Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Genesis 4:1-8 The First Sin of Murder

KEY TEXT: Genesis 4:1-8 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord." And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord  had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 

KEY THOT: Genesis 4:7 is the first verse in the Bible in which the word "sin" appears. And this was followed immediately by the first murder recorded in the Bible in the next verse (Genesis 4:8) when Cain killed his own brother Abel because he was angry that his offering was rejected by God. But theologically, the first sin was committed by Adam and Eve when they broke God's command not to eat from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Sin in the Bible is firstly against God that resulted in banishment from God's presence as recorded in Genesis 3:22-24: "Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life."  

The banishment from Eden resulted in the loss of fellowship with God. This alienation from God led to the first sin of murder that arose from Cain's anger and jealousy against his own brother Abel. The first sin against God (rejection of God's command) is the root of human sin. The second sin against a fellow human is the fruit of human sin. And in-between the root (alienation from God) and the fruit (murder) is the heart corrupted by anger and jealousy. Alienation distorts our heart condition and this alone creates sins in subsequent chapters of Genesis until God had to eliminate humankind in the flood in Genesis 6.

So, if a tree has bad fruits, it's not much use trying to cut off the fruits as they appear. To really solve the problem of sin, we must deal with the heart conditions of sinful humanity. And that cannot be healed without first reconciliation with God through the forgiveness of sin. And that was what Jesus did when He came and died on the Cross: it is to make reconciliation possible so that our alienation from God may be rooted out from our hearts. So Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17-19: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation."

The Chinese has this saying, 剪草除根. It literally means "cut grass, pull out roots". So, when we see the fruits of sin, we must not fret and rant against sin, but we must deal with the root issue of the heart that is alienated from God. Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so that the alienated heart from God can become the reconciled heart with God. May God grant us the compassion and passion to preach the Gospel of Christ, so that sins might be forgiven and cleansed from our hearts once for all.

Abba-Father, may You give us a heart of compassion in the face of sin, not a heart of condemnation, for Christ has died for sin and has offered himself to reconcile men back to God. For Christ's sake, amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your comments.