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Fri, Nov. 12th, 2004, 06:57 pm
lazy_boring_man: A question for the Power of the Word scholars.

Dear light_driven and other Christians,

I was raised by a Christian family in the Christian faith. A message on God's judgment scared me into baptism at the age of ten, and I truly accepted God while sitting and thinking during a massive worship service at a Christ in Youth convention. But, recently, I seem to have run dry in my faith. There are many personal questions about what I think and feel which I must answer for myself, but there is a portion of the Bible which really troubles me, and I wanted to bring it up to a group of strong Christians, in essence trying to let God use His people to defend His Word.

This portion is from the story of Cain and Abel, from Genesis, Chapter Four.

"Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain bought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor."

One of you please try to explain this to me: Why would God have such distaste for the fruits? It's Cain's job to work the soil, right? And Abel's to keep the flocks. Cain didn't have access to any fat portions, and I'm sure he worked just as hard if not harder in his job as Abel did in his. Also, this was a legitimate, loving sacrifice, so it seems to me that Cain's being cast aside and later cursed over it just isn't right.

Also, after that, "Cain said to the Lord, 'My punishment is more than I can bear... I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.'"

Well, there seems to be a major inconsistency here with this. Abel, is dead. Seth, the only other son of Adam, didn't come until later. So... who are these other people that are going to find and kill him? Cain has been banished from the area where Adam's family is; doesn't that mean that there is not a man to kill him?

Also, Cain's wife, it seems, must have been his sister. After all, Eve was "the mother of all the living." Does this mean we're all of an incestial line?

These are my questions involving Genesis, Chapter Four. I also have some questions regarding Judas, but the ones involving Cain and Abel are the ones that I am currently most interested in. You all seem to be smart and strong of faith; could you please consider these issues from Genesis and give me a response?

Thank you.

Fri, Nov. 12th, 2004 05:45 pm (UTC)

From my understanding of the text, Cain did not give pleasing sacrifices to God, rather he gave the worst portions of his fruit and saved the good stuff for himself. This is spoken about in one of Paul's letters...I forget where, I'll try to get back to you on that soon.
The point of the story is to give God your best, we learn from Cain's mistakes. He didn't really love God, he just "followed" Him because his father did and his brother and mother. Cain was not pleasing in God's eyes because his heart didn't follow through with his actions.
As for your question about the other people, this is a question that has had scholars at it for a long time. I don't know, no one does. God isn't obligated to let us understand everything He's not obligated to tell us anything in fact. One of two problems like this is not really a reason not to beleive the Bible. Adam had more sons as well...they're just not recorded by name, it speaks of other sons I believe, I didn't look so don't quote me on that. I don't know on that one.
Please send your Judas questions too. If it's of the Judas mentioned in Acts 1 after Judas eledegedly hanged himself, that's a different Judas in Acts than Judas Iscariot. Judas was a common name in Old Testament times.

We don't have all the answers, that's where faith comes in. God bless!

Fri, Nov. 12th, 2004 06:14 pm (UTC)

He didn't really love God, he just "followed" Him because his father did and his brother and mother. Cain was not pleasing in God's eyes because his heart didn't follow through with his actions.
I'm not saying you're wrong, I'd just like to see where in the text it backs this up.

Adam had more sons as well...they're just not recorded by name, it speaks of other sons I believe, I didn't look so don't quote me on that. I don't know on that one.
Looking at Genesis 4:25, "Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying 'God has granted me another child in p;ace of Abel, since Cain killed him.'" Judging that Seth in particular replaced Abel, and that Abel is mentioned as "the brother of Cain," not 'one of the brothers of Cain,' and only Cain and Abel made sacrifices, I'm led to believe that there were only two sons during this incident. I believe the other sons you're referencing are the ones mentioned in Genesis 5:4, "After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters," but, as they were after Seth, they could not relate.

