Genesis 4-5 Do You Give God What He Likes?

Psalm 2:1-12 The Wise Kiss The Son
2:1 “Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take a stand, and the rulers take counsel together, against Yahweh, and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let’s break Their bonds apart, and cast Their cords from us." 4 He who sits in the heavens will laugh. The Lord will have them in derision. 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger, and terrify them in His wrath: 6 "Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion."
7 I will tell of the decree. Yahweh said to me, "You are My son. Today I have become Your father. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance, the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron. You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel."
10 Now therefore be wise, you kings. Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11 Serve Yahweh with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath will soon be kindled. Blessed are all those who take refuge in Him."

Observations: 2:1-12 After God finishes laughing at the kings of the earth seeking to rebel against Him, He will level them with His judgment. God has a plan to submit them under His Son, the Davidic King, (and eventually the Messiah). Emperors (called Suzerains) would install a king over a territory (called a Vassal) to rule on their behalf. Ancient Near East archaeology has uncovered a number of Suzerain-Vassal treaties. The process of becoming a vassal was likened to becoming a son, who owed filial (son-like) fidelity and loyalty to the “father.” The “father had covenant obligations (hesed) to the “son” as well, such as protecting him. Part of hesed was looking out for each other's interests. When God made the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7) with David, He portrayed Himself as the Suzerain and David (and his faithful descendants) as the vassal. An unfaithful vassal was deposed (deprived of power, and “put to death” sometimes literally, or metaphorically). When the Messiah is installed in Zion, He will rule rebels with a rod of iron, and destroy those who don't submit. Therefore the wise course of action is to serve Yahweh, and His Son with fear and trembling. Usually one kissed the feet of the ruler as an act of obeisance. On the flip side, those who sought humble refuge in Him would be blessed (see Psalm 1).

Application: It is wise to fear and submit to God's rule of our lives, otherwise the rod of iron will descend.

Prayer: God, may I be a faithful and loyal subject of Yours, and thus an object of Your blessing rather than wrath. Thanks for making such a relationship possible. Amen.

Proverbs 1:10-14 Just Say "No"
1:10 “My son, if sinners entice you, don’t consent. 11 If they say, "Come with us, Let’s lay in wait for blood; let’s lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; 12 let’s swallow them up alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down into the pit. 13 We’ll find all valuable wealth. We’ll fill our houses with spoil. 14 You shall cast your lot among us. We’ll all have one purse."

Observations: 1:10 Just say “no” if sinners entice you. Abstinence works, if our value system and will have been trained to discern and choose good and eschew evil. The regular reader of Proverbs would immediately see that what's suggested in 1:10-14 is not good and brings God's punishment and pain (fear of God anyone?). This accurate world view keeps us from sin; when it get's foggy, we're likely to stumble.
1:11-13 Satan sells sin by appealing to our basic desires for power, pleasure, and possessions. Unless we have purposed and ingrained in our thinking that it is God who meets our needs, we are susceptible to Satan's enticements. Depriving people of life and property violates the rule of law, but evil folks get a kick out of being rebellious and exercising godlike power. What kind of evolved pond scum would think that killing innocent people for their purse is a good thing? Sinners think there is safety in numbers, and the naïve fool-in-training thinks that if everyone is doing it and profiting in the short term, it must be OK. Think again.

Application: Don't hang around people you don't want to be like, because you will become like them, and suffer their fate.

Prayer: God, help me unmask the deceptions of sin and embrace the value system You've revealed for me. Amen.


Genesis 4 What's the first thing God said to man after kicking him out of the Garden?
4:1 "The man knew Eve his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man with Yahweh’s help.” 2 Again she gave birth, to Cain’s brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 Cain brought an offering to Yahweh from the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat. Yahweh looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but He didn't look with favor on Cain and his offering. Cain was very angry, and the expression on his face fell. 6 Yahweh said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen? 7 If you do right, won't you be accepted? But if you do not do right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must master it." (HCS Bible)

Observations: Verse 7 is so important that we need to pause and soak it into every fiber of our being. Note the first thing God said (not the questions, which just clue Cain into the reality that his worth and value are compromised by his incorrect values and actions). Verse 7 sets the tone for human life outside the Garden. Acceptance by God, and consequently feeling good about ourselves is a function of doing the right thing; that would include mastering sin, thru transforming our desires. If we don't, sin will eat our lunch, and then us. See more under Digging Deeper below.

Application: If you're wallowing in the swill of sin and self-pity, do what's right and master sin. See "Sanctification: It Ain't Gonna Reign No More" on Truthbase.net. Memorize Romans 6.

Prayer: God, thank You that You spell out what we need to do and make available the grace to do it. Show me how to master sin and live the spiritually victorious life, which pleases You. Amen.

