ABEL – What did the first family know? (Lesson 2)

We can’t begin to know all they knew, since perfected intelligence has gone downhill from the first sin, and the Word of God records a limited account of these things. However, we have enough smarts left inside our 21st century minds to surmise some pretty accurate knowledge of what the first family knew, when the evidence within the Word of God is examined.

Adam and Eve knew the LORD God, and His expectations for them. They were able to speak to God, and hear His Words, and be in His presence before they betrayed Him with their disobedience. They were intimately associated with His walks in the Garden, and knew His nature and His will and His love for them.

Genesis 2:15 (KJV 1900)
15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it… (Genesis 2:15)

Genesis 3:8 (KJV 1900)
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)

They knew the LORD God’s expectations for them to be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue, and have dominion over the earth.

Genesis 1:28 (KJV 1900)
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28)

Adam knew the names of all the Creations of the LORD God, because he named them as the LORD God brought them to him. They lived in the most beautiful of all created gardens, and walked among all of the perfection that God made.

Genesis 2:19–20 (KJV 1900)
19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:19-20)

Adam knew the woman that was created from a rib of his body by the LORD God. He recognized that the woman was part of him, and named her woman, because she was taken out of him.

Genesis 2:21–23 (KJV 1900)
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (Genesis 2:21-23)

They knew how to multiply the earth by knowing each other intimately. Adam knew that the child conceived by their union was actually given to them by the LORD God, and not just the father and mother’s creation alone. While the parents union formed the fetus, it was the surge of God’s power within the womb that created life given by Him.

Genesis 4:1
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” (Genesis 4:1)

Adam and Eve knew that there were two trees whose fruit was prohibited to eat. Scripture records these were the fruit that gives knowledge of the difference between evil and good, and the fruit that gives eternal life. One tree, the fruit revealing evil and good, was eaten by Adam and Eve at the tempting of Satan in the form of a serpent. After eating the fruit, Adam and Eve understood their nakedness and separation from the LORD God as a result of their disobedient actions.

They also knew that the Tree of Eternal Life was barred from them by guarding Cherubims and flaming swords, preventing the eating of that fruit.

Genesis 3:24
“So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24)

At that point, Adam and Eve had perfect intelligence, knowledge of good and evil, and only needed to have eternal life to become gods.

Genesis 3:22
“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” (Genesis 3:22)

The knowledge that Adam and Eve possessed as a result of their lives moving in the midst of God’s perfect creations, does not stop as a result of their sin against Him. In fact, it was their sin that gave them new understanding of the LORD God, their Creator. At the time of their disobedience, they saw His anger, judgment, and punishment come to bear upon them.

All participants in the sinful acts against God were punished by Him. Eve’s sorrows were multiplied in childbirth, and her husband was placed as head over her.

Genesis 3:16
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Genesis 3:16)

The serpent was made to crawl upon his belly, destined to eat dust all the days of his life, and enmity placed between the serpent and the woman, and his seed and her seed.

“And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 4:14, 15)

However, it is the specific punishment given to Adam for his disobedience that becomes an integral clue to the account of Cain and Abel’s offerings to God; it gives the key to understanding the motives of both boys’ motives later on.

Genesis 3:17-19
“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)

Note the words “cursed is the ground.” No longer was the ground a producer of the best fruits by the moving of the LORD God. From that moment on, the cursed ground would produce thorns and thistles; it would take the sweat and hard work of the man to bring forth food fit to eat. Death would be brought to man as a result of his sin against God, and he was cursed to become the same dust that he was created from!

Adam heard the punishment meted out by the LORD God. He had perfect intelligence, he knew he had done wrong in his disobedience, he knew the power of God, and he knew the punishment that was given. Moreover, he heard the cursing that was placed upon the LORD God’s creation!

What first was created in perfection was changed to imperfection by the Creator with His curse. The ground would no longer feed mankind with enticing flavors and fruitful growth without great effort. THE GROUND WAS CURSED!

Genesis 3:17-19
“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)

Which brings us to the point of this part of the lesson…it’s time for you to make an assumption. Here are your two choices:

1. Either Adam and Eve told their sons Cain and Abel about their experiences in the Garden of Eden, and how they came to be kicked out of the Garden as a result of their disobedience, and the resulting punishment by the LORD God. In other words, they passed on their knowledge, gained by experience, as all other forms of life pass survival knowledge to their offspring.

2. Or Adam and Eve chose to keep Cain and Abel in the dark concerning the things of God, and never spoke about the “curse” that was placed upon the earth.

Only one assumption, however, comes with support in the Word of God. If Cain and Abel are presenting offerings to the LORD God, they must surely have knowledge of His Things. Therefore, it is apparent that Adam and Eve had shared the knowledge of the LORD God with their sons, and all parties were familiar with the past punishments given by God to those who approached him with sin. If they had not been made aware of the past experience of their parents, then Cain and Abel would not have offered gifts to the LORD God. Their offerings to Him are strong evidence that their parents had told them of their intimate relationship with the LORD God before and after the fall as well as His will for the boys to serve Him.

In direct words, Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel were fully aware that the LORD God had “CURSED” the ground, as punishment for sin. Cain and Abel were intelligent human beings, and knew the accounts of the beginning Creation of the LORD God. They were raised by their parents to honor Him and offer gifts to Him because He was their God. It was the possession of this intelligent knowledge of God’s will, passed on to the boys by their parents, that reveals the awful and arrogant sin of Cain, and the righteous and glorious offering given in faith by Abel.

Genesis 4:3-8
“And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 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: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.”

“And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

“And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” (Genesis 4:3-8)