Introduction: Have you heard the old joke, “Question: Why do you beat
your head against the wall? Answer: Because it feels good when I
stop!” Sometimes we get so used to things we do not realize how life
could be otherwise. For example, there are areas of the world in
which war has been going on for decades. War just becomes part of
life. In the U.S., war has not existed on the mainland for over 100
years. This extra-ordinary period made the shock of September 11 that
much greater. Have we become so used to the war between good and evil
that we no longer really notice? Do we accept evil as a usual part of
life – a usual part of our life? Let’s jump into our lesson and see
if we can sharpen our senses!
- War Comes to Your World
- Read Revelation 12:7-9. Do you feel like the toxic waste
dump of the universe?
- Why did Satan and his angels get hurled to earth? Why
not earth’s moon? Why not Pluto?
- Was this just bad luck for us? Satan and his angels
were shoved off heaven and we just happened to be
spinning by at the time? (This was not some sort of
accident. This was not just bad luck. Satan came to
live with us because we distrusted and disobeyed God.
- In the last three weeks we have gone over the Genesis
account of the entry of sin into our world several times.
As a review, how would you say sin entered our world? (Eve
wanted to be like God. Motivated by self, she distrusted
what God said and disobeyed. Adam was worse, he flatly
chose Eve over God. See 1 Timothy 2:14. In both cases
humans distrusted God and chose a course that elevated
their desires over God’s desires. The results are
- The First Casualty
- Read Genesis 4:1. How do you think “mom” viewed Cain’s
future? If you have children, think back to the moment
your first child was born. What kind of emotions would you
have if this was not simply your first child, but the
first child ever born?
- How do you think Adam and Eve viewed Cain’s
- Read Genesis 4:2-5. Did Cain think that his offering
should have been accepted? (Yes. Verse 5 says he was
- Take Cain’s point of view. Tell my why his offering
should have been accepted?
- Was this another example of the “second child”
stealing the attention and honor due to him?
- What was wrong with Cain’s offering?
- Read Genesis 4:6-7. What do these verses suggest was
wrong with Cain’s offering? (God clearly indicates
that this was a matter of obedience. God does not
say, “I liked the looks of Abel’s offering better.”
Cain apparently had instructions on what kind of
offering he should make. Since we know about the Old
Testament’s sacrificial system, this is no doubt what
God is speaking about. The fact that Abel offered a
“firstborn” ( Genesis 4:4) suggests he understood the
sacrificial system requirements recited in
- Since it is clear that God gave Cain instructions on
what kind of sacrifice to make, and he did not, what
would you say was the basis for Cain’s decision? What
was he thinking? (He was no doubt annoyed that he
would have to get his sacrifice from his brother
Abel. This would be an admission his work was not as
good, or as valued, as that of his brother. Next, he
decided that he would make his own decision on what
was appropriate, instead of listening to God. This
gets back to the old problem of wanting to be like
God. Instead of just obeying, Cain decided he would
make up the rules in place of God.)
- What do you think about God coming to Cain to talk
with him about his sacrifice? (It shows God cared
about Cain. Not only did He try to explain the
situation to Cain, but He warned him about his
- Read Genesis 4:8. Is this a premeditated murder? (It seems
so. Cain invited Abel out to the field to kill him.)
- How do you think “mom” Eve viewed this?
- Did Adam and Eve blame themselves? Should they
- You probably view several murders a week if you
watch television. Have you dulled the impact of
sin in your life? Are we beating our head
against the wall and not even realizing it?
- How do you explain this level of evil one generation
from perfection? (Satan is a monster. He influenced
Cain to kill Abel. Sin leads to death. I’ll bet
Satan’s lie in Genesis 3:4 was ringing in “mom’s”
mind. We are so used to sin that we do not realize
how terrible it really is.)
- Do you think this was the first killing for Satan?
(It makes me speculate that some angels must have
been killed in the war in heaven that we discussed in
our earlier lessons on this topic.)
- The First Taste of Judgment
- Read Genesis 6:3. Does God sound like the father of a
teenager? What attitude is reflected in this verse towards
people? (This suggests that God is having trouble with
humans. He has to “contend” with them. God does not want
humans to grow very old and very wicked.)
- Read Genesis 6:4. How did these Nephilim come into
existence? What does it mean “the sons of God” had
children by “the daughters of men?” (They say the three
rules of real estate are location, location, location. I
think this rule applies to the Bible as well. If you want
to understand what a text means you need to examine its
context (location, location, location). Genesis 4:16 ff.
explains where Cain lived and lists his genealogy. Genesis
5 gives Adam/Seth’s genealogy. After presenting these two
genealogies of the righteous and the unrighteous, it is
logical to read Genesis 6 in light of what was revealed
immediately before that. Thus, the “sons of God” in verses
2 and 4 of chapter 6 logically refer to Seth’s descendants
(see also Hosea 1:10) and the “daughters of man” refer to
Cain’s descendants. This conclusion is also bolstered by
the fact that God always had trouble with “His people”
marrying unbelievers. Deuteronomy 7:3-4; See, 2
- Read Genesis 6:5-6. How is the conflict between God and
- What do you think it means in verse 6 when it says
“the Lord was grieved that He had made man?” What is
God’s reaction to your sins?
- How would you compare God’s grief to Eve’s grief over
the Abel murder?
- In comparison, how to you view the sin in your life?
- Read Genesis 6:7. Is this fair? Should Satan be
complaining about a rule change? (There is no change in
the rules. God told Adam and Eve if they sinned they would
die. Satan knew this rule. Genesis 3:3-4.)
- Do you see any “good news” in this? (Yes. If sin
grieves you. If you want to see the end of sin and
death, this is a sample. This story demonstrates that
sin will not last forever. God is not only the source
of ultimate love, He is also the source of justice.)
- Is the flood a victory for Satan or God?
- The Battle Continues
- Read Genesis 11:1-4. What do bricks represent? (A
technological breakthrough. They don’t have to find and
fit stones. They can make bricks to a pre-determined
- Why would building a tower “make a name” for them?
- Are you building a tower to make a name for
- Why build a tower?(Once again the context is very
important. Just after the flood account, we find a
people building a tower. Although God had promised in
Genesis 9:11 that He would not send another world-wide flood, these people did not believe God and
determined to take matters into their own hands and
build something higher than the waters had reached.)
- Read Genesis 9:1, 18-19. What do you think about the
goal ( Genesis 11:4) of the tower builders to avoid
being scattered? (God wanted them to be scattered and
fill the earth. Again, these are people who do not
believe or obey God.)
- Read Genesis 11:5-8. Consider especially verses 6 and 7.
What do you think about this statement by God? Does God
fear man? (These people were working in opposition to God.
God does not fear man, but He does not have to allow His
opponents to work efficiently. The result of confusing
their language is that God’s direction to scatter
throughout the earth is fulfilled.)
- Friend, how about you? Do you believe God and trust Him?
Or, are you taking your own steps to fulfill your own
goals? Are you even conscious of how your actions affect
the war between good and evil?
- Next Week: Winning and Losing