BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 5, Day 5: Genesis 4:17-24

Summary of passage:  Cain lay with his wife and she gave birth to Enoch.  Cain then built a city and named it after his son.  Enoch had Lamech who married two women.  These sons raised livestock, invented the harp and flute, and all kinds of tools.  Lamech bragged to his wives about killing a man and how he will be avenged.

Adam and Eve had a son named Seth to replace Abel.  Abel had a son named Enosh.


12)  It had to have been his sister.  No other people were on Earth at the time.

13a)  Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.

b)  Jabal was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock

c)  Tubal-Cain forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron

d)  Jubal was the father of all who play the harp and flute

e)  Same as d:  Jubal was the father of all who play the harp and flute

14a)  Lamech married two women, against God’s original plan of one woman and one man for marriage (Genesis 2:24) and he boasts of killing and retribution.

b)  Same answer as a.

15a)  It shows how mankind has a choice:  to obey God or not and how many choose to not obey Him.  This has been the same since the beginning of time.  It shows the ingenuity God gave man in terms of invention and the arts as man fulfills his role of caring for the world.  This is still the same today as we see new inventions since the beginning of time.

Murder is the same.  Sin is the same.  Pride, boasting, and polygamy are the same.  The sins never change.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t think I’ve ever boasted of evil especially as an adult.  Not sure how I’ve defied God.  It’s not like I’ve ever said, “Yeah, God.  I hear you but I’m going to do it anyway.”  Nope.  In fact, still waiting on God’s words and I’d love to have a conversation (that’s not quite so one-sided) with Him.

I think most of us it’s the same:  we pray; we ask God; we wait for an answer; we go the way we think He wants us to go.  It’s not defiance if we choose wrong–not by any stretch of the imagination.

Defiance according to the Internet is “open resistance and bold disobedience.”  According to Webster’s it’s “disregard and withstand.”

By these definitions, I haven’t defied God.

Conclusions:  This lesson was vague to say the least.  Twice I thought the question repetitive of one already asked and the last question (which is personal and I’m unsure why it’s not marked as such) is out of place in my opinion.  This passage is about Cain.  And he’s a murderer.  I’d like to think I’m a bit better than that.

As a Christian, I like to think I obey God.  I can see this question applying to non-Christians.  Sometimes I think these questions are negative in connotation and make us wonder if we are bad people.  It makes us doubt ourselves.

I get defensive with such questions.  Defy is a very, very strong word.  Most of us do not “defy” God.  If we do, we probably wouldn’t be in a bible study.

I would hope we don’t go around boasting of the evil we do.  I know I’m ashamed of my sins (not evil mind you) and I confess and ask for forgiveness.  I definitely don’t tell my best friend about it.

Am I wrong here?  What do you think?  Am I just getting way too defensive?  Or maybe I have defied God and just don’t know it?  See….doubting here.  I’d rather spend my time focusing on the good I do and not the bad.

This question just does not sit right with me.  It gives me a funny, uneasy feeling that I don’t like.  It seems with all the “changes” going on in BSF (of which none are official–just from what my leader has told me) I would hope questions such as this would be re-thought.  For me, I’m trying to think of what it would be like to defy God and boast of evil crimes against humanity.  And I don’t like thinking about that.  Way too much negativity in this world as it is.

Now, I could say I have defied God in the little things.  Like not loving others as I should.  Not giving as much.  Not honoring my father and mother at times when I was a teenager.  Those type of things.

It’s hard to say because 1)  We are speaking of heinous crimes such as murder and 2) the word “and” in the question could refer to only those times you have defied God AND boasted.

We all Fall.  That’s  a given.  But defiance?  Outright?  That’s much more complicated.

Still, I’ve never boasted.  If you have the Holy Spirit, even the little defiances should prevent you from boasting.  Instead, you should feel an overwhelming guilt and repentance.

I don’t know.  Interpretation of the question and speculation of its intentions.  I’m just saying how this question hit me.

Just my opinion, of course.

