Read Genesis 4:1-15. What does this tell us about how deeply ingrained sin had become?
At the birth of Cain, Eve was ecstatic. She fully believed that she had just given birth to the Deliverer promised in Genesis 3:15. “I have acquired a man from the LORD” (Gen. 4:1, NKJV) . The text, translated literally could read, “I have made a man-the Lord.”
At its basic level, it simply reveals that Eve thought she had delivered the One whom the Lord had promised (Gen. 3:15) .
Nothing is said of the joy of Cain’s boyhood years and the novelty of new parents proudly enjoying the development of their first baby. The narrative jumps quickly to a second birth and then to the two young men worshiping. However, as we so often see, differences over worship lead to tragedy.
Note the differences in the emotions of Adam as compared with Cain. Adam appears confused, frightened, and ashamed (Gen. 3:10) , but Cain is angry (Gen. 4:5) , cynical, and rebellious (Gen. 4:9) . Instead of offering a weak excuse as Adam did, Cain tells a blatant untruth.
However, out of the despair came a measure of hope and optimism. With the birth of Seth, Eve again thinks she has delivered the Promised One (Gen. 4:25) . The name “Seth” is from the word that means “to place or to put, ” the same word used in Genesis 3:15 for a Deliverer who would be put in place to challenge the serpent and crush its head. In a further parallel to Genesis 3:15, Eve describes her new son as “the seed” to replace Abel. Thus, even amid so much despair and tragedy, and as the great controversy between good and evil continued to spread, people still clung to the hope of redemption. Without it, what do we have?
Imagine the woe of Adam and Eve over the death of their son, which would have been bad enough if not for the fact that another son had killed him. Thus, they lost two sons. How can we learn the hard lesson that sin has consequences far beyond the immediate sin itself?