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Passage: Genesis 4-7

On Friday, January 11, 2019, Chris Krok wrote,

Really appreciate your commentary here, Yujin.  The "desire to control" stuff is spot on and much needed for all! :)


Passage: Genesis 4-7

On Friday, January 11, 2019, Yujin wrote,

Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master" (Genesis 4:7).

Compare this verse to Genesis 3:16:

And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.

The same verb is used to describe the wife's desire to control her husband as sin's desire to control Cain. Also, the same verb is used to instruct Cain to dominate sin as is used to describe a husband dominating his wife. 

The difference is that while Genesis 4 is prescriptive, Genesis 3 is descriptive. In Genesis 4 God commands Cain to reign in the sin that seeks to control him. Genesis 4 simply describes the effect of the curse, namely, women will try to control their husbands, and husbands will dominate their wives. 

Genesis 4:7 helps us to understand that in Genesis 3:16 the woman's "desire" (Hebrew teshuqahfor her husband is not the desire of affection but the desire to control. 

The language of the curse in Genesis 3:16 is far different than the command in Ephesians 5:21 for husbands and wives to "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." In fact, it is just the opposite of it. 

Friends, this should be instructive for us. Wives, when you disrespect your husband and try to control him or take over his role in the family, you are not following the command of God but fulfilling the curse of God. Husbands, when you react by overpowering and asserting your dominance over your wife, you too are not following the command of God but enacting the curse.

So, what should we do. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25). Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).

These commands are not conditioned on whether your spouse does their part in obedience to God. If you react to your spouse in keeping with the curse rather than respond to them in obedience to God, then you will be sowing the seeds of destruction in your marriage, in your family, and in your personal walk with God. 

Remember, obedience to God is impossible in our flesh, that is in our natural, sinful nature; however, it becomes easy when by faith we allow God's grace to do it's work in us by the Holy Spirit; that is, when we obey God, not by our power or for our glory but by God's power and for His glory. Set your head and heart to this frame of mind and you will turn the curse into a blessing!


Passage: Genesis 4-7

On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, Fernando wrote,

Genesis 4
14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." 15 Then the Lord said to him, "Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.

Many provisions are given to the ungodly as to the Godly. After all they too are vessels for God's glory some for honor and some for not.
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22 Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

The writings of scriptures do not need to be taken literally always. It is reasonable at times to read through a poetry lens. Poetry does not mean 'didn't happen' there are poetic writings of the natural world that once it is read, you experience everything the poetry details once you see the real object.

"Tubal-Cain was the forger of all instruments"

All? Surely not all, he created every piece? No.

He was the first to invent every bronze item? No.

He was the first to ever use bronze, perhaps. I don't think the objective is to tell who the first in the world was. But this is a message to the Israelites through Moses, and is to be made relevant to them for us - for our understanding.

I have not said that "Tubal-Cain was not the first in history to use bronze," but I think it is reasonable to find a stone tablet in Asia that shows they used bronze hundreds of years before this man and that scripture is not held in error. Nor would it be diminishing the message of scripture.


Passage: Genesis 4-7

On Friday, January 11, 2013, Yujin wrote,

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:6-7)

I mentioned before that the grammatical construction of the phrase "its desire is for you, but you must master it" is the same as in the curse on the woman, where we read,

Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you (Genesis 3:16).

As the grammar and terminology are the same, the meaning is also the same in both contexts. The sense is that while sin "desires" to master Cain, Cain "must master" sin.

Now, there is a slight difference with respect to the curse in Genesis 3:16. There's no instruction in that verse, simply a descriptive statement, namely, that the woman will desire to rule over her husband but he will rule over her. In other words, the harmony of roles, of respect and love, is destroyed in the curse. The woman will seek to break out of her role as mother and supporter and take on the husband's role. As she does this, instead of loving and caring for her as the "weaker vessel", he will try to subjugate her.

Now, this gender conflict resulting from the Fall is patterned after the way of sin with humanity. But with respect to sin and humanity; however, there is a clear instruction. While sin is vigorously seeking to rule people, people are commanded to reign it in. Struggle and effort are required. Considered similar exhortations in the New Testament for believers:

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:11-14).

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live (Romans 8:12-13).

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want (Galatians 5:16-17).

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood (Hebrews 12:4).

No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize (1 Corinthians 9:27).

Friends, this is what I learn from what God commanded Cain to do and from what the New Testament teaches believers to do. I must thoughtfully and diligently seek to eradicate sin from my life. It is not a passive "cum ba ya" kind of effort, but a vigorous battling, a daily strategizing, a disciplined resistance, and a persistent effort to replace every evil thing with something good.


Passage: Genesis 4-7

On Wednesday, January 11, 2012, Yujin wrote,

Those of you that have a more "scientific" bent may appreciate this website: http://www.answersingenesis.org.

