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June 17, 2020 1:00 am
You will not brochure for testimonials of living faith and the first man of faith, you encounter gets killed for how many books do you think Abel would so here's faith won't get it die okay sign up now many decision card. You gotta get filled out after Abel delivers his personal testimony you ladies and gentlemen, as we explore the life of Abel. Let me remind you that Hebrews chapter 11 is not looking for decision.
It's looking more like committed the first murder story provides the first account of true and false religion. Ms. Stephen mentioned a moment ago. Abel was the first human hero and he's listed in Hebrews 11 the heroes Hall of Fame. Welcome to wisdom for the heart. Today Stephen Davey continues through his series called heroes by looking at the brief amount of information we have about Abel Ables life shows us what obedience to God.
I find it fascinating that the very first human being brought to our attention. In Hebrews 11 is a man who suffered because of his demonstration of living faith's name is able and he not only suffered but he paid the ultimate price because he died for right opened the 11th chapter of Hebrews in your almost immediately confronted with the fact that God will break every rule in a marketing campaign.
You want people to sign up for Christianity promise them a life that guarantees in a long and healthy and a happy Rose strewn path of prosperity in their journey and they may sign on see you open up God's brochure for testimonials of living faith and the first man of faith, you encounter gets killed for it. How many books do you think Abel would sell here's faith walk in it die okay sign up now many decision card. You gotta get filled out after Abel delivers his personal testimony she ladies and gentlemen, as we explore the life of Abel. Let me remind you that Hebrews Chapter 11 is not looking for decision.
It's looking for disciple take a lifetime. See Hebrews 11 is going to show us faith that is genuine over and against the artificial stuff that you can say promises every good thing so you have your Bibles in a Chapter 11. In verse four by faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain. Find out why later, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous. He was declared right before God. God testifying about his gifts and through faith, though he is dead. He still speaks. Now this text immediately takes us to the beginning of human history and informs us of some my rather dramatic things that are taking place so I want to turn back to the fuller account of Abel's testimony all the way back to the book of Genesis and you'll discover the Bible giving you a number of events we don't have time for many of them, but I want to look at some very appropriate events. If you go to chapter 3. This is just after Adam and Eve are exposed, they are confronted by God in the garden for having eaten forbidden fruit and God delivers several curses on his once innocent creation curses of the serpents there in verse 15 he says, and I will put enmity between you, Satan that is in the woman between your seed that is often following you and her see that is all who follow the one who come from her see that the reference to the virgin birth, the coming of the Messiah. He goes on to say that he shall bruise you on the head literally crush you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel you got a bruise the Messiah but is not crush you what he saying say to be able to bring about damage and destruction to the followers of this coming Redeemer including the Redeemer himself, but it'll only be temporary bruises, but he, the Redeemer will mortally wounded, crush the head of Satan in defeat. Then, in this chapter. Got delivers as his punishment upon Adam and Eve and I know you may be familiar with this and spend a lot of time here, but informs them that they're now the barred from the garden. They can't go back in and what effectively was paradise. It represented intimate worship and fellowship with God.
Their bar now just before he says about of the gardeners verse 21. I looked down there, the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and close them. This is the very first acting out of atonement.
This is the first death, which effectively covered the guilt of sin. It was the first picture of the coming Redeemer who would become the final sacrifice for sin that you know I haven't even attempted right to cover over there there guilt with fig leaves. That's the first attempt of false religion, man-made effort to hide a guilty conscience. The problem is God can see through fig leaves Anderson remains so. Instead what God does is he provides for them closing from the bloodshed of an innocent animal effectively than teachers. Adam and Eve that through the blood of an innocent animal.
Their sin would be covered temporarily while they waited for the seed of the woman becoming one who would permanently atone for the guilt of all of the sin of all mankind for all time. Everyone in the Old Testament and look forward to the cross we look back to that final expiation were of sin. So how did Adam and Eve respond though they are shamed and cursed and fallen and dejected and sorrowful, they trusted in the atoning work of God, and they choose to trust him as they are expelled from the garden and we know that because of the very next chapter, notice chapter 4 and verse one we read how the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain and she said I have gotten a man child with the help of the Lord.
In other words what that informs us is instead of rebelling against God in anger instead of rejecting the atoning planet.she's maintaining a trust in God and here in the delivery room. She is praising God for the birth of her son and more than that she's naming him Cain which means to get to get something or even more would really he is here the one I've gotten back many Old Testament scholars believe she's actually referring back to the earlier promise of the man child coming to redeem them and she is right here effectively thinking he's in. He's here, the Redeemer has come, and she praises God that she has delivered him now. She's not exactly right. And she fact. Unfortunately, Cain will not be mankind's Redeemer, he will become mankind's first murderer.
