September 27, 2020 – Genesis 4 – 5

Lesson Date: September 27, 2020

Focal Scripture Passage: Genesis 4:1-16, 25-26; 5:28-29, 32

AIM: To lead students to discover some of the terrible results of sin, and to examine themselves to see if they are guilty of any of the same sins as Cain so they can confess them right away.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Genesis 4 – 5 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Write the following scripture references on small pieces of paper or index cards: Matthew 23:35; Hebrews 11:4; 1 John 3:12; Jude 1:11. Enlist volunteers who are comfortable reading aloud to look up the verses and be prepared to read them to the class when called upon.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Read the following statements to the class. After reading each statement, ask the students for their reaction to it.

  • All people are inherently good.
  • There is some good in everybody.
  • If you leave people to themselves, they will usually choose good over evil.
  • An evil environment is what causes people to do bad things.
  • When we get to the end of our lives, if we have done more good than evil, then we will certainly go to heaven.
  • It doesn’t matter what religion a person practices, as long as he or she is sincere.

Tell the class today’s lesson is about the effects of the fall on all human beings.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the students that we are studying the book of Genesis.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the fall of man – when sin entered the human race).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Gen. 3:1).
  2. The Births of Cain and Abel.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 4:1-2.
    • Ask: “What did Eve name her first son?” (Cain).
    • Ask: “What did she say about him?” (“I have gotten a man from the Lord”).
    • Tell the students that Cain means, “gotten” or “acquired.”
    • Read Genesis 3:15.
    • Ask: “With that promise in their minds, what might Adam and Eve have thought about Cain?” (he could be the promised son who would win the final victory over Satan).
    • Tell the class that Eve had another son, whom she named Abel (“vanity” or “vapor”).
    • Ask: “What did Cain and Abel do when they grew up?” (Abel was a shepherd and Cain was a farmer).
    • Summarize: Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel.
  3. The Offerings of Cain and Abel.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 4:3-5.
    • Ask: “What did Cain bring to the Lord?” (the fruit of the ground).
    • Ask: “What did Abel bring to the Lord?” (the firstlings of the flock).
    • Ask: “How did the Lord feel about Abel and his offering?” (He respected and received both Abel and his offering).
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Matthew 23:35, to learn that Jesus said Abel was a righteous man.
    • Ask: “How did the Lord feel about Cain and his offering?” (He did not respect or receive him or his offering).
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteers to read Hebrews 11:4 and 1 John 3:12.
    • Explain the following:
      • Hebrews 11:4 says Abel’s offering was “more excellent” than Cain’s.
      • 1 John 3:12 says Cain’s works were evil.
      • God expected a blood sacrifice, but Cain brought what he wanted instead.
      • Cain was insincere in his worship. He went through the motions of worship and expected God to be happy.
    • Ask: “Do we ever bring insincere worship to the Lord?” (yes).
    • Write “Insincere Worship” on the marker board or chalkboard.
    • Ask: “How did Cain respond to God’s rejection?” (he became furious).
    • Ask: “Do we ever get mad when we don’t receive the appreciation and approval we expect?” (yes).
    • Write “Anger” on the board.
    • Summarize: Cain and Abel brought offerings to the Lord, who was pleased with Abel and his blood sacrifice, but rejected Cain and his grain offering. Cain became furious.
  4. God Graciously Gave Cain an Opportunity to Repent.
    • Ask: “What did God owe Cain at that point?” (nothing).
    • Tell the class that Cain was a fallen, sinful human being, who brought an unacceptable offering in a selfish and insincere manner. God didn’t owe him anything; in fact, He could have struck him dead on the spot!
    • Read Genesis 4:6-7.
    • Ask: “What did God do?” (He questioned Cain, giving him the opportunity to admit and repent of his sin; He also warned Cain that sin was always crouching at the door ready to master him, and told Cain he must willfully overcome the temptation to sin).
    • Direct the students’ attention to the front cover of the Sunday School Member Quarterly, which bears the title, “The Beginning of Grace.” Tell them that God’s interaction with and warning to Cain are signs of God’s undeserved grace toward a sinner.
    • Stress the fact that God gave Cain a choice. Explain that we, too, face similar choices every day we live. We can choose to do good and please God, or we can choose to yield to sin’s temptation, which is always lying in wait to conquer us (1 Pet. 5:8). We must choose to resist temptation and rule over our sinful passions.
    • Summarize: God graciously gave Cain an opportunity to repent of his anger and warned Cain that he must choose to resist sin’s temptation.
  5. The First Murder.
    • Read Genesis 4:8.
    • Tell the students that envy and jealousy motivated Cain to murder his brother.
    • Write “Envy,” “Jealousy,” and “Murder” on the board.
    • Ask: “Do we ever exhibit envy, jealousy, or murderous thoughts toward others?” (yes).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 4:9-10.
    • Ask: “Why did God ask Cain the whereabouts of his brother?” (to again give him the opportunity to admit and repent of his sins).