If it's of the Judas mentioned in Acts 1 after Judas eledegedly hanged himself, that's a different Judas in Acts than Judas Iscariot.
Yes, that was basically my Judas question. The 'two deaths.' Thank you for taking such strong interest; I have respect for you for that. The Judas in Acts 1, though, would be, I believe, the same Judas as Judas Iscariot. I believe this for two reasons. One, the easy one, is the instance of this Judas' death immediately transitions into the choosing of a new disciple to replace Judas Iscariot. If it was not the same Judas, than the death of this man would be irrelevant to the passage. The second reason is that this Judas bought the field "with the reward he got for his wickedness." This could almost only logically be referring to the betrayal of Christ as the wickedness, with the "reward" being the thirty silver coins, (which he, according to Matthew, threw back into the temple, not spent.)
[For those reading this who do not know of the 'two deaths' issue, here is a quick summary. In Matthew it discusses Judas committing suicide through hanging himself, whereas Acts discusses (a possibly different) Judas buying a field and suffering a fall in the field, his body bursting open with blood and intestines spilling out.]

I'd like to make a note here that I am not angrily arguing, I am calmly discussing. Christianity has been extremely important in my life, and I am simply trying to become sure and collected if I am going to continue with it. I'd like to thank you very much for your response, light_driven, and I'd greatly appreciate another response from you or a response from anyone else. Once again, thank you.

Fri, Nov. 12th, 2004 06:24 pm (UTC)

Okay okay...I get what you're asking about Judas Iscariot now. I beleive what you're saying as well, I don't think they were two different Judas'. There's yet another Judas mentioned in Acts 1 (maybe it's two...sorry if it is) right before the next disciple is picked to replace Judas, that's a different Judas, it's mentioned as Judas son of someone, not Judas Iscariot. As for the bowels bursting open and stuff...I always just thought, sorry if this sounds lame, that he bought a feild with the 30 peices of silver, he hung himself, and then his bowels burst open. If not, again, there's one little thingy that we don't understand, however if you look for a unanswerable thing in the Bible, it will be easily found, God again, does not answer everything. Job never knew why he had to suffer so much, God never told him. We know the basics. We know that Jesus Christ has saved us from a one way ticket straight to hell. We know He took it for us and returned from hell 3 days later. We know He now is living in Heaven and has paved the way to our salvation...what more do we need? Follw Him daily...there's not other way.

Fri, Nov. 12th, 2004 05:50 pm (UTC)

Here are some versus referring to Cain and Abel

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

1 John 3:12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous.

Sorry I was wrong about it being in Paul's letters, but there they are. Cain's sacrifice basically sucked.

Fri, Nov. 12th, 2004 06:19 pm (UTC)

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
Well, Abel's sacrifice was better, then. I suppose it must have been considerably better i Cain's was bad enough in comparison to anger God, but I will accept that. Thank you again, light_driven. : )

Fri, Nov. 12th, 2004 06:26 pm (UTC)

It's not that Cain's sacrifice as bad in comparision to Abel's. It's that Cain's sacrifice was not a true sacrifice. Rather, he gave scraps to God, the bad plants that he didn't want, at least that's my interpretation of it. I've always been led to beleive (through my own reading and the explanation from other well respected Christians) that Cain's sacrifice was not even fit to be called that.

Fri, Nov. 12th, 2004 06:32 pm (UTC)

I see. Well, that does make good sense. I'll accept that interpretation. It doesn't answer all of my questions, but it does answer that one quite well. Once again, thank you.

Fri, Nov. 12th, 2004 06:23 pm (UTC)

Note: I am lazy_boring_man. Novicechristian here is my old journal. I logged on to check the Friends Only journals of old friends, and forgot to log off. But lazy_boring_man is me, and I am him.

