Day 4Genesis 4:1-24 ... Crouching at the Door

Creation, the origins of man and woman, a fall into sin-in three chapters Genesis has set the stage for human history, and now that history begins to play itself out.   The first childbirth-imagine the shock!-the first formal worship, the first division of labor, the first extended families and cities and signs of culture all appear in chapter 4.  But one “first” overshadows all the others: the first death of a human being, a death by murder.

It took just one generation for sin to enter the world, and by the second generation people were already killing each other; the malignant results of the Fall spread that quickly.  The early part of Genesis shows God intervening often in response.  Here, unable to ignore the horrible changes that have crept into his world, God steps in once again with a custom-designed punishment.  Cain was to bear the resulting mark with shame the rest of his life, but a few generations later a man named Lamech would brag about his murders.

Not all the news was bad.  Civilization progressed rather quickly, with some people learning agriculture, some choosing to work with tools of bronze and iron, and some discovering music and the arts.  In this way, human beings began to fulfill the role assigned them as masters over the created world.  But despite these advances, history was sliding along another track as well.  Every person who followed Adam and Eve faced the same choice of whether or not to obey God’s word.  And, with numbing monotony, all chose like their original parents.

God’s warning to Cain applied to everyone who followed, “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”  The next few chapters tell of an ever-worsening spiral of rebellion and evil.

Point to Ponder: Note Cain's response when God confronted him.  What do you think  you would say if God appeared in person to confront you over some sin?