| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 49 - Page 156 of 179 Index | Zoom | |
excuse. This leads us to consider the two opposing ways of approach to God recorded in
Genesis which are linked with Cain and Abel. Let no one think that the antiquity of this
subject makes it quite irrelevant today. It is basic for all time. God Himself has provided
the way back to Himself for sinful man. He has provided one only, but it is all sufficient.
The tragedy is that millions ignore it.
pp. 141 - 146
The Two Ways --- The Way of Cain and the Way of Abel.
Having considered the basic teaching that is inherent in the `two coverings' revealed
in the early chapters of Genesis, we now note that there are two opposing ways which are
illustrated in the actions of Cain and Abel. Before we consider this, it will be helpful to
realize that redemption does not stand alone in Scripture. It is followed and completed by
atonement and these are not just two ways of saying the same thing, as so many
Christians think. The former gives us our exodus, the way out from sin, bondage and
death, whereas the latter gives us our access into the presence of a holy God, our way in,
and this is associated with the worship of the One Who has redeemed us.
At the east of the garden of Eden the Lord placed the cherubim and a flaming sword
which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life. Here the word `placed' is the
Hebrew shaken, familiar to many in the term "the shekinah glory". This gives us the
word `tabernacle'. At the east end of the garden which our first parents lost, was erected
the first place of worship for man who had sinned. The cherubim, subsequently found in
the Ark which was placed in the Tabernacle (Exod. 25: 18), are an integral part of the
Mercy Seat (note the marginal reading at verse 19). This blood-stained Mercy Seat was a
picture of the propitiation which the Lord Jesus, centuries later, was to make on Calvary's
cross (Rom. 5: 13-15). The rich teaching associated with the cherubim rests squarely in
the redemptive work of Christ and the last references to them are found in the Book of
the Revelation, where unfortunately the A.V. speaks of them as `the four beasts'.
"Living ones" is what John wrote and they are not to be confused with the wild beasts
representing Satan's kingdom in this great prophecy. This last book of the Bible deals
with `the restoration of all things spoken by all the holy prophets' which relate to the
setting up of the earthly phase of the kingdom of God, when Christ at last will reign
supreme over the earth.
In Genesis, the flaming sword that turned every way to keep or guard the way of the
tree of life was not there just as a barrier or a threat, for the word shamar is translated
many times `preserve', and ultimately that sword was to `awake' and `smite' the
Shepherd (Zech. 13: 7) not the sheep. We are not told that Adam and Eve drew near to
worship at any time. Their story illustrate the two coverings; it is left to their two sons to
set forth the two ways of approach to God.