Monday, January 2, 2023

Of Cain

To understand Cain and why he murdered Abel, we must go back to the original sin of Adam and Eve and the curse that was laid upon the Serpent in the Garden of Eden.  Genesis 3 verse 15 states,

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.

The key takeaway here is that Eve’s offspring would strike back at the Serpent and the evil that it perpetuated upon all of Mankind.  And, just like the Apostles of Christ who stated that the kingdom of God was at hand shortly after Christ’s ascension.  I imagine that both Adam and Eve believed that Cain would redeem them for Eve states, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord” when Cain is born.  Abel is basically an afterthought when his birth is mentioned.  He is the second-born, meant to simply live as a man without the heavy burden placed on Cain.

It appears that Cain was elevated and given praise by his parents.  They more than likely believed him to be one to redeem all of mankind, lift the curse of sin, and bring them back into the Garden of Eden.  It is probably why he was tasked with growing produce rather than raising livestock.  Livestock is often considered to be a lower practice by most societies and I am willing to bet that Abel’s chosen profession was one that left him as an outcast among his family.

And so Cain and Abel brought their offerings to God.  And God rejected Cain’s offering but accepted Abel’s.  When I was a child, my father said it was because God could see Cain’s heart and while that is probably true, more than likely God was expecting blood sacrifices in order for Cain to redeem his sin.  In a sense, Cain was telling God that he was without sin, unlike his brother Abel, and that he need only give God an offering of produce, not an animal sacrifice.

Cain was, naturally, angry with this rejection.  All his life he had been held in high regard and given all the praise that was due to a redeemer of Mankind.  But here was stinky Abel, who offering of animal flesh was accepted over his best produce.

And so God, recognizing the danger, commanded Cain to master his own sin, which I imagine only angered Cain even more.  And so, Cain murdered Abel in a perversion of the blood sacrifice that God demanded of Man.

Cain was cursed by God for his great sin, of which he was never remorseful over.  At no point does he express regret for his brother’s death.  God curses Cain to be unable to provide for himself anymore, instead having to wander the land begging and scavenging for scraps.  Eventually, he builds a city, probably leveraging his status as Adam’s firstborn in order to establish a kingdom.  And thus, we see the first instance of the elite, born in human sacrifice and cursed to never be able to provide for himself.

The most striking element of the story is when God commands Cain to master his own sin.  This is echoed by Jesus when he tells the people to strive to be perfect as the lord God is perfect.  This runs contrary to a lot of modern Christian thought where the general consensus is that we cannot overcome sin on our own, but only through the saving Grace of Jesus.  And while that is certainly true, it does not absolve us of self-control.  We are saved by Grace but we are to conduct our lives in a manner that strives to be perfect like God.

So let go of your Pride, your Envy, and master your sin.  Otherwise you may find yourself murdering your brother.