God's People - Cain
This week we are going to