LISTEN: Failure Upon Failure, Part 1 (The Covenant & the Cross #39)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

[ca_audio url_mp3=”″ url_ogg=”” download=”true” align=”none”] (Download/Listen to MP3)

This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is Genesis 4:1-2 which reads: “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”

Allow me to share with you some further commentary on this passage from the Reformation Study Bible by Dr. R.C. Sproul::

The Hebrew word for “know” is used to denote the sexual intimacy of the marriage relationship.

Humans, both originally and presently, owe their existence to God. Woman originally came from the man, now man comes forth from the woman. The sexes are dependent on one another, and both are dependent on God.

The name Abel means “breath,” “vapor,” or “nothing” with the connotation of “perishable,” a somber prophecy of what follows.

In spite of Adam’s Fall, humans still carry out the cultural mandate to manage the earth’s resources.

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Thomas Huxley. He said: “The Bible has been the Magna Carta of the poor and oppressed. The human race is not in a position to dispense with it.”

Our topic for today is titled: “Failure Upon Failure (Part 1)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

We noted earlier that the book of Genesis seems to be divided into three major sections, the first of which runs up to Genesis 11:27 (a verse that introduces the toledot of Terah, the father of Abraham). My suggestion was that this section sets the stage for the original audience at Sinai by showing how the world became the mess we see today. We have seen the first failure of humankind in the Fall. The rest of this section traces at least six other major failures.

As we pick up the account in Genesis 4, we note that Eve bears her first son, Cain. She declares, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man,” a statement that can also be translated, “I have acquired a man, the LORD.” Apparently Eve feels that he is the one promised in Genesis 3:15 (who by the time He comes will be given the title Messiah). Soon, Cain is followed by his brother Abel, although no particular importance is attached to his birth.

We are told very little about the two boys. It is clear that Genesis 4:2 covers a lot of time—from Abel’s birth to the point where both were occupied with their careers. We are told nothing about the rest of the family, although it is apparent from later comments that Adam and Eve had more children. In fact, it would appear that Cain, if not Abel, was married by the time of the incident. The important point is how the family demonstrates the pattern of failure we have already noted.

The two brothers were very different, one choosing to grow crops and the other to tend flocks. This observation makes a very interesting statement about the economic situation. When Adam was driven from the garden, it was to “cultivate the ground.” At this stage, humankind was still on a vegetarian diet (which apparently did not change until after the Flood). The only use of animals mentioned to this point was when God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve to take the place of fig leaves. This information suggests that the primary purpose of keeping the flocks was to provide animals that could be slain for garments; thus animal sacrifice was meant to remind humans of the seriousness of the event that made clothes a necessity. Other subsidiary purposes might include milk and other dairy products, although we have no information on that point.

Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic in our next broadcast/podcast.


Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that the most important thing you should know about the Bible is that it is the story of God working to save humanity from sin and the consequences of sin. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve on Himself. Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today, all you have to do is believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” and you will be saved. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

Until next time, remember the word of God is the foundation to a successful life. God bless.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of thirty-four books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.