Family Problems

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 4:1-12

INTRODUCTION: Many families have problems with one member turning against another. This is the direct result of the coming of sin into the world. These problems began with the first family and they continue to this day. In fact, Jesus prophesied that a man’s foes would often be those of his own household (Matthew 10:34-36).

  1. THE PROMISE OF A SEED (Genesis 3:15)
    1. The Judgment for Sin was Great
    2. But God Promised a Seed of a Woman that would Defeat Satan
  2. THE BIRTH OF TWO BROTHERS (Genesis 4:1-2)
    1. Eve Bore Cain and Abel
    2. She Evidently Thought Cain was the Chosen Seed – “I have gotten a man from the LORD”
  3. THE LIFE OF THE BROTHERS (Genesis 4:2)
    1. Abel was a Keeper of Sheep
    2. Cain was a Tiller of the Ground
    3. Application: Family interests are varied. It is best to help children follow after occupations that fit their interests and abilities, for these are from the Lord.
  4. THE OFFERINGS OF THE BROTHERS (Genesis 4:3-5)
    1. Cain Brought an Offering
      1. Of the fruit of his labors (Genesis 4:3)
      2. The Lord did not respect his offering (Genesis 4:5)
    2. Abel Brought an Offering (Genesis 4:4)
      1. Of his flock of sheep
        1. Of the firstlings
        2. Of the fat
      2. The Lord had respect unto his offering
    3. Note: although we are not specifically told here, God usually showed His pleasure (respect) for an offering by sending fire from heaven to consume it. This probably happened with Abel’s offering but not with Cain’s.
    4. Note: here we find that Cain and Abel were not only separated by interests and occupations, but also by spiritual perception. This often happens in families and is one of the most difficult problems in families.
  5. THE HEART OF CAIN (Genesis 4:5-7)
    1. He Did Not Repent of his Sin
    2. He Blamed Others for his Rejection
      1. He blamed God
      2. He blamed Abel
    3. He Rejected the Warning of the Lord (Genesis 4:7)
      1. Well-doing will be accepted
      2. Rebellion puts sin in charge
      3. Obedience gives strength and authority (probably a reference to Abel)
        1. His desire will submit to you
        2. You will rule over him
  6. THE HATRED OF CAIN (Genesis 4:8-9)
    1. Cain Confronted his Brother (Genesis 4:8)
    2. Cain Killed his Brother (Genesis 4:8)
    3. Cain Denied Responsibility for his Brother (Genesis 4:9)
  7. THE PUNISHMENT OF CAIN (Genesis 4:10-12)
    1. He Bore the Guilt of his Brother’s Blood (Genesis 4:10)
    2. He Could Not Pursue his Occupation (Genesis 4:11)
    3. He Could Not Live in his Home Town (Genesis 4:12)
  8. THE REPLACEMENT OF CAIN (Genesis 4:25-26)
    1. God Gave Seth to Adam and Eve (Genesis 4:25)
    2. Seth Replaced Abel who was Killed (Genesis 4:26)
    3. Note: tragedies will occur in our families, but those who trust in the Lord and follow Him will be rewarded. Even Abel was used of God to give us a great message of truth (Hebrews 11:4).

CONCLUSION: We are to love our family members and seek to lead them to the Lord. However, we are not told that they will understand our devotion to the Lord or that they will support our service to Him. However, God will give us new family in the Lord (Matthew 12:47-49; Ephesians 3:15). We can serve with them while we continue to love our physical family.

David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 24:25

But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.