#Genesis 4:1-8

HOW TO FAIL BEFORE GOD

Genesis 4:1-8

INTRODUCTION

If a list were to be compiled of things that are common to mankind, probably very close to the top of the list would be failure. Everyone sometimes experiences failure, most of us more often than what we would like to admit. Nothing succeeds like success; nothing fails like failure.

Failure may not always be a bad thing. For some, failure simply makes them do a better, more determined job with an outcome that exceeds their original expectations. For others, failure is the end of the line. They refuse to progress because of their fear of failure.

But of all the failures of life there is one failure that has eternal consequence: Failure before God. We can overcome failure in interpersonal relationships or work but permanent failure before God has eternal consequences. Such is the case of our subject today, Cain.

THEME: HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO FAIL BEFORE GOD?

I. IT IS POSSIBLE TO FAIL BEFORE GOD WHEN WE BEGIN WITH A GOOD REPUTATION 4:1-2

     A. That Is Recognized By Those Closest To Us vs. 1

          1. Born of the first parents (prestige)

               a. Adam – Father of the race

               b. Eve his wife

         2. Named Cain

              a. ‘The acquired one’

              b. ‘Gain’

          3. “I have gotten the man from the Lord”

               a. The redeemer

               b. The seed of the woman

               c. The one who will get us back into the Garden

     B. That Is More Excellent Than Others Around Us

          1. Abel

               a. Vanity

               b. Loss

               c. Vapor

NOTE: Our life is a vapor

          2. Abel was a keeper of the sheep

               a. For clothing

NOTE: Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21 KJV

               b. For sacrifice

               c. For food

          3. Cain was a tiller of the ground

               a. Nowhere does the Scripture suggest that one of these two occupations is inferior to the other

               b. Even in the Levitical offerings of Moses flour or meal is offered to God

          4. A comparison of jobs

NOTE: It is God’s will that people should differ in their tastes, talents, and pursuits

               a. Abel was more nomadic

               b. Cain was a landowner; more stable

NOTE: And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Luke 12:15 NKJV

T.S. HOW CAN WE FAIL BEFORE GOD?

          I. IT IS POSSIBLE TO FAIL BEFORE GOD WHEN WE BEGIN WITH A GOOD REPUTATION

II. IT IS POSSIBLE TO FAIL BEFORE GOD WHEN WE OFFER TO GOD OFFERINGS FROM HONEST WORK 4:3-4

     A. At The Proper Time – “In Process Of Time”

          1. End of days of Sabbath

          2. A stated time or season of devotion

          3. The tenor of Scripture seems to indicate this is not the first time they had brought offerings to the Lord

     B. As A Leader

          1. Cain brought his offering first before Abel

          2. First does not prove devoutness

     C. Observe Who Is Successful Before God

          1. Abel brought the firstlings of his flock (first fruits)

               a. Gave the best – fat thereof

               b. Pure devout worship

          2. Cain simply brought fruits of the ground, not first fruits

               a. Because it was time to give

               b. Pure formalism

     D. Cain And Abel Worshipped Outwardly Alike

          1. At same time

          2. At the same place

          3. To same God

          4. Gave from the produce of their occupations

NOTE: The Hebrew word here for offering is used in the Levitical laws for the bloodless thank offering and peace offering of flour and oil or frankincense

     E. The Lord Had Respect Unto Abel And To His Offering

          1. Abel is the first in the ‘hall of faith’ in Hebrews 11

               2. Jesus called Abel:

                    a. Righteous

NOTE: that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Matthew 23:35 NKJV

                    b. Prophet

NOTE: that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation,

from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

Luke 11:50-51 NKJV

NOTE: Free and joyful heart (Lord loves a cheerful giver) vs. a legal, reluctant state of the heart

T.S. HOW CAN WE FAIL BEFORE GOD?

          I. BEGIN WITH A GOOD REPUTATION

         II. OFFER TO GOD OFFERINGS FROM HONEST WORK

III. HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE IN WORSHIP 4:5-7

     A. Demand Things Go Our Way

          1. The Lord had not respect unto Cain and his offering

NOTE: Cain offering to keep on good terms with God but God will reject the most perfect sacrifice offering by an apostate heart.

               a. An apostate heart – Cain first, offering second

               b. A clean, proper heart before God – God first, offering second, us last

          2. Cain brought his offering as one entitled, in his own name, to present it, as one seeking by means of it to satisfy his God

NOTE: Cold and calculating homage, self confidence

          3. Had Cain presented it by faith “he would have obtained witness that he was righteous”

NOTE: By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. Hebrews 11:4 NKJV

NOTE: We are accepted by faith, not works of righteousness

NOTE: By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Hebrews 11:5 NKJV

          4. Cain was very mad and his countenance fell

               a. ‘Mad’ – ‘It burned him up’

               b. Countenance – glance fell, he looked down instead up to God

     B. Ignore The Lord’s Love vs. 6-7

          1. Two ways Cain was dealt with

               a. His conscience vs. 5

               b. The Lord vs. 6-7

          2. As in the case of the first sin (Genesis 3:9), the Lord came to the sinner, not the sinner to God

          3. The three questions of the Lord

               a. Why are you mad (burning)?

               b. Why has thy countenance fallen?

               c. If you do well will you not be accepted?

NOTE: ‘Accepted’ (Hebrew – lifted up countenance)

NOTE: With ultimate tenderness and concern the Lord encouraged Cain to assess himself

          4. Sin lies at the door

               a. As a wild beast thirsting for your blood (unto you shall be his desire)

               b. You shall (can) rule over him

NOTE: Cain was the first man to let sin rule over him

NOTE: not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. I John 3:12 NKJV

          5. Cain’s silence

               a. No thanks to God for the warning

               b. No repentance of his jealousy

               c. No mending of his ways

               d. A stubborn silence seems to be all he had to offer

T.S. HOW CAN WE FAIL BEFORE GOD?

          I. BEGIN WITH A GOOD REPUTATION

         II. OFFER TO GOD OFFERINGS FROM HONEST WORK

        III. HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE IN WORSHIP

IV. BLAME OTHERS FOR OUR FAILURE 4:8

     A. Talk With Them

          1. Cain saved his words for Abel

          2. Don’t know if friendship or controversy

               a. May be friendship on the part of Abel

               b. May be courtesy on the part of Cain

     B. Walk With Them At Work

          1. Abel had faith towards God

          2. He was ready to place confidence in his brother also

     C. Kill Them (cf. Destroy Character)

          1. As Cain’s wrath could not reach God he vents it on his brother

          2. Cain adds to his ungodliness

               a. Envy

               b. Hatred

               c. Murder

          3. He rose up against (in a hostile sense)

          4.Abel his brother’ brings out the horror of the sins

               a. Now Cain 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 killed him. Genesis 4:8 NKJV (twice)

               b. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9 NKJV

               c. And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. Genesis 4:10 NKJV

               d. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. Genesis 4:11 NKJV

NOTE: Of all failure, the worse is failure toward God. The consequences are eternal. Some will fail regarding salvation. Some will fail in their Christian living. But there is a way out before it is too late.

CONCLUSION

HOW CAN WE FAIL BEFORE GOD?

I. BEGIN WITH A GOOD REPUTATION

II. OFFER TO GOD OFFERINGS FROM HONEST WORK

III. HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE IN WORSHIP

IV. BLAME OTHERS FOR OUR FAILURE

#Genesis 4:9-15

THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN

Genesis 4:9-15

INTRODUCTION

Cain sinned. He sinned in his worship. He let sin rule over him and murdered his brother Abel.

When we think of Cain we don’t think of him as the first born human. We think of him as the first murderer.

There is no way to truly beautify sin. Sin is horrible. But in one sense of the word sin is not too bad; that is, compared to the consequences that follow. Cain’s act of murdering his brother was horrible in every way but it was done quickly. In a matter of minutes it was over. Yet the

consequences of that sin lasted the rest of Cain’s life. If he never confessed his sin then the consequences are still hounding Cain today in hell.

THEME: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WE COMMIT A SIN?

