Now Adam and had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the Lord’s help, I have produced a man! Later, she gave birth to his brother Abel (4:1-2).
When Cain grew up he became a farmer and Abel a shepherd. It was their offerings to the Lord, not their occupation, or title, that revealed their true nature and character (4:3-5). Abel did things God way, following his requirements. He is called “righteous,” in Matthew 23:34, and Hebrews 11:4 says his offering was made by faith. Cain, on the other hand, did things his own way. Jude suggests that his “way” was that of rebellion (Jude 1:11). Cain brought an offering of produce from his gardens, while Abel brought the fatty cuts of meat from his best lambs (4:3-5).
This shows how Cain and Abel interest and pursuits were completely different because Abel was a shepherd and Cain tended to the ground. We do not know what their individual differences were, but Cain hatred towards Abel eventually lead to a major tragedy, MURDER (4:8). How do you respond to those who are close you, yet have different personalities, gifts, or pursuits? Ask God to help you when you’re tempted to resent them.
Cain tried to hide this tragedy. But, the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen your brothers’ blood cries out to me from the ground (4:10).” God was not fooled instead he confronted Cain with the murder and assigned consequences of lifelong exile (4:11-16).
The thing that I love most about Jesus is his gentleness to correct our wrongful behavior. He makes us accountable for our actions towards others. Although, Cain spent the rest of his life in exile, wandering in the lands far away from his family. God still protected him, even when he was exiled. God places his mark on Cain, setting him apart to keep him from being killed (4:15).
Our righteousness is based on our willingness to follow God’s direction for our lives. Although we may try to hide our sins, God’s justice will always prevail.
Can you remember a time that God restored and protected you in the midst of evil, so you would not be destroyed?