It addresses many questions regarding origins, evolution, the fossil record, etc. For example, a simple search on "flood" gives pages of scholarly articles (generally free) by Christian scientists answering objections to the biblical record. I know some of you are interested, for example, in how the Bible explains the existence and extinction of dinosaurs. There are numerous and persuasive articles just on this topic. Ken Ham is the head of this site. I have seen him in person and have used his textbook in a Creation-Science class I took at my alma mater, Liberty University. He is both an erudite and lucid communicator. I am sure you will appreciate the information that he provides on his website. 

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Just a brief observation about today's reading. It is significant that Moses was the author of the first five books of the Bible, and that these books were written primarily for the community of believers about to enter the Promised Land. Moses' concern was not to provide a detailed scientific treatise on the creation of the universe. He took just a couple of chapters to discuss creation. He did not want to give an extensive anthropological analysis of the various population groups that filled the earth. Instead, as you see in Genesis 5, he focused on a particular line, the line of Seth, and particular children, those that led up to Noah and eventually from Noah to Abraham. He was giving the pre-Promised Land people a brief history of how they came to be called by God. Everyone else, even the thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of others, is among the other "sons and daughters" that were begotten but unnamed. 

Moses covers the entire history of creation, the dawn of civilization, its destruction and reconstitution in just eleven chapters. And what about the remaining thirty-nine chapters of Genesis. Well, they cover just three generations of one family, the family of Abraham. It is important for us to recognize that God is not interested that we know or remember everything that happens in time, but He wants us to be aware of His story and plan, even the history of His elect people, who would be the beacon of light for His glorious praise in a world that is concerned for itself and is going to its destruction. 

Right before Abraham, you get the sense that the world was getting to be almost as bad (Genesis 11:4) as it was right before Noah's time (Genesis 6:5,13). You can imagine that by Abraham's day, even though God confused the languages of the people and scattered them throughout the world, this did not make them godly. We know of the Egyptians and their idolatry. We certainly know of the wickedness of the people of Canaan. The implication is that all the world was again rejecting the true God and fashioning gods after their own image. Unless God pursued a different program, He would have to keep destroying the world of wicked people again and again and again. And certainly right up to this very day the history of the world is largely one of condemnation for the majority and salvation for a small remnant.

I mention these things so that those who believe that people are saved in keeping with their free will can understand what history teaches about a person's free will. It is utterly depraved. Whole generations and geographies of people through aeons of time have been condemned in keeping with their free will. Even Abraham was depraved and destined for condemnation before God touched his heart by grace to believe God's call upon him to step out into the unknown and be His witness to the world. Praise God for His overwhelming grace to us!


Passage: Genesis 4-7

On Wednesday, January 11, 2012, Misty wrote,

So we see the second job that God has given mankind in this passage. Adam was the farmer, the caregiver of the garden and the animals. Cain was the "tiller of the ground," and Abel was "the keeper of the sheep,". Why was Cain's offering rejected and Abel's accepted? The difference is in their attitude. This set the standard for the tithe and the offering. The tithe is part of the wages of your work. The offering is the sacrifice required for remission of sins... This sets the standard for the blood sacrifice for our sins that culminates in Jesus' time with the ultimate blood sacrifice.

The Lord also rebukes Cain for his offering. "Why are you angry? Why [the sad face]? If you do better next time [in other words ["if you offer me the best of your fruits, instead of just the average of your fruits, you will please me] If you don't give me your best, sin lies at your door.] In other words, [you will want to sin, but you should be able to control that desire and give me your best.] Instead of listening, Cain went out and took his anger at God out on his brother.

In the first three chapters, the first sin is disobedience by man to God. In chapters 4-7, sin against man by man is first committed. Cain was angry, envious,  and jealous, so the first inward sin against himself was committed, and then Cain took that jealousy out on Abel, committing the first sin that was against someone else.

How many times do we think "Here's my tithes and offerings, Ill take them out first" :( rather than "Thank you for giving me this job and Im so glad Im going to give the best of my money and time to serve you!!!!! :)"

Are we Cain, or are we Abel?


Passage: Genesis 4-7

On Wednesday, February 23, 2011, Unmi wrote,
 
The length of our life on earth is NOT a measure of God's blessing or of how righteously we lived on this earth.
Enoch who "walked with God" lived the shortest life among those recorded in the geneology before Noah.
Many times when we face the premature death of a person, we question WHY? "He was such a good man, why did God take him away?"
When a faithful follower of Jesus Christ leaves us, shouldn't we rejoice for the one who has gone to be with the Lord?
Did Enoch miss out on some of God's blessings because he lived a "short" life? I don't think so..He was BLESSED when God took him away!
 
