrifice to God but the question is- what kind of a sacrifice is acceptable to God? Let us look at the holy scriptures to find out. First, let us look at two examples of sacrifices that God did NOT accept.

Korah and Ananias:
During the days of Moses, Korah and his followers, offered as a sacrifice to God some copper or bronze censers in spiritual rebellion
(Numbers chapter 16, 26:9). One does not offer to the Greatest King in the Universe (God) an offering spawned by God's enemy, Lucifer. But Korah did. God did NOT accept the offering of Korah and killed him, "...and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men- and they became a sign"
(Numbers 26:10). What kind of a sign did they become? The sign was that no one better do that again. Did anyone in the New Testament era ever try something like that? Yes. Who was it? It was Ananias. He made a wrong choice to offer a lie in worship to God. God did NOT accept the offering of Ananias and his wife and killed them, "...but Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit (Ghost)...and Ananias hearing these words fell down, and died (gave up the ghost)". Sapphira his wife was asked, "...how is it that ye have agreed together to maliciously test (tempt) the Spirit of the Lord? Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and died (yielded up the ghost)"
(Acts 5:1-10). Now, let us look at a couple of examples of sacrifices that God did accept.

Abel and Jesus Christ:
Abel offered the blood sacrifice of a lamb to God that was a type for the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Sacrificial blood is the only cure for sin. God accepted that sacrifice, "...and the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering"
(Genesis 4:4). Jesus Christ offered to God as a sacrifice His own sinless blood and God accepted it, "...for this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins"
(Matthew 26:28). "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins..."
(Romans 3:25). "But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down at the right hand of God"
(Hebrews 10:12).

How is that relevant to you and I? There is only one way to come to God. We must accept Jesus Christ and His blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. One must invite Him into their heart to live on the throne there. That is a sacrifice that God will gladly accept.


And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering
(Genesis 4:4).

Abel's right sacrifice:
Why did God accept it?

The name, Abel, means "breath" and some infer it to mean "breath of life". Abel was a righteous person who came to God the correct way. God accepted him and his offering. What was Abel's motive? Abel loved the Lord and wanted to please Him. This is what the good Lord wants from you and I. He wants us to love Him and please Him with our obedience to Him. He wants us to come the correct way- that way is through Jesus Christ alone
(John 14:6). We can come to Him because of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf.

So, what is the problem? Let us remember what our problem is. The problem is the sin nature that that has been passed down to you and I from Adam and Eve. The problem for each individual is his or her sins and God cannot stand to look upon sin. Each of us should die for our own sins. The death penalty is required for our sins. Suffering in hell fire is how each one of us must pay for our own sins. But God, Who is the great judge, will pardon us and find us not guilty when He sees that the blood of Jesus Christ has been applied to our sins. There is only one way for a sinful person to get back to God- through the substitutionary death of Christ. What is that? Simply put, Christ died in your place and my place on that old Roman cross. Why? Because of His great love for us.

Sins can only be washed away by atoning blood- that is the only thing that God will accept. He will not accept fruit or vegetables, from a cursed earth, for the remission of sins. A pure and spotless lamb was to be sacrificed to God in times past. Why? Because in typology the spotless lamb symbolized Christ who is spotless or sinless. That is why God accepted Abel's offering and rejected Cain's offering. Note: an explanation of typology can be seen further on (if you are studying typology).
"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh"
(Hebrews 9:22 & 11:4).

The answer for every single human is to repent and invite Jesus Christ to come to live upon the throne of his or her heart. This is God possession. Abel did this and his heart was right before God. God had forgiven him of his sins. How did Abel show his love for God? He humbled himself and came to God on God's terms and rendered the sacrifice to God that God wanted. And God accepted Him. You and I have to come to God through Christ. God will not accept any other way.

In other words, mankind, got itself in a bad way. Mankind had willfully given Satan dominion over themselves by rejecting God and turning to Satan. Now, mankind was stuck with no way out, with no hope, and with no one coming to help them. What could mankind do now? Who would be willing to save some of mankind from the devil? Not all individuals wanted to serve Satan- some wanted to serve God but how could they do this? Abel talked to God about it and God was pleased to accept a repentant heart towards God, a choice towards God and away from the devil, and accept a suitable sacrifice. Abel was directed by God to offer a pure lamb without spot or wrinkle in sacrifice. This pure lamb was a type of Christ. This lamb was without spot or wrinkle meaning without blemish or disease. In typology this meant that Christ was without sin and any kind of contamination.