16 thoughts on “BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 5, Day 5: Genesis 4:17-24

  1. Right on AtoZ! I was also taken back by the personal question 15b of how I defied God and boasted of evil! Not only a bad “gotcha” question, but it seems almost to be insulting to folks taking BSF classes. Those of us in BSF love the Lord, enjoy reading and studying God’s Word, and fellowshipping with one another. Yes, we are all sinners saved by God’s grace, but this question takes it to another level of defying God and then boasting of doing evil! To defy God is to shake a fist in the face of God! I can’t imagine a true born again believer doing anything like that to God that died for me to save me from my hell-bound sin. As children of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, I cannot envision anyone in my BSF class openly defying God or consider such strong language as then boasting about doing evil!
    In giving BSF the benefit of the doubt for such a question, maybe they were asking how some folks defied God PRIOR to their salvation. Prior to God’s saving grace, some would have been on drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, etc. such as listed in Titus 3:3. Also, Romans 3:11-18 paints a not very pretty picture of what we were like before God found us and saved us! However, in general, to me Lesson 5 would not make a highlight film of excellent study questions. There were too many speculative questions, “what do you think”, personal questions, “how does this make me happy or angry”, “what’s my attitude when someone tells me I have sinned”, and on and on. AtoZ did her usual excellent job of getting to the main points. But BSF did not do their part in stimulating much meaningful discussion, at least in my humble opinion. Maybe I just had a bad hormonal week and didn’t appreciate their deeper insights!

    1. First, let us look at the meaning of defy. Defymeans to challenge the power of; resist bodly or openly. This is my opionin and my opinion only. When we defy anything that God has in place, we then are defying him. So with this is mind, I pray that God will forgive me for sin whether by omission or commision. We indeed may be defying him and not aware of it.

  2. Hi! I was a little concerned at your conclusions to the lesson. It seems pride has snuck past your door in the sense that you think you are a little better than Cain since you have not murdered. Jesus made it clear that if we have hated anyone we have murdered so I am pretty sure we would all fail that test!
    Perhaps I am a poor example of a Christian but the more surrendered I am the more I realize how disobedient I am – I want to do it my way a lot of the time! Anyway – thanks for sharing your thoughts as I do enjoy them!
    The Lord bless you as you walk in the light!
    Love – j

    1. Do you send us the questions? I would love to get them because I have to try and guess what the questions are from what the answers say. This is awesome and since I can’t go to the classes I am truly blessed!

      Love you, L

      1. No, Linda. The questions are copyrighted by BSF International and I cannot reproduce them. If you are interested, you can contact them directly and see what they say but as far as I know you have to be an attending member of the class to get the questions.

        You could mention to them the possibility of an online class (something I advocate).

        Thanks and sorry!

    2. I tend to agree with you. I too pray for our sister and pray that she will see as well when we say evil things to hurt others, we have indeed murmured.

  3. I totally agree with you. I felt the questions were trying to make me feel bad. I love the Lord and pray each day im more like His son. I appreciate your honesty.

  4. There are so many ways in which we can defy God in America without even realizing it because so many others are doing it, too. We are culturally conditioned to accept many acts of rebellion, defiance, and more to our God. Think about it. Think about the times you (me, all of us) rebelled about going to church or finding a new church after a move. Maybe we were bone weary, tired, emotionally exhausted but it was a type of defiance and excuse none the less. I know I’ve done that even as a Christian. Think about our various roads…each year…hopefully growing deeper in the Spirit. Remember that lesson in Acts where Paul admonishes the Christians to grow up and accept more responsibility and tells them they are still suckling when they should be leading and teaching and ministering and going out and reaping the harvest. What about defying God in gossip or cursing? How many have read James more than once and continue to defy God in that wee small area that we as a culture seem to tolerate? I could make a huge list for myself and others around me. (It’s always easier to see the mote in their eyes rather than the redwood tree in my own!). I think a lot of us got hung up on MURDER and boasting of EVIL because we all know that we live in a culture of “I’m okay and you’re okay.” None of us likes thinking we might be displeasing God. My mother commented the other day on the phone that she was “tired” of her pastor always harping on bad things in the news and bad behavior. She said, “I want him to be more like “Famous TV Preacher” and make me feel good for all the good things I do.” And my mother is a one woman worker outside of church…I would list all the wonderful things she does. But that isn’t what God wants of us! It isn’t just about the sacrifice but the KIND of sacrifice and the spirit in which that sacrifice is given. It’s that time of year when we all need to remind ourselves that not every single question is meant for us, not every single lesson is necessarily meant for us. It’s a snare. “Oh, BSF is asking me boring or repetive questions this week so I think I will quit.” Now, I know you guys aren’t planning on quitting but it is like the snake in the Garden. I’m not even saying that I wasn’t agreeing with some of your frustrations or comments, that’s for sure! Just that we all have to be careful. If questions are troubling you, take a break from them for a day or two and pray about them. You have the right to not answer questions if you need to do that. Sometimes when I am the most offended and resentment is the time I most need to HEAR what is being said and look for where it might be applicable in my life. “Am I making this all about me or do I need to step back and see the BIG PICTURE and all the others who might need or want to confess? Am I prideful and not willing to see those dark little corners in my life that require the light of Jesus to shine?” I think the “boasting of evil” is what hung some people up but think of the men in this study. Women in general don’t like to brag about exploits or wild pasts but many men suffer greatly in this area! Think of the young adults. For everyone who grew up in the church and whose “worst” sins are judging others (look at those tattoos or pink hair) and eating too much ice cream at the church social and gossiping (Martha just has to be in charge of the kitchen for every single potluck and never gives anyone else a chance)…there are a lot of people in BSF who have never graced the door of a church and who lived in real darkness and there are even people who grew up in the church but who harbor serious private issues with drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, adultery, pornography, child abuse, sexual abuse, and more. I dunno. I just read this question as one for me to examine areas where I have failed God and my family and myself…not as to make me feel bad but to remind me that though I am not worthy, God’s grace is sufficient for Cain and others whom I don’t even want to contemplate like child murderers in prison and it is sufficient for me. I don’t know if this helps at all but it’s where I went with this question. But I do agree it would feel safer if it was marked PERSONAL and if called upon and you don’t feel comfortable answering, say so! It happens in leaders’ circle when we do our lessons. I would imagine most groups will only ask for a volunteer on this one. This was definitely a challenging lesson in many ways.