I. THE LORD GIVES US AN OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT 4:9-10

NOTE: The Lord went to Cain, not the other way around

     A. Where Is Abel Your Brother?

          1. This was not because the Lord couldn’t find Abel

          2. This was to give Cain an opportunity to confess

NOTE: Adam and Eve acknowledged their sin; Cain didn’t

     B. I Know Not

          1. The first outright lie to God in the Bible

          2. An air of defiance as though he was the injured party

NOTE: Defiance grows with sin

     C. Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

          1. Worded in Hebrew so as to draw out a negative answer

          2. Am I supposed to watch him all the time?

          3. He challenges God’s right to question him

     D. What Have You Done?

          1. Not, guess what someone did

          2. Though the righteous is allowed to fall before the wicked, the wicked is not to be allowed to escape

     E. The Voice Of Your Brother’s Blood Cries Unto Me From The Ground

NOTE: First reference to blood in the Bible

          1. Cain could halt the prophesying of Abel but not the cry of his blood

          2. … precious shall be their blood in His sight Psalm 72:14 KJV

T.S. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WE COMMIT A SIN?

          I. THE LORD GIVES US AN OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT

II. THE LORD GIVES JUDGMENT TO ENCOURAGE US TO REPENT 4:11-12

NOTE: Cain’s hard lot is to drive him to repentance

     A. He Is Now Cursed From The Earth

NOTE: The first three curses in the Bible

          a. Serpent

NOTE: So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life. Genesis 3:14 NKJV

          b. Ground

NOTE: Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life. Genesis 3:17 NKJV

          c. Cain

NOTE: So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. Genesis 4:11 NKJV

     B. The Ground Will Not Yield You Her Strength

          1. The two parts of the curse

               a. Driven away from good land

               b. Compelled to stray about the earth

          2. This curse does not bar Cain from the possibility of salvation

NOTE: Those who do things their way will only produce ‘thorns and thistles’

T.S. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WE COMMIT A SIN?

          I. THE LORD GIVES US AN OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT

         II. THE LORD GIVES JUDGMENT TO ENCOURAGE US TO REPENT

III. THE LORD PUTS US IN A PLACE WHERE WE CAN REPENT 4:13-14

     A. My Punishment Is Greater Than I Can Bear

          1. He had sorrow but no repentance, no grief over sin

          2. His focus was on punishment, not his sin

          3. The contrast

               a. We carry it by enduring its punishment

               b. God takes away guilt by forgiving it

     B. The Farther From God We Go, The Deeper We Fall Into The Danger Of Death

NOTE: … the way of the transgressor is hard Proverbs 13:15 KJV

          1. From thy face shall I be hid

          2. No more seeking the presence of Jehovah through prayer and sacrifice

     C. Sin Develops A Phobia Or Fear

          1. “Everyone shall slay me”

          2. Cain expressed not repentance but fear

NOTE: Many phobias are the result of sin

T.S. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WE COMMIT A SIN?

          I. THE LORD GIVES US AN OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT

         II. THE LORD GIVES JUDGMENT TO ENCOURAGE US TO REPENT

        III. THE LORD PUTS US IN A PLACE WHERE WE CAN REPENT

IV. THE LORD PROTECTS US IN THE MIDST OF PUNISHMENT 4:15

     A. Cain Does Not Get Full Protection From God

          1. Only a promise that anyone who kills him gets a sevenfold punishment

          2. Cain suffered a social human death – cut all from social contact

     B. Why Did God Permit Cain To Live?

          1. The mercy of God

          2. Hope of Cain’s eventual repentance

NOTE: David and Uriah – David repented

     C. The Lord Set A Mark Before Cain

          1. A sign

NOTE: All of the other 75 times found in Old Testament it is translated ‘sign’

          2. A pledge

          3. A token

NOTE: A sad fact of Cain is not only did Cain not repent but his descendants also lived their lives without any acknowledgment of God.

Yet to this day Cain is paying the consequences of his sin. But there is a greater blood. The blood of Abel cries “Judgment.” The blood of Christ cries louder for mercy than the blood of Abel for vengeance if we will claim the blood of Christ.

The blood of Jesus of Nazareth will never lose its power. It takes scarlet sins and makes them white as snow. And it can take the consequences of sin and give us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.

CONCLUSION

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WE COMMIT A SIN?

I. THE LORD GIVES US AN OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT

II. THE LORD GIVES JUDGMENT TO ENCOURAGE US TO REPENT

III. THE LORD PUTS US IN A PLACE WHERE WE CAN REPENT

IV. THE LORD PROTECTS US IN THE MIDST OF PUNISHMENT

#Genesis 12:10-20

THE FRAILTY OF GOD’S SAINTS

Genesis 12:10-20

INTRODUCTION

Down deep every child of God wants to do right before God. We don’t want to sin. We don’t want to suffer the consequences of sin in our lives. How many of us would like to go back to times in our past and correct a sin that we did. How many of us would like to be pure and clean from every sin in our life today. How many of us would like to have the confidence that for the rest of our lives we would never sin again. Until we get to heaven that is not a possibility.

Our passage today is the story of a man who had a track record of following God. Then he blew it. He blew it because he forgot the difference between blessings and prosperity. God told Abram to go the Canaan so He could bless him. Abram went to Egypt so he could prosper.

Abram, like us had steps of faith and steps of unfaith (unbelief). Like a coin has a head and a tail, every event in life can either draw us to God or draw us away from God. If Abram stayed in the famine his faith would have grown because he would have trusted in God. He would have seen the Lord providing. Because he did not stay in Canaan the same famine that could have been a means of spiritual growth actually took him away form God, led to sin and brought great humiliation

There are choices and questions that we have every day of our life.

Questions in sin:

“What has God let this happen to me?”

Doesn’t He care?

“Why has God abandoned me?”

Statements in righteousness:

“Here is another opportunity for me to trust God.”

“I wonder what wonderful things He is going to do for me this time.”

“We can build a great spiritual heritage through this!”

NOTE: It sometimes takes more grace to stay in Canaan than to get to Canaan

God arranges the steps of faith in an upward direction so that our spiritual muscles will grow strong and we can eventually scale the heights of great blessings.

THEME: WHEN WE CEASE WALKING WITH GOD:

I. WE FORGET TO ASK GOD’S WILL 12:10

NOTE: Seven trials in Abram’s life up to this time

          a. His wife was barren

          b. His destination was unknown

          c. He was leaving his people

          d. On the way, the company was further diminished: Terah died

          e. He found no permanent home

          f. The Canaanites were in Canaan

          g. There was famine

     A. Abram Refused To Go Back Home To Ur

          1. Yet it seemed he was about to lose everything to the famine

          2. Abram trusted himself instead of God and strayed from the place of blessing

               a. We reason that obeying God is all right so long as all goes right

               b. When trouble comes, piety goes out the window

               c. Just because we are faithful to God does not mean we are promptly rewarded in all cases

               d. When we ‘fail,’ we turn to the world for aid

NOTE: The world does provide for its own and those who will go its way

     B. The Choice Of Unbelief

           1. He did not consider trusting God

           2. He saw the circumstances but he did not see the whole picture, including God Who is the God of circumstances

NOTE: Peter performed a miracle and walked on water. He was okay until he took his eyes off Jesus Matthew 14:30

NOTE: The giants and the grasshoppers

          a. The giants were no less giants to the two spies than to the ten but they knew God could overcome them

           b. The ten saw only giants and thus became grasshoppers in their own self-estimation

NOTE: Someone asked A Christian how he was doing. “Not too bad under the circumstances.” The questioner retorted back, “What are you doing under the circumstances? A Christian is supposed to be on top of them.”

     C. The Lack Of Worship

           1. Abram worshipped at Bethel and left there

NOTE: Bethel – House of God

          2. Abram’s last recorded residence before his going to Egypt

          3. Scripture does not record Abram worshipping again until he returned to Bethel

NOTE: The litmus test of the vitality of our personal Christianity – Worship of God

Is worship a chore?

Is worship a joy in the company of other Christians?

     D. Abram Went Down Into Egypt

NOTE: First time Egypt is mentioned in the Bible.

And it is mentioned in the context of a saint of God back-sliding.