He won't give life he will take life soon after the birth of Cain were not told how long Eve bears their second son able now able and can grow up first to basically summarize it. They grow up in one of them decides to get his major and animal husbandry, and the other son decides to major in agriculture. Keep in mind their growing up outside the garden fully aware of their parents history there there fully aware of God's system of sacrifice and atonement, fully aware of the promise of the coming sacrifice. The Redeemer and we know that because of verse three. Notice so it came about in the course of time Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the grand now it came about in the course of time that phrase is an expression for an annual event. You could write in the margin of your Bible.
The word yearly or annually.
The End of Days can literally be translated. The revolution of days the end of the year that we would love to have a lot more information given to us, but we take the implications. What we can read we can put some of these clues together. This was evidently standard seizure.
Cain and Abel did not come up with the idea of the of atonement.
It was handed down to them by Adam and Eve again were not given the detailed curriculum of their religious you know education at home, but the actions of these two sons are consistent with an awareness of what God has done what God is requiring in this post garden existence regarding sacrifice C. Was it was a man's idea to come up with an altar is not some man's creation. It was a man's idea. Hey, I teach some stones up on top of each other. Let's kill an innocent animal in and burn it on an altar hardly got it obviously given to mankind the way to approach him and it was through blood sacrifice so I could just stop for a moment and give you a very very quick four point overview here's what's happening in early human history in Genesis chapter 1 you're taking notes you have, the creation of man by God in Genesis chapter 2 you have communion between man and God. In Genesis chapter 3 you have corruption away from God and in Genesis chapter 4. You have confession toward God, creation of man by God. Communion between man and God. Corruption away from God and confession toward God, confession is nothing less then a statement of faith. Though Mr. it's a statement of faith in God's mercy by way of blood sacrifice. The innocent dieting for the guilty none of his first three again came about in the course of time to Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel on his part. Also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portion… No, the animal was already dead is Artie separated. Others already instruction given him on how to offer fat and have all the rest of the and the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering. But for Cain and for his offering he had no regard now. Frankly, you know, most people unfortunately believe it, that Cain got the short end of the straw. I mean, how unlucky can he give hee hee even in the farming and his brother when in the livestock when you know it got preferred livestock. The vegetables in and for Cain must've been thinking what a bummer.
I I chose the wrong career that is in Cain's problem and that isn't God's problem with Cain's offering. Based on the collation of events found in the first five chapters of Genesis and to the sleep of all the detailed we have enough clues regarding the age of Adam. The ages of his sons at least fairly closely. Cain and Abel and said, Old Testament scholars place.
Cain get this at around 120 years of age when this event occurs in Genesis chapter 4 that is really significant to understand.
Cain was at least 120 years of age and Abel not too far behind to keep in mind before the flood. These early forefathers lived hundreds of years. In fact, Adam died when he was 930 years old. That's a lot of candles on your pancakes well here yet. Cain and enable relatively then young there in their hundreds that's that's the be good. And the point is, and this is significant that the Cain and Abel have offered individual sacrifices to God for at least 100 years said their first time, only this time recorded here. Cain effectively says tired, I get animals for my brother.
You know I don't got to his ranch again. Just as significant to God. I'm working just as hard as anybody else was a big deal this year.
This year I'm going to do it my way to bring my blue ribbon vegetables and fruit and I would offer them on the altar to God's.
And you know this also tells us, tells us that Satan, the deceiver has not been on vacation. He's been working for more than 100 years with the same strategy he used on Cain's mother. Cain eventually falls basically for the same lying used a century earlier when the serpent whispered into the ear of his mother. Did God really mean that income on RG taking God's word a little too seriously. Why, why would God bother you got a perfect attendance record at the altar hundred years nevermind it's fruit from the ground that.by the way, has cursed this time do it your way. So after approaching God, perhaps for 100 years earlier. This time Cain says I'm going to approach God with the work of my hands nevermind is from the fruit of ground cursed I'm sure God will mark you know we have here we have in this text, the beginning of the history of world religions. This is where it all starts. I mean they all look good to it all kinda looks the same likes the taste. You can look at it, you can't really tell the difference to me. Think about it. Have in Genesis chapter 4. Both Cain and Abel are coming to the prescribed place of sacrifice. They both seem to want to please God. They both seem to want to worship God. They both come at the prescribed annual season worship.
They both come to use the altar. They both demonstrate faith in an invisible God that he would be pleased, but one of them is artificial and the other one is genuine.
If you take a closer look here and Abel is obedient to God's plan of forgiveness and atonement.
Cain is disobedient to God's plan. Abel is bringing what God wanted. Cain is bringing what he wanted. A ball is following divine revelation.
Cain is following human reason.
Abel is this is the most important part is coming by way of the promise of a future cross and chain is ignoring the way of the cross that Jude 11 all the way over nudging right up against the book of Revelation, Jude refers to religious systems categorically by saying they are the way of Cain. There is a way of Cain. Cain becomes an example throughout human history not of genuine faith but of religious works, religious systems. They say we believe in a higher deity.
