Sabbath School Summary
By Dr Elder Masimba Mavaza
Cain and His Legacy
Memory Text: “ ‘If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it’ ” (Genesis 4:7, NKJV).
In Genesis, what follow immediately after the Fall, and then the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden, are mainly births and deaths, all in fulfillment of God’s prophecies in the preceding chapter. As parallel chapters, Genesis 3 and 4 contain many common themes and words: descriptions of sin (Gen. 3:6-8; compare with Gen. 4:8), curses from the ’adamah, “ground” (Gen. 3:17; compare with Gen. 4:11), and expulsion (Gen. 3:24; compare with Gen. 4:12, 16).
The reason for these parallels is to highlight the fulfillment of what went on before, the prophecies and predictions that God had given to Adam and Eve after the Fall. The first event after Adam’s expulsion is full of hope; it is the birth of the first son, an event that Eve sees as the fulfillment of the promise that she heard in the Messianic prophecy (Gen. 3:15). That is, she thought he could be the promised Messiah. The next events—the crime of Cain, the crime of Lamech, the decreasing life span, and the increasing wickedness—are all fulfillments of the curse uttered in Genesis 3.
SABBATH: After the Fall, God did not come with angels to destroy Adam & Eve, nor did He desert them to face further ruin from the devil. Amid the sentence passed on the serpent & the results of sin man would reap, all hope was not lost for the pair. God promised a Messiah (Gen. 3:15). Prior to that, births & deaths is what followed after man left Eden (Gen. 3:6-8; 4:8; 3:17; 4:11; 3:24; 4:12, 16).
SUNDAY: The birth of Cain was the next event to occur after Adam & Eve’s expulsion from Eden. They joyfully welcomed Cain with the hope that he might be the Messiah (Gen. 4:1, 2; 3:15, DA, p. 31). Gen. 4:1 reads; “‘I have acquired a man, indeed the Lord Himself’”, in the Hebrew text. Eve spoke about the birth of Cain but was silent about Abel’s. Cain means “to acquire” & Abel; “vapor” (Ps. 62:9, 144:4).
MONDAY: The brothers’ profession not only explains their offerings to God but also their varied attitudes & mentalities. While Cain worked to “acquire” the fruit he produced, Abel worked to “keep” the sheep he received (Gen. 4:1-5, Heb. 11:4). Sin could only be forgiven by the cast of blood. Abel, unlike Cain obeyed God in His offerings. The two offerings were a show of faith & salvation in Christ (PP, p. 71).
TUESDAY: It is very unusual for a man to be consciously angry at God, but Cain not only defied His Maker but got angry at Him (Gen. 4:3-8, 1 John 3:12). He was jealous of Abel & thought God was unjust to him. God didn’t accuse Cain, He queried him for him to realize the reality of his sin. Then, God bid him to repent & receive pardon. God’s desire is to save fallen men (see James 1:14, 1 Cor. 10:13).
WEDNESDAY: Cain perpetuated the sin of his parents in Eden (Gen. 4:9-16). God’s question; “where are you?” echoes the link in their sins. Though Adam engaged in blame games, he did not deny his sin. But Cain denied his sin. In His 3rd query to Cain, God made Cain aware that He know his evil deeds (Gen. 4:10, 3:19). Abel’s blood on ground made it accursed. Yet, God protected the now refugee, Cain.
THURSDAY: If there’s something to glory about, it should be the name of God & not our shame. Lamech, the great-great-great grandson of Cain, chose to boast of his sins. It can be seen that while Cain is quiet on his crime & ask for mercy, Lamech put his sin in songs (Gen. 4:17-24). He began polygamy, a sin that will go on to affect many. Eve bore Seth, whose line Jesus would come (Gen. 5:3, 6:8; 6:2).
FRIDAY: Daily, moment by moment, “Enoch walked with God” till “God took him” (Gen. 5:22, 24). He had a special relationship with God. There’s no ground to suppose that there’s an immediate afterlife in Paradise for the righteous. Noah also walked with God, & he died like Adam & Methuselah. A special grace is not given any man. Enoch shared the gospel & was sought by many. He ministered to all men.
—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 86 & Jude 14.
PP- Patriarchs and Prophets
Seth- The name Seth is derived from the Hebrew verb ’ashit, “I will put” (Gen. 3:15), which introduces the Messianic prophecy.
“Sons of God”- refers to the line of Seth because they are designed to preserve the image of God (Gen. 5:1, 4; 6:2).
“Daughters of men”- A sharp contrast to the “sons of God” who has the image of God. It was through the “daughters of men” that the “sons of God” sinned (took wives for themselves; Gen. 6:2).
Cain- means “to acquire” something precious/powerful.
Abel- “Hebel” in Hebrew. It means “vapor” or “breath” (Ps. 62:9, 144:4).
SUNDAY- Cain and Abel
MONDAY- The Two Offerings
TUESDAY- The Crime
WEDNESDAY- The Punishment of Cain
THURSDAY- The Wickedness of Man
📌 Why did Cain kill his brother? Read the following comment by Elie Wiesel: “Why did he do it? Perhaps he wanted to remain alone: an only child and, after his parents’ death, the only man. Alone like God and perhaps alone in place of God. . . . Cain killed to become God. . . . Any man who takes himself for God ends up assassinating men.”—Messengers of God: Biblical Portraits and Legends (New York: Random House, 1976), p. 58. How can we be careful, even if we don’t commit murder, not to reflect the attitude of Cain?
📌 Compare the life span of antediluvians (Genesis 5) to that of the patriarchs. How would we explain this decreasing of the span of human life? How does this degeneration counter the premises of modern Darwinism?