          1. In the Bible Egypt stands for the wrong alliance

          2. Egypt is a type of the world

          3. God’s people are not to go to Egypt for help

          4. To rely on Egypt means trusting human resources rather than God

     E. Abram Went To Sojourn There

          1. Abram looked at his trip to Egypt only as temporarily

          2. True but also a spiritual failure

NOTE: The sudden transition that can be made from the plane of faith to the plane of fear

T.S. WHEN WE CEASE WALKING WITH GOD:

          I. WE FORGET TO ASK GOD’S WILL

II. WE FORGET TO TELL THE TRUTH 12:11-16

     A. The Sin Of Self Confidence vs. 11

          1. When we are cut off from God by unbelief and other sins, our next step is self-confidence

          2. We substitute our confidence for the confidence of God

          3. We substitute our wisdom for the wisdom of God

          4. Abram determined, without God, to go to Egypt

                a. Abram, without God, faced the dangers that would meet him there

                b. He could not trust God for protection in this matter

                c. He had abandoned his trust in God

                d. He fell back on his own devices (reasonings)

     B. The Sin Of A Half-Lie vs. 12-13

          1. Sarai

               a. Princess

               b. Fair

               c. Beautiful

          2. Sarai was his half sister so he was not technically lying

               a. He could have said he meant well by it

               b. A lie is a lie no matter how we excuse it

NOTE: Whenever we want to do something wrong, we will always be able to find some good reasons for doing it. If we cannot think of them, the devil will supply the reasons.

          3. We go from a half-truth to a false impression to an actual lie

     C. The Sin Of Dragging Others Into Our Sin vs. 13

          1. He gets Sarai to lie

          2. Lot will have to lie

          3. The servants will have to lie

NOTE: Sin is like a snowball rolling downhill

The impossibility of sinning “just a little bit”

Sin is stronger than we are

          4. Abram never sank lower, as far as we know, than when he made this request

               a. The heroic spiritual giant was sadly lacking

               b. “Because of you:” If anything bad happens, its your fault

     D. The Result Of Abram’s Lack Of Faith And His Lie vs. 14-16

          1. The Egyptians saw that Sarai was beautiful vs. 14

          2. Pharaoh thought she was available vs. 15

          3. Abram got wealthy because of a lie

               a. Many other Old Testament individuals whose material prosperity is directly tied to God’s blessings

               b. Abram has come upon his wealth through a means other than divine blessing

NOTE: Was it worth it?

NOTE: Family moving to a town without a church

          4. Proverbs attributes all poverty to laziness

               a. Poverty is a sin according to Proverbs

               b. Proverbs does not attribute all wealth to virtue

NOTE: Treasures of wickedness profit nothing Proverbs 12:2

T.S. WHEN WE CEASE WALKING WITH GOD:

          I. WE FORGET TO ASK GOD’S WILL

         II. WE FORGET TO TELL THE TRUTH

III. WE FORGET TO REPENT 12:17-20

     A. Others Pay For Our Sin vs. 17

          1. Pharaoh was in the right

          2. He acted in good faith

          3. Abram practiced deception

     B. We Will Be Embarrassed By Others vs. 18

           1. Abram had no idea what was going to happen in Egypt

NOTE: Only God can truly see the future

           2. He finds his scheme inadequate

           3. Sarai is taken from his protection and placed in Pharaoh’s household

           4. We are willing to abandon God to preserve our “precious”

           5. We don’t gain the world, we lose it

           6. We can also lose our spiritual heritage

NOTE: The world will be a poor compensation for our losses. There is no altar in Egypt, no fellowship with God, no new promises; but a desolated home, a wretched sense of wrong. When the prodigal leaves his Father’s house, though he may win a brief spell of forbidden pleasure, yet he loses all that make life worth living, and brings himself down to the level of the swine.

J. B. Meyer

     C. We May End Up Being Less Righteous Than Those Without Christ vs. 19

          1. The rebuke that Abram receives is from the hands of one who is not even a worshipper of Jehovah

NOTE: Pharaoh exemplifies a higher degree of moral sensitivity than does Abram

          2. Abram received this in silence

          3. There was nothing he could say

     D. We Will Be Embarrassed Because Others Will Know Of Our Sin vs. 20

          1. He sent him away

NOTE: Same phrase as God sending Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden

          2. God does not permit his children to go their own way indefinitely

               a. Eventually He brings us back to our senses and to Him

               b. He does this by exposing our sin

               c. We suffer rebuke and deep humiliation

NOTE: It was not a pretty sight, but the effects of sin are never pretty Donald Grey Barnhouse

          3. It was a greatly subdued but wiser Abram who departed for Canaan

CONCLUSION

WHEN WE CEASE WALKING WITH GOD:

I. WE FORGET TO ASK GOD’S WILL

II. WE FORGET TO TELL THE TRUTH

III. WE FORGET TO REPENT

#Genesis 13:1-4

AFTER GETTING RIGHT

Genesis 13:1-4

INTRODUCTION

Everyone of us here have had this experience sometime in our Christian life: We have been in sin. We know it. God knows it. Everyone in our home knows it. Everyone in church knows it. … The Holy Spirit starts working on us. How miserable we feel. We know what we should do; we just don’t want to admit it. Finally we repent of our sin. How good it feels! Like a beautiful spring day after a morning shower. Like a beautiful breeze. We feel so free. We feel so good. God has forgiven us. The burden has been lifted. The stain is gone.

Now what? What do we do now? Just forget everything and go back into sin??? Is there more that just being forgiven?

One of the great giants of the Bible was just like us: he sinned. And, as is so often in our case, he was found out in his sin. Embarrassment city! And just like us, Abraham had to go through the same steps of forgiveness. What Abraham did after his sin was revealed is what we should do.

THEME: WHAT SHOULD WE DO WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS?

I. WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS WE MUST GET BACK TO WHERE GOD WANTS US TO BE vs. 1-2

     A. We Must Know Certain Things vs. 1a

          1. We must know who we are – Abram

               a. Hebrew – Exalted father

               b. We are exalted through Christ, not ourselves

               c. We are ‘fathers’ because we reproduce through spiritual fruit

NOTE: A little girl followed her father as he carefully stepped through a new garden. She stepped exactly where he stepped and said, “Daddy, if you don’t get mud on your feet, I won’t get any mud on mine!”

          2. We must know where we came from

               a. We have come out of our Egypt

               b. In typology, Egypt is always a type of the world

               c. When we leave the world we go up

     B. We Must Know That We Have An Influence For Good vs. 1b

NOTE: We all have an influence. The question is, Is it for good or bad?

          1. The most important person we must influence is ourself

          2. The second most important person we must influence is our mate

          3. The third most important group we must influence is our family

NOTE: If you wish to enrich days, plant flowers;

If you wish to enrich years, plant trees;

If you wish to enrich Eternity, plant ideals in the lives of others

S. Truett Cathy

     C. We Must Bring Everything We Have Out Of The World vs. 2

          1. All that we have vs. 1

               a. Nothing is left to the world

               b. Nothing is left for the world

               c. Nothing is left to cause us to want to go back to the world

          2. We must know the value of our resources

               a. Very rich

               b. The good side of rich

                    1) Abundant

                    2) Great

                    3) Honor or honorable

                    4) Glorious

               c. The bad side of rich

                    1) A burden

                    2) Heavy

                    3) Can make a person insensitive or dull spiritually

                    4) Unresponsive

          3. We must classify our wealth

               a. Cattle

               b. Silver

               c. Gold

NOTE: A contrast

          a. Cattle will reproduce

          b. Silver is less of value

          c. Gold is the greatest value

T.S. WHAT SHOULD WE DO WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS?

