The Virus – Genesis 4

Have you ever watched those movies that has as its plot a deadly virus that sweeps across the globe and turns people into some sort of zombie that attacks those who have not be yet infected by the virus? It is a little-known fact that the government of the United States as a contingency plan for such a scenario. The truth is that there is a deadly virus that has swept across the globe at a rapid pace. This virus has infected all living things. Symptoms of this virus include: hate, envy, strife, murder, lying, dishonesty, immorality, war, cheating, deceitfulness, among many other symptoms. There is only one cure for this virus and that is pure uninfected blood. The problem is that there is no one born from the seed of man that carries this perfect blood.

Genesis 4 gives us an historical look at the spread of sin. It is clearly shown in this chapter that sin is in the seed of man. However, there is hope found in one particular seed. A cure for this deadly virus is certainly possible.

Verse 1-2: After being kicked out of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve has sexual relations and Eve gives birth to two boys. These are not the only children that Adam and Eve have, they probably had many children, however, these are two boys that sets the stage for the continual battle between good and evil for many years to come. The first-born son is named Cain and he becomes a tiller of the ground. The other son is named Abel and he becomes a keeper of sheep.

Verse 3-5: The process of time that occurs here is unknown. Cain and Abel are now grown men and many years have passed. Cain and Abel both bring an offering to the Lord. It is obvious at this point that Cain and Abel were taught to worship God. They are seen participating in the practice of making sacrifices to the Lord. The nature of their sacrifices reveals the nature of the hearts. Abel brought the best of his flock, while Cain brought some of the fruit of his crops. It is unclear why God favored Cain’s offering over Abel’s offering, however, it obviously had something to do with the motive and purity of the heart. Abel had pure motives and a clean heart when he came to worship, whereas, Cain’s heart was not clean and his motives were impure. I wonder how many of us come to worship the Lord in a way that is acceptable to the Lord. Think about it. Is God please with our worship? Does He honor our sacrifices of praise? When we come before the Lord, do we do so out of obligation, or out of genuine love for Him? The motive of our hearts will be seen in the expression of our worship and in our faithfulness to worship.

Verse 6-7: These verses reveal the fact that God knows the heart. He could see right through Cain. He knew that his motives were impure. He tells Cain that if he came before Him with the right attitude and motive then his offering would be accepted. God explains to Cain that the reason his offering is not acceptable is because his heart is full of sin.

Verse 8: Here we find sin in all its ugliness. Cain grew very angry and jealous toward his brother. Instead of repenting of his sins and trying better next time, Cain took matter in his own hands. He takes his anger out on his brother. Perhaps, Cain is more angry at God than anything else, nevertheless, he strikes his brother and kills him.

Verse 9-10: God knew what Cain had done and he approached Cain about it. Cain responds by saying that he is not his brother’s keeper. This is a false statement in and of itself. Cain is his brother’s keeper. We are all our brother’s keeper. In other words, we have a responsibility to look after each other. Especially within the church, we have a responsibility to hold each other accountable and to care for one another. God then asks Cain what he has done. This question, I believe, is basically saying to Cain that he has no idea what he just did. God was communicating to Cain the seriousness of the situation. Unfortunately, many of us do not understand the seriousness of sin. We tend to sweep sin under the rug and not treat it for what it is. Sin is a very serious matter. God tells Cain that his brother’s blood cries out to him. Hebrews 12:24 says, “And to Jesus the mediator of the covenant, and to the blood sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Abel’s blood spoke of murder, whereas, the blood of Jesus speaks of redemption and salvation.

Verse 11-12: Here we find the continual curse of sin. Too often we do not realize what sin does. Sin affects everything. Its consequences touches every part of our lives. For Cain, his sin affects his very livelihood. Basically, his whole life is ruined because of this one sin.

Verse 13-16: In these verses we see the grace of God. Even though Cain committed a terrible sin that brings extreme consequences, God does not completely abandon Cain. He tells Cain that anyone who attempts to hurt him will receive an even greater punishment. God puts a mark on Cain, indicating God’s grace bestowed upon him.

Verse 17-24: Does Cain repent of his sin? Is Cain in heaven today? We cannot be sure; the Bible is not clear on that. However, we do see how sin continues to grow. The depravity of man is passed down from one generation to the next. The world is now on a downward spiral of sin and depravity.

Verse 25-26: Adam and Eve have a new son and they call him, Seth. This son replaces Abel as the chosen seed. In other words, it is through the bloodline of Seth that we eventually come to Jesus, the Savior of the world. Seth has a son named, Enos. Enosh’s birth marks an important point in the development of the righteous lineage of Adam. At this time people “began to call on the name of the Lord” (v. 26b).[1]

The virus of sin continues to spread through the seed of man to this very day. However, a pure seed was preserved. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of that seed. Jesus was the perfect God-man. He shed His blood as the perfect sacrificial lamb. All who believe on the Lord Jesus is saved from the eternal penalty and curse of sin.

[1] Mathews, K. A. (1996). Genesis 1-11:26 (Vol. 1A, p. 292). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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