Murder. Intrigue. Outrageous behavior. Those sound like elements of a crime story. It’s actually part of the story in the first book of the Bible, Genesis 4.
In season five we're listening to Bible stories and learning to pray them. We started in the middle of things with the beginnings of the story of Samuel before turning back to the very start with creation and how the first couple chose to go their own way, to know good and evil on their own apart from God's clear teaching.
In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day. We are focusing on narratives or stories in this season.
From a good God creating the world to mankind's exile from a garden of paradise, we have a narrative about beginnings that includes the effects of disobedience and sin. When a simple story gets more complicated, we say the plot thickens. That's what happens in the story of the first two brothers, Cain and Abel and the fallout from sin and the spiral of violence. Sin leads to death as God told Adam back in Genesis 2, and now man himself is making it happen in an awful way.
Genesis 4 has two main parts: the story of the first two brothers in which Cain murders Abel, in vv. 1-16, and the descendants of Cain contrasted with a third brother named Seth in vv. 17-26.
One of the wordplays in Genesis 4 that we emphasize is Cain being called a fugitive (na`) and a wanderer (nad) on the earth, and then later he is sent out east of Eden to the land of Nod (wandering).
What is God telling us in this story? We explore a few messages, one underscoring the seriousness of sin and the need to master it (seen in Cain's life), as well as the spiraling into aggression and violence that Lamech's life shows. Contrast this with the note about Seth and his son Enosh and the fact that humans at this time began to call on God's name, and we can see that there is an ongoing choice between darkness and deciding good and evil for ourselves, or call on God's name and deciding to serve him.
After this story continue the Genesis narrative by praying the family tree in Genesis 5. Listen to the podcast here.
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