As a believer, often I find my life here on this earth a difficult journey and I ask God, how much longer before you take me from this place?
Is it that I am not worthy to enter through His gates yet? Is there more that I need to do to prepare myself?
When these doubts about myself arise, I rest assured knowing that Christ died for my transgressions already, there isn't anything more that I need to do to enter His gates...Christ has done it all.  We are saved through GRACE ONLY, not by works....
 
Perhaps we are still here because God is using us to fulfill His purposes in the lives of those around us. So we press on to live the life Christ has called us to live, to be the salt and light of this world as witnesses to the unending mercy and grace He gives us.
 
In the account of Noah, God says he was "a righteous man..."
What was it about Noah that made him "righteous" before God?
I think the answer is revealed in Noah's response to God's instructions;
"Noah did everything just as God commanded him."
 
It is obedience that God wants from us!!!

Passage: Genesis 4-7

On Wednesday, January 12, 2011 (Last Updated on 12/30/2015), Yujin wrote,

Friends,

As you read this account of the beginning of the first civilization in Genesis 4-7, perhaps questions came to your mind as you read in Genesis 6:1-4 about the "sons of God and the "daughters of men" and the procreation that led to the advent of the nephilim (NIV)or "giants" (NKJV). The critical question is not "who were the nephilim," but rather "who were the sons of God." The three main views are that they were (1) fallen angels (based on the use of the phrase in Job 1:6; 2:1), (2) despotic kings (based on the deified title for such in Exodus 21:6; Psalm 82:1, 6), and (3) the men of the line of Seth.

Among those who earnestly study the Scriptures, every one of these views are defended. For example, some hold to the view that these "sons of God" are despotic kings. Bob Deffinbaugh, whose biblical erudition I highly respect, takes the "fallen angels" view (read his view here). And as for me, the one view that Dr. Deffinbaugh considers least likely I consider most likely; namely, that these "sons of God" refer to the men of the line of Seth.

Even though I hold a different view, the "fallen angels" view hold significant merit because the exact Hebrew phrase "sons of God" is used elsewhere only in the Book of Job, where angels are more clearly in view (cf. Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). The Book of Job also holds a similar historical context to the Book of Genesis, in that they are both primarily set in the Age of the Patriarchs. The argument from Jude 6, that some angels "abandoned their proper abode" (NASB) refers to their leaving the angelic realm to live with humans on earth, also has some merit.

My inclination toward the view that these "sons of God" refer to the men of the line of Seth arises primarily from the theological and literary context of Genesis. I will only present this view without an in-depth defense. For a more comprehensive defense look here: Exposition by Trevor Major. As you read Genesis, you will notice that the writer, presumably Moses, follows certain literary conventions. For instance, notice how quickly he moves from the creation of the whole world and mankind to one family in just eleven chapters. The remaining 39 chapters focus on the generations of that one family, namely, the family of Abraham. From this we understand that Moses used broad historical strokes and general characterizations to help the reader understand the physical and moral origins of God's people Israel, who in Moses' day were about to enter the Promised Land. In Moses' day the chief warning was that they were not to intermarry with the people of the land of Canaan (i.e. the Promised Land), who were wicked and idolatrous, because they would lead godly Israel astray. Moses uses the Flood account in Genesis 6 to explain the consequences of godly people intermarrying with the ungodly.

After the exposition of the Fall in Genesis 3, Genesis 4 gives an account of the line of Cain and the swift movement of sin through the generations of Cain. This is marked by the expression in Genesis 4:16 that Cain "went out from the presence of the LORD." The account ends with Cain's descendant mocking God's mercy on Cain (cf. Genesis 4:15) with an expression of excessive revenge (cf. Genesis 4:24). In complete contrast to the wicked line of Cain, Genesis 4:25 tells us that God gave Adam another son. And this son was particularly to replace Abel ("another seed for me instead of Abel"), with the understanding that he would be like Abel. In what sense? In his righteousness, for with this son, Seth, and his son, Enosh, "men began to call on the name of the LORD" (Genesis 4:26). This is confirmed in Genesis 5 where the account of Seth's birth is repeated but with the additional information that Seth was "in his own [Adam's] likeness, after his image," whose image was "in the likeness of God" (Genesis 5:1-2). Furthermore, as the genealogy of Seth is told in Genesis 5, nothing evil is mentioned and only good (cf. Genesis 5:24, 29) and the unusually long years of their lives. Clearly a contrast is intended between chapter 4 (Cain's genealogy) and chapter 5 (Seth's genealogy). Also, notice that Moses presents women more emphatically in the line of Cain than in the line of Seth. With Cain they are named (e.g. wives of Lamech and the sister of Tubal-Cain), but only a generic reference to wives and daughters are mentioned with respect to Seth's line. Could this be setting up for the contrast between "the sons of God" and "the daughters of men" that Moses would make in Genesis 6?

