Welcome to Coffee with Christ. I’m Nikol Jones and you are listening to episode 4.
This is a place where we put normal, ordinary relationship practices to use in our time with God. Hopefully, it is a time marked on your calendars daily. If not, you have come to a great place to start making an appointment for visiting with Him each day.
This is not your normal podcast. I don’t talk too terribly much and there are lots of pauses to give you time to breathe and to listen. If you’re new here, go back and listen to the Introduction episode. It will help you get the gist of things so there are no surprises.
These episodes are around 20 minutes and the plan is to post them every work day until we get to the end of Genesis. If you need more time on any given section, just hit pause. Remember, not rushing is what makes this time with Him more beautiful.
Let’s get started by taking a deep breath,
By releasing the stresses of the day,
And by being still.
There are many things that keep us up at night. And there are more tasks to be done than we can sometimes manage to do in our boundary of time. If you find your thoughts are swirling and can’t seem to get a handle on them, use the next few minutes to speak them out loud or to write them all out. Ask God to shift your focus from those things to the things of Heaven.
We are cruising through the book of Genesis. In the first two chapters, we heard the creation story. We heard about the gifts and the boundaries God placed on Adam & Eve.
Yesterday, we read about the Fall of Mankind. How Adam & Eve violated the boundaries God set before them. And we heard about a Just and Compassionate God who pursued His people in their sin and made a covering for their shame.
Let’s listen to the New Living Translation of Genesis chapter 4. I use this translation of the Bible a lot because it is more conversational. So, if you are following along in your Bible, the words will more than likely be just a bit different. Let’s get started:
Cain and Abel
Now Adam* had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the Lord’s help, I have produced* a man!” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother and named him Abel.
When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. 3 When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.
6 “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.”* And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.
9 Afterward the Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?”
“I don’t know,” Cain responded. “Am I my brother’s guardian?”
10 But the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! 11 Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has swallowed your brother’s blood. 12 No longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.”
13 Cain replied to the Lord, “My punishment* is too great for me to bear! 14 You have banished me from the land and from your presence; you have made me a homeless wanderer. Anyone who finds me will kill me!”
15 The Lord replied, “No, for I will give a sevenfold punishment to anyone who kills you.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who might try to kill him. 16 So Cain left the Lord’s presence and settled in the land of Nod,* east of Eden.
The Descendants of Cain
17 Cain had sexual relations with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain founded a city, which he named Enoch, after his son. 18 Enoch had a son named Irad. Irad became the father of* Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech.
19 Lamech married two women. The first was named Adah, and the second was Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the first of those who raise livestock and live in tents. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal, the first of all who play the harp and flute. 22 Lamech’s other wife, Zillah, gave birth to a son named Tubal-cain. He became an expert in forging tools of bronze and iron. Tubal-cain had a sister named Naamah. 23 One day Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
listen to me, you wives of Lamech.
I have killed a man who attacked me,
a young man who wounded me.
24 If someone who kills Cain is punished seven times,
then the one who kills me will be punished seventy-seven times!”
The Birth of Seth
25 Adam had sexual relations with his wife again, and she gave birth to another son. She named him Seth,* for she said, “God has granted me another son in place of Abel, whom Cain killed.” 26 When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ge 4). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
May God bless the reading and hearing of His word.
I don’t know about you, but this passage was a little confusing, and sometimes it is hard to pinpoint exactly what we should focus on. As you listened, did anything come to mind? Focus on what jumped out at you.
If nothing came to mind, did anything surprise you or confuse you? Take those questions to the One who knows everything. Ask him to provide clarity and trust that He will at the proper time.
Sometimes, it helps us to remember what God did in this passage.
We see him pursue Cain in the midst of his anger…
And we see Him continue to follow Cain even when that anger led him to sin…
We see God invoke consequences for murdering his brother…
And we see God protecting Cain’s life despite his sin…
And, finally, we see – as the chapter closes – God restoring the son Eve lost with the birth of Seth.
And God restored.
What characteristics do these actions reveal about who God is? Is there one that sticks out to you? One you need to take to heart?
As you think about God’s character, how do you need to respond? Do you need to confess a sin? Do you need him to adjust a bad attitude towards something or someone?
Do you to believe in a God who restores?
Take another minute, to adjust your perspective in light of who God is.
What is one thing you can do today that will help you remember what you just learned about God?
As usual, take another couple of minutes to ease yourself back into your day. Take a few minutes to reflect on what you learned or pray for someone who needs encouragement. How might you be the one to encourage them today?
I hope you enjoyed this 4th episode of Coffee with Christ.
If you love it, pass it along to your friends or leave a comment about the podcast in iTunes or wherever you listen. Let’s invite someone to be changed by God’s word because it changes us verse by verse and chapter by chapter.
I hope you have a wonderful day and that you will join me tomorrow for the next episode.
1 * 4:1a Or the man; also in 4:25.
2 * 4:1b Or I have acquired. Cain sounds like a Hebrew term that can mean “produce” or “acquire.”
3 * 4:8 As in Samaritan Pentateuch, Greek and Syriac versions, and Latin Vulgate; Masoretic Text lacks “Let’s go out into the fields.”
4 * 4:13 Or My sin.
5 * 4:16 Nod means “wandering.”
6 * 4:18 Or the ancestor of, and so throughout the verse.