Admonition For Us From The Story Of Cain
When sin entered into the world through one person, Adam - the ancestor of mankind, its influence quickly extended to the next generation, and it was even more pernicious and corrupted than before. Cain was the first baby born to humanity, and being the firstborn, should have enjoyed much honor. Adam and Eve acquired this fruit of their loins under great expectations. So they named him ¡§Cain¡¨, meaning ¡§acquired¡¨. They hoped that this progeny will crush the serpent¡¦s head, as God had said, to cleanse them of their shame. But contrary to their will, Cain not only failed to manifest the honor of the firstborn, but because of his evil, killed his own brother in jealousy, and was banished into exile to be farther removed from God. His failure therefore becomes our admonition.
One day, the brothers offered to God the products of their labor. Cain presented fruits of the soil as an offering, while Abel brought forth the firstborn of his flock and fat portions of the sheep. The result was that God only looked with favor on Abel¡¦s offering and not on Cain¡¦s. Some feel that God did not accept the produce offered by Cain because the ground had been cursed. But this theory contradicts the Lord¡¦s later edict that the firstfruits of a harvest should be given in a peace offering. The bible states that ¡§the Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering He did not look with favor¡¨. This is an important signal. God looks with favor on what we do (including service and offering) in accordance with whether He looks with favor on our person.
We can scrutinize the evil of Cain from several perspectives to pick up warnings. (1) Through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, John directly pointed out the evil of Cain. ¡§Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous.¡¨ (1 John 3:12) Before he murdered his brother, Cain already harbored evil in his heart. His actions all carried the element of evil. We too should always be cautious. Never underestimate the element of evil hidden within a person. Confront it often through the grace of God, because the sinful nature has been inherited from Adam. (2) When God did not look with favor upon his offering, Cain became very angry, and his face was downcast. He thought that by presenting the product of his toil, God would surely be pleased to accept. We too will sometimes insist that God listen to our prayers, or think that He will certainly accept our offerings of service and money. Cain was angered by the Lord¡¦s rejection, and when he saw God accepting only Abel¡¦s offering, the envy and bitterness within him took root and grew. His evil was exposed. ¡§Envy rots the bones.¡¨ (Proverbs 14:30) The sin of envy is hidden within the depths of the human heart. (3) God asked Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?¡¨ (Genesis 4:6-7) Through His questions, God wanted to help Cain calmly reflect on and review his own actions. God also warned him that sin was like a venomous snake crouching at his door waiting for an opportunity to strike. As well, the enemy desired to have him, and Cain had to master it. Although the walls of resistance against God in our hearts have once been demolished, and our minds and will have once been recaptured and submitted to Christ after we have been reborn and saved by believing in the Lord, the danger of temptation from sin still exists. The devil is still waiting for a chance to retaliate, to exercise control and influence over us once more. (4) When God asked Cain where his brother Abel was, Cain not only did not express any remorse, he deliberately tried to hide his sin and said to God defensively that he was not his brother¡¦s keeper. We can see Cain¡¦s evil. We know that to be stiff necked against God and hide our sins is evil in the sight of God. ¡§If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.¡¨ (Psalm 66:18) (5) Cain killed his brother mercilessly and without sorrow. When God pronounced his punishment, Cain was only concerned about wandering restlessly on earth and being hunted by men. It shows how ingrained was his evil. Therefore, we must be careful never to follow the path of Cain.
¡§Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.¡¨ (1 Peter 5:8-9)
By: Daniel To