Adam and Eve raised their children in a faith-filled family that feared, loved, and trusted in the Lord above all things.
No doubt Adam and Eve’s children heard many times the story of their parents’ first sin, and just as many times heard about the great mercy of the Lord’s forgiveness made real through the special descendant, Jesus Christ. The children learned to bring sacrifices to the Lord, offering income or possessions to him as an act of worship that says, “All I have is yours, Lord, as I am yours.”
Except for their son Cain’s offering on this day, and perhaps not only on this day, when the Lord wasn’t pleased because he knew Cain’s offering wasn’t such faith-filled worship.
“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” (Genesis 4:3-5).
The Bible calls Cain’s offering outright evil, not because he gave turnips and his brother, Abel, gave T-bones. Cain simply didn’t believe in this stuff.
Even though Cain went through the motions, the Lord let him know he wasn’t happy about it. And that really ticked Cain off. He got angry at God. He got angry at his brother. “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 4:8).
This is the first human murder recorded in history. But not the most significant. Tomorrow I’ll tell you how God responded to Cain, and here is a powerful preview.
There came, in time, to be another murder. More human blood was spilled, but not only human. God’s own blood. Jesus Christ came here to become the world’s greatest sacrifice, and allowed himself to be attacked by the evil and sin of this world, its people, and you and me.
Because of Jesus, God looks on you with favor. He is pleased with you because of Jesus’ sacrifice. So how can you live more sacrificially for him? And others?
PRAYER: Dear God, I am saddened to see violence and killing in our world, and pray for your mercy, your help and your peace. Guide my heart to be full of goodness and love, to seek to understand others, and to protect human life as a gift from you. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read the whole story in Genesis 4:1-16. And tune in tomorrow.