Read Genesis 4:1-16
1. Review: What was the first sacrifice? Who offered it and why?
From the Hebrew: In this story we find Cain and Abel providing an offering to God. The word used for offering in this context is minchah, which means “meal (cereal) offering; offering; tribute; gift; sacrifice.” Minchah is often used to refer to ANY “offering” or “gift” made to God, whether it was a “vegetable offering” or a “blood sacrifice.” In later Old Testament texts, minchah is commonly used to designate grain or cereal offerings, usually mixed with oil, to be offered alone or with a burnt animal sacrifice. The Hebrew word olah means a burnt animal sacrifice and first occurs in Genesis 8:20, when Noah built the altar to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The same Hebrew word for offering, minchah, was used for the offerings of BOTH Cain and Abel. Scripture does say that Abel brought “fat portions of some of the firstborn of his flock” which means he brought the “choicest parts.” (Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words)
2. What insight do the following verses give about the Lord’s acceptance of Abel’s offering but not Cain’s?
· Hebrews 11:4—
· 1 John 3:10-15—
3. In the following references, why was the offering unacceptable?
· 1 Samuel 15:3, 21-23—
· Malachi 1:6-10—
4. In the following references, what is considered a pleasing sacrifice or better than a sacrifice?
· 1 Samuel 15:22—
· Psalm 51:16-17—
· Proverbs 15:8—
5. So, after answering the previous two questions, what does God really want?
6. Describe the similarities and differences in sin offerings and the blood of Christ from the following verses: Hebrews 9:6-7; 9:11-14; 10:1-4, 14.
· SIN OFFERING—
· JESUS’ BLOOD—
7. In response to the Lord looking with favor on Abel’s offering but not his own, Cain was very angry. The Hebrew word means “to blaze up, of anger, zeal, jealousy.” Cain responded with jealous anger. What does God teach us about harboring anger? Dealing with anger?
· Proverbs 14:17—
· Ephesians 4:25-27—
· Ephesians 4:31—
· James 1:19-20—
8. God personally communicates with Cain asking him why he is angry and explaining that he should take responsibility by doing what is right in order to be accepted. God also points out that if “you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Explain what you think God means by this.
9. How do we master the temptation to sin? Use the following references.
· Romans 12:1-2—
· James 4:7-10—
· 1 Peter 1:13-16—
Read Genesis 4:1-16.
10. Cain did not master sin. What were the consequences—for himself, his brother, his family, and his descendants?
11. Throughout this whole passage, on whom or on what is Cain’s focus?
12. What attitudes does he demonstrate in his reaction to God’s confrontation and to his punishment?
13. What are some of the fruits of being self-centered instead of God-centered? See James 4:1-6.
14. Read Matthew 13:37-39 then refer back to Genesis 3:15.
· Who are the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent in the account of Cain and Abel?
· In what ways is this same conflict being manifested in our world today? See also Matthew 13:37-39.
15. What is your heart attitude today? Who or what is at the center of your focus? Read Philippians 2:1-11 and 3:4-11. Meditate on the example of Christ and Paul. Think about what areas of your life need to be yielded to the Holy Spirit so that you will do what is right and have mastery over sin.