Why are Families So Painful? (Genesis 4)

Why are Families So Painful? (Genesis 4)

Bible = most honest book ever written

  • Genesis 3 – Satan – Sin – Marriage – Family
  • Genesis a 2000 yr family case study in human sin & God’s blessing
  • First glimpse outside the Garden

Put yourself in the story. Who do you identify with? What is everyone thinking/feeling/doing?

The Fall of the Family

Genesis 4:1-12 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.  In the course of time, Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,  but for Cain and his offering, he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.  The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.  When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

Eve = ????1. Shocked                       2. Arrogant (she’s bringing Savior son 3:15)

  • Sons not Savior                      #1. a murderer                        #2. dead & not raised
  • Adam & Eve NO sin nature. Descendants YES.
  • Cain = 1st born person

Cain & Abel (Law Heart)

  1. Both – honorable jobs; Cain (farmer), Abel (rancher)
  2. Both – came into God’s presence


HANDS – both acceptable offerings (not empty-handed but sacrifice) ?? firstfruits??? law???


-Heb. 11:4 By faith Abel offered…a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts….through his faith

-1 Jn 3:12-13 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one & murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil & his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.

-Jude 1:10-11 these people blaspheme all that they do not understand…like unreasoning animals…Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain 

= jealousy/bitter envy gets angry at healthy people


  1. Sees/knows all
  2. Asks introspective ?? like Adam (Fatherly)
  3. Warns Cain


  1. Looks at Abel not God in “Church”
  2. Premeditated murder
  3. Mocks God (ignores pain = parents, future family, holidays, etc.)

-Matt. 23:35 all the righteous bloodshed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel 

= Abortion 1/5 (Cain was pro-choice & choose to kill innocent family member)


  1. Sometimes you are Abel.
  2. Sometimes you are Cain

It’s not enough to be in God’s presence, God’s presence must be in you (Satan Heaven)

Cain – 1. religious (face) & 2. covert (e.g. Judas)

-Matt 5:21–22 “You have heard that it was said… ‘You shall not murder…But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment… (hand murder v heart murder)


Life East of Eden

Genesis 4:13-26 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.  Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.  Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.  To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech.  And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.  Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and has livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah. Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me.  If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.” And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh.

Cultural mandate

Gen. 1:28 “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion 

=Mankind – now                     1. great                        2. sinful

  1. Urbanization – 1st city
  2. Culture – lyre, pipe (Psalms later)
  3. Technology – tools bronze, iron


  1. Lamech (A-Z) Godless worse Cain vengeance 70X7 (Jesus says forgive 70X7 Matt. 18:12)
  2. 1 man/woman          3. NT leader                 4. Jesus/Church                       5. results

Cain’s Wife?  – sister?

            4:13 ????? 2 options

  1. Unrepentant – whining about punishment  = godless line, rest Bible negative
  2. Repentant (“my iniquity/sin greater than I can bear) =not wander city refuge, revival (Paul OT)


  1. Marked (like us w/HS) Von Rad speculates 1st tattoo
  2. Blessed (marriage, family, long life w/accomplishments)
  3. Revival breaks out (God uses evil for good cf. 50:20 )


Everyone Needs Jesus

Genesis 4:26 At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.

  • Cultural progress but not moral regress
  • God & Satan want your marriage and family

= We are here to 1. Examine our heart 2. Call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ

  1. XN – worship         2. Religious – repent                        3. Non XN – convert

Jesus is Abel. We are Cain.

Hebrews 12:22-24 you have come to…Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.


  1. Adam & Eve were kicked out of Eden into the wilderness.

Jesus left Eden to enter the wilderness.

  1. God came as our big brother Jesus Christ.

Jesus was innocent like Abel, and we killed Him like Cain.

  1. Cain was the firstborn in all creation.

Jesus is the firstborn of all creation.

  1. Cain & Abel were sons of Adam.

Jesus is the Son of God

  1. Cain and Abel were in God’s presence.

God put His presence in us.

  1. Cain was the unrighteous brother of the righteous Abel.

We are the unrighteous brother of the righteous Jesus.

  1. Cain and Abel gave their sacrifice to God.

Jesus is God sacrificing Himself for us.

  1. Cain killed the innocent Abel.

We killed the innocent Jesus.

  1. Abel’s death was the first human death.

Jesus’ resurrection was the first human defeat of death.

  1. Abel’s blood cried out from the ground for justice.

Jesus rose from the bloody ground to bring justice.

  1. Sin conquered Cain.

Jesus’ conquered sin

  1. Cain was marked by God as His possession.

The Holy Spirit marks us as God’s possession.

  1. In the days of Cain, people started calling on the name of the Lord.

Today, we know that Jesus Christ is the name of the Lord.

  1. Cain built the first city named Enoch.

Jesus is building the last-named New Jerusalem.

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

It's all about Jesus! Read More