So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27–29)
From the Garden of Eden and sent out into the world, Adam and Eve gave birth to two sons, Cain and Abel. The Bible tells us that, Cain, was a farmer and offered God a portion of his crops one day as a sacrifice, but he learnt that God was more pleased when Abel, who was a herdsman, presented God with the fattest portion of his flocks. Enraged and with jealousy, Cain killed his brother. Later God approached Cain about the whereabouts of Abel just as He did with Adam and Eve with their sin. Cain lied and countered the all-knowing God with the infamous question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This made God exiled Cain from his home to wander in the land east of Eden.
The story of Cain and Abel shows that the world is logically organized around binary opposites, or basic opposing forces. Good and evil is probably the most consistently explored binary opposite in the bible, and the story of Cain and Abel initiates the difference between good and evil. Cain’s deception and murder of Abel, as well as his evasive response to God’s questioning, describe his evil as inherent in his character and unmitigated by other good traits.
God’s punishment to Cain, however, demonstrates both justice and mercy, establishing God as the absolute good that opposes Cain’s absolute evil. God exiled Cain from God’s presence, but marks Cain to protect him from the wrath of other people.
Key take outs:
“Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him” (1 John 3:15).
- We are no different to Cain
It’s easy for us to judge Cain without taking a look at our own sinful hearts. Cain was jealous of Abel because of God’s favor on him. This shows us how our daily lives are, we have friends, family members, brothers and sisters who have been blessed with things, cars, houses, money, wealth etc. more that we have.
And many a times we look at them with disbelief and rage in terms of how spiritual or God loving people we are more than them yet you feel they are blessed with more resources than you. With our actions of jealousy, disbelief and wavering faith in God we kill them and we are no less than Cain.
- The power of Repenting
The sin of jealousy can engulf itself around our hearts and minds that we may not even recognize it right away. When the Holy Spirit sends us that gentle nudge about envy or jealousy in our hearts, we have the same opportunity that was given to Cain by God…repent! By admitting our weakness in the flesh we can be forgiven and restored to right relationship with God. Otherwise, we allow the bitter root to grow into sin and become murderers in our hearts.
- Spend time connecting with God
By spending time in prayer and Bible study, our hearts are kept sensitive to the teachings and leading of the Holy Spirit. We should be compelled and driven by our love for God to give the best we have to offer.
Cain’s actions were evil and Abel’s were righteous. Both men demonstrated in action the passions of their hearts. What is your passion concerning God? It may be time for a spiritual check. The Lord wants the best from us and the best for us.
Let’s not ignore the Holy Spirit knocks on our heart.
Gilbert Ang’ana writes, speaks, and teaches with a passion to encourage youth with Biblical truths, as a freelance writer.