    1. Amen to sweet mama’s comments. I haven’t murdered or done a lot of bad things as the world counts it, but relative to God’s perfection, I am definitely chief among sinners. And I am grateful to be covered by the blood of the lamb. I sin every day. I can’t even imagine a sin-free day. And I do it wilfully…thoughts about neighbors who annoy me, a sister-in-law who hates me and of course, from time-to-time I make unnecessary comments to her adult children….the lists goes on…
      Atoz, thank you so much for this blog. I always look forward to reading it. I wish you well in your journey to becoming the recognized author you long to become.

  5. Thank you very much for the comments now I know I was born a sinner and a sin is a sin in front of God whether you have murdered or steal? thank you

    1. Amen to all the comments. I am not good with words, but do appreciate the efforts each of you are making.when you comment

  6. Can I just say I AM guilty. As a believer I have committed adultry knowing all the while God was crying out to me to stop. My friend, also a believer, had an abortion because she felt she couldn’t face the consequences of the birth of that baby. I pray I never approach that road again, but I can tell you, satan sneaks in, paints it all up, and says here you go. It’s not really so bad and does God realy not want you to be happy? So, I get the question, but I think it’s aawesome that some don’t!

  7. I felt that the questions were asking for too much speculation this week. I prefer the questions to be waht the bible says not what I think might have happend. Where did he get a wife? Hmmmm….God could have made him one, God could have made other people after Adam and Eve…….God could of……………

    1. I totally agree with you. I was surprised today in my discussion group when I suggested that God could have made Cain a wife that my leader put limitations on what God could have done and said “It was his sister.” I had a very uneasy feeling about the questions for this lesson as well. I’m new to BSF. I found this blog by googling because I felt uneasy. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  8. Great discussion, ladies, it’s more fun to be totally honest here at this safe place of Atozmoms blog,huh? Thanks, Atozmom. How about this one?? Someone in my group said, it doesn’t matter when someone tells you you’ve sinned regardless if their intentions are even pure because God may still be wanting you to not be too proud to take it from an unlikely source, even an unbeliever! I was thinking, it would be hard to take and make me upset (maybe the word is mad) (that’s not very holy is it?) if I were told that in a public setting that I sinned or screwed up in public. But her advice was we must take it to God in prayer and ask Him if there is any truth to it and ask for His forgiveness. I deliberately sin, too when I know I shouldn’t do or say something but get some instant pleasure from it that is never worth it, even complaining, or saying I told you so. it’s all being Cain like. He lied, was sarcastic with God about being his. Rothers keeper,complained to God that people would want to kill him, now, felt he didn’t think he should die, and then walked away from God, never to seek Him again. It’s like hanging up on God.
    Have you ever been hung up on on the phone? It’s so rude, huh? Love to you all.

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