GENESIS 4:1-8 – A VOICE FROM THE DEAD

We are looking at the life of a member of “Faith’s Hall of Fame” found in Hebrews 11.  We are looking at Abel, who indeed is A Voice from the Dead.

Hebrews 11:4 – By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Of course it is difficult to talk about Abel without talking about Cain.  The Bible gives a very clear contrast between the two men.  Abel’s sacrifice was accepted by God. Cain’s was not.  The difference was that Abel acted in faith, and Cain did not. Abel is dead, but because of his faith, he still speaks.

Adam and Eve had been created and placed in the Garden of Eden.

They had sinned against God.

God had promised a redeemer. Genesis 3:15

God had clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins.  The blood of innocent animals was shed so that they might be covered. Genesis 3:21

Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden because of their sin.

Vs. 1 – Eve had her first child and called him “Cain”, which probably means “acquired”. She said that she had gotten or acquired a man from the Lord.  Perhaps she thought that this man was the one who would bruise the head of the serpent (Satan).  If she thought this way, how wrong she was.

Vs. 2 – Another son was born.  His name was “Abel”, which means “breath” or “vapor”.  A breathe is not permanent. It doesn’t last long. Certainly this was a fitting name for a man whose life was cut off prematurely.

Cain and Abel each had respectable jobs.  Cain was a farmer. Abel was a shepherd. Undoubtedly both occupations were learned from their father, Adam.   

ABEL SPEAKS OF COMPLIANCE

Vs. 3 – “in the process of time” literally means “at the end of days”.  It seems to have been a specific time of year when sacrifices were offered. Perhaps it was a time appointed by God.  Evidently this was not the first time that sacrifices were made at this time of year.

The fact that both Cain and Abel offered sacrifices at the same time is an indication that it was something they had learned from their father.

Cain’s offering was a produce offering.  He was a farmer. He brought some of his labor from the field.

Later on, God would require offerings from the ground as the “first fruits” of harvest.  However, it was not the time or place for such a sacrifice.

Vs. 4 – Abel brought an animal or animals to sacrifice.  The fact that he offered the “fat” would be an indication that he had slain the animal.

Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable to God.  We can not be sure how everyone knew that Abel’s offering was accepted and Cain’s was not.  There were times when God sent fire from Heaven upon a sacrifice. Perhaps this was one of those times.

Evidently Abel, by faith, was being compliant with the type of offering that God wanted.

In some way God had revealed to Cain and Abel that a blood sacrifice was what he required. Romans 1:17  

It was the shedding of the blood of innocent animals that had covered Adam and Eve.

It was the shedding of blood of animals that was required to cover sins in the Old Testament.

Ultimately it was the shedding of blood of the sinless Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ that atoned for our sins. 1 Peter 1:18-19, Hebrews 9:22

By faith Abel was being compliant.

And today the process is no different.

By faith a true Christian has come to God God’s way!

He has become compliant. Ephesians 2:8-9

How important is compliance or obedience for the Christian after he or she is saved?  Listen to some sobering verses: John 14:21, 1 John 2:3-6, 1 Samuel 15:22-23, Romans 6:16

Compliance or obedience is one of the biggest indications that we are people of faith.

How can we say that we believe or trust God when we don’t do what He tells us to do!   

ABEL SPEAKS OF COMMITMENT

Another word we can use is consecration.

Vs. 4 – By giving of the first and fat of the flock Abel was bringing the best.

It is when we are people of faith that we, like Abel will give our best.

We know the typical consecration verse, Romans 12:1

If we are truly committed to God we will want him to have what is best.

  • The best of our time
  • The best of our talent
  • The best of our thoughts
  • The best of our treasures

ABEL SPEAKS OF CONFIDENCE

It is obvious from the actions of Abel that his confidence was in God.

He had undoubtedly been told of the promise of a redeemer.

His actions show that he was trusting in what God had promised.

It is highly possible that Abel was the first human resident of Heaven.  

Meanwhile it behooves us to make sure that our confidence is always in the God we claim to know, love, and serve. Psalm 121, Hebrews 11:6

ABEL SPEAKS OF CONFLICT

Vss. 5-7 – Cain was unhappy. God had not accepted his offering.  God suggested that all he needed to do was repent and do what was right and he would be accepted.  

God also warned Cain that he needed to be careful.

Vs. 8 – Cain was angry with God but he was also angry with Abel.  He was angry with Abel because what he did was accepted by God and what Cain did was not accepted.   

Righteous people have always been picked on or persecuted by the unrighteous.  Abel suffered at the hands of unrighteous Cain.

We are warned that the same is true for us. 2 Timothy 3:12, John 15:19-21

The enemies of God are our enemies.

Let’s accept the fact that there will be conflict in our lives.   

Hebrews 11:4 – By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

ABEL SPEAKS OF COMPLIANCE

ABEL SPEAKS OF COMMITMENT

ABEL SPEAKS OF CONFIDENCE

ABEL SPEAKS OF CONFLICT