Our text for this sermon comes from Genesis 4.
The title of this sermon is Am I My Brother’s Keeper.
vs 1 The word for knew here is not used to say that you know someone as a friend or that you know of or about someone. The word conveys a much deeper meaning. When a husband and wife have sex, that form of love and intimacy is the greatest possible way to know somebody.
vs 2 Eve believed that her children were from God. We do not get childhood background here. That is not the idea that the writer is conveying here. We see that Cain is a cultivator/farmer. Abel is a shepherd.
vs 3-5 God has set a standard for the offering. It is to be the first and the best of your harvest – what you take in. Abel brings God the firstborn of his flock. This is the best looking, the most healthy, the strongest. Most likely this would be the sheep that Abel would want to keep and raise so that at a special event such as a wedding, the sheep would have been sacrificed and shared among the family.
This was a sacrifice for Abel.
Cain also gives God an offering but notice that the Bible does not say that Cain gave of his first or the best of his harvest. Cain gave of what was less desirable. In other words, the offering was so pitiful that Cain would not miss it.
There was no sacrifice for Cain.
You do the same thing to God. You decide in your mind how much you are going to give God. You won’t miss $5 here or $25 there and you tell God that he is not getting more than that because you have already made plans for that money.
The prophet Malachi wrote about how the nation of Israel was robbing God in their tithes and contributions to his house.
This is not about giving tithes and contributions. It is about your heart. Most people want to give what they want to give and then wonder why God is not blessing them. The wickedness in your heart is what causes you to not give sacrificially.
How you give to God is in direct relation to how much you believe God is your provider.
vs 6 – 7 Sin is crouching at the door –
vs 8 – 9 Am I my brother’s keeper? Answer: Yes.
vs 10 – 25 The curse on Cain and the end of chapter 4