“Now Adam knew Eve his wife,
and she conceived and bore Cain, and said,
“I have acquired a man from the Lord.”
Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel.”
Two men - where the younger
would be chosen above the older.
God certainly knows how to establish his order.
It seems in God's eyes,
"the last shall be first,
and the first last:
for many be called, but few chosen."
“Now Abel was a keeper of sheep,
but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
And in the process of time it came to pass
that Cain brought an offering
of the fruit of the ground to the Lord.
Abel also brought of the firstborn
of his flock and of their fat.”
“And the Lord respected Abel and his offering,
but He did not respect Cain and his offering.
And Cain was very angry,
and his countenance fell.”
This is part I did not understand.
Why did God prefer the the fat of a lamb
over the fruit of the ground?
Then I read in between the lines.
The Hebrew word for “respected”
in this passage is sha`ah,
which means “to look at or look to,
to regard, to gaze at or about.”
And that is when I realized
that is was not about the offering,
but about the type of heart inside the human.
The next verse says it all -
“So the Lord said to Cain,
“Why are you angry?
And why has your countenance fallen?
If you do well, will you not be accepted?
And if you do not do well,
sin lies at the door.
And its desire is for you,
but you should rule over it.”
The fact that Cain got so angry
showed that his heart was NOT
in a right position from the start.
And instead of repenting
and allowing God in to soften,
Cain choose to stay hard.
God gave Cain warning. He said,
“If you do well, will you not be accepted?
And if you do not do well,
sin lies at the door.”
Let me ask you,
What do think God meant by
“if you do well?”
I believe God gives us opportunities
to strengthen our hearts,
through all kinds of testing,
trials and tribulations.
He knows that this earth is not our home.
But we need to remember
that God is never the tempter!
We do that all by ourselves
and it is based on the condition of our heart.
God already knows that sin
is crouching at our door.
Which is why He always gives choice.
God's desire is for us to rule over sin,
and have dominion over it.
“Now 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 killed him.”
And here we see the results
of an unrepentant heart.
A heart that allowed anger
and bitterness to seep in.
A heart that chose
to take thing into their own hands,
rather than listening to the Word of God.
“Then the Lord said to Cain,
Where is Abel your brother?”
He said, “I do not know.
Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Cain’s response reminds me of Adam’s,
when Adam responded to God
when He called him.
of feeling shame and hiding,
Cain’s response proved to be
way more cynical and arrogant.
Can you imagine saying to God,
“Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Acting as if a brother was not created
to care for one another?
I’m surprised that God did not
open the earth and swallow him down!
Instead God said, “What have you done?
The voice of your brother’s blood
cries out to Me from the ground.”
Here we see that God not only sees
the intent of the human heart,
but also hears the life in the blood
that cries out from the physical ground.
And this reminds me of
the same evil deeds
that King Manasseh did in Judah,
when he sacrificed so many
innocent children to pagan gods!
Listen to this -
“King Manasseh did evil
in the sight of the Lord,
according to the abominations
of the nations
whom the Lord had cast out
before the children of Israel.
Manasseh seduced Judah
and the inhabitants of Jerusalem
to do more evil than the nations
whom the Lord had destroyed”
II Chronicles 33:2, 9
The Lord God raised up
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon,
to remove Judah from His sight
because of the sins of Manasseh,
according to all that he had done,
and also because
of the innocent blood that he had shed;
for he had filled Jerusalem
with innocent blood,
which the Lord would not pardon.”
II Kings 24:3-4
We must remember,
the Lord’s Word is always good.
It never leaves a stone unturned.
Even though captivity came to Judah
a couple generations later, it still came!
To Cain God said,
“So now you are cursed from the earth,
which has opened its mouth
to receive your brother’s blood
from your hand.
When you till the ground,
it shall no longer yield its strength to you.
A fugitive and a vagabond on the earth
you shall be.”
Basically this means
that God is no longer with Him.
Cain is a human without an eternal home.
The story of Cain and Abel
can be found in Genesis 4:1-12.
I encourage you to read it for yourselves.
Since the creation of humankind,
God has let people know
what He expects of them.
And when we love God with all our hearts,
we obey the LORD,
because we trust in Him
and we know that His commands
are for our own good.
Let us remember, the same opportunity
that God gave to Cain to do right,
and repent and soften his heart,
is the same opportunity
that God gives to us.
He is always wanting
his prodigal child to return home.
But if we refuse to listen,
the Lord warns us
(often through poems like this)
that sin is crouching at our doorstep,
and is waiting for just the right moment
to dominate us.
Brothers and sisters,
“submit yourselves to God
and resist the devil,
just like the Lord urged Cain to do,
and the devil will flee from you."
I ask you,
Are you like Cain or Abel?
Is your heart hard or softened?
It is time to get right with God.