Overcoming Cain Back to all sermons


Date: March 25, 2018

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Genesis

Scripture: Genesis 4:1–4:16

Tags: Temptation, God, Sin, Cain, Abel, Disobedience

  • Genesis 4:1-16
  • Overcoming Cain

1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.

(Genesis 4:1-2)

3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 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, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 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 contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”

(Genesis 4:3-7)

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

(Genesis 4:8)

9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

(Genesis 4:9-12)

13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

(Genesis 4:13-16)

Main Point

  • This highlights the story between the first two sons of Adam and Eve
  • Cain comes across the same temptation to sin as his parents
  • He commits the first act of murder in the Scriptures, taking the life of his brother Abel

Application Points

  • Overcoming Cain
    • The story of Cain and Abel is one which almost everyone is aware of
    • Maybe it is because of the betrayal, or that Abel’s blood continues to cry out
    • Yet, to understand the story one doesn’t look to Abel, but Cain
    • His lack of desire to offer the choicest of his work to God, as well as his callousness which accompanies the warning God gives
    • Instead of heeding God’s warning, Cain jumps in
    • The irony is great, it begins with two who seek God, and in the end, Cain is cast further from His presence

Application Points

  • Overcoming Cain (2)
    • It is because of sin the first man and woman are cast out of God’s presence, so it is with their offspring
    • Sin is the great executioner of relationships
    • Cain is the perfect example of all of this not only of himself, but all of us
    • He exemplifies the response of the sinner toward everything which is good
    • First: In regards to giving God His best
    • How easy it is to say, “not today” to God

Application Points

  • Overcoming Cain (3)
    • What greater sacrifice could we give to God than all of who we are
    • To love Him with all of us
    • Very often we find ourselves giving God the second fruits of our lives
    • We are like Cain in this
    • Second: The lack of desire to tame and control sin
    • Are we not the same? Ignoring the warnings?
    • Each one of us can reflect on our own lives and recognize how like Cain we are in this area too
    • We do not heed the warning signs of sin
    • Like the disciples who fell asleep, we can languish in our complacency while ignoring the disobedience we are in

Application Points

  • Overcoming Cain (4)
    • Third: Cain's response to judgment
    • The judgment is too great! How could a loving God judge anyone?
    • How could a loving God not judge evil?
    • A God who did this would be a monster to allow the wicked to roam free without any repercussions
    • We continually see the truth…we are like Cain
    • We make excuses, blame everyone
    • We reject God’s warnings, and then weep at the judgment

Application Points

  • Overcoming Cain (5)
    • The warning signs are clear
    • Sin, disobedience, are destroyers of what is good and right
    • Like Cain, they crouch, waiting for us to let our guard down
    • The response from Cain should teach us to not respond in like manner
    • His willingness to let sin crouch and not master it
    • Do not let sin do the same thing to you!
    • Is it any surprise we find such warnings in the New Testament?

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

(James 4:1-10, ESV)

Application Points

  • Overcoming Cain (6)
    • Here we find the response to Cain’s situation
    • Consider that second verse, “You desire and do not have so you murder. You covet and cannot abstain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.”
    • This is Cain!
    • What is the response?
    • Turn toward God in humility and recognize His grace
    • God’s grace gives us the strength to overcome the Devil, for we have the strength of Christ in us

Application Points

  • Overcoming Cain (7)
    • In Christ we are heirs of the promise
    • We, who were once descendants of Cain, are grafted to be the descendants of the blessing
    • The enmity, the strife, between darkness and light is real
    • The problem is, far too many of us live not in struggle, but in blind willingness to fall into sin
    • How easy it is to fall into disobedience!
    • Husbands get it…
    • Your wife fails in some way
    • So you respond in kind
    • Yet the response should not be this, but love! just as Christ’s response to you is love!

Application Points

  • Overcoming Cain (8)
    • Wives, what if your husband makes a misstep
    • What if he is unloving?
    • So in response you fight back by not submitting or respecting him
    • Is this the response God has toward you?
    • Does Christ say, “No more grace for you?”
    • Of course not! He is obedient to the Father in His role despite your failure
    • These are examples of how we can overcome Cain in these areas in our lives
    • But it goes further than these areas
    • For us to overcome Cain in every area of our lives requires us to seek the Scriptures

Application Points

  • Overcoming Cain (9)
    • To not listen to the voice that says, “It’s too hard!”
    • To allow Christ to be prevalent in our lives
    • His yoke is easy, because He is always with us
    • There is our strength
    • It won’t come from these Cain bones
    • Be encouraged to learn from Cain and Abel
    • To heed the warnings given to Cain in your own life
    • To give all of yourself to God
    • The more you learn about God, the easier this will be
    • We are not stuck repeating Cain's life! We are able to overcome because of Christ

Application Points

  • The Gospel of Christ
    • Origins
    • Fall
    • Redemption
    • Glorification