          I. WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS WE MUST GET BACK TO WHERE GOD WANTS US TO BE

II. WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS WE MUST GET BACK TO THE BEGINNINGS OF OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE vs. 3

     A. Our Life Is A Journey

          1. Our journeys are to be upward spiritually

          2. His journeys

               a. We have an ownership to our life

               b. We have responsibility in our journeys

     B. Our Life – Journey Must Be An Upward Progression

          1. From the south

               a. The area closest to Egypt (a type of the world)

               b. The area that takes the least effort to travel

               c. The area that contains the most temptations to go back to Egypt

          2. Our goals

               a. To Bethel

                    1) Beth – house

                    2) El – God

NOTE: Two houses of God in the Christian’s journeys

          a. The one in this life – church

          b. The one in the next life – the house of the Lord

NOTE: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Psalm 23:6 KJV

               b. Our tent

                    1) Not a place of permanence

                    2) That which will do until we get home

                    3) That which is portable in this life

               c. At the beginnings

                    1) Where we started our Christian walk

                    2) Where we began to learn to walk with God

                    3) Where we began to see what God wanted to show us

NOTE: Now the Lord had said to Abram: Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.

Genesis 12:1 NKJV

     C. Our Life Is A Life Of Choices

NOTE: … between Bethel and Hai

          1. Bethel – house of God

          2. Hai

               a. ‘Heap of ruins’

               b. A city later destroyed by Joshua and never rebuilt for God or God’s people

               c. The city was not yet destroyed in Abram’s day

T.S. WHAT SHOULD WE DO WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS?

          I. WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS WE MUST GET BACK TO WHERE GOD WANTS US TO BE

         II. WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS WE MUST GET BACK TO THE BEGINNINGS OF OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE

III. WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS WE MUST GET BACK TO THE FIRST WORKS OF OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE vs. 4

     A. Back To The Altar

          1. The place of sacrifice

          2. The place where we give and cannot take back

          3. The place where all can see us give

          4. The place where we show God we mean business

     B. Which He Had Made At The First

          1. Not God made

          2. What Abram made

          3. We have the responsibility in building our own spiritual life

NOTE: It is not the responsibility of others; it is our responsibility

          4. We have a responsibility from the very first of our Christian life

     C. There Abram Called On The Name Of The Lord

          1. One hundred and eight times people call on the name of the Lord in the Bible

          2. The word “name” means:

               a. Reputation

                    b. The idea of definite and conspicuous position

          3. Why we call on the name of the Lord

               a. We call on the name of the Lord for salvation

NOTE: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13 KJV

               b. We call on the name of the Lord for direction

               c. We call on the name of the Lord for power

               d. We call on the name of the Lord for everything

NOTE: And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:17 KJV

CONCLUSION

WHAT SHOULD WE DO WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS?

I. WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS WE MUST GET BACK TO WHERE GOD WANTS US TO BE

II. WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS WE MUST GET BACK TO THE BEGINNINGS OF OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE

III. WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS WE MUST GET BACK TO THE FIRST WORKS OF OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE

#Genesis 4:1-3

HOW TO FAIL BEFORE GOD

Genesis 4:1-8

INTRODUCTION

If a list were to be compiled of things that are common to mankind, probably very close to the top of the list would be failure. Everyone sometimes experiences failure, most of us more often than what we would like to admit. Nothing succeeds like success; nothing fails like failure.

Failure may not always be a bad thing. For some, failure simply makes them do a better, more determined job with an outcome that exceeds their original expectations. For others, failure is the end of the line. They refuse to progress because of their fear of failure.

But of all the failures of life there is one failure that has eternal consequence: Failure before God. We can overcome failure in interpersonal relationships or work but permanent failure before God has eternal consequences. Such is the case of our subject today, Cain.

THEME: HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO FAIL BEFORE GOD?

I. IT IS POSSIBLE TO FAIL BEFORE GOD WHEN WE BEGIN WITH A GOOD REPUTATION 4:1-2

     A. That Is Recognized By Those Closest To Us vs. 1

          1. Born of the first parents (prestige)

               a. Adam – Father of the race

               b. Eve his wife

          2. Named Cain

               a. ‘The acquired one’

               b. ‘Gain’

          3. “I have gotten the man from the Lord”

               a. The redeemer

               b. The seed of the woman

               c. The one who will get us back into the Garden

     B. That Is More Excellent Than Others Around Us

          1. Abel

               a. Vanity

               b. Loss

               c. Vapor

NOTE: Our life is a vapor

          2. Abel was a keeper of the sheep

               a. For clothing cf. 3:21

               b. For sacrifice

NOTE: After the Flood, used for food Genesis 9:30

          3. Cain was a tiller of the ground

               a. Nowhere does the Scripture suggest that one of these two occupations is inferior to the other

               b. Even in the Levitical offerings of Moses grain, flour is meal is offered to God

          4. A comparison of jobs

NOTE: It is God’s will that people should differ in their tastes, talents, and pursuits

               a. Abel was more nomadic

               b. Cain was a landowner; more stable

NOTE: A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses Luke 12:15

T.S. HOW CAN WE FAIL BEFORE GOD?

          I. IT IS POSSIBLE TO FAIL BEFORE GOD WHEN WE BEGIN WITH A GOOD REPUTATION

II. IT IS POSSIBLE TO FAIL BEFORE GOD WHEN WE OFFER TO GOD OFFERINGS FROM HONEST WORK 4:3-4

     A. At The Proper Time – “In Process Of Time”

          1. End of days of Sabbath

          2. A stated time or season of devotion

          3. The tenor of Scripture seems to indicate this is not the first time they had brought offerings to the Lord

     B. As A Leader

          1. Cain brought his offering first before Abel

          2. First does not prove devoutness

     C. Observe Who Is Successful Before God

          1. Abel brought the firstlings of his flock (first fruits)

               a. Gave the best – fat thereof

               b. Pure devout worship

          2. Cain simply brought fruits of the ground, not first fruits

               a. Because it was time to give

               b. Pure formalism

     D. Cain And Abel Worshipped Outwardly Alike

          1. At same time

          2. At the same place

          3. To same God

          4. Gave from the produce of their occupations

NOTE: The Hebrew word here for offering is used in the Levitical laws for the bloodless thank offering and peace offering of flour and oil or frankincense

     E. The Lord Had Respect Unto Abel And To His Offering

          1. Abel is the first in the ‘hall of faith’ in Hebrews 11

          2. Jesus called Abel:

               a. Righteous

NOTE: that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Matthew 23:35 NKJV

               b. Prophet

NOTE: that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation,

from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

Luke 11:50-51 NKJV

NOTE: Free and joyful heart (Lord loves a cheerful giver) vs. a legal, reluctant state of the heart

T.S. HOW CAN WE FAIL BEFORE GOD?

          I. BEGIN WITH A GOOD REPUTATION

         II. OFFER TO GOD OFFERINGS FROM HONEST WORK

III. HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE IN WORSHIP 4:5-7

     A. Demand Things Go Our Way

          1. The Lord had not respect unto Cain and his offering

NOTE: Cain offering to keep on good terms with God but God will reject the most perfect sacrifice offering by an apostate heart.

               a. An apostate heart – Cain first, offering second

               b. A clean, proper heart before God – God first, offering second, us last

          2. Cain brought his offering as one entitled, in his own name, to present it, as one seeking by means of it to satisfy his God

NOTE: Cold and calculating homage, self confidence

          3. Had Cain presented it by faith “he would have obtained witness that he was righteous”

NOTE: By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. Hebrews 11:4 NKJV

NOTE: We are accepted by faith, not works of righteousness

NOTE: By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Hebrews 11:5 NKJV

          4. Cain was very mad and his countenance fell

               a. ‘Mad’ – “It burned him up”

               b. Countenance – glance fell, he looked down instead up to God

     B. Ignore The Lord’s Love vs. 6-7

          1. Two ways Cain was dealt with

               a. His conscience vs. 5

               b. The Lord vs. 6-7

          2. As in the case of the first sin (Genesis 3:9), the Lord came to the sinner, not the sinner to God

          3. The three questions of the Lord

               a. Why are you mad (burning)?

               b. Why has thy countenance fallen?

               c. If you do well will you not be accepted?

NOTE: ‘Accepted’ (Hebrew – lifted up countenance)

NOTE: With ultimate tenderness and concern the Lord encouraged Cain to assess himself

          4. Sin lies at the door

               a. As a wild beast thirsting for your blood (unto you shall be his desire)

               b. You shall (can) rule over him

NOTE: Cain was the first man to let sin rule over him

NOTE: not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. I John 3:12 NKJV

          5. Cain’s silence

               a. No thanks to God for the warning

               b. No repentance of his jealousy

               c. No mending of his ways

               d. A stubborn silence seems to be all he had to offer

T.S. HOW CAN WE FAIL BEFORE GOD?

