Genesis 4:1-16

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

1Adam knew* Eve his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man with the LORD’s help.” 2 Again she gave birth, to Cain’s brother Abel.
*meaning had sexual intercourse

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

3 As time passed, Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat.

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

The LORD respected Abel and his offering, 5 but he didn’t respect Cain and his offering.

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

Cain was very angry, and the expression on his face fell.6 The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen? 7 If you do well, won’t it be lifted up? If you don’t do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it.”

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

8 Cain said to Abel, his brother, “Let’s go into the field.”

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

While they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him.

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

9 The LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?” He said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

10 The LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.12 From now on, when you till the ground, it won’t yield its strength to you. You will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth.”

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.14 Behold, you have driven me out today from the surface of the ground. I will be hidden from your face, and I will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth. Whoever finds me will kill me.”

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

15 The LORD said to him, “Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” The LORD appointed a sign for Cain, so that anyone finding him would not strike him.16 Cain left the LORD’s presence, and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
 
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Genesis 4:1-16

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

1 Adam knew* Eve his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man with the LORD’s help.” 2 Again she gave birth, to Cain’s brother Abel.
*meaning had sexual intercourse

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

3 As time passed, Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat.

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

The LORD respected Abel and his offering, 5 but he didn’t respect Cain and his offering.

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

Cain was very angry, and the expression on his face fell.6 The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen? 7 If you do well, won’t it be lifted up? If you don’t do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it.”

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

8 Cain said to Abel, his brother, “Let’s go into the field.”

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

While they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him.

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

9 The LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?” He said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

10 The LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.12 From now on, when you till the ground, it won’t yield its strength to you. You will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth.”

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.14 Behold, you have driven me out today from the surface of the ground. I will be hidden from your face, and I will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth. Whoever finds me will kill me.”

Genesis 4

World English Bible British Edition (WEBPB)

15 The LORD said to him, “Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” The LORD appointed a sign for Cain, so that anyone finding him would not strike him.16 Cain left the LORD’s presence, and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
 
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God did not accept Cain's offering because of his unbelief

What was the reason that Cain’s offering was rejected? This is one of the most highly debated topic in the bible. Actually, the reason why Cain’s offering was rejected was already provided by apostle Paul in Hebrews 11:4:

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. Hebrews 11:4, NKJV

If we study the entire chapter on Genesis 4, particularly on how Cain claimed that the LORD God had bannished him from the presence of the LORD (Genesis 4:14) although the LORD did not say that (Genesis 4:11-12) and how he believed that the LORD did not care if the punishment would cause him to be killed (Genesis 4:14), we can conclude that he did not believe that the LORD loved him. Read more…

The First Death

It was not Adam nor Eve but their son

This story was a record of the first murder, the first death.

People take sin very lightly. They do something they know is wrong but they do not usually see the result of it immediately. So they feel that sin has no power, no effect.

In the case of Adam and Eve, the serpent lied to Eve that they will not die. Indeed, after eating the fruit, they did not die immediately.

However., the first person to die was not them but their son, Abel. As parents, Adam and Eve would rather they themselves died than to see their beloved son dead and was killed by their firstborn son. Though the bible did not go into detail about the feelings of Adam and Eve, we can imagine that tragic day.

This is the power of sin. The intention of the devil to destroy mankind is far greater than human imagination.

Sin is a Person 

Sin seeks to destroy you

We often think that sin is an action, something that we did that was wrong.

Actually, the bible describes sin as a person that seeks to control you. This is what God said to Cain:

” ….sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you….”  Genesis 4:7 (WEBBE)

In Romans 7:20, apostle Paul wrote:

 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7:18-20 (NIV)

If we kept thinking that sin is just something we do and all we need to do is to control ourselves, we are effectively like allowing a thief to live in our house and refusing to believe his existence. We will keep trying to correct ourselves or blame the people living in the same house. Effectively, we are fighting a virtual enemy and we find ourselves never good enough in controlling ourselves.

Sin has no control over us when we believe in Jesus

Ever since Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, it had opened the door in the spiritual realm for sin to be woven into us (Romans 5:12).

The devil no longer need to disguise as a serpent to speak to us like he did to Eve. Everyday, our minds are bombarded by lies that the sinful nature inside us is telling us.

However, when we believe in Jesus, when we abide in Him, we will not be listening to the lies of the devil, but we will know the truth and the truth will set us free:

 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ( John 8:31-32, ESV)

The truth is, God, our heavenly Father, loves us immensely, unconditionally, perfectly. There is nothing we need to do to make Him loves us more, nor can any weaknesses in us or mistakes made by us cause Him to love us any lesser. All we need to do, is to believe this great love that our Father has for us. We are His beloved children.

Cain was deceived by Sin

Cain hated Abel because he was made to believe he was inferior to Abel

The fact that Cain could decide to kill his brother, it is because Cain had hated his brother for a long time. That hatred originated from him believing the lies that the devil told him — that he is not loved. Perhaps he felt that his parents preferred Abel and hence believed that likewise God preferred Abel too.

