Genesis 4:1-16, Genesis 8:15-22
Sin Attacks – Family and Religion; Ignorance and Anger
Gen 1-11: Parabolic stories. Twists to make us think. How did we get in alienation and exile?. 1: Creation of Cosmos. 2: Creation of Human. 3: Knowing good and evil and exile from life.
Gen 4: Sin emerges: Family/brothers. Religion. Cain and Abel bring offerings. God’s two views! Most striking is what we don’t know! Why does God favor Abel? Justified? Arbitrary? No explanation given. Humans, like Job, want to know “Why?” We must deal with not knowing.
Cain burns in anger. Unfair to me. God comes but doesn’t explain. “Go forward. Do the good you can do.” Anger at God/Abel is the opening for sin to attack. You must rule over it. But rage empowers sin, breaks relationship of brothers. Murder. Uncaring. The ground exiles Cain, people threaten him, but God is still gracious and protects him even in wandering.
Paul also personifies sin using a good command to kill. Jesus: don’t react to evil and be drawn in.
Floods Don’t Work to Turn Hearts from Evil
How does God deal with sin? 10 long generations ... evil and violence. God regrets creation! Wipe sin off the earth. Start new with Noah. The Flood is an interim story (like making animals), not the great narrative (Abraham...). Fascinating details about ark, flood, birds.
But what God sees after the flood is that it didn’t work. We learn a Human heart universally inclines to evil. Weakness, meanness show even in Noah. The earth is good but suffers under human rule. The failure points to why God chooses such a long road to deal with sin: Abram, Israel, Moses, David ... Messiah, all the world. God stays with broken people.