This week we are thinking about the second question in our series on "Questions God Asks." It is the question God asks of Cain after he had killed his brother Abel. At first glance it seems like simply a question of location: "Where is your brother Abel?" But upon further reflection we realize that God knows where Abel is, he is dead. We then realize that the question is intended to draw Cain into a deeper conversation about sin and its consequences. It is also intended to teach us something about attitude and motivation. Cain's offering revealed something about Cain's heart. It was not much of a sacrifice and that was not such a big deal to the Lord. Cain could learn; he could have tried again: "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?" This was not intended to be his final opportunity to learn how to worship. Instead, he became angry and took out his anger on Abel. He was in fact his brother's keeper though he denied it. The word for "keeper" here is the same word that is used in Genesis 2:15 where Adam is charged to "take care of" the earth. We are to be both "Earth Keepers" and "Brother Keepers." We have a responsibility both to the land and to our fellow men and women. Cain's attitude and motivation help us to see that the sins of Adam and Eve have spread to their children, in fact the sin had deepened and worsened. Sin spreads! It is hard to contain; like a virulent disease. Cain's behaviour reveals his jealousy, his anger and his inability or unwillingness to deal with or communicate with God, so that he could understand and accept God's desire for him. In the end he moves further away from the Lord's presence. Living just East of Eden, Cain's location is a fitting reminder of the consequences of failing to deal with our sin. We live just outside the Lord's presence when we fail to come to terms with our heart attitudes. Hebrews 12:22-24 encourages us to remember that the Lord Jesus' blood also calls out from the ground but its message is one of hope and forgiveness. We must listen and respond to his mercy. Questions for Discussion: 1. Slide 2. Have you ever thought about questions as a learning technique and not just a way to reveal someone's knowledge of a subject? In what ways have questions prompted you to think more clearly or discover truth? 2. Slide 10. Independence or "doing things my way" is a deadly peril for followers of Jesus. Why? What was wrong with Cain's sacrifice and motivation? 3. Slide 11. What does this chapter tell us about the progression of sin compared to the story of Eve and the counsel of the serpent? How does God's advice differ from the serpent's? 4. Slide 12. Do we take out our anger toward God on others? How and when? What is a better way of handling our disappointments with God? 5. Slide 13-14. How do the consequences of sin in Cain's life compare to the consequences of sin today in our lives? What were those consequences in our text? 6. Slide 16. What is the "better word" that the blood of Jesus says from the ground?