Monday, December 12, 2011

Raising Cain, Part 3

6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

God is not posing a question of concern presently, but an inquiry as to whether or not Cain has the right to be angry. Is his anger justifiable? Anger is not a sin, but permitting anger to tempt you toward gratifying it is, Ephesians 4:26-27. As Paul states, to follow sin on this course is an open door to give the Devil a foothold in your life. To paraphrase a little God might have been asking Cain, “Do you have any genuine right to be wroth about this?”

7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

God presents Cain with two paths: one is a road paved by faith and walked in obedience; the end of that road is acceptance with God. The second road is the rough path of rebellion; when we know the Lord’s will and reject it in preference to our own subjective tastes, biases and opinions. The end of that road is enslavement to sin and its desires for us. Jesus likewise warns about two paths. One is narrow and leads to life; the other is broad and leads to destruction, Matthew 7:13-14.

Through faith a man draws near to God and this nearness gives us the ability to triumph over sin. As God tells Cain, it is possible to rule over sin and put our body of sin in subjection to us, but that coveted goal is entirely impossible without a living relationship with Christ, 2nd Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 3:9-14.

The idea of sin lying at the door invites the picture of sin seeking entrance. We know that we all have a sin nature and have a natural inclination toward sin. It may be that God was warning Cain not about his sin nature, but that his unchecked nature will bring fruit to bear that has serious consequences. The sin nature’s paramour is temptation; when the two co-mingle they beget sin; and when sin is full grown it brings on death, James 1:15. Cain had two choices: he could continue in his path of willful disobedience and rebellion and become a slave of sin; or he could by the grace of God become sin’s master and live his life in accordance with God’s will rather than his nature’s whims. To such that constantly reject God’s will and witness in this world He warns us that He will eventually “give them up,” Romans 1:24.

8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

What did the brothers talk about? I assert that Abel was attempting to convert his brother to the true worship of Jehovah, and not merely giving God lip service. We know from Jesus that Abel was among the prophets, wise men, and scribes of former times that had been slain for his testimony, Matthew 23:34-35; Hebrews 11:4.

It seems that Abel might have gone to visit Cain while his brother was tilling the earth, for they met out in the field. Whatever the case, Cain’s resentment of Abel and anger toward God finally boiled over and desire became deed. Cain killed his own brother, and became not only the first man ever born from a woman, but the first murderer as well. Abel’s blood, according to Hebrews 12:24 spoke in a sense. It spoke in the sense that its spillage necessitated vengeance on the Lord’s part toward those who wantonly kill His children simply for their affiliation with Him, Genesis 4:10; 2nd Thessalonians 1:6-10.

The brothers were entirely opposites. Abel became the first man to inhabit Paradise in anticipation of the coming Messiah-Redeemer who would atone for all sin and bring the OT saints into the presence of God. Though Cain was potentially not the first man to enter Hades, or Hell, he found himself on the opposite side of that great chasm that divided the righteous from the unsaved. The sin God warned Cain about had mastered him and brought him bound in his iniquities to the place of separation from God, for a holy God cannot tolerate sin, nor will He permit its presence in Heaven. Those who do not have their sin atoned for by the vicarious offering of Jesus Christ will go the way of Cain, Jude 1:11; Revelation 21:27.

Let us learn Cain’s painful lesson. “Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry,” 1st Samuel 15:22-23. Or as the apostle puts it, “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble,” 1st Peter 5:5. Are you proudly walking contrary to God’s revelation regarding your eternal salvation? Repent of it and believe what He has said, and learn from the lesson Scripture gives us regarding pride’s end: it will lead us nowhere good. God bless.


  1. Great study Ian. Thank you for being a servant to our Lord and Savior. God bless, Lloyd

  2. How many insist on giving a sacrifice rather than obeying God, by simply trusting him today. While it may be emotionally gratifying to us, it doesn't please him, yet even most of those who call themselves Christians are caught up in it to some degree.


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