Lesson 4

The War Comes to Earth

(Genesis 4,6&11)
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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!

  1. War Comes to Your World


    1. Read Revelation 12:7-9. Do you feel like the toxic waste dump of the universe?


      1. Why did Satan and his angels get hurled to earth? Why not earth's moon? Why not Pluto?


      2. 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. Genesis 3:1-6)


    2. 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 discussed next.)


  2. The First Casualty


    1. 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?


      1. How do you think Adam and Eve viewed Cain's childhood?


    2. Read Genesis 4:2-5. Did Cain think that his offering should have been accepted? (Yes. Verse 5 says he was angry.)


      1. Take Cain's point of view. Tell my why his offering should have been accepted?


        1. Was this another example of the "second child" stealing the attention and honor due to him?


      2. What was wrong with Cain's offering?


      3. 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 Deuteronomy 12:6.)


      4. 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.)


      5. 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 future.)


    3. Read Genesis 4:8. Is this a premeditated murder? (It seems so. Cain invited Abel out to the field to kill him.)


      1. How do you think "mom" Eve viewed this?


        1. Did Adam and Eve blame themselves? Should they have?


        2. 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?


      2. 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.)


      3. 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.)


  3. The First Taste of Judgment


    1. 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.)


    2. 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 Corinthians 6:14.)


    3. Read Genesis 6:5-6. How is the conflict between God and Satan going?


      1. 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?


      2. How would you compare God's grief to Eve's grief over the Abel murder?


      3. In comparison, how to you view the sin in your life?


    4. 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.)


      1. 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.)


      2. Is the flood a victory for Satan or God?


  4. The Battle Continues


    1. 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 size.)


      1. Why would building a tower "make a name" for them?


        1. Are you building a tower to make a name for yourself?


      2. 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.)


      3. 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.)


    1. 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.)


    2. 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?


  1. Next Week: Winning and Losing

Discussion

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