          I. BEGIN WITH A GOOD REPUTATION

         II. OFFER TO GOD OFFERINGS FROM HONEST WORK

        III. HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE IN WORSHIP

IV. BLAME OTHERS FOR OUR FAILURE 4:8

     A. Talk With Them

          1. Cain saved his words for Abel

          2. Don’t know if friendship or controversy

               a. May be friendship on the part of Abel

               b. May be courtesy on the part of Cain

     B. Walk With Them At Work

          1. Abel had faith towards God

          2. He was ready to place confidence in his brother also

     C. Kill Them (cf. Destroy Character)

          1. As Cain’s wrath could not reach God he vents it on his brother

          2. Cain adds to his ungodliness

               a. Envy

               b. Hatred

               c. Murder

          3. He rose up against (in a hostile sense)

          4. ‘Abel his brother’ brings out the added horror of the sins

               a. vs. 8 – twice

               b. vs. 9

               c. vs. 10

               d. vs. 11

NOTE: Of all failure, the worse is failure toward God. The consequences are eternal. Some will fail regarding salvation. Some will fail in their Christian living. But there is a way out before it is too late.

CONCLUSION

HOW CAN WE FAIL BEFORE GOD?

I. BEGIN WITH A GOOD REPUTATION

II. OFFER TO GOD OFFERINGS FROM HONEST WORK

III. HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE IN WORSHIP

IV. BLAME OTHERS FOR OUR FAILURE

#Genesis 15:1

9-11 2005

Genesis 15:1

INTRODUCTION

9-1-1 is a well known phone number. Even some of the youngest of our children know how to dial 9-1-1. But we also know 9-1-1 as an unforgettable date in American History. As a tragedy it rivals the Alamo. As a surprise it is up there with Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. As for the loss of American life on American soil it is only rivaled by Antietam and Hurricane Katrina.

Because of such days as these we have an excuse to fear life. We have evidence that we need protection. We have a desire for vengeance or compensation for the losses in our lives.

This is nothing unique to us. This is common in life. Every one of us live with the potential for destruction caused by others. Some destruction may be premeditated; some accidental.

But we are like Abraham. After all, every saved person is a spiritual child of Father Abraham. We are like Abraham because each of us are a friend of God. And that means we have special blessings, even when there is the potential for destruction all around us. In the life of Abraham, on a very normal day he was thrust into a series of circumstances over which he had no control. And how he responded to those circumstances was very limited.

THEME: WHEN OTHERS SHOW HATRED TO US:

I. WE DO NOT HAVE TO FEAR

     A. After These Things

          1. The war that was not Abraham’s war 14:1-11

          2. The need to rescue Lot 14:12

          3. The destruction of an army 14:14-16

          4. The blessings by Melchizedek 14:18-20

          5. The rejection of any reward or compensation from the king of Sodom 14:21-24

     B. The Revelation Of Jehovah – His Word 15:1

          1. This revelation differs with all messages Abraham had from Jehovah in the past

          2. This revelation differs with all understanding of Jehovah in the past

          3. This is a new turning point in the life of Abraham

               a. God changes us

               b. We change as we learn who He is

               c. We change as we learn new ways we can trust Him

     C. The Vision Of God

NOTE: Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
 But happy is he who keeps the law. Proverbs 29:18 NKJV

NOTE: When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
 But whoever obeys the law is joyful. Proverbs 29:18 NLT

          1. Without an understanding of Who God is we have no future – we perish

          2. With an understanding of Who God is we understand better how to live righteously

               a. We keep the laws of God

               b. We keep the rules, precepts of Christ

               c. The success, joy and happiness of our life is in relation to our understanding of God

          3. Everything that occurs in this chapter is a result of Abraham’s vision of God

               a. His fears are removed vs. 1

               b. His future is secure – a son vs. 2-6

               c. His relationship to God is strengthened vs. 7-16

NOTE: If we are not surrendered to God, we will be at war with others Thomas a Kempis

T.S. WHEN OTHERS SHOW HATRED TO US:

          I. WE DO NOT HAVE TO FEAR

II. WE HAVE THE BEST PROTECTION

NOTE: I am your shield

NOTE: A Chinese legend tells of a group of cultured elderly gentlemen who met often to exchange wisdom and drink tea. Each host tried to find the finest and most costly varieties of tea so as to create exotic blends that would arouse the admiration of his guests.

When the most venerable and respected of the group entertained, he served his tea with unprecedented ceremony, measuring the leaves from a gold box. The assembled gentlemen praised this exquisite tea. The host smiled and said, “The tea you have found so delightful is the same tea our peasants drink. I hope that it will be a reminder to us all that the good things in life are not necessarily the rarest or the most costly.”

     A. God Is Our Personal Shield

           1. This is the first time in the Bible God said this

NOTE: A very interesting use of this word

          2. Sixty times this Hebrew word “shield” is found in the Old Testament

               a. Twenty five times it refers to God as the shield

                b. Thirty five times it refers to the shield of men

          3. The majority of these times the “shield” is used in Scripture it refers to Abraham and David (in the Psalms)

               a. After David’s life almost every use is the shield of man

               b. And Israel went into sin, defeat and destruction

          4. The last time “shield” is found in the Bible – In every situation take the shield of faith,
and with it you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16 ESV

     B. When God Is Our Shield

NOTE: A shield is a defensive weapon

          1. God Himself receives the blows the enemy has for us

               a. We do not receive the force of the attack

               b. We feel the dispersed energy of the attack

          2. God is our defense

NOTE: My defense is of God,
Who saves the upright in heart. Psalm 7:1 NKJV

         3. God Himself shields us when we trust Him

              a. The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence. II Samuel 22:3 NKJV

               b. my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. II Samuel 22:3 NLT

               c. The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.
Therefore my heart rejoices,
and I praise Him with my song. Psalm 28:7 HCSB

               d. Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Proverbs 30:5 KJV

          4. God protects our salvation – You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your gentleness has made me great. II Samuel 22:36 NKJV

T.S. WHEN OTHERS SHOW HATRED TO US:

          I. WE DO NOT HAVE TO FEAR

         II. WE HAVE THE BEST PROTECTION

III. WE HAVE THE BEST REWARD

NOTE: This is also the first time “reward” is found in the Bible

     A. There Are Many Rewards In The Bible

          1. There are rewards that only last for this lifetime

               a. Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ Deuteronomy 27:25 NKJV

               b. Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. Matthew 6:16 NKJV

          2. There are rewards, good and bad, in eternity

               a. The Lord shall repay the evildoer according to his wickedness. II Samuel 3:39 NKJV

               b. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Matthew 16:27 KJV

          3. The godly rewards

               a. Reward for our confidence in God

               b. Reward our ready obedience to God

     B. The Greatest Reward – God Himself

          1. This is the only passage where God Himself is the reward

          2. This is the result of the obedient faithfulness of Abraham

               a. Abraham, with only 318 trained servants, defeated great kings and armies

               b. Not because of his great skill as a military leader; all because he trusted in God

               c. This is a foretaste that Israel will be able to possess the land some day

NOTE: … With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Mark 10:27 KJV

     C. The Fear Of Abraham

          1. He would now have to have a standing army

          2. The law of the Mideast – Eye for an eye

          3. He would now have to protect his flocks, possessions and people

     D. But God Says …

          1. Not what we say

          2. Not what others say

          3. The protection and promise of God

     E. So Much Of What We Do Seems Like We Never Receive Any Recognition Or Reward For It

NOTE: In the 1980 Boston Marathon a young unknown runner named Rosie Ruiz was initially declared the winner in the women’s division of the 26 mile race. An investigation followed and it was discovered that this was only the second marathon in which she had ever run. She had trained on an exercise bike while others did 120 miles of roadwork per week. She had no coach. She had not been seen by any of the other women runners in the race. It was speculated that she probably rode a subway for 16 miles to get near the finish line. Rosie was disqualified and lost the reward – not just the prize for finishing first, but the more lasting satisfaction of attaining a difficult goal.

