Cain and Abel

Genesis 4:2 …And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.


Children of Enos

Genesis 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.



Genesis 8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.



Genesis 12:7 And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.



Genesis 26:24 And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed

for my servant Abraham’s sake.

25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.



Genesis 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments.

3 And let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.


MEMORY VERSE: By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. —Hebrews 11:21


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The Bible records the manner in which the early Patriarchs worshipped God, revealing the ancient elements of worship: building an altar, offering a blood sacrifice as an atonement for transgression, calling upon God, and showing reverence, obedience, and faith.




Genesis 4:3 “Offering”: gift, oblation, meat (meal or grain) offering, present, sacrifice; From an unused root meaning to apportion, i.e. bestow; a donation; euphemistically, tribute; specifically a sacrificial offering (usually bloodless and voluntary).

8:21 “Sweet savour”: quiet, soothing, tranquilizing odor or scent. The smell of complacence, or satisfaction. God’s anger toward sin, which had caused the flood, was now over and all was at peace and rest between heaven and earth.




Cain and Abel—thought by some to have been twin brothers—both brought offerings to God. It is not mentioned whether there were altars built, nor how God chose to display His pleasure or rejection. Much conjecture has been made about this story and why God was displeased with Cain’s offering. Opinions widely differ. Two New Testament scriptures lend some meaning: Hebrews 11:4 tells us that it was “by faith” that Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. I John 3:12 alleges that Cain killed Abel because his own works were evil and Abel’s were righteous. Hebrews 11:4 also states that God testified of Abel’s gifts—plural— suggesting that he and Cain both brought a grain offering, which was a thanksgiving offering, while Abel’s additional offering of a blood sacrifice demonstrated his acknowledgement of his sinfulness and need for atonement. Cain’s lack of an animal sacrifice seems to reveal an unbelieving, unrepentant heart.

After the rejection of Cain’s sacrifice by God, his angry reaction and violent murder of his brother, God’s dealings with him showed both judgment and mercy. However, instead of repenting and turning to the Lord, Cain chose to go out from God’s presence and establish his own way in the world. From then on, the descendants of Cain were godless—the sons of men, they were called.

Two hundred and thirty-five years had elapsed between the births of Cain and Enos. There were now thousands of Cain’s descendants multiplied upon the earth. Matthew Henry comments: “The worshippers of God began to do more in religion; some, by an open profession of true religion, protested against the wickedness of the world around… Then began the distinction between professors and profane, which has been kept up ever since, and will be while the world stands.”

Now the distinction between the sons of men and the sons of God—as those who called on the name of the Lord were described—was pronounced, until in the years before the flood, intermarrying between the two led to the condition of men’s hearts described in Genesis as “only evil continually,” and only one man, Noah, was left who found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He moved with fear (reverence toward God), the Hebrews writer said, and built an ark at God’s command, saving his children and the animals from the world-wide flood. Emerging from the ark, Noah demonstrated his need for and belief in God’s atonement for sin and his thanksgiving for Divine preservation from the great flood.

The years following the flood, as mankind began following their wicked hearts once more, saw great advancements in the worship of man-made deities, the sun, moon, and stars, and other elements of nature. Again, in the midst of a world of idolatry, there was just one man, Abraham, who sought for and worshipped the true God, and his son Isaac and grandson Jacob continued to build altars in worship to God. To Abraham and to his seed God established the promise of the coming Savior, who would bless the entire earth with His salvation.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




1. The Firstlings and the Fat: What principle does this provide for us to follow in our worship today?

2. Eve’s Hope: What seed is Eve referring to when she spoke of her son Seth? What does this suggest as to her thoughts or belief in God’s promise?

3. A Sweet Savor: What characteristics in Noah’s life and offering brought about the pleasure of God?

4. Answering the Call: What response did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all give when God appeared to them? What particular response did Jacob give which concerned his household?



What kind of idolatrous worship surrounded the few ancient believers in the true God? Zondervan’s Pictorial Bible Dictionary says, “Idolatry in ancient times included two forms of departure from the true religion: the worship of false gods, whether by means of images or otherwise; and the worship of Jehovah by means of images. All the nations surrounding ancient Israel were idolatrous, although their idolatry assumed different forms. The early Semites of Mesopotamia worshiped mountains, springs, trees, and blocks of stone, in which the deity was supposed to be in some sense incarnate. The religion of the Egyptians centered mostly about the venation of the sun and of the Nile, as sources of life. They also had a number of sacred animals: the bull, cow, cat, baboon, crocodile, etc. Some of the deities had human bodies and animal heads. Among the Canaanites, religion took on a very barbarous character. The chief gods were personifications of life and fertility. The gods had no moral character whatsoever, and worship of them carried with it demoralizing practices, including child sacrifice, prostitution, and snake worship. Human and animal images of the deities were worshiped.”

After the flood, Nimrod, who built the cities of Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar, deified himself as a god above mankind. It has been suggested that the Babylonian god Marduk (Merodach, also referred to as Ba’al), who was regarded as the founder of Babylon, was, in fact, Nimrod deified. When God scattered the inhabitants of Babel, they took the worship of their gods with them. In any culture on earth you can read the mythological stories of their gods and goddess. Although their names differ, many of the stories are very similar. Every culture also has a similar story about a Great Flood. This is because they all came from one place, just as the Bible says, as survivors of that deluge.

Abraham’s father and ancestors in Ur of the Chaldees worshiped Nanna, the moon god, who was worshiped as a distant power that controlled the heavens and the life cycle on earth. He obeyed God’s call to leave behind his family, and that included their gods.

Paganism began and flourished as a result of a departure from the worship of the true God, and not the other way around, as some would believe.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




From ancient times it appears that God has had a small, separated, called-out remnant of people who loved and truly worshipped Him through faith. Although we live in what is termed “modern times,” we still desire to be a part of that holy remnant.

True worship is not something thin or shallow. Satan thought Job simply worshipped God because of all the blessings and protection that God afforded. He was wrong. When Satan had been empowered to touch all that Job had and had stripped Job of his children and financial prosperity, it is written that Job “…arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Satan, at this point, was expecting Job to curse God to his face.

How disappointed he must have been when he heard him bless the name of the Lord.

The altars were erected many times when God was revealed in a time of need. It was a place where they thanked, acknowledged, worshipped and dedicated their lives and futures more deeply to the One who had intervened in their lives.

—Bro. Bob Wilson