Sin uses lies to deceive, control & destroy Cain

This is how much Sin is woven into Cain’s life. It deceived, it constantly reminded Cain that he was inferior and hence, not loved. When Cain believed such lies, he was filled with hatred, jealousy, discouragement and unforgiveness.  With this, Sin controlled Cain’s emotions– giving rise to the desire to kill Abel. His negative emotions and evil desires overwhelmed him and he became a slave to Sin and acted upon the prompting of Sin. In the end, Cain was condemned and carried the full punishment with Sin remaining invisible and appearing as non-existence.

This is how Sin destroyed a person — subtlely, with lies.

That is why the apostle Paul wrote:

“For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.” Romans 7:11 (NIV)

The Truth

The truth is God loves Cain

The ultimate truth was that God loved Cain as much as He loved Abel, and God loved Cain regardless of what he did or did not do.

God explained to Cain that sin was crouching at the door waiting to destroy him. God loved Cain so much that He came personally to speak to Cain.

If Cain had dwelt on God’s love and presence, if Cain had chosen not to listen to the lies that Sin was constantly telling him, his anger, jealousy and hatred would have melt away.

God gave Jesus to be our sin offering

God’s desire is for us to live an abundant, satisfying life. So He sent His begotten Son as a sacrifice for our sins and put an end to sin’s control over us. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us. As a result of all our sins being forgiven (Colossians 1:22), we are made holy and the Holy Spirit of God lives in us (John 14:16) who believe in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit in us speaks to us and we are no longer under the control of our sinful nature because we  can now choose to  follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. See Romans 8:3-4.

So when we live by the Spirit and not by our sinful nature, we will lead victorious lives.

You are a beloved child of the God Most High

Sin will always tell us that we are lousy, our situation is hopeless. Sin will tell us that God is angry with us and God dislikes us for what wrong we have done. Just like in the case of Cain, when the judgement was pronounced, God did not say He was banishing Cain from His presence. However Cain chose to believe the lies that God was banishing him. Cain chose to leave God’s presence.

The truth is you are a child of the God Most High. You are deeply loved, highly favoured, greatly blessed. You are handpicked by the Almighty God, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. In Romans 8:16, it is stated that the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.When you choose to believe how much God loves you, you are living by the Spirit and Sin has no dominance over you.

God loves you

God loves you regardless of what you do

God loves you, my dear child. You are God’s creation. You are His most treasured possession that He sent His one and only Son to die for you. Jesus loves you so much that He left heaven’s throne for 33+ years to come to this world to suffer all kinds of accusations and humiliation so that you can live a satisfying life.

God loves you with a perfect love. He loves you as you are. He does not love you lesser than someone else for whatever reason. King David wrote in Psalms 27:10 that even when his father and mother forsake him, the LORD receives him.

This is the most important message you must remember from this story about Cain and Abel.

Are you wondering…

Why did Cain not return to the LORD?

Genesis 4:16 recorded that Cain chose to leave the LORD’s presence and there was no record of him turning back to the LORD. Although the LORD continued to bless him with descendants, he did not return. Why?

Our LORD Jesus taught us this:

All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. John 3:20 (NLT)

Cain and his descendents were people who did evil.  Cain’s descendent, Lamech was the first man recorded to have two wives. In fact, we read in the story of Noah that the people reached a stage where they took as many wives as they wanted and had intercourse with fallen angels and became very evil, till God had to send the Flood to destroy all living thing.

Lamech killed a young man. Instead of feeling remorse, he expected to be revenged 77 times if anyone kill him. There was unforgiveness and revengeful spirits.

Unlike the case of Seth, another son of Adam and Eve, the bible stopped recording the descendents of Cain after the 6th generation. There was also no record of the length of their days.

Will God punish my enemies?

This story involves two brothers. While we empathised how Cain was deceived and destroyed by Sin, we also recognised that Abel had been the innocent victim who lost his life. There need to be justice.

It seems like God was so compassionate that Cain got away with murder. While there was a “curse” that the land will not yield abundant crops no matter how hard he worked, Cain could still build a city. Cain could still have many descendents. Surely they could succeed in yielding crops? Where then, is the punishment?

My child, know that God is a God who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth (Jeremiah 9:24). Those enemies of yours who do not have God will have their judgement. When you read in the next story on the Noah’s Ark and the Flood, you will learn that all of Cain’s descendents were destroyed. There is a time for everything. Know one thing, God loves you and what hurts you hurts God even more because you are a child of God.

In Romans 1:24, 26, we read that God abandoned people who do evil and in Romans 2:6, it is written that God will judge them according to what they have done. In Romans 2:7-11, it is clear there will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil.

At the cross, Jesus could say “Father , forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”, tells us the faith that Jesus had through His unshaken confidence that God will avenge Him though He knew that God is also compassionate. In fact, the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD was God’s judgement and many Christians were protected because decades earlier, they had been driven out of Jerusalem to Pella.

How to become a believer?

You can be a believer simply by saying this prayer:

Dear God, thank you for so wonderfully make me and thank you for sending your Son, LORD Jesus to die for me so that I can have the blessed life that you intended for me — a life of leadership and fruitfulness. Now I believe and accept Jesus as my LORD and Saviour. I believe that from this time forth, I am a new creation, I am born again and I have the eternal life that Jesus came to give me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

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