Summary: In Genesis 4 Cain kills his brother Abel. It didn’t take long for the first murder to happen, only one generation away from Adam and Eve.
Genesis 4 – How to Stop Playing the Anger Game
1. The Game – “I don’t care and you can’t make me!”
I have never really had a problem with anger, but the closest I have come was in a classroom. Teaching in a highschool can be very stressful, and I had put some guys on detention and was supervising them. They had behaved badly in class but were equally disruptive in the detention room, swearing, acting tough and defying anything I said with a smart comment. It was a game and I fell for it hook, line and sinker, getting madder by the minute. It’s a game commonly played in a classroom and if you could give it a name it would be “Make me!” or “I don’t care and there’s nothing you can do about it!” If they had been in the garden of Eden and told not to eat the fruit they would have said to God “You can’t make me do anything! I’ll do what I like and I don’t care what you think!” If they had a vehicle to drive it would have been a motorbike and they would have worn the Hell’s angels stickers on the back of their leathers. I almost lost it. I wanted to slap them around and I was yelling. Everyone of us is capable of murder. I didn’t want to kill them, just rough them up a little.
In Genesis 4 Cain kills his brother Abel. It didn’t take long for the first murder to happen, only one generation away from Adam and Eve.
It’s interesting that Cain and Abel bring an offering to the Lord. Why? God didn’t tell them to do it. There’s no law that says they must do it. They just did. Abel’s offering was accepted and Cain’s offering was not. Why was Cain’s offering unacceptable? Did he bring rotten fruit and veges in defiant rebellion against God rather than bringing the best of the crop? Or was this a sin offering where he needed animals for sacrifice? We are not told, but we are told that God considered that Cain had not done the right thing and his attitude was also out of line.
Why did he come in the first place? It beats me! Why do some people come to Church when it is clear that their lives are up the creek and they don’t really have any relationship with God, nor desire one? I don’t know! To gain points with God? Maybe. Whatever reason Cain had, it didn’t go down well with God. Nobody can expect to come to God with their own agenda, their own works, efforts, fruits, ways, religion, or ritual. It doesn’t work that way. You have to come to God on His terms, not by trying to impress Him with our imperfect thoughts and ways.
It seems that God established something with Cain and Abel that’s important. He will never accept you apart from the shedding of blood. The blood of Christ Himself was shed so that you could be accepted by God, the perfect and only sacrifice necessary. You want to bring something to God? First go to the Cross and accept the sacrifice that was made for you. Then instead of bringing something, leave it at the Cross. Try to bring the fruit of your own good works and it won’t cut muster with God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) says, “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
There are two verses thus far in Genesis where animals are sacrificed.
1. Animals were sacrificed to clothe Adam and Eve. After they had sinned by disobeying God, it seems God clothes them with animal skins. Even then their sins were paid for by the sacrifice of another.
2. In the second example, animal life is sacrificed as an act of worship.
The “Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible – Commentary” says “The clearest explanation as to why Abel offered an animal sacrifice and was approved by God is that God did institute salvation by animal sacrifice with Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were bound to have taught their sons to approach God through animal sacrifice. But only Abel approached God properly. Cain, as so many down through history, rebelled and did not.”
Submit your Agendas to God and be accepted on His terms, not by parading your own good works.
2. The Target – Blame it on God and the world
In Genesis 4 Cain and his inadequate offering was not accepted by God. Cain was furious, and his rage showed up on his face. Not the right reaction. Better if he had repented and got right with God and his brother.