We want to worship this higher deity, we were committed to religious practices. Religious works in, but in the meantime were going to deny the specific satisfactory atoning work of the Messiah on the cross for our sin. That is the way of Cain, let me bring to God. What I've produced some Cain is simply offering his version of fig leaves the God. The problem is you can't get back to God. Your way. In fact, the way that God is barred from the garden of Eden in the fall of man all the way through the Old Testament and up to the cross of Jesus Christ, God will clearly illustrate that the way back to him is under lock and key.
And you gotta have the right key show you what I mean little further what you see here in Genesis 4 is Cain and Abel coming with her offering that is no need of building an altar here and you'll find them doing that. That's because the altar already exists. They been using it for 100 years, Cain and able to not only have a prescribed time for worship at the end of days annually. They not only have a prescribed manner of how to approach God through animal sacrifice, but they also had a place to worship were told when Adam and Eve left the garden, God assigned a pair of cherubim.
Remember warrior angels. They were and they were assigned to guard the garden and were told specifically in chapter 3 in verse 24 of Genesis that they guarded the entrance to the garden on the east side, preventing mankind from reentering many believe it would be at that place right there in the presence of those cherubim or nearby with a flaming sword. It would be at that place were adamant even later there sons. The place that marked their exile the place where the curse was delivered of a promised Redeemer, the place where they would long to regain fellowship. It would be that place where they would come to offer God.prescribed atoning sacrifice correctly. I will find it coincidental at all that the priests would later approach worshiping God both in the tabernacle and the temple by entering from the east side were not told how long these charity guarded the garden of Eden. They may very well and stayed until the flood of Noah wiped mankind off the face of the earth. Just a few chapters later Genesis chapter 7 and that flood reshaped the topography of earth, and that catastrophic event. And of course because the garden to be no more but get this, even after the flood. The memory of the fall of man and the exile of mankind from Paradise that that garden.
The memory of the cherub beam which guarded the entrance of the garden in the presence of God. God wanted kept alive, God did not want mankind to forget. So as Israel departs from Egypt. Years later, during the time of Moses.
God gives instructions related to the construction of the tabernacle. This is that movable meeting place in the center was the holy of holies were interested.
The ark of the covenant.
A golden box containing the law tablets delivered by Moses to the people. It was a place of God's unique presence. Priests could come into the room just outside the holy of holies a place called the holy a room called the holy place where they performed a number of sacred duties, but a heavy curtain separated the holy place, from the holy of holies. And God prescribed in Exodus chapter 26 that Israelite seamstresses were to embroider into the fabric of that curtain. The figures of cherubim to deliver the message the cherub beam are still guarding the way back.
It's it's under lock and key.
Effectively advanced the people could sacrifice to God at a distance not far away. Later the temple was built and once again huge cherubim were sewn into the curtain leading into the holy of holies to signify once again access is restricted. The idea of God walking with you in the cool of the day that's over. God doesn't want mankind to forget why and how to approach him. In fact, in the temple.
I have read that they had paid sculpted cherub beam standing guard in the inner sanctuary first Kings 615 feet high with their wings spread out 15 feet wide. When you walk in their nearest rock with post warrior angels are still guarding the way. How do we ever get past imposing impressive see the message from the garden of Eden is alive and well, you can't come in here, but you can sacrifice nearby. As I've prescribed, even now, as Horatius Boehner wrote a poem that said it so well. He said this note with my hands of Don can save my guilty soul, not what my toiling flesh is born can make my spirit hold by work alone.
Oh Christ can ease this weight of sin, thy blood alone, O Lamb of God can give me peace within. No other work saved by no other blood will do no strength save that which is divine can bear me safely through Jesus paid it all beloved. Everything else is fig leaves everything else is religion.
Everything else is the way of Cain and Abel. By the way beak begins this legacies the first person in Hebrews 11 he practiced outside the garden. What Jesus would submit to in the garden. See Ables sacrifice was one Lamb for one person later came Passover. It would be one Lamb for one family then later came the annual sacrifice on the day of atonement. It would be one Lamb for one nation and then came the Messiah, the seed of the woman virgin born, the Redeemer, and it would be one Lamb for the entire what is Mr. able.
This hero of faith during the day.
I think he would gladly sing with us lyrics. My faith has found a resting place, not in device Creed. I trust the ever living one is wounds for me shall plead I need no other argument I need no other plea. It is enough. Jesus died that he died for me. I hope the lyrics to that song resonate with your heart today. Our faith rests totally and completely in Christ there is nothing else we need. I'm glad you joined us today. This is wisdom for the heart with pastor and author Stephen Davey the lesson you heard today is called beyond the cherubim and it comes from our series out of Hebrews 11 called heroes by now many of you have received copies of our new magazine heart-to-heart we be really interested to learn what you think and hear any comments or feedback you have, send an email to email@example.com and if you haven't received a copy include your full mailing address so that we can add join us again tomorrow for our next lesson here on wisdom for the heart