1Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” 2And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, 5but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
8Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.
How much of our own selves do we see in these early chapters of the Book of Genesis? Tell someone today that his ways do not please God and you will often get an angry response. Tell them that their ways condemn them and that Jesus Christ is the only way to escape the just desserts of His punishment and you are likely to get rage.
And the anger that is directed at God is poured out on those who claim to know Him. So Cain kills his brother because God accepted him instead of Cain. Compare this to Jesus’ piercing question to Paul on the Road to Damascus “…why do you persecute me?” There is persecution in the world because people hate God. There is persecution because in the absence and inability to get at God they chase after those who follow Him. This has been the case since the first humans were on the planet and it will continue to be until the Lord returns. It is His promise, His prediction and His very great reward.
We should be more concerned about the world approving everything about us than if they oppose us. They opposed Christ and they will oppose all who follow Him.
Genesis 4:10 “What have you done?” See 3:13 when God poses the same question to Eve. Before there is forgiveness there must be acknowledgment of our sin. The very question God puts to sinners that causes them to say “I have sinned” is a mercy in itself.
Today, thank God that He forces us to face ourselves and our actions, that He has shown us the true nature of our hearts, that He has brought us to hate sin and has provided all that is needed for us to be liberated from them – Jesus Christ Himself.