Genesis 4 (ESV)
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him . . . Continue Reading
Life outside the garden was certainly different than it was on the inside. God creates and it’s good. Man procreates and it’s not. Eve gives birth first to Cain and then Abel (twins?) and before long, Cain kills Abel. The firstborn after “The Fall” murders his brother.
Leading up to the first recorded killing in human history, I see a glimpse into at least part of Cain’s motives for murdering Abel. Genesis 4:3-5 says, “In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.”
While the text does not explicitly explain why Abel’s offering was acceptable and Cain’s was not or why the Lord had regard for Abel and not Cain, as I look closely at Genesis 4:3, it says, “Cain brought to the Lord AN offering of THE fruit.” But Genesis 4:4 says, “Abel also brought of the FIRSTBORN of his flock and of their fat portions.”
Is this why God had regard for Abel and not Cain? Because Abel offered a “firstfruit” offering to God and Cain did not?
Hebrews 11:4 says, “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” We read in 1 John 3:11–12, “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.”
Cain’s reaction was not seeking to understand why he was not regarded or why his offering was not accepted. Instead, he got angry. To me, this implies Cain would rather God take whatever he felt like giving Him.
Abel thought of God before himself and gave to Him firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. Cain’s regard for God amounts to giving Him leftovers.
Where are we in this story?
Thank you for reading my Daily Bible Journal!
Reading, reflecting and writing from the Bible has so radically impacted my life in Christ, it’s as if I’ve been on auto-pilot when reading the Bible in the past. There’s something about “sitting with the text” and through prayerful reflection, sharing what comes to mind. Because I’m posting online for others to read, I consider my words carefully and try to be clear and accurate.
This daily process enhances my understanding of God’s Word and embeds it into my conscience. It literally gets “hidden in my heart!”
I hope this encourages others to be in God’s Word every day.
For God’s Glory,