We all know the narrative of Cain and Abel. It’s an account which is a good example of human nature i.e jealousy, unrighteous anger and ultimately murder.
I remember reading a Testimony which was written by a Minister who changed his views from believing that there was one way to G’d through his Son to believing that surly if God was a God of love He will not condemn those who forsake Him.
How can we a mere man try to understand a powerful almighty G’d? It is impossible. And many people on the the streets that we come into contact with can’t see that it is impossible to fathom an Almighty G’d.
In this passage we read that Abel was a keeper of sheep whereas Cain was a tiller of the ground.And in time they both give an offering to God. One can ask why does God look on favor towards Abel’s offering and not Cain? (See Verse 5)
If we look at the text there isn’t an explanation here.
Some suggest that it is in the nature of the offerings. The offering of the animal is favored more because of the blood.
Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering for the generations to come. It is most holy to the LORD.”
But if we look we look at Leviticus 1 – 7 we could see that God valued and wanted both grain and meat offerings. The Hebrew word for offering is used in both situations so the writer is trying to show that there is not one better offering than the other.
Perhaps we could suggest that the difference could be in the attitude of the heart. The text is putting forward the fact that Abel’s offering is of a high standard that is the “firstborn” and the “fat” i.e Abel gave the best.
Exodus 13: 11 – 13)
11“After the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your forefathers, 12 you are to give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the Lord. 13Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.
16“Celebrate the Feast of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.
19“Bring the best of the first fruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.
Abel honored God as Lord with his offering , and Cain just brought his offering.
What ever the conclusion we might come to here, we have God favoring one offering – the offering of Abel and not Cain.
Cain becomes more angry and is warned that if he chooses the right path he will be accepted and if not sin is knocking on his door.
He chooses to allow his heart to become hard. Resentment comes in and he takes his brother’s life.
God asks him where his brother is. Cain is flip meant and says is he his brother’s keeper. His heart has become hard.
Cain suffered the consequences and yet God in his mercy on him set a mark on Cain (Scripture is isn’t specific on what so of mark it was) On one side he is branded as a murderer but on the other hand Gods hand is protecting him from being killed.
And through generations we see that sin repeats itself through Lamech boast of murder in see verse 23
A man I once spoke to said that the Hebrew Bible shows a vengeful and merciless God and so the NT somehow balanced this somewhat harsh side of God.
And yet in this passage we see a compassionate G’d. He cares about the death of Abel and shows mercy to Cain. He doesn’t strike Cain down but protects him from those who would want to harm him
G’d gives man free will choice. We are not robotic machines that are being programmed to behave think and act in a certain way. We all have a choice to go G’ds way or our way.
Bitterness and unforgiveness is so ingrained in the world and here we see what bitterness ultimately achieves. Cain’s was bitter towards his brother Abel because God favored Abel’s offering more than he did with Cain’s. G’d looked upon the offering with favor but He didn’t cast Cain aside. It wasn’t for Cain to question G’d as G’d is G’d and man is man.
Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
Cain had no right to be envious of His brother. If he would have shown mercy and been content for his brother he would have closed the door of bitterness in his life.
We were once ministering to someone who kept on holding on to the bitterness and hurts and was unwilling to surrender to G’d.
It’s our choice. We can live a life of victory or choose to live in a state of anxiety and we will still go to heaven if we have made Y’shua as our saviour but will live a life of unhappiness on earth. G’d won’t love us less just as he didn’t love Cain less then He did Abel.
I’m not a gardener but once tried to dig weeds out. Some weeds if the root is not dug out will keep on surfacing. We can cut the weeds off but if we don’t dig up the bitter roots in our life than the bitter roots in our lives will keep on surfacing and surfacing
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to Cause trouble and defile many
Cain was not willing to allow God to root out that bitter root judgment in his life.
G’d sees our heart like He saw Cain’s heart. We can’t hide anything from Him. He knows us more than we know ourselves.
This passage gives a small insight of human nature but it also shows the mercy of the Almighty.
So many people have bitterness, anger and unforgiveness which have been buried in their hearts for so many years. But when they hand it over and give it over to the Almighty they are set free. We can ask ourselves what are the roots in our lives which stop us from growing as believers. G’d can help us dig them out so we can then experience being free.