    • Ask: “How did Cain answer God?” (he said he didn’t know and sarcastically asked if he was responsible to keep up with his brother’s whereabouts all the time).
    • Tell the class that Cain lied to God.
    • Write “Lying” on the board.
    • Ask: “Do we ever lie to God or anyone else?” (yes).
    • Ask: “How did God know that Cain was lying, and that he had killed his brother?” (He said Abel’s blood cried out to him from the ground).
    • Tell the students that detectives must search for clues, but God knows everything. Killers sometimes escape capture and prosecution, but you cannot hide your sins from God.
    • Ask: “Are you trying to conceal some sin?”
    • Stress the fact that God already knows all about our supposedly “hidden” sins.
    • Summarize: Cain killed his brother Abel and then lied to God about it.
  6. The Curse Upon Cain.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 4:11-12.
    • Ask: “According to verse 11, from where was Cain cursed?” (from the ground).
    • Tell the students this was a serious penalty for a farmer!
    • Explain that God said the earth would no longer yield its strength to Cain – it would take hard work for him to extract fruit from it.
    • Note that the ground was cursed because of Adam’s sin (Gen. 3:17). Now the ground became a curse to Cain.
    • Ask: “What else did God tell Cain?” (he would be a fugitive and wanderer – he would have to leave his family and wander the earth).
    • Read Genesis 4:13-14.
    • Ask: “How did Cain respond to his punishment?” (he complained about it).
    • Ask: “What right does the guilty person have to complain about the penalty for his sin?” (none).
    • Write “Complained About His Punishment” on the board.
    • Ask: “Do we ever complain about the punishment we receive?”
    • Summarize: Cain’s sin brought a curse: he would have to work harder than ever before to raise crops and he would be a fugitive and wanderer.
  7. God’s Mercy Toward Cain.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 4:15.
    • Ask: “What did God do for Cain, the wicked, selfish, unrepentant murderer?” (He placed a special mark upon Cain so that everyone would know not to kill him).
    • Ask: “Did Cain deserve this act of mercy?” (no).
    • Ask: “Do we ever experience God’s mercy? (yes).
    • Read Genesis 4:16.
    • Tell the class that Cain “went out from the presence of the Lord” and fathered a whole civilization of wicked, godless people (verses 16-24).
    • Summarize: The Lord mercifully set a mark of protection upon Cain, who departed from the Lord and fathered a wicked and godless civilization.
  8. Two Important Births.
    • Tell the class in addition to being the story of the first murder on earth, this lesson also contains the accounts of two very important births.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 4:25-26.
    • Tell the students that Seth means, “substituted.”
    • Ask: “What did Eve say about this son?” (God had given her another son to take the place of godly Abel).
    • Explain that while Cain fathered an ungodly line of descendants, Seth would be the father of the godly line.
    • Ask: “According to verse 26, what happened during the life of Seth’s son, Enos?” (men began to call upon the name of the Lord).
    • Tell the class chapter 5 names the descendants of Adam. Fifteen hundred years of history are contained in this chapter. Seth had an important descendant.
    • Read Genesis 5:28-29.
    • Tell the students that Noah means, “rest.”
    • Ask: “What did Lamech say about Noah?” (he would bring comfort to the world that had been cursed by sin).
    • Read Genesis 5:32.
    • Tell the class when Noah was 500 years old he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. We’ll learn more about Noah and his family next week.
    • Summarize: God graciously gave Adam and Eve another godly son to take the place of Abel. Seth fathered godly descendants, including Noah.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the students that two weeks ago in Genesis 2 we saw that God made Adam and Eve and placed them in a perfect environment. They only had one rule to obey, but last week in Genesis 3 we learned that they broke that one rule. Sin entered the human race and Adam and Eve were thrown out of their perfect garden. Today, in the very next chapter of the Bible, we learned that one of the couple’s two sons brutally murdered the other. Tell the students that sin always brings terrible results!

Direct the class’ attention to the list on the board. Read the list aloud. Tell the students that these words represent the sins of which Cain was guilty. Remind them that throughout the lesson you have asked them if we are guilty of these same sins, and they have answered affirmatively. We are sinful people because we are descended from Adam. Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Jude 1:11 to the class. God warns us not to follow in Cain’s footsteps.

Ask everyone to silently read over the sins written on the board. Ask: “Are you guilty of any of those sins right now? Is God bringing something to your mind of which you need to repent?” Remind the class that last week God graciously gave Adam an opportunity to confess and repent. This week God graciously gave Cain an opportunity to confess and repent. Sadly, neither Adam nor Cain did. Say: “If God has brought some sin to your mind just now, that is His way of graciously giving you an opportunity to confess it and repent of it.”

Urge the students to repent of their sins and ask God’s forgiveness before it is too late. Tell them to do that silently while you pray aloud. Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Tell everyone to confess their sins as soon as they are aware of them, and to thank God every day for His mercy.

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