Just yesterday, I had my quiet time and read the bible reading for yesterday’s portion – some of it was about Cain and Abel. It was not the first time I read about the story though. I even already heard that since I was in my sunday school (probably 14 years ago) and have been reading and listening to the same story again and again in different occasions for the next 14 years. But yesterday was different. It was just different. Maybe because the ‘guide book’ for the daily bible reading connects Genesis 4-5 with Hebrews 11:4-5. Genesis 5 and Hebrews 11:5 talk about Enoch but I am not going to discuss about that now.
Let me digress a bit first before I move on. From my observation, there are a lot of comparisons in Christian’s bible. Simply said, it is comparing the good and the evil. Quick examples: Cain and Abel (more on this later), Pharisees who were prideful of themselves and tax collector who acknowledged that he was a sinner, and even before Jesus’ death there was one criminal who blasphemed Him while the other criminal rebuked the one who blasphemed and pleaded to Jesus as you can see in Luke 23:39-43. And yeah, God is holy and righteous, whereas the devil is the opposite – wicked and deceitful. These two powers coexist now on earth. When there is no God’s holiness, Satan reigns there. But if God’s presence is there, surely Satan cannot withstand it. It is like the analogy when the light comes, the darkness is gone. And indeed, there is some kind of war happening now on earth which Paul has described in Ephesians 6:10-20.
Okay, let’s come back and now is time to tell the story. I’ll just re-type everything from the bible to avoid my own interpretation and bias towards the text.
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. 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. 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.” 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. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my borther’s keeper?” And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground …” (after this God was mentioning about the punishment that Cain had to bear)
That was Genesis 4:1-10 and I would like to focus just on Cain’s sins (some are already emboldened above for easier reference). First was probably envy. Why did he become angry? Maybe he compared himself with his brother and he was not happy to see Abel being ‘more successful’ than him. Maybe at the first place he didn’t give the best sacrifice he could give while Abel did, so didn’t deserve God’s praise/respect. Yeah, he just couldn’t accept the fact of life that at that time Abel was better. Second, he didn’t heed God’s warning about sin and to rule over it which eventually led him to the third sin which is killing Abel. Still not enough of sinning, when the LORD came to ask him, he lied to the LORD – which is considered as the fourth sin in this article. We can see clearly from this example that the effect of sin is chain-effect/domino-effect. One sin leads to another sin. Beware of that!
Enough of the story and exposition, I would like you to reflect upon yourself these 5 questions below. Give some thoughts to them and ponder over them. Be transparent before God since we can hide nothing from Him anyway.
1. Do you give your ‘firstborn of your flock’ to God?
2. Do you envy others?
3. When God warns you, what is your respond?
4. After committing sin, do you cover that with another sin or ask for forgiveness?
5. Would you rather be Abel or Cain?
To end this, I would like to quote Hebrews 11:4. “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.”
I hope this article will become a blessing for you and I do hope you can bless others.
Have a blessed life!
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