NOTE: And as people of God this is our response to 9-11, terrorism and the potential of all manner of evil we face in this life and world. We do not have to fear. God is our shield and our reward for our faithfulness.

CONCLUSION

WHEN OTHERS SHOW HATRED TO US:

I. WE DO NOT HAVE TO FEAR

II. WE HAVE THE BEST PROTECTION

III. WE HAVE THE BEST REWARD

#Genesis 22:1-19

WHY IS ABRAHAM CALLED THE FATHER OF THE FAITHFUL?

Genesis 22:1-19

INTRODUCTION

     1. Not because he left Ur of the Chaldees

     2. Not because he left his family

The reason is found in Genesis 22:1-19

I. THE TEST 22:1-2

     A. Tempt

          1. First time found in the Bible

          2. It means, to try or prove

NOTE: General Motors test tracks does not destroy cars, but puts them through tests to prove they can stand up

     B. Your Son, Your Only Son

          1. Ishmael

          2. Brother

     C. Whom You Love

NOTE: You don’t have the right to chew people out from the pulpit until you have earned the right by loving them

          1. First time found in the Bible

          2. Not love of:

               a. Wife

               b. Brother

               c. Country

          3. Love of Father and Son

NOTE: The Heavenly Father and the Son

Matthew 3:17

Mark 1:11

Luke 3:22

John 3:16

     D. Abraham Had Not Heard From God For Almost 20 Years

          1. Regarding Isaac’s birth

          2. Maybe Abraham had come to love Isaac too much

NOTE: Life is a succession of tests, for character is only possible through discipline.

     E. The Land Of Moriah vs. 2

          1. Hebrew meaning

               a. The place where God provides

               b. The place of the appearance of God

          2. Old Testament occurrences of Mount Moriah

               a. I Chronicles 21:15 cf. 22:1

               b. II Chronicles 3:1

          3. New Testament

               a. They cut a moat for a city wall

               b. Outside the wall was the face of a skull Matthew 27:33

II. THE TRIP 22:3-4

     A. Rose Up Early

          1. Did not delay

          2. Did not go on vacation first

     B. Task:

          1. Two young men (2 witnesses)

          2. Isaac

          3. Wood

     C. Third Day

          1. What to say for three days?

               2. Two nights

                    a. Sand of seashore

                    b. Stars of heaven Hebrews 11:17-19

III. THE TRIAL 22:5-9

     A. Testimony

          1. Abide

          2. We will go

          3. We will worship

               a. Definition – Bow to the will of God, recognizing and acknowledging that His will is best

               b. James 2:20-24

          4. We will come again

     B. Only The Father And Son Went To Sacrifice vs. 6

     C. Where Is The Lamb?

NOTE: John the Baptist – “Behold the Lamb of God”

          1. God will provide Himself a lamb vs. 8

          2. Verse 6 and verse 8 – So went both of them together

     D. Abraham’s Works

NOTE: James 2:20

          1. Built altar

          2. Laid wood

          3. Bound Isaac

          4. Laid him on the altar

NOTE: Abraham 118 years old

Isaac 18 years

IV. THE TESTIMONY 22:10-19

     A. Now I Know That You Fear God vs. 12

NOTE: The will is taken for the deed

Where is the hardest place to serve God?

     B. The Ram Instead Of His Son

     C. By Myself I Have Sworn

          1. Found only six times in the Bible

          2. Most solemn oath by God

     D. Because vs. 16

          1. You have done this

          2. To your only son

CONCLUSION

     A. The Sacrifices On Mount Moriah

          1. Isaac the son

          2. Jewish legal sacrifices

          3. Jesus the Son

     B. The Only Human Sacrifices Ever Required By God Were:

           1. Isaac

           2. Jesus

NOTE: God does not demand literal human sacrifice but spiritual sacrifice on an unconditional denial of the natural life, even to submission to death itself Romans 12:1-2

     C. The Source Of Abraham’s Faith Hebrews 11:17-19

     D. The Secret Of His Faith

          1. “Here am I” Genesis 22:1,11

          2. He staggered not through unbelief Romans 4:20

#Genesis 4:16-24

 

THE PROGRESSION OF SIN

Genesis 4:16-24

INTRODUCTION

There is a popular phrase going around today. There are variations but it goes something like this: “I’ve got a handle on things. I’m all right.” Roughly translated, it means this: “Things aren’t going completely the way I want, but I’m confident that things will work out eventually (I hope).” While this is popular it is not new. It is old as Cain.

First of all, it is so difficult for us to “confess up” to our sins and mistakes in life. So often, for so many people, we just don’t like to admit we blew it. And unless things are already in a melt-down status we just do the best we can, pray to ourselves (most often, not to God) and hope against hope that things will eventually get better.

In our passage today the Bible gives us a warning about that type of life style. Like Cain we may stumble through life, even semi-successful. Like Cain we may have heavy burdens. Like Cain we may not be on the best speaking terms with God. And like Cain we infect our children with a life style that leads them farther away from God than we ever dreamed. And that is the greatest failure a parent could ever experience.

THEME: HOW CAN WE MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD?

I. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY REFUSING TO DWELL IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD vs. 16

     A. Cain Went Out From The Presence Of The Lord

NOTE: Not God chased him out of His presence

          1. He went out

               a. He departed

               b. He went toward something

               c. He went forth with purpose

          2. He went out from the presence of the Lord

               a. From the face of the Lord

               b. From fellowship with the Lord

               c. From the sight of the Lord

          3. Cain refused to come to God by way of sacrifice that God provided

               a. He complained because the earth was not going to be as kind to him as before his sin vs. 14

               b. Also he complained because he would become a wanderer

NOTE: One of the clearest marks of sin is our almost innate desire to excuse ourselves and complain if we are judged in any way. “It’s not fair!”

NOTE: Resentment and self-pity

NOTE: What causes us to wander from God?

          a. Our own sense of deep guilt

          b. Our hardness of heart

          c. Our fear of what others may do to us in spite of God’s protection

          4. He went out of the presence of the Lord

               a. Lord – Hebrew: Jehovah

               b. God in His covenant relationship with us

NOTE: The Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16

          a. Rich man – every meal a banquet

          b. Lazarus – longed to eat what fell from the rich man’s table

          c. Both died

         d. Rich man did not think what he had done to Lazarus was wrong

         e. He did not repent of any sin whatsoever

              1) He was still self-centered

              2) Send Lazarus

              3) Bring water Luke 16:24

     B. Cain Dwelt In The Land Of Nod, East Of Eden

          1. Land of Nod

               a. Important place for Cain

               b. Toward the rising sun; a new day!

               c. So insignificant today that no one remembers where it is

               d. “Nod” means wandering

          2. He left Eden

               a. Where everything could have been made right

               b. Where God would have provided for him

               c. “Eden” means pleasure

T.S. HOW CAN WE MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD?

          I. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY REFUSING TO DWELL IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD

II. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY REFUSING TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD IN OUR LIFE vs. 17

     A. Cain Lived The Normal Life – Without God

          1. He started a family

          2. His wife’s name is never given

               a. Women in the Bible who meant something to their husbands are named

               b. When we are away from God, priorities change

          3. Cain means “possession”

     B. Cain Built A City

          1. He attempted to settle down

          2. The first city ever

          3. Maybe he built the city to counteract God’s statement that he was to be a wanderer

NOTE: He was restless and rootless

          4. Cain’s act of building a city

               a. An attempt to provide security for himself

               b. So he would not have to depend on God

               c. There is no security without God

     C. Cain Built Monuments To His Family, Not To God

          1. Cain inaugurated an artificial paradise to compensate for the real one now lost

NOTE: The homemade heaven man builds on earth eventually resembles a homemade hell Wm. Penn

          2. He named the city after “Enoch” which means:

               a. Dedicated

               b. New beginning

               c. Memorial

              d. Monument

T.S. HOW CAN WE MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD?

