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Text:  Genesis 1-4
Title:  “The Genealogy of a Father and a Son”
Purpose: To show the consequences of the relationship between fathers and sons down thru the Bible

Intro.:  In sports it is said that the best defense is a good offense.  In other words it is better to take charge of circumstances rather than to let circumstances take charge of you.  It is better to be on the offensive rather than the defensive.  And in fact, those are the only two choices in regard to the father/son relationship.  But let me go a step further and say that it is far better to have made the decisions of life way before you run into the circumstances of life!  That is why, in sports, you practice for every circumstance of the game.

As the father,
your role is to be God’s representative in the home.  Whether you like it or not, you are an example to your children of what kind of Father God is to His children.  You are shaping your sons’ perception of God either for good or evil.
As a Christian, you represent Jesus Christ in your home.  Whether you like it or not, you are to be a “role model,” one who not only teaches with words, but teaches by your example.
The Bible teaches fathers to “train up (“train, dedicate”) a child in the way (“1. road, way, path [of life]”); 2. journey [of life]; 3. direction [of life]; 4. manner, habit, way [of life]; 5. course of life (fig.); 6. moral character (fig.)”) he should go” (Prov. 22:6).

For the child-son, your role is to be the obedient servant in the home.  Everything you need (not want) is provided for you to one degree or another, and it is your place to be obedient and grateful, especially so if your father is the proper example.
As a Christian, you are to show Biblical submission to Christ through your Biblical submission to your parents.
The Bible teaches children to “obey (“1. to listen, to harken; 2. to harken to a command; 3. to obey, be obedient to, submit to”) your parents in the Lord” (Eph. 6:1)

For the grown son, you are to perpetuate the godly instruction and example you learn from your father, and reject the godless instruction and example you may have seen in your parents.
As a Christian you are to maintain and strengthen that which remains of value from your childhood.
The Bible teaches grown sons to “honour (“1. fix the value; 2. to revere, venerate”) thy father and mother” (Eph. 6:2)

All three of these commands are offensive in that before the trouble starts you have already set the standard to be followed, so that when the trouble starts, and it will, you have already determined the Biblical response.
To begin this teaching we should go back to the beginning of mankind and the story of Adam and his sons. 
And the reason we must go back to Adam is that is where your and your son’s gene pool started filling up! 

I. IN THE BEGINNING
   A. The Genealogy of the Father.  (Gen. 1:26-31)
        1. Adam in innocence (Gen. 2:15-17)
        2. Adam in disobedience (Gen. 3:6-17)
            a. He chose the things of this life over the things/obedience of/to God (v6-7)
               1) He distrusted God, and then disregarded God (v1, 4-6)
               2) Hid from God (v8)
               3) Hid from responsibility to God (“Where art thou?”) (v9)
               4) Hid because of fear (“he was afraid”) (v10)
1 John 4:18  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment…”.
               5) Hid behind his wife (v11-12)

Keil:  “It is so still; the sinner first of all endevours to throw the blame upon others as tempters, and then upon circumstances which God has ordained.”

           b. Suffered the consequences (v17)

II. IN THE BEGINNING
    A. The Genealogy of the Sons (Gen. 4:1-5)
         1. “A man from the Lord

Note:  Men are made, not born.  Your baby may be a male, but only time will tell if he will grow to be a man.  Originally, God gave you a son.  Now you are to give back to God a “man,” and a spiritual man at that!
Keil:  “Generation in man is an act of personal free-will, not a blind impulse of nature, and rests upon a moral self-determination.  It flows from the divine institution of marriage.”

              a. Cain (“possession [of Jehovah]”) (v1) (Mentioned 17 times in Bible, all negative after Gen.)
                 1) Tiller of the ground
                      a) He was like his father Adam in innocence (2:15)
             b. Abel (“breath, ie, nothingness, vanity”) (v2) (Mentioned 13 times in Bible, all positive)
                 1) Keeper of sheep
                      a) He was like his father Adam in redemption (3:21)

Note:  After Adam was forced out of the Garden of Eden, he became both a tiller of the ground and a keeper of sheep.  Agriculture and animals go hand and hoof.  Either the sons were assigned different occupations, or they chose different occupations.

             c. Both partakers of their father’s fallen nature
         2. Sons who “knew” the Lord (v3, 4)

III. THE FIRST CONFLICT  (4:1-5)
       A. Centered on God (v3, 4)
            1. A spiritual battle
                a. After a long period of time, both sons brought an offerin (“gift”) to the Lord

Keil: “This offering was not commanded by God, nor invented by man.  Offerings were determined by God to satisfy the need of the heart for fellowship with God.  This need existed in both sons.  These offerings were expressions of gratitude to God, to whom they owed all they had; and to secure the divine favor and blessings”

      B. Fueled by self interests
          1. Cain brought from the fruit of the ground  (neither the first fruits nor the best fruits)
          2. Abel brought from the fattest of the firstlings of the flock  
              a. The only differences between Cain and Abel were their hearts as reflected in their sacrifices
Heb 11:4  “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.” 

 C. Settled by God (4-5)
      1. Lord had respect (“look at, regard”) unto Abel and his offering
          a. Why?  (v7)
              1) Do well (“do right”), be accepted (“elevated”)
      2. Lord did not have respect unto Cain and his offering
          a. Why?
               1) Do wrong, be unacceptable (“sin lieth at (“is stretched across”) the door”. 

Keil:  “The reason for the different reception of the two offerings was the state of mind towards God with which they were brought, and which manifested itself in the selection of the gifts.”

 IV. THE FIRST REALIZATION OF WRONG (v5)
       A. Cain’s Reaction
           1. Was wroth (“it burned Cain sore”)
           2. Countenance fell.  (Keil: His look was indicative of evil thoughts and intentions)

       B. God’s Response
           1. Don’t give way to this!
           2. Why are you reacting like this?

 Keil: “Sin is directed towards you, but you should rule over it.”)

 V. THE FULL CONSEQUENCES (v8, 11-13)
     A. Abel.  Murdered!

Keil:  “The writer repeats again and again the words, ‘ his brother,’ to bring out clearly the horror of the sin.  Cain was the first man who let sin reign in him; he was ‘of the wicked one.  In him the seed of the woman had already become the seed of the serpent/ and in his deed the real nature of the wicked one, as ‘a murderer from the beginning,’ had come openly to light.  Here are the two distinct seeds within the human race.”

       B. Cain.  Cursed!

 Keil:  “Defiance grows with sin, and punishment keeps pace with guilt.”

          1. A struggle to survive
          2. A fugitive and a vagabond (“unstable wanderer”)
          3. A punishment beyond bearing

Concl: Like father like son!  A sobering thought.  You here that are fathers are yet sons.  You here that are sons will yet be fathers and yet stay sons.  Your life is but a continuation of the lives of Cain and Abel, distinguished only by the choices your make. 
Dad, your father was either a Cain or Abel.  Therefore, you are either a Cain or Abel.  And you are raising either a Cain or Abel. 
Son, you are either a Cain or an Abel.  And what you stay will determine your manner of life, and then your son’s manner of life.
Yet, though you might be a Cain, you can become an Abel by trusting Jesus Christ as your Saviour and being adopted into the family of God.  The Bible says salvation is “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Cain was lost and went to Hell.  Abel was saved and went to Paradise.
You could not chose your father, but you can chose to trust Christ as your Saviour!

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