Cain And Abel (Part 1)
By sis Jacqueline Wee
“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.” – Genesis 4:1-2
Cain and Abel, the first pair of brothers on this earth. There is not much we know about this family of four. We do not know what Adam and Eve were like as parents. Nothing was mentioned about the activities they enjoyed together as a family and it is hard for anyone to imagine what it was like to live in a world back then, to lead a life like theirs. Theirs was a world without internet, without television, without video games, without cinemas, without formal education, without physical law enforcers, without the vices and influences that draw and tempt us in the world today – what was Cain’s train of thoughts that drove him to murder?
What Cain had done to his brother was probably the second deed that blighted the history of God’s creation (the first being Adam and Eve’s sin). We cannot be sure how old Cain was when he committed murder. It is even harder to understand his rationale for choosing murder to solve whatever issues he faced as an individual.
“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.” – Gen 4:3-5)
The Bible does not explicitly state why God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected both Cain and his offering. God later revealed what He was looking for where sacrifices to Him was concerned. God said
“For I desire mercy[ and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” – Hosea 6:6
“To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” – Proverbs 21:3
“For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.” – Psalms 51:16-17.
What exactly was lacking in Cain’s offering? Which of God’s instruction did Cain not follow when he offered his sacrifice to God? What was the state of his heart when he brought his sacrifice? We read that Abel offered his best, so, did Cain offer less? Was Cain’s attitude lacking more than his offering? The account in Genesis chapter 4 was not explicit in what exactly displeased God, but we can make reasonable assumptions from the text.
“Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord.” – Gen 4:3.
“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.” – Hebrews 11:4.