Monday, 28 January 2008

Cain & Able

God tells the woman she would begin to suffer more pain in childbirth,
reflecting the groans of creation, though denying the serpents goal with the promise that one day her child would crush once and for all the serpent’s head; though after it had struck his heel, promising that Man will have dominion once again.
Adam’s punishment was to work the ground, combating against weeds and thistles, eating by the sweat of his brow having to work hard at making the land be productive.
God did not completely cast them away from himself; for he tenderly clothed them, and then placed them outside His garden guarding it in case they took upon themselves to eat of the tree of life.

After they were sent outside in the world, outside the garden, their relationship continued with the Lord. Eve gave birth to Cain, after which she worshiped the Lord, worshipping him by thanking and acknowledging His help in giving birth toCain. (Gen 4:1) Then sometime after gave birth to Able. The story now continues with Cain and Able, We see they have continued having a personal relationship with the Lord. Though there were a few distinct differences. For;

Able walked with the Lord, as the Lord required.
Cain walked with the Lord as Cain wanted to.

God was pleased with Able for the offering he gave and was displeased with Cain for his. We need to make a note here; that God wasn’t pleased with Able because he offered up animals and was displeased with Cain because he offered up the fruit of the soil.

God was pleased with Able because he offered up quickly the first and best portions of his flock.
God was displeased with Cain, for he took his time bringing some of his produce; instead of the first and the best he had.(Gen 4:3)

The scene now shifts from the relationship Able had with God, and focuses on Cain. Here we see God’s compassionate all seeing nature, for he sees that all is not well with Cain. He see’s his anger, his depression, and his jealousy towards his brother and perhaps towards Him as well. God speaks frankly to Cain, asking him questions about himself and why he was feeling that way? Finally God gets to the point that Cains real trouble was sin and that it was crouching at his door, wanting to devour him. And again God tells him that he must master it. Yet Cain ignores Gods warning, instead takes his brother out to a field, and kills him. The Lord speaks to Cain once again, asking him about his brother, to which he replies,

"I don't know…Am I my brother's keeper?"

The Lord again gets right to the point, challenging Cain directly as to what he has done. Telling him straight as he knows what it is he has done. As a result of his sin, he tells him that the very ground he loved is not going to produce any produce for him, and that he will be a restless wanderer for the rest of his life.

Cains response is one of woe is me, as he complains about the consequences of his actions. I believe that the restlessness that God speaks of, which is to happen in Cains life, is not only about his physical status as not having a home to live, for Scripture tells us that Cain went on to build a city. (Gen 4:17) Rather it speaks about his brother’s murder being on his conscience and that he cannot avoid the continual stabbing pain of unresolved guilt, which causes him much shame. This same guilt causes Cain to add words to what God has told him will happen, in that “Now someone will kill me, and I will be driven out from your presence” The Lord tells him that it will not be so, for he will put a mark of his protection on him, and he will watch out over him. (Gen 4: 15)

Notice the similarities between the sin of Cain and his parents.
  • Both were warned by God not to do something, yet both did. Both were told to have dominion over sin, yet both failed to do so.
  • Adam failed in shutting up the serpent.
  • Cain failed in conquering the sin that was whispering into his soul.
  • Both were asked, “What have you done”?
  • Both were guilty of not facing up to their guilt, rather unsuccessfully trying to hide their actions from the Lord.
And both suffered the consequences of not doing what the Lord had asked them to do.

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