Thursday, 28 June 2012


The problem with human beings is that they want their own way - all of us, not just the bad among us. Cain in the Bible is the story behind how we start off with our own ideas and but end up where God did not want us to be. In Genesis 4:3-5 we read,

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And  Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering,  but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast (NIV).

Cain had received an invitation from God to make a sacrifice to Him. God wanted a relationship with Cain but sin stood in the way. He called both Cain and Abel to bring a sacrifice. In the New Testament we see Jesus is the appropriate sacrifice but in Cain's time God had provided for an animal substitute until He arrived. 

God saw that Abel had been obedient and had brought the right sacrifice - the firstborn of the flock - and looked on the obedience favourably. He also saw the disobedience of Cain and showed displeasure at it. 

Cain was angry. Why? Cain had brought the best fruits of his labour. This Cain reasoned ought to be acceptable to God but it was not. God knew what sacrifice was acceptable to Him. Cain's opinion was not required. The fruit of Cain's best labour was not what was required. What was required was a substitute for Cain's death which justice required in order to pay for his sin. This meant an animal had to die in his place. 

Cain did not want something or someone to pay for his sin. He was a good person and his willingness to give God a present that had cost him dearly should have been enough. His pride stood in the way of reconciling with God. In Genesis 4:6 we see God's response to Cain's anger.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. ”

God was willing to overlook his disobedience and his pride and offered again to accept him upon acceptable obedience. He got another chance. This was a good deal. Cain should have taken it. 

Once again, admitting he was originally wrong went too much against his pride and he refused. The result was as God said. Sin was at his door and it took him prisoner. So he went from being a sinner, alienated from God to being a prison of Satan and God's enemy. This has serious consequences.

 While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 

The enmity between Cain and a righteous God turned into enmity between Cain and righteous Abel. He was jealous of Abel's favour and blessing. When God asked Cain, "Where is Abel?", he lied.
“I don’t know, ” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 

Cain had gone from disobedience and pride to jealousy to murder to lying. You see sin is all connected. It is all unrighteous. God punished Cain. He exiled him from Eden and he went to the land of Nod and built a city that he named after his son. God marked him so that nobody would take vengeance on him.

When Jesus came to Earth He was met by John the Baptist declaring, "Repent for the Kingdom of God is near." He was a type of Abel. Jesus was baptized to fulfill righteousness in obedience to God. Others too heard and obeyed.

But there were also those priests, scribes and elders who challenged Jesus's authority. They refused to believe he had the authority to forgive sins despite his miracles. They became angry when he raised Lazarus from the dead. They turned against Him. They plotted against him and then they murdered him. Then, when he rose from the dead, they claimed the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb had fallen asleep, while the disciples stole the body. They lied. Forty years later the Romans came, captured the rebellious Jews and sold them as slaves around the world - exile.

Does this sound familiar? They showed disobedience and pride in refusing to accept God's requirements. Hatred and envy then led them to murder their brother. To cover the murder they lied and eventually were sent into exile. Yet, anybody who harmed the Jews was cursed, e.g. Germany. It is the story of Cain and Abel all over again! 

Let us remember above all that the same thing can happen to us if we are not obedient to God's requirements.


  1. Wow...Thought provoking revelation of scripture. Thank you for taking the time to apply insight to truth, and unpacking these incredible Godly principles. Some self examination is in next on my list. Gail

  2. I love the way you write have a way of drawing people in and getting your point across with conviction! Keep up the good work...