(Gen.4; Heb.11:4; 1Jn.3:12; Jude 11)
When the brothers Cain and Abel presented themselves before God in worship, Abel’s blood sacrifice was found acceptable by God, but Cain’s fruits of the soil were not.Whatever the reason for God’s dissatisfaction, Abel was credited as righteous, and Cain was not.It is safe to conclude that Cain’s display of anger over God’s goodwill toward his brother was indicative of a heart long since hardened by sin. “Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain” says Jude about the hard-hearted false teachers (Jude 11).The apostle John also employs Cain as an indisputable example of the reason and progression of evil: “For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we are to love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And for what reason did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil, but his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you” (1Jn.3:11-13).Cain went out of that worship service with the same evil attitude that he went in with. Being rejected by God was an affront to his prideful heart. He could not take it out on God, so he took it out on God’s man. He was the ‘world’ that hates Christians.God broke in on his pity party by asking him why he looked so miserable. Repentance, being the only appropriate response, was not on his mind. Instead, he chose a spirit of spite in the face of God. Then he invited his brother into the field and murdered him. When God asked him the whereabouts of his brother, he dismissed him with a ‘how should I know?’Now, before we run off en masse to our favourite anti-Christian psychologist for 15 reasons why it wasn’t Cain’s fault that his brother’s blood was crying out to God from the ground against him, I do need to remind everyone of this part of the conversation:“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it” (Gen.4:7).This was God’s pre-murder intervention. Cain chose to do evil because he was obviously long practiced at it. Also note his indignation over his punishment. With a penitent heart he should have accepted the curse imposed upon him by God. Instead he pleads for a reduced sentence. Thus, God in his mercy, promises to spare him from avengers of blood. Cain chose to let sin master him.