It's Tuesday, so we're going to hit two birds with one stone and have both the sermon recap and the sermon addendum post put together. One thing I am considering is that, since we only do one sermon per Sunday around here, doing that on a regular basis anyway.
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Sermon Recap for May 28 2023
Here is what you’ll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You’ll also find the embedded YouTube videos of each sermon.
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Now, on to the "addendum" portion:
Genesis 4 picks up the story of the first family in Creation: Adam and Eve and the birth of their first child, Cain. His birth gets a verse. Abel, his younger brother, gets a verse.
And that leaves a decently large number of gaps in the story. First, of course, we can see that years pass by that are summarized simply by the statement that "Abel took care of flocks, Cain cultivated the ground." How many years? We don't know. Most likely less than 130, because Genesis 5:3 tells us that Seth is born when Adam's at 130.
How did they learn these skills? Did they have other options? Does the typical depiction of raw cavemen developing agriculture fit here? Or did Adam and Eve leave the orchard with more knowledge and skill and it was easier to develop life?
I think we do them a disservice to make them low-intelligence, barely-human individuals. Keep in mind, childbirth is not an easy thing to deal with--even in modern day, women still die from complications of childbirth (and more in the US than almost any other 'developed' nation, which we should see as shameful because it is; no reason for a woman to be 10 times more likely to die from medical pregnancy complications in the US than in New Zealand), but Eve has both Cain and Abel and hardly anything is said about challenges from this.
That's not an ignorant first couple, folks. We do them a disservice when we wholesale copy the evolutionary mindset onto the first chapters of Genesis and make Adam and Eve and their immediate descendants barely competent with life.
Onward we go: there is an interesting fill-in from the LXX (Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures) in Genesis 4:8, because the available Hebrew text does not have what Cain said. It just kind of hangs there...Cain said to Abel his brother... and then nothing.
We will jump ahead to address a wrong-headed nonsense that shows up from time-to-time: there is just no justification to think the "Mark of Cain" (Genesis 4:15 references the Lord putting a special mark on Cain) has any connection to a racial or ethnic concept. This also comes up later, after the Flood, with Ham and Canaan. It is an abhorrent twisting of the Word of God to justify racial hatred. Don't do it. And it does NOT matter which of your theological heroes said, he was wrong.
Moving on: we wrap the chapter with Cain's descendants, including the infamous Lamech who threatens extra vengeance for something as simple as a wound. You also get the implication that many of those who started or popularized various skills are in Cain's descendants. This is another space where we are short on information: obviously, Cain has a wife. Who is she? From whence did she come? The logical answer is...his sister. We're not fond of that answer, but it is difficult to find a better one.
The chapter closes on a somewhat higher note, as Seth is born, seen by Eve as the replacement for Abel. Seth's line begins, and "at that time, men began to call on the name of the Lord."
That's a good step. Probably, one could craft a whole sermon on that idea but I didn't :)
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