Genesis 4 Sibling Rivalry and Retribution
4:8 "Cain said to Abel, his brother, “Let’s go into the field.” It happened when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him. 9 Yahweh said to Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?” He said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 Yahweh said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to Me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 From now on, when you till the ground, it won’t yield its strength to you. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth.”


13 Cain said to Yahweh, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, You have driven me out this day from the surface of the ground. I will be hidden from Your face, and I will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth. It will happen that whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Yahweh said to him, “Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” Yahweh appointed a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should strike him. 16 Cain went out from Yahweh’s presence, and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden."

Observations: It's interesting that God didn't kill Cain, but let him live with the consequences of his sin, even mitigating them a bit in response to Cain's complaint (v15). It's also surprising that Cain was concerned about his separation from God (v14), even though God hadn't mentioned it. Sin results in severed relationships. Forgiveness restores them.

Questions: What's difficult about your life? Is it a consequence of your attitude or actions?

Genesis 4 Looking for Worth in the Wrong Places
4:23 "(The great, great, great grandson of Cain), Lamech said to his wives....”listen to my speech, for I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me. 24 If Cain will be avenged seven times, truly Lamech seventy-seven times.”

Observation: There are two Lamechs in these chapters. This one is the bad guy descended from Cain. He gets his worth and value from having more and being more important than others, two wives, 10-fold vengeance, no mention of a relationship with God (probably didn't have one). There are lots of Lamechs around today.

4:25 "Adam knew his wife again. She gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, “for God has appointed me another child instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 There was also born a son to Seth, and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on Yahweh’s name."

Observations: The chapter has bookends (similar material at beginning and end). “Knew” is more than a euphemism for sex. It implies that intimacy is more than a physical act. The OLB lexicon will tell you that Seth means compensation; God made it up to her. There is an Enos(h) and an Enoch (5:24). Both have a “religious” comment about them (calling on God; walking with God; one leads to the other.)

Genesis 5 Adam Dies (finally) and Enoch Disappears
5:1 "This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in God’s likeness. 2 He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name “Adam,” in the day when they were created. 3 Adam lived one hundred thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. 4 The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he became the father of sons and daughters. 5 All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred thirty years, then he died.
24 (The great, great, great grandson of Seth) Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. 27 All the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty-nine years, then he died. 28 Lamech lived one hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of a son, 29 and he named him Noah, saying, “This same will comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, because of the ground which Yahweh has cursed.” 32 Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth."

Observations: God's promise that men would die is being fulfilled. Note that there are ungodly and godly people. (Lamech and Enoch, same generation.) Noah's father would have known Adam.


Digging Deeper: What's up with the long lives? After the flood, people start living “normal” life spans.
If you want to make fiction believable, you don't have Methuselah (longest living) be 969; the candles on the birthday cake would incinerate it. The Sumerians (lived in Mesopotamia, same region) had a list of kings, eponymously called The Sumerian King List. It records a list of the rulers who lived a really long time, which is amazingly parallel to the list of the Patriarchs in Genesis once you correct for a base 60 cuneiform slip of the stylus. Some think these were ancient astronauts, but a saner view accounts for the longevity due to superior genes, and a vapor canopy that surrounded the earth, protecting its inhabitants from cell degenerating UV light, until the flood (next chapter). According to the genealogy, Noah's father could have known Adam, and Abraham could have known Noah.

Questions: How were Cain and Abel supposed to know what God wanted? What happened to Enoch? Did he walk next to God or a couple paces behind?

Observations: The Bible doesn't tell us every single thing about God's interaction with humankind, only what we need to know, to do what we need to do.
4:3-6 Cain and Abel were supposed to know what God wanted because He either told them, or they should have figured it out. He tells Cain that he didn't do what was right. So either He gave extra-Biblical revelation (cf Genesis 15:16), or Cain should have known that God was worthy of our lives (blood sacrifice) or our best. God doesn't like being Lord of the Leftovers (see Malachi, last book of the OT). While you're jumping ahead, 1 John 3:12 sheds some light on Cain and Abel.
4:7 The entire “Word (instruction) of God” for a thousand years between the expulsion from the Garden to Noah's cruise, consisted of this verse, and “don't kill Cain” (4:15).
A quiet time in those days was pretty simple:
Enoch: “Hmmm, let's see, what does God have for me today. Gen 2:16, “don't eat the fruit” Fine, I'll grab a burger for lunch. Gen 4:15 “don't kill Cain,” I don't even know a Cain. That leaves, Gen 4:7 “master sin or be mastered by it” Ouch, sounds difficult...Wait, wasn't there something about being fruitful and multiplying?”