          I. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY REFUSING TO DWELL IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD

        II. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY REFUSING TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD IN OUR LIFE

III. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY IGNORING GOD IN OUR FAMILY vs. 18-22

     A. Enoch Lived His Life Like Daddy Did

          1. He built a family without God

          2. After Enoch, three generations who accomplished nothing note worthy

     B. Enoch’s Descendants Reflected His Life

          1. Irad

               a. ‘Fleet’

               b. ‘Fast’

               c. No spiritual connotation

          2. Mehujael

               a. ‘Smitten by God’

               b. Or, ‘blot out that Jehovah is God’

          3. Methusael

               a. ‘Who is of God’

               b. Tried to investigate about God and gave up

          4. Lamech

               a. ‘Powerful’

               b. ‘Conqueror’

               c. ‘Wild man’

     C. The Wrong Priorities Of Lamech

          1. Two Wives – the first polygamy of the Bible

               a. Adah

                    1) Ornament

                    2) Pleasure

                    3) Beauty

               b. Zillah

                    1) Shade

                    2) May refer to her beautiful hair

               c. The worship of beauty

                    1) He apparently chose wives for their physical attractions rather than for their moral stature or spiritual commitments

                    2) A culture committed to physical pleasure, beauty and charm

                    3) A culture not committed to the inner qualities of greatness

          2. His son – Jabal vs. 20

               a. ‘A stream of water’

               b. Father of tents

                    1) Symbolic of wilderness life

                    2) Transience

          3. His son – Jubal vs. 21

                a. Invented music instruments

                b. The father of music without God

NOTE: The music was for the pleasure of people, not to glorify God

          4. His son – Tubalcain

               a. Tubal – “smith”

               b. Precious metal craftsman

          5. His daughter – Naamah

               a. First named daughter in the Bible

               b. Her name means:

                    1) Loveliness

                    2) Graceful

                    3) Beautiful

NOTE: Mentioned for physical attractions, not spiritual attractions

NOTE: There is nothing wrong with cattle, music. Metals, beauty; If God is not omitted

T.S. HOW CAN WE MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD?

          I. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY REFUSING TO DWELL IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD

        II. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY REFUSING TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD IN OUR LIFE

     III. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY IGNORING GOD IN OUR FAMILY

IV. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY ALLOWING OUR CHILDREN BE ARROGANT IN LIFE vs. 23-24

     A. Lamech Boasted To His Wives vs. 23

          1. Hear my voice

               a. Lightness of attitude

               b. Frivolous attitude

          2. My voice

               a. Same Hebrew word used of the Word of God and the Torah

               b. He attached great importance to what he was saying

NOTE: The last characteristic of Cain’s civilization is pride, culminating in an arrogant defense of murder

     B. Lamech Bragging Of Murder vs. 23

          1. I have slain

               a. Killed

               b. Murdered

          2. To my wounding

               a. More concerned with his hurts than another’s life

                b. He boasted that he killed a younger man who only wounded him

     C. I Am More Important Than Grandfather Cain vs. 24

          1. God protected old grandfather Cain, but I am perfectly able to take care of myself

          2. I am my own security

               a. Cain succumbed to sin; Lamech exults in it

               b. Cain sought protection; Lamech looks round for provocation

                    1) I back away from no one

                    2) I won’t hesitate to kill

NOTE: Three marks of living away from the presence of God

          a. Pride

          b. Hate

          c. Think poorly of others

NOTE: Hate possesses us, not we possess hate

NOTE: Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:22

CONCLUSION

HOW CAN WE MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD?

I. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY REFUSING TO DWELL IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD

II. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY REFUSING TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD IN OUR LIFE

III. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY IGNORING GOD IN OUR FAMILY

IV. WE CAN MOVE OUR FAMILY AWAY FROM GOD BY ALLOWING OUR CHILDREN BE ARROGANT IN LIFE

#Genesis 6:1-8

THE GOOD LIFE WITHOUT GOD

Genesis 6:1-8

INTRODUCTION

We have all heard statements like these:

“Times are tough”

“In the good old days…”

“Why, I remember when…”

It seems we never can accept things as they are today. Instead we must compare them with the “good old days.” In the “good old days” everything was bigger, better, wiser and even more spiritual.

As we get older, it is often easy to forget all the pain of the “good old days” and remember only the better parts. Then we look at today and try to judge it by the good of the past.

Today is not the past. We feel now, the pain, agony, embarrassment of the present.

While we may have forgotten the pressures of the past, the pressures of today are ever present. Maybe we have put undue stress on life today with all its drudgery by comparing it only with the glories of the past.

Since we don’t seem to get ahead today as we did in the past we take shortcuts. And like King Saul who got tired of waiting for Samuel, we get tired of waiting on God. We then began to make decisions without God.

THEME:WHEN WE LEAVE GOD OUT OF OUR LIVES:

I. WE MAKE OUR OWN DECISIONS Genesis 6:1-2

NOTE:Their “good old days” was separation from ungodliness

NOTE: Define ungodliness – Not necessarily anti-God; God just is not in the equation of life and decision making

          a.Seth 4:26

                1) Call upon the name of the Lord

                2) Tendency to increase in godliness

          b. Cain 4:16-24

               1) Building vs. 17

               2) Inventing vs. 21-22

               3) Moral problems vs. 23-24

               4) Tendency to increase in ungodliness

NOTE: Moral quagmire of society today

     A. Because We Are Busy Building Families

          1. The great hallmark of that age was a population explosion

NOTE: 1900 A. D.; 3/4 billion people live on this earth. Some estimate that many lived on the earth at the time of the Flood.

                a. Eyes on people, not God

                b. Apostasy comes with population

          2. No spiritual discernment in choosing mates

                a. They saw vs. 2

                b. Daughters were fair vs. 2

                     1) Good looking

                     2) Physical attraction

                     3) No spiritual attraction

                     4) No contribution to family

               c. They took – married

NOTE: We spend more time worrying about the pedigree of our dogs than we do our children

NOTE: Marrying, giving in marriage at the coming of the Son of Man

               d. Which they chose

                    1) Whoever they liked best

                    2) Not who God liked

NOTE: “Men had finally, no longer cared about having their homes centers of godly instruction where divine truth prevailed, being taught by father and mother, but instead chose any woman whatsoever, as the fancy of the moment moved them, to rear their offspring” Albert Barnes

NOTE: History shows that the common result of marriages between godly and ungodly people is the deterioration of the godly to be like the ungodly

T.S.WHEN WE LEAVE GOD OUT OF OUR LIVES:

          I.WE MAKE OUR OWN DECISIONS

II.GOD JUDGES THE SIN IN OUR LIVES Genesis 6:3

     A. God Will Not Always Put Up With Our Actions

NOTE: Sin of presumption

     B. My Spirit Will Not Always Strive With Man

          1. Abide with us

          2. Contend with us

          3. Maintain a people who follow Him

NOTE: At what point does God cease to strive with a people?

          a. Not how big a sin cf. David

          b. No home teaching of God

     C. He Also Is Flesh

          1. Mankind, who had walked with God, had sunk to the level of “flesh”

          2. Just plain, ordinary, weak and sinful stock, abandoned to a life of sin

NOTE: Just living to feed the flesh; forget spiritual examples and lessons

     D. His Days – 120 Years

          1. A grace period for the unrighteous, even in judgment

NOTE: From our vantage point we see sin; From God’s – grace and judgment

          2. Noah’s time of preaching

               a. II Peter 2:5

               b. I Peter 3:20

T.S.WHEN WE LEAVE GOD OUT OF OUR LIVES:

          I. WE MAKE OUR OWN DECISIONS

         II. GOD JUDGES THE SIN IN OUR LIVES

III. WE SEE OUR CHILDREN SUCCESSFUL WITHOUT GOD 6:4-5

     A. The Giants Of The Land Are The Role Models vs. 4

          1. Nephilim

               a. Fallen ones

               b. Violent ones

               c. Tyrants

               d. Ego centered

          2. If children are not taught the fear of the Lord, they will either be tyrants or victims of tyrants.

     B. The Children Of Godly / Ungodly Become Mighty, Of Renown

          1. Mighty

               a. Strong in battle

               b. Not God’s battle

          2. Renown

               a. Known for their talents

               b. Abilities misapplied for the corruption of home family, society, self

     C. Reputation

          1. By violence

          2. Ruthless

     D. God Saw The Wickedness

NOTE: But people didn’t

          1. Was great in the earth

               a. Full grown sinful lifestyles

               b. Definition of Sin: Self improvement without God

          2. Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart

               a. Imagination

                    1) Hebrew root – relates to pottery

                    2) To fashion as a potter

                    3) Purpose or design

               b. The heart is the worship altar of mankind

                   1) Self contained

NOTE: As a man thinks in his heart …

                   2) Occupied with their own personal pursuits

          3. Evil continually

               a. The whole day; day in, day out

               b. No restraint

NOTE: You can’t stop birds from flying over your head, but your can stop them from building a nest in your hair Martin Luther

T.S.WHEN WE LEAVE GOD OUT OF OUR LIVES:

          I. WE MAKE OUR OWN DECISIONS

         II. GOD JUDGES THE SIN IN OUR LIVES

       III. WE SEE OUR CHILDREN SUCCESSFUL WITHOUT GOD

IV. GOD CHANGES HIS DEALINGS WITH US 6:6-8

     A. It Repented The Lord vs. 6

          1. God’s disappointment

          2. A change in God’s actions

     B. It Grieved Him At His Heart vs. 6

          1. Hebrew – Naham – to be sorry

          2. A love word

               a. We do not grieve for those we do not love

NOTE: For God so loved the world …

               b. Heart filled with pain

NOTE: God is hurt no less by godless actions than by spears

     C. I Will Destroy

          1. God’s decisions

               a. Did not confer with angels

               b. Did not confer with men

          2. Destroy

NOTE: God’s right – “whom I have created” cf. evolution – I did it my way

               a. Hebrew

               b. The figure of washing a dish, wiping it clean and turning it over

               c. Blot out

     D. Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord

          1. Noah

               a. Not his wife

               b. Not his sons

          2. Noah found – had to be sought

          3. Grace – something not deserved

NOTE: God meets sin with two extremes

          a. Judgment

          b. Grace

 

NOTE: Others share our judgment and our grace

          4. In the eyes of the Lord

               a. Not in the ears of the Lord

                    1) No amount of talking

                    2) Prayer is not enough

               b. The eyes of the Lord

                    1) What God sees

                    2) Our walk, testimony before God

NOTE: What a strong character is needed to resist the pull of the whole race

NOTE: A principle with God – The more dark the times, the more bright the testimony

CONCLUSION

WHEN WE LEAVE GOD OUT OF OUR LIVES:

I. WE MAKE OUR OWN DECISIONS

II. GOD JUDGES THE SIN IN OUR LIVES

III. WE SEE OUR CHILDREN SUCCESSFUL WITHOUT GOD

IV. GOD CHANGES HIS DEALINGS WITH US

#Genesis 21

HAGAR: WHEN LIFE DOESN’T WORK

Genesis 21

INTRODUCTION

Possibly no one lives life with less control of life than mothers. So often their husbands are controlled by their jobs and their bills. The children are controlled by sicknesses and schools and peer pressures. And all mothers can do is fight keep the home together and pray. Many mothers spend their lives simply reacting to problems of live that are constantly coming in. Someone has rightly said, “A mother’s job is never done.”

Its not easy being a mother.

Of all the mothers in the Bible Hagar represents every mother. There are mothers in the Bible who have their beauty extolled. Or their virtue. Or their husbands are praised. Or their children are praised. So many of them stand in the shadows content to bask in the glories of their families.

Hagar was a mother in real life. She really had no control over the events in her life. Her life is effectively controlled by the “other woman,” Sarah. The decisions of her life are made not by her but by Abraham. She wasn’t even in the loop in the decisions that affected her son’s future and her future.

Yes, there were down-sides to her life as there are down-sides to the lives of mothers today. But there is a great up-side: God. While others were making not-so-good decisions for Hagar, God was making good decisions for her.

THEME: WE ARE AFFECTED IN LIFE WHEN:

I. THE SINS OF OTHERS INFLUENCE US

     A. When Others Get Ahead Of God

          1. God promised that Abraham would have a son

          2. Sarah could not have a child

          3. God did not say that Sarah would be the mother, at first

     B. When Others Use Us To “Accomplish God’s Will” 16:1-3

          1. Sarah got out of God’s will

          2. Sarah got ahead of God’s will

          3. Things Sarah didn’t do

               a. She didn’t pray about it

               b. She didn’t ask for Abraham’s opinion

               c. She didn’t ask what Hagar thought

                    1) She took Hagar

                    2) Hebrew, lay hold of, seize

               d. After Abraham had been faithful waiting for God for ten years 16:3

NOTE: A “mature” thought: Maybe Sarah the problem of child bearing was with Abraham, not her

     C. When Others Are Jealous Of Us 16:4-6

          1. Hagar conceived

          2. Sarah was jealous

NOTE: Hagar “despised” Sarah or thought her not be a complete woman

T.S. WE ARE AFFECTED IN LIFE WHEN:

          I. THE SINS OF OTHERS INFLUENCE US

II. WHEN WE RUN FROM OUR PROBLEMS

     A. When It Seems We Have Nowhere To Turn 16:6-7

          1. Sarai dealt hardly with her vs. 6

NOTE: Sarah was not only cruel but irrational. She alone instigated Hagar’s condition.

               a. Afflicted her

               b. Humbled her

               c. Troubled her

               d. Weakened her

               e. To be busied with

          2. The silence of Abraham

               a. No rebuke

               b. No protection

     B. When It Seems There Is No Solution To Our Problems 16:6b-7

          1. No one cared she ran away

          2. But God cared: The Angel of the Lord

     C. When Life Deals Us A Bad Hand 16:8-10

          1. God spoke to her; not to Sarah

          2. God’s will: To submit to Sarah

NOTE: Sarah had wronged her but she had no right to retaliate by doing wrong herself by running away

          3. In the midst of a hard life God had a plan for her

NOTE: The Divine purpose of our lives no matter how obscure or friendless be may feel

T.S. WE ARE AFFECTED IN LIFE WHEN:

          I. THE SINS OF OTHERS INFLUENCE US

        II. WHEN WE RUN FROM OUR PROBLEMS

III. WHEN OUR CHILDREN ARE OVERWHELMED

     A. By Rejection By The One They Loved

NOTE: Sarai was named by God “Sarah” meaning, noblewoman

          1. Isaac was born 21:1-2

          2. “Isaac” means: “He laughs”

               a. Abraham laughed

               b. Sarah laughed 21:6

          3. Fourteen year old Ishmael was left out of the loop

     B. By Circumstances They Did Not Create

          1. Sarah demanded Ishmael leave the camp

NOTE: Most unfortunately Sarah did not behave as a noblewoman

NOTE: In fact verse 11 speaks eloquently of the affection of Abraham for Isaac. Nowhere does the Scripture speak of Abraham’s affection for his wife.

          2. Neither Hagar or Ishmael were consulted in the matter

     C. By God Providing For Them

NOTE: “Hagar” means “fugitive” or “immigrant”

          1. Abraham did not provide for them

               a. It is true God said for Abraham to move them out of the camp 21:12

               b. He gave them bread and water 21:14

NOTE: Most likely they also had money. The emphasis of the story is on running out of water

          2. She had no place to go; she wandered 21:14

          3. She had no way to provide for the lad 21:15

          4. She gave up hope 21:16

               a. She could not bare to watch him die

NOTE: One of the first recorded prayers in the Bible: Don’t let me see the child die

               b. She wept

          5. God heard the lad, not the mother 21:17

          6. God gave her a vision to survive

NOTE: It was only after her eyes were opened that she realized how blind she was

NOTE: The God who fed the nation of Israel for forty years can also feed a mother and her child

          7. God is active and in control of the most difficult circumstances

CONCLUSION

WE ARE AFFECTED IN LIFE WHEN:

I. THE SINS OF OTHERS INFLUENCE US

II. WHEN WE RUN FROM OUR PROBLEMS

III. WHEN OUR CHILDREN ARE OVERWHELMED

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