Sat, Jan. 29th, 2005 09:28 pm (UTC)
deitrablack: good question

The first time God forgave (Adam & Eve) he slew the animal and made coats for them out of the skins. He required a blood or animal sacrifice, it was to show how serious our sins are! Cain knew this, but he wanted to try and gain God's favor with the work of his own hands. God never excepts our own works for forgivness of sin, We have to apply the sacrifice that Jesus gave to us for forgivness of sin. Before Jesus came to earth it was called a forshadowing of Him that was used in animal sacrifice. Remember the temple priest and how people would bring animal sacrifices to God for their sins. After Jesus who is called (the Lamb of God) offered himself to the cross and died we no longer have to bring sacrifices. Jesus is our perfect sacrifice.
So many people today want to bring their church membership, their water baptism, their tithes, their good deeds, following the 10 comandments, etc to God but unless we come the way He has commanded we will end up with the fate of Cain. Abel brought God the acceptable sacrifice, because it was the gift that God had produced, not a gift that was taken out of the cursed ground, Abel had care for and picked the best sheep he had, but he had little in its production. He knew what God desired and fulfulled it. And we too must know that God requires a personal relationship thru Jesus, John 14:6 Jesus said "I am the Way the Truth, and the Life, NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER except by (through)Me.
I hope this answers your question. I do hope that you have a personal relationship with Jesus, the best thing is to ask Him to forgive you because of what He did on the Cross, He took all your sins and died for you and now you must present yourself before the Lord in prayer and ask for the Lord to forgive your sins and save your life. Then and only then will you have eternal life, and will then have the good works productive in your life.
God bless you!

Sat, Jan. 29th, 2005 09:50 pm (UTC)
deitrablack: forgot to say this

Oh, I also wanted to say that the reason Cain was cast away from God wasn't because of the sacrifice, Cain could of went and repented before God and traded some of his fruits for a lamb and then took the lamb as a offering to God. The Lord even spoke to him personally and told him to get rid of his wrong thinking and told him that sin was lying at his door,Gen 4:6&7 But he didn't listen to the Lord and he was jealous and angry and he took it out on his brother, and killed him then he lied about it to God. God told him that Abels blood called to Him from the ground. That was what caused him to be cast away, not the wrong offering.
Yes, It had to be a brothers and sisters that married each other, and nieces and nephews, because Adam and Eve populated the earth. But they all lived about 900 years and were active in reproducting. WHEW glad that it was them, hee-hee
Judas question I read this in a commentary about the hills of Judea( very rocky and mountain terain) The question about Judas death was that he pushed himself headlong over a cliff with a rope or robe around his head & neck and he proabably fell upon a rock and was hanged over a cliff.

Sun, Feb. 26th, 2006 12:25 pm (UTC)
ndnspirit: Cain and Abel

(Heb.11:4) It was by faith Abel Offered his sacrifice.

Cain's heart wasn't right with God.

(Gen.4:7) [If thou doest well] , Shalt thou not be accepted?

(Gen.4:4) and Abel, (he also brought)of the firstlings

It was in the way Cain offered his offering unto the Lord our God. You see, you can look at it this way. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Cain apparently didn't have faith. Therefore it wasn't pleasing God.
God warned him about sin, God tried to tell him to control himself. He said sin is crouching at the door and thou shalt rule over it, "rule over it" is saying to take control. Cain didn't listen and He got angry and jealous and killed his brother Abel.
We have a "Just" God and he punishes the ones he loves and sin doesn't go on...unpunished.
When Cain killed his brother he took on the nature of Satan, Satan was a murder from the beginning.
Adam was made in the image of God. Abel was in the image of God, but he was cutoff from this lineage because Cain killed him. Cain was cutoff because he had the likeness of the devil and he was very sinful in his ways. So Adams lineage starts with Seth.
God did show mercy on Cain, when Cain pleaded with God and said if they shall find me they will kill me. Yeah, he was talking about family! Think about it...If someone in your family killed another family member you loved so much, would other family members go after him? Well Cain was scared for his life, and should have been cause he knew what he did was wrong. God did have mercy on him and said if anyone killed Cain then vengeance shall be upon them sevenfold and God set a mark on him.
Cain did marry his sister, but ya know they had to really populate back then and they had to start some where.