When we come to Genesis 6, it is most fitting to see Moses continuing his broad-stroke description of the progress of humanity. To insert fallen angels or despotic leaders seem foreign to the context of his exposition. Rather, as he explains the multiplication of the people throughout the earth in keeping with the first command to Adam to "be fruitful and multiply" (cf. Genesis 1:22), Moses describes two classifications of these people, namely, "the sons of God" and "the daughters of men." There is no indication in this immediate context that angels are in view. In fact, when it comes time for God's judgment, while there is mention of people being judged, there is no mention of any angels. The only basis of seeing angels here is the reference in Job; however, we must understand that the concept, "sons of God," can also refer to God's people, as attested in numerous OT passages (cf. Psalm 73:15; Hosea 1:10; Deuteronomy 32:5; Isaiah 45:11; 43:6; Jeremiah 3:4; Hosea 11:1). And the specific expression is used in numerous passages in the NT of believers. Most notably in the NT, we read in Luke 3:38 that the line of Seth is uniquely identified as a son of God.

Now, if we understand then that "sons of God' refer to the men of the line of Seth and that "daughters of men" refer to the ungodly line of Cain, then we can understand how the entire world became corrupted. Godly men fell for ungodly women, producing ungodly offspring. This was the primary problem when the people of God entered Canaan, as explained in the Book of Judges. This was the great sin of Solomon, which divided the godly nation and led them down the road to exile. This was the great crisis of the post-exilic community, which required drastic action (mass divorces) to remedy. Even in the NT, Paul would command the immoral people of Corinth, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers" (1 Corinthians 6:14).

There is an interesting parallel to the account of the first sin in Genesis 3. Notice, just as Eve saw that the forbidden fruit was "desirable" (Genesis 3:6), even so, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were "beautiful" (Genesis 6:2). And just as she freely chose to take and eat, so also the sons of God married the daughters of men ("of all whom they chose"). So the LORD declared, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever" and pronounced a sentence of judgment after 120 years (cf. Genesis 6:3, notice this fits the two references to Noah's age in Genesis 5:32, when he was 500 years old, and the time of the flood in Genesis 7:6,11, when he was 600). God's assessment of humanity was that "the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5).

The question remains then, who were the nephilim? Some Bible versions interpret this as "giants" based on the reference in Numbers 13:33, where they are connected with the Anakim, who were known for their great height (cf. Deuteronomy 2:10, 21; 9:2). However, this is fallacious reasoning, because even though the text teaches that Anak was part of the nephilim, it is wrong to assume that all nephilim were like the Anakim. Others have associated the nephilim with renowned heroes because of the description in Genesis 6:4; however, again while the Scripture supports their notoriety, there is no evidence that they were "heroes." We are told that they were "mighty men." And in the immediate context they are associated with the unholy offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of men. They are also associated with God's judgment on the wickedness of man. Another description of this wickedness is in Genesis 6:11,13, where specific mention is made of the "violence" of people. Therefore, some have convincingly argued that the nephilim were not necessary a particular race of people but rather a description of particularly strong and violent warriors, the kind of which existed both prior to the flood and afterwards. Why are they mentioned here? I can guess two reasons. First, these are the very kind of people that the people of Israel feared when commanded by God to take the Promised Land. By mentioning them here Moses would be reassuring the new community, who were given a second chance to take the Promised Land, that they need not fear because God would judge the nephilim, just as He did in the time of the Flood. A second reason to mention them might be that these nephilim represented the strongest and perhaps most wicked segment of corrupt humanity. They were the force by which wickedness was allowed to spread and righteousness was suppressed. But God would judge them, and they would be swept away so that righteousness would be able to sprout and flourish once again.

What are the lessons for us here? Believers are said to be "the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:). But if we lose our saltiness, then we are "good for nothing but to be trampled underfoot by men" (Matthew 5:13). Jesus said this in His famous Sermon on the Mount. What He was teaching was that believers must be "holy," that is, separate from the world, not conformed to it. Even as salt contrasts blandness, so believers must contrast the world system. We must preach and stand for what is right. If we intermingle, intermarry, and conform to the world, then we will not only be ineffective in our witness for Christ, but we will also be the means by which wickedness spreads throughout the world. Although when reading Revelation and some other texts (e.g. 2 Peter 3:1-7), this scenario of pervasive wickedness seems inevitable, and so also will be the second great world-wide cataclysmic judgment, let us not be the fuel for the fire of that judgment but a force for good and for bringing many to salvation before that Day (cf. Hebrews 10:24-25).

On the view that the "sons of God" refer to the line of Seth, please also see the Pulpit Commentary (link).