Jesus had to do something for mankind. He was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world
(Revelation 13:8). But a sacrificial lamb needs to be sacrificed. Jesus offered to be slain in your place and in my place as our sacrificial Lamb. His sacrifice was bloody and painful but He did it because He loves us. What did He do? He came to earth to die for the sins of each person
(John 3:16). Christ allowed Himself to be persecuted, physically beaten, and crucified to death. But He arose from the dead. Because He is alive today, He can come to live in your heart when you ask Him to.

The only thing that could wash away our sins was His blood. Soap and water, bleach, or ammonia will not wash away our sins. Only His blood can do that. How do you apply Christ's blood to your sins? In prayer, repent and ask Christ to do that- to come and live in your heart and forgive your sins. Be sorry for having sinned against Him. Christ will come into your heart like He came into my heart and you will notice a change in your heart's condition when you become born again.


"but unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect. And Cain was very angry (wroth), and his self esteeem became depressed (his countenance fell)"
(Genesis 4:5)- my paraphrase.

The Way of Cain:
Sometimes, if a controlling perpetrator does not get his or her own way they get angry at whoever is blocking their goal(s). In the case of Cain, he got angry at God. And later, he got angry at Abel. Then Cain misdirected his anger and killed Abel. And Satan was behind it all.

Let us simplify what was going on here. Abel was obedient to God. He belonged to God. Cain was disobedient to God. He belonged to Satan. The attitude of their heart showed up in their sacrifice to God. Abel came God's way. However, Cain wanted to be righteous on his own terms, not on God's terms,
"Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain..."
(Jude 1:11).
What is the way of Cain? Very simply, it is the way of fleshly carnality- one who does not confess sin in their life or come to God on God's terms. And it can be the persecution of any of God's children in a variety of ways, and their involvement in the taking of innocent life, witchcraft, satanism, rebellion against God, and other forms of spiritual idolatry. Later, King Saul got into trouble with God by following the way of Cain
(1 Samuel 15:23) and King David's pride and self-will got him into trouble with God
(2 Samuel 24:10). And it can be any person who belongs to Satan who wants to hurt God or who tries to manipulate God by something evil they do.

Can you ellaborate on this a little more? Yes. Cain came his way- the way of self will. Many folks, for one reason or another, do not want to do it God's way. They want to work their way to Heaven or buy their way into Heaven. They want to come to God keeping their wickedness and sin. They want to come to God keeping their spiritual rebellion against Him or by some other way that God won't accept. But it is God's universe and God's rules. He is the Potter and we are the clay. Let's be like Abel and do things God's way. Let's come to God through Christ- through His shed blood in a loving relationship with Him.


God's rejection is the opposite of His acceptance:
Christ, God the Son, loves the sinner but hates the sin of the sinner. I imagine that Cain brought an offering of contempt to God- he threw his offering in the face of God, so to speak. It was the offering from a cursed earth. This evil attitude of the heart against God resulted in sinful behavior called the "way of Cain"
(Jude 1:11) that the bible speaks about- the way of Satan worship, insult to God, and lawlessness in many forms.

What I find interesting here is God's statement:
"If thou doest well..."
(Genesis 4:7).
I will tell you what that means to me. That means that if a sinner, like Cain, repents and accepts the Lord, the Lord will forgive that person and give him or her the power to rule over sin. You and I do not have to let sin kick us around and mess up our life. We can use the power and authority of Christ to live an overcoming life.


Cain was angry:
Uncontrolled anger can be dangerous. God continually deals with each person about the spiritual condition of his or her heart. When one accepts Christ he or she will have peace, a conscience free of guilt, their sins forgiven, and a new purpose for living. However, when one belongs to Satan, the result can be quite the opposite. Sin splits and destroys. Certain negative attitudes of the heart can errupt like a violent volcano. This can include but is not limited to:
1) Spiritual pride- angry because of rejection of one kind or another
2) Disregard of sin- anger generated by Satanic oppression or possession
3) Jealousy
4) Anger
5) Premeditated murder.

I imagine that Cain was proud of his offering. But he was rejected and this caused him to hate Abel. His hatred and anger led to murder. It still can. But the root of his sin was pride. This was Lucifer's sin at the first and it will bring a person down like it brought Lucifer down. God warned Cain about this but Cain would not listen. People do what they want to do, so Cain went out and murdered his brother, and paid the consequences for it.

Anger is one of the seven deadly sins. What did Jesus say about anger?
"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, "thou shalt not kill" and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council- but whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire"
(Matthew 5:21-22).

