Cain and Abel
Here is an example of two people brought up by the same parents…..having heard of Adam’s sin….and God’s just response….
…yet….making very different decisions to these facts.
For though God sent Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden….still He set up a place where those who would, could meet with God,…..concerning their own sin, which everyone had, now. They must meet Him with a blood sacrifice….and talk with God there.
Having “drove” or expelled man from the garden, God establishes a altar protected by the Cherubim…the sword being the symbol of the Divine presence…and whoever would worship God must come here, to sacrifice.
Genesis 3:24 “So He drove out the man: and He (God) dwelt at the east of the Garden of Eden between the Cherubim, as a Shekinah (a fire-sword)…to keep open the way to the tree of life.”
(This is Jamieson, Fausset and Brown’s translation from the original)
There at the east gate was a place….an altar….where they could meet with God….by sacrifice….
…this is what all the children of Adam and Eve knew….but especially Cain and Abel….being oldest….and to them hopefully in the line of the One who would put away sin.
(They would not have known anything about sacrifices unless sacrifices had been definitely appointed…..Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered…”.
It was not by presumption….but faith, based upon God’s appointing.
Where was this appointing?
Genesis 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
After the sin, Adam had clothed he and his wife with fig leaves….but God killed animals and clothed them with their coats….
….manifesting how they were to be before Him in this world….clothed upon through sacrifice.)
There is a connection between Adam’s sin and Cain’s murder.
In Genesis 3 we see sin begin in man…..against God.
In Genesis 4 we see sin spreading….against our fellow man.
The one who has no fear of disobeying God….will have no problem “hating” his neighbor.
Genesis 4:2-5 “…And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
But to Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.”
Now I want to mention here, that both of these occupations were needed for the family….and it seems that both men were good at these jobs.
But when it came to the sacrifice to God….God was to be obeyed.
It was not a time to show off skill, but to sacrifice for sin….their sin, and come before God.
And the only sacrifice….was as God had showed them….a sacrifice of blood.
Abel, by faith, offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. (Heb. 11:4)
Notice, it was not Abel that was more excellent….but the sacrifice that was more excellent. God ever looks toward His Son….which the sacrifices always pointed to.
But unto Cain and his offering He (God) had not respect.
I am sure Cain’s offering was made up of his most beautiful and best fruits and grains. I am sure he worked hard to impress God…..but he came on the ground of personal worth……on the ground of good works…..not as a sinner in need of forgiveness.
He came in his own way….refusing God’s Way.
Cain represents those who think that they can…in their own strength or “goodness” live a life which pleases God….that God will have to “respect” their works.
Nothing we can do….even the best and most beautiful….can not take the place of simple obedience….in faith coming to God by sacrifice….the sacrifice of HIs Son.
And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
Anger filled him….and his heart (countenance) “fell”.
Adam and Eve fell into sin, when they disobeyed God….and Cain’s heart fell into anger.
Cain refused God’s way of blood sacrifice….so God refused his offering
But God did not leave him….
Genesis 4:6 “And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
The Lord speaks to Cain…..a beautiful example of how God goes after sinners.
Perhaps Cain never really saw himself as a sinner….one who needed forgiveness….but now God shows him his sin,….and says there is a simple remedy….
….”just come with the right sacrifice and all will be set right….with the Lord and in your heart.
But if you do not….then sin is at the door….not just of your heart and thoughts….but it will rule over you…and destroy you.”
The verses suggest that Cain and Abel brought their offerings at the same time.
Cain saw Abel’s accepted by fire…..and when his was rejected….the thought that he might have to submit to his younger brother….that the rights of the firstborn, would be given to Abel.
Cain first refused to submit to God….and then in anger killed Abel, so he would not have to submit to him.
Genesis 4:8 “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”
(Twice is mentioned “his brother”…..How much this shows James 1:15 “When lust (desire, passion) hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”)
When God asks Cain about Abel…..he lies, as says, “I know not.”
There was no repentance….after such a heinous act….no seeking forgiveness….
….but only the sneering…..”Am I my brother’s keeper?” He practically spit it out to God! How sin leads to sin compounded.
We can ask ourselves….which was worse,….the sin, or the attitude toward God’s rebuke….and finally HIs correction?
Abel was dead….his blood, innocent blood cried unto God….and God heard it….as He still hears the pain, mocking, and persecution of HIs own…..
….and answers it.
God banishes Cain from the family…which he despised by killing Abel
God sends him out…..all men shall know he is a murderer….so he will not stay long anywhere.
The ground will not yield to him, even under toil.
Cain, perhaps seeing a little of what he has done…..but is more worried about the punishment, than the sin….cries….
….”this is greater than I can bear”. (This will be what the lost in the Lake of Fire will cry as well. But it will be forever then.)
….”from Thy face shall I be hid”…(this is the most terrible punishment….to be eternally banished from God….Who is all good, all peace, all comfort.)
Genesis 4:16 “And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord….”
For all who refuse God’s Way of salvation through Jesus Christ….God will yet say, “Depart from Me”. (Mat. 25:41)
Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”
Abel heard that a sacrifice was the only way to God….and he believed and came….not in his own merits…..but by the merits of a blood sacrifice.
Hebrews 9:22 “…and without the shedding of blood is no remission.”
Hebrews 10:10 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Hebrews 2:3 “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;….”
(One last thing:
Jude 11 “Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain….”
These are those who refuse to come to God through Christ. Sure, they know may not be perfect….but they think they are pretty good, and they do good things…..good enough that if God is a God of mercy….He will accept them and their works.
Well, God is a God of mercy….but that mercy comes through Jesus Christ alone for Salvation.
God has extended His Word to us….that we might hear and believe….
…and come to Christ Jesus the Lord….and live.
but all must choose….
…as God said to Cain….”If thou doest well”….if you will come, sheltered under the blood of My Son, Jesus Christ….”all will be well”
…”and if thou doest not well,”….if you refuse My Son….”sin lieth at the door…and will rule over you.”)
May we all be entered into the roll of faith…..and do the works of faith….live unto Christ Jesus our Lord….no matter our profession or place….that we might all live to the glory of God.