Summary: This is the first in a series of CSI messages and looks at what we can learn from Cain and Abel
It should have brought them together but instead it tore them apart. They both worshipped the same God, they had both offered their God a sacrifice and that is where it seemed to fall apart. Cain was a farmer, he toiled in the dirt and raised crops, his younger brother was a shepherd, and he raised sheep. And by all indications they were good at what they did. They were the first children of Adam and Eve after they had been expelled from the Garden for disobeying God.
Now I know everyone is sitting there thinking “I wonder who they married?” Well we really don’t know do we? Maybe God created more people, that would be an interesting theory wouldn’t it. Bible doesn’t say Adam and Eve were the only, just the first? Or maybe the siblings married each other. You understand that there were no genetic flaws at the point in history; they were only one generation from creation, no time for the gene pool to get a little murky. The reason that siblings marrying one another has been prohibited through the years is that there are all kinds of problems associated with their children, but that close to creation there were no genetic problems that would be amplified in that situation.
Now this is kind of an aside, but now that our government has permitted same sex couples to marry will siblings be the next taboo lifted? If we can’t impose our morals then would it be alright for two brothers to marry or two sisters or a brother and sister if they promised to not have children.
What about parents and children or Grand parents and Grand Children? I know you are saying “Yuck” but it wasn’t that long ago that people had the same reaction to homosexual relationships.
As a society we have already declared that religious convictions and morals have no place in the public arena and are not a reason to prohibit people who want to get married from doing so and we have opened a door we probably shouldn’t have opened. It is a slippery slope that we have started out on. But that was free.
So where were we? Oh right the two brothers and they both offered a sacrifice to their God, we don’t know exactly what all their sacrifices involved or didn’t involve. The writer of Hebrews makes this statement: Hebrews 11:4 It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did.
But what makes one offering more acceptable then another one? We can make a couple of assumptions from the two verses that we do have in Genesis. Genesis 4:3-4 At harvesttime Cain brought to the LORD a gift of his farm produce, while Abel brought several choice lambs from the best of his flock. Did you catch that? Cain brought a gift, don’t know what it was, maybe it was brussel spouts, which would explain a lot. Able on the other hand brought several choice lambs from the best of his flock. A gift versus a sacrifice. Not just any lambs but choice lambs. And not just choice lambs but choice lambs from the best of his flock. These lambs were the best of the best.
Well the story continues, the scriptures tell us that God found Abel’s offering acceptable but didn’t accept Cain’s. And that ticked Cain off, and he reacted by killing his brother. Took him out in the field and attacked him and stole his life.
Now we don’t know if that was the intent all along or if things just got out of hand. Maybe he just planned on laying a good whoppin’ on his little brother but hit him a little too hard. “I didn’t mean to hit you that hard bro, come on get up. Come on Able this isn’t funny anymore, no more fooling around, Ok?”
In thinking about it I kind of lean toward that theory I think it was an accident, Cain wanted to hurt Abel but I’m not convinced that he wanted to kill him. After all Cain’s punishment was banishment and I’m thinking that had his actions been pre-meditated with malicious forethought and planning that God being a just and righteous God would have demanded a greater punishment.
So here we are on the scene of the first murder recorded in the Bible, the first time that one human being would take the life of another human being either intentionally or unintentionally. And what can we learn from this crime?
The first thing we learn is We Never Know the whole Story. All we know about Cain and Abel is summed up in a dozen verses spread out over the Old and New Testament. And at first reading it hardly makes sense, so what if God didn’t approve of Cain’s offering, it wasn’t the end of the world. God even told Cain in Genesis 4:7 “You will be accepted if you respond in the right way.” “Come on Cain, straighten up and fly right and everything will be fine. All you have to do is stop doing what is wrong and start doing what is right.”