If you are angry with someone I encourage you to put it under the blood of Jesus. What does that mean? It means that you ask Christ to help you handle it so that you do not act on it. You place it on your prayer altar and pray about it. You get it out of your heart that way. And then you forgive the person you are angry with.


"And the Lord said unto Cain, why are you angry (art thou wroth)? and why is thy countenance fallen? 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"
(Genesis 4:6-7).

God communicates with individuals:
Notice that Cain did not communicate with the Lord. There were probably many reasons for that but some folks have a hard time communicating with someone they hold in contempt. The Lord Jesus knew about that from first hand experience,
"...if the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you"
(John 15:18)..."they hated Me without a cause" (John 15:25).

Since God is the creator of each person, He communicates with each one. We see here that God communicated with sinful Cain. Did God communicate with other individuals in the bible book of Genesis? Yes, there were so many that it is not necessary for me to mention them all. What does God's communication mean? It means many things but primarily that God is alive- and that is important because Satan wants to deceive folks into believing that God does not exist. Some folks have tried to prove that God does not exist but have met with total failure. No one can prove that God does not exist. How can God's communication be relevant to you and I? God communicates to you and He communicates with me. And He wants us to communicate with Him in return. He can communicate to us verbally, mentally with or without words, through knowledge, through wisdom, in dreams, in visions, in impressions, through circumstances, in burdens, through Godly intuition, with open and closed doors, and in other ways. What is important is that we are open to His communications to act upon them in obedience to Him. And we may not always understand or agree with what He tells us. When I was a young man, before I was married, I dated a beautiful blonde haired blue eyed woman who was a faithful church goer. She was sweet, innocent, and full of love. She seemed like the perfect future wife for me. I dated her and prayed about the situation. In answer to my prayers God spoke to me one word, "premature". I did not know what that meant but I knew it was not a yes. I was not happy with that answer because I wanted my own way. I could not understand why God would do that to me but He knew better than I did so I patiently waited. God knew her heart- a heart that I did not know. A short time later, she quit praying, going to church, and moved away. I kept in touch with her local family and they told me she was living in sinful rebellion against Christ. Then she moved back to my same town, refused a relationship with Christ, and wanted me back. Her name was the same but she was not the same person on the inside- sinful living had spiritually scarred her, made her hard and bitter, and changed her into someone I did not know anymore. I was not interested in her and made a choice to not pursue a future relationship with her. The point is that God only has the best intentions in mind for His children in the faith and, many times, He communicates those intentions to us for our good and for His glory. And He communicates with those who are unsaved for evangelism purposes like He did with Saul of Tarsus
(Acts 9:3-6).

God communicated some important information to Cain. The first thing that God dealt with was Cain's anger and the way he felt. Why do you look so depressed (why is thy countenance fallen)? Emotions usually follow a person's will and not vice versa. That means that one usually has control over their emotions. The emotions of mankind are subject to the will of mankind. That implies a choice. So, what was God asking Cain? He was asking Cain, "why are you making a choice to be angry?" Cain did not have to make that choice. God was telling him: choose Me instead of Satan (if thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?). And God warned him about keeping Satan as his master: (and if thou doest NOT well, sin lieth at the door). And what would sin do to Cain? The nature of sin is to split and destroy. "Sin desires to have you so do not let it be your master." Does that sound familiar from the gospels? This is what Jesus told the Apostle Peter, "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan (and sin) hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat"
(Luke 22:31). What is the relevance of all of this? There are several messages here but let me give you this one- let us choose to stay on the Lord's side of love, security, and power and not let sin become a part of our life that may eventually destroy us.


What does it mean that sin lies at the door?
To my way of thinking it means that sin was waiting to possess him. Why do you think that Cain was demon possessed? I want to repeat this for emphasis. Jesus said,

"...he (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it"
(John 8:44).
How was Satan a murderer from the beginning? At the beginning of mankind (Cain and Abel's time) Satan possessed Cain and influenced him to murder Abel. Satan took the credit for the kill. I believe that Satan was waiting to possess Cain the moment Cain turned to Satan and turned away from God. Satan waits to possess anyone who will turn to him. Satan possessed Judas Iscariot and tempted Judas to go and betray Jesus Christ:
"Judas Iscariot...Satan entered into him"
(John 13:26-27).
"Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time"
(1 John 2:18).

