Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 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 rule over it.”
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Genesis 4:2-8
Senseless, isn’t it? The first recorded act of murder was not in self defense. It was not in battle. It was simply out of anger, out of jealousy. Cain killed his brother, Abel, because Abel’s offering was more pleasing to the Lord.
It’s interesting that God gives Cain a warning. He looked into the heart of Cain. He knew there was anger inside of him. And he tells him “Sin is crouching at your door.”
This is a feeling that Cain probably had not just at this moment. Not many people go straight from 0 to 60 like that. The problem was that he let it stew, let it fester, and it became a problem – a major problem. So much so, that God sees Cain and says “Hey, you need to chill out. So your offering wasn’t great today. You didn’t give it your best. But you’ve got this. Keep on trying, do the right thing, and it will be accepted.”
Just as God has done for thousands of years, He offered Cain a way out. He warned, he guided, he gave instruction — but the anger inside Cain was too much. And in act of nothing but pure hate, he murdered his brother.
And there you have it, the first recorded murder in history.
Just one chapter earlier, this would not have happened. There was no sin in the world. There was no anger, no violence, no jealousy, no greed. It was a perfect world. But the moment that Satan convinced Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Satan gained a powerful edge, became the ruler of the world, and thrives on convincing man to hate man. And it all began here, with Cain and Abel.
Sadly, even though God created this universe to be good, to be perfect, Satan was able to convince mankind to sin. And because of that, Satan is considered to “rule the world.” Ephesians 2:2 calls him the “prince of the power of the air.” John 12:31 calls him the “ruler of this world.”
When we become Christians, we are no longer bound to this world. We can choose to be, but Colossians 1:13 tells us that God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness.
But those who do not know God, are still ruled by the evil one. I John 5:18, 19 tells us that if you are not born of God, you continue to sin, and that the world is under control of the evil one.
More than likely, a stone was the weapon of choice used by Cain when he murdered his brother. We’re not sure, as the Scriptures do not tell us. That’s not the important part. It wasn’t the weapon that was used, it was the motive that God keyed in on during this passage.
God, instead, focused on the crime that was committed. God provided justice for Abel by punishing Cain. But God still wanted Cain to live, to survive, to have an opportunity to repent of what he had done. And that’s what he did.
One of my best friends, and minister in Huntsville, AL – Jason Bybee – had this to say in his blog earlier this week. You can read the post he wrote HERE. But he reminds us that justice is for God to bring. And that’s what we should pray for – that God would bring justice to those who caused harm like in the tragedy we saw in Orlando this past weekend.
You see, already, guns are being blamed for this violent act. But guns are no more the problem than a stone in the fields when Cain murdered Abel. The problem is that Satan rules the world. And until the Lord returns and defeats Satan once and for all, Satan will continue to cause things like this to occur.
We should pray for the light of the Lord to cover all. We should pray that God returns to take away evil forever and call us home to be with Him. We should pray that God will hear the cry of his people, and ruin the acts of the radical terrorists that claim, cause, and thrive on acts of violence.
And we should pray that those who cause this violence will have a change of heart, that peace can be a part of their lives, because we are told by Jesus to pray for our enemies in Matthew 5:43-48.
Why did this act of terrorism occur this past weekend? Same reason that Cain murdered his brother. I John 3:12 tells us “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.”
May God destroy evil soon.