4:8 Why did Cain kill Abel? He must have emotionally short-circuited. How was killing his brother result in God being pleased (the original problem)? Was he blaming his brother for his problems? (No brother, no problem.) The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree (Genesis 3:12-13). His jealousy, springing from his lust for significance (because he wasn't getting props from God, because he wasn't giving God what He wanted) ruined his life. Glad that doesn't happen today.
In Greek “mythology” Cain is the good guy, Seth is the bad guy (Parthenon Code). If our perspective on life is purely secular, we might need to do a 180 to see things from God's perspective.

Application: Like Adam and Cain, we think God doesn't know what's going on, and we can deceive Him. What about omniscient don't you understand?

Better Application: Are you giving God what pleases Him? What's that? Beyond that, how are you planning to master sin? Failing to plan, is planning to fail.

Prayer: God, open my eyes to what You want, so I can do it. Help me feel your pleasure as I do the things for which you created me. Amen.

Quote: I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” - Eric Liddell, “The Chariots of Fire”

5:1-2 Of all the things God could have repeated about Genesis 1-3, what did He repeat?
5:3 Our offspring are in our image, just like we are in God's image. Reasoning backwards, what can you infer about God, from us? Confirm your speculations with the rest of Scripture.

God in a nutshell: Knows what's going on and still asks questions; likes righteous offerings, invites us to “resubmit” what He doesn't like; gives man the choice of mastering sin or being mastered by it, sovereignly sets the rules; just, yet gracious in His punishments; capable of being called upon and walked with.

Us in a nutshell: some pleasing to God, others not so much; tendency to get worth and value from the temporal realm, rather than the eternal realm; must master sin or be mastered by it (not pretty).

Where to Go for More:


Genesis 4-5 (complete text)


Genesis 4
4:1 "The man knew Eve his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man with Yahweh’s help.” 2 Again she gave birth, to Cain’s brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 As time passed, it happened that Cain brought an offering to Yahweh from the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat. Yahweh looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but he didn’t look with favor on Cain and his offering. Cain was very angry, and the expression on his face fell. 6 Yahweh said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen? 7 If you do right, won't you be accepted? But if you do not do right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must master it." (HCSB Bible) 8 Cain said to Abel, his brother, “Let’s go into the field.” It happened when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him.
9 Yahweh said to Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?”
He said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 Yahweh said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to Me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 From now on, when you till the ground, it won’t yield its strength to you. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth.”
13 Cain said to Yahweh, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, You have driven me out this day from the surface of the ground. I will be hidden from Your face, and I will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth. It will happen that whoever finds me will kill me.”
15 Yahweh said to him, “Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” Yahweh appointed a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should strike him.
16 Cain went out from Yahweh’s presence, and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain knew his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Enoch. He built a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad. Irad became the father of Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech took two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal, who was the father of all who handle the harp and pipe.22 Zillah also gave birth to Tubal Cain, the forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron. Tubal Cain’s sister was Naamah. 23 Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice. You wives of Lamech, listen to my speech,
for I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me.
24 If Cain will be avenged seven times, truly Lamech seventy-seven times.”
25 Adam knew his wife again. She gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, “for God has appointed me another child instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 There was also born a son to Seth, and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on Yahweh’s name."

Genesis 5
5:1 "This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, he made him in God’s likeness. 2 He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name “Adam,”* in the day when they were created. 3 Adam lived one hundred thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. 4 The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he became the father of sons and daughters. 5 All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred thirty years, then he died.
6 Seth lived one hundred five years, and became the father of Enosh. 7 Seth lived after he became the father of Enosh eight hundred seven years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 8 All the days of Seth were nine hundred twelve years, then he died.
9 Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. 10 Enosh lived after he became the father of Kenan, eight hundred fifteen years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 11 All the days of Enosh were nine hundred five years, then he died.
12 Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel. 13 Kenan lived after he became the father of Mahalalel eight hundred forty years, and became the father of sons and daughters 14 and all the days of Kenan were nine hundred ten years, then he died.
15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared. 16 Mahalalel lived after he became the father of Jared eight hundred thirty years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 17 All the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred ninety-five years, then he died.
18 Jared lived one hundred sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch.19 Jared lived after he became the father of Enoch eight hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 20 All the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty-two years, then he died.
21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with God after he became the father of Methuselah three hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 23 All the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
25 Methuselah lived one hundred eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech. 26 Methuselah lived after he became the father of Lamech seven hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 27 All the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty-nine years, then he died.
28 Lamech lived one hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of a son,29 and he named him Noah, saying, “This same will comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, because of the ground which Yahweh has cursed.” 30 Lamech lived after he became the father of Noah five hundred ninety-five years, and became the father of sons and daughters. 31 All the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy-seven years, then he died.
32 Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth."

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