And there is one story after another in the gospel accounts of Jesus casting demons out of people. That does not mean that every unrepentant sinner is demon possessed. But it is a real possibility as the individual goes deeper into sin. Satan can only possess an individual who belongs to him. He cannot possess an individual who belongs to God. In other words, Satan cannot possess a born again true Christian. Why not? Because we are sealed and satan cannot break the seal because he does not have enough power. Who seals us? God seals us to be His own:
"(God)...who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest (the guarantee) of the Spirit in our hearts..."
(2 Corinthians 1:22).


Is demon oppression the same as demon possession?
No. They are different. A demon can oppress a true Christian but not possess him. God taught me this when I was just a young Christian, a short time after I was saved. I was in the Navy on my aircraft carrier in the back of my supply storage room working. God opened my spiritual eyes so that I saw what appeared to be "a black shadow" of a man walking into my storage room through my open door. It went around to a different aisle where it was out of my sight. There was no exit there so I knew it had not left through the door that it had come in from. I went around that far aisle looking for it but I could not see it. Then I sat down and started doing my paper work when I felt an ugly blackness slide over my heart. Ugly cuss words of vulgarity and profanity started pouring into my mind- thoughts that I did not think because I don't think that way. Then I knew I was being oppressed. I rebuked it in the name of Jesus and it immediately left. I never saw it again but I learned what demon oppression was first hand.

After I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit God gave me the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits. It is a spiritual warfare gift that helps me as I reach out to win others for Christ and teach them God's word. And God gets all of the glory.


"And Cain picked a fight (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 slew him"
(Genesis 4:8).

Cain murdered his brother:  
There is more to this story than sibling rivalry. I imagine that God admonished Cain to repent and offer the right sacrifice to come to God so that he would be accepted. God loved Cain and wanted Cain to love Him in return. But Cain made some wrong choices in his life. He hardened his heart against God and his brother, Abel. Cain made a choice to be evil, not just to do an evil deed. We know this because Cain had a close association with the devil and did the devil's deed because Jesus said that "Satan was a murderer from the beginning"
(John 8:44)- in other words, the devil instigated Cain to murder his brother.

We have here the consequences of the sin of Adam and Eve. Cain was under the authority of Satan- the authority that Satan usurped from them. Before this time there was no recorded death but now, death entered the human family. God wanted to spare the human family this horrible plague and that is why God gave Adam His commandment to be obedient. But mankind chose to go its own way apart from God- a way that leads to death. And mankind chose other sins to embrace. For instance, when the bible speaks about a person being a liar, it does not necessarily mean one who tells lies but one who lives a lie- one who pretends to be righteous but who is secretly evil. Jesus said, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone- which is the second death"
(Revelation 21:8).
So, not only did spiritual and physical death enter the picture but also the second death.


"And the Lord said unto Cain, "where is Abel thy brother?" And he said, I know not- am I my brother's keeper?" And He said, what hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground"
(Genesis 4:9-10).

Cain refused to confess and repent:
When the Lord asks a question from the person who has committed a terrible sin, it is not because God, Who is all knowing, seeks knowledge. Rather, it is because He is beginning a conversation with a person about it. Sometimes God seeks a confession of wrong doing and repentance from the sinner. Cain did not confess or repent of his sin. Instead, he lied to God. Have you ever noticed that sometimes one bad choice leads to another? Have you ever noticed that, in many instances, a person often thinks about committing a sin before he or she commits it?

Cain was jealous, angry, and suffering rejection- that can be a recipe for disaster. In my opinion Cain showed his evil nature (his original sin nature from Adam) in murdering his brother. As I said before, Cain was an evildoer. He belonged to Satan so Satan influenced him to kill his brother. How do we know that? Because Jesus told us that Satan was a murderer from the beginning. This was the beginning and it was the first murder-
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it"
(John 8:44).

"For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you"
(1 John 3:11-13).

Some folks use the excuse- "the devil made me do it." That may be true but it does not excuse mankind's responsibility. You are responsible for your actions and I am responsible for my actions. If you are an unbeliever and not saved, I recommend that you change sides and accept Christ as your saviour. Then you will be on the winning side. Then you don't have to let the devil have his own way in your life because you will have God's power to resist him.

One of the foundation stones of Christian discipleship is that God is a good God and Satan is a bad devil. God is real. Satan is real. God is associated with righteousness and Satan is associated with sin. God lives in Heaven and Satan lives on the earth. They each claim ownership of every person on earth. Sometimes they choose to work through individuals to accomplish their will.

Sometimes those who choose to do evil will persecute those who choose to do good but even persecutors can confess and repent...



Genesis chapter 4
verses 11 through 26






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