Adam and Eve give birth to Cain and Abel. They taught their sons to give sacrificial gifts to God, the Father Creator. As grown sons, they bring the gift of the work of their hands to God. The Amplified Bible says that God had respect and regard for Abel’s gift, but not for Cain’s gift. Why would that be? What pleases God? What gift does He regard and respect?
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”
1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.”
Romans 8:29, “For those whom He foreknew (of whom He was aware and loved beforehand), He also destined from the beginning (foreordaining them) to be molded into the image of His Son (share inwardly in His likeness), that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.”
Hebrews 11:4, 6, “Prompted, actuated by faith, Abel brought God a better and more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, because of which it was testified of him that he was righteous (that he was upright and in right standing with God) and God bore witness by accepting and acknowledging his gifts……… Without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him.” (Amplified) Notice close relationship of love….a right relationship with God with goals to be upright. Are you beginning to get an idea of Abel’s character and Cain’s character?
Remember God’s character? Remember His purpose and plan for creating mankind? The Father Creator is a family man…desiring intimate love relationship with His children.
What gift is respected and regarded by our Heavenly Father? He appreciates a gift given in love and the best giving of oneself and our labors is cherished. We should say we love Him and show Him with corresponding actions and gifts. When a child collects dandelions or draws a picture to give a parent or a husband brings flowers to his wife on no special occasion….what a wonderful and treasured gift from the heart? It is not a gift of duty, but of the desire to express love. Let’s consider more where Cain may have errored.
Further ahead, we will see the prophets’ warnings to Israel in the Old Testament when they fall into the same trouble as Cain.
Ezekiel 23: 39, “For when they had slain their children as offerings to their idols, then they came the same day into My sanctuary to profane it by daring to offer sacrifice there also! And behold, thus have they done in the midst of My house!”
Acts 7:41, “And they even made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol and made merry and exulted in the work of their own hands.”
Hosea 6:6, “For I desire and delight in dutiful steadfast love and goodness, not sacrifice, and in the knowledge of and acquaintance with God more than burnt offerings.”
Matthew 9: 13, Jesus says this concerning reference to Hosea 6:6, “Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy (that is, readiness to help those in trouble) and not sacrifice and sacrificial victims. For I came not to call and invite to repentance the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), but sinners (the erring ones and all those not free from sin).”
Remember God’s first commandment (strong instruction)….Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength….and the second to love your neighbor as yourself?
Here we see God’s character and word and ways revealed!
How do we know that Cain did not give out of love for the Heavenly Creator Father? We see by his reaction. Genesis 4:5, Cain BECAME exceedingly angry and indignant, and LOOKED sad and depressed (attention getting). He did not humble himself before God in love and a serving heart, thus going to Him and ask “why”? He did not have a heart pursuing God out of love and trust, but rather a heart of pride and self-centeredness. (If you want a look at the character that God blesses and empowers to prosper, check out the beautiful character qualities in Matthew 5 -7.)
The Bible says that Cain was full of anger and indignant pride. He may have been thinking… “What is wrong with God that my super gift… worked by my own hands was not superior to Abel’s gift?”. BUT, Cain knows how to play the “feel sorry for me” game…and he looks sad and depressed…another form of pride and self-centeredness.
So, God, in His mercy, goes to Cain with questions and love warnings. Why are you angry? Why do you LOOK sad and dejected? ….. Time for some self examination!
Wisdom speaks the truth in love….if you do well, you will be accepted. Repent and turn to God with your heart and mind and He will accept you and your gift. If you do not do well (do not travel the narrow road that leads to Life), then sin is sitting at your door desiring to steal, kill, and destroy you. Do not follow satan’s evil way of pride and selfishness which leads to stealing, killing, and destruction (John 10:10). You must master it….you must choose. Choose this day who you will serve (Joshua 24: 15). But, Cain did not choose repentance. His choice ended in killing his brother.
1 John 3:12, “And do not be like Cain who took his nature and got his motivation from the evil one and slew his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his deeds (activities , works) were wicked and malicious and his brother’s were righteous (virtuous). Do not be surprised and wonder, brethren, that the world detest and pursues you with hatred.”
I am convinced that Adam and Eve had taught their sons the first commandment to love God and the second to love their brothers. They had taught them to bring meaningful gifts to God that cost them something (sacrifice), right? I believe Cain killing Abel was total disobedience and rebellion. Notice the first question God asks Cain in vs 9, “Where is your brother?” We see Cain’s deceptive twist on God’s commandment and his rebellion and mocking when he answers, “Am I by brother’s keeper?” There is no repentance! No repentance, no faith, no love…no grace. Vs 10…Judgment comes from God…guilty verdict and Abel’s blood testifying the truth. Leviticus 17:11 tells us that the life is in the blood…and that life blood is no longer in Abel, but rather in the ground/ back in the dust of the earth.
Vs 11-12….As must be…justice and truth demands…the consequence of curse always follows sin. The ground that now testifies against Cain is cursed and will no longer submit to the work of his hands. His occupation and skill had been to be a tiller of the ground…so it was a harsh yet appropriate curse. Plus, now he had made himself an outcast from the family of God…he had to leave this home place and wander outside in the world.
Did Cain repent and change towards faith? Not really. He confesses fear of being an unproductive wanderer and someone else trying to kill him in revenge. Remember, everyone else on earth at this time is family! His brother Abel had favor with the people of God.
God is Life. He does not condemn Cain to certain death. He puts a mark on him and warns that anyone who kills Cain will receive 7 fold vengeance. Cain is satisfied in believing that everyone will know that vengeance is God’s and will not pursue Cain to kill him. Deuteronomy 32:35, Romans 12:19. God does not want people to kill one another (Thou shalt not kill.) He will judge all before His judgment seat in that Last Day. Notice, God’s judgment is 7 fold….7 is the holy number of complete righteousness.
Cain leaves the family and place of God and wanders in the world to build Nod, meaning place of wandering. It reminds me of Jesus teaching on taking the wide road leading to destruction that many take and the narrow road of righteousness that few find. It reminds me to walk and live in Him and not in the world. It makes me see how purposeless it is to wander in the world, compared to the high purpose and call in following Him.
Cain takes a wife and bears sons…5 generations to Lamech. We see in vs. 23 that Cain’s descendent, Lamech, did not come to know the Creator Father, His character, His words, or His ways. Lamech kills a man because the man wounded him. He proudly claims that if the killing of Cain would be avenged 7 fold…then killing him would be avenged 77 fold. Lamech does not know God or understand the mark of Cain. Lamech thinks the mark is a blessing! Yet, it is the mark of the curse! And he is so proud of himself that he finds himself valued to a 77 level compared to Cain’s 7! Evil deception!
Another thought….have you noticed how Revelation, the end of this Bible book is like the beginning in Genesis? In Genesis, everything begins with God is Supreme and all is good as long as man stays in love relationship with Him…deception and man falls….Messiah saves….some repent and some rebel…a mark that seals the rebellious (out of relationship person) to judgment is put on those who rebel. In Revelation, everything ends with God is Supreme and all is good with man in perfect love relationship with Him, but preceeded by our saving Messiah Jesus, those who repent and those who rebel…those who bear the mark of the beast and those who bear the mark and seal of God. How awesome….He is the beginning and end, the First and the Last.
Chapter 4 does not end with rebellion. God gives Adam and Eve another righteous son, Seth. Seth reproduced after his kind….and in vs 26…men began to call upon the name of the Lord!
How awesome is our God? Have you learned about Him, His character, His words, His ways? How blessed are we to know Him and how He holds faithfully to keeping the truth, yet in perfect love! How very, very blessed are we to be the sons and daughters of Father Creator through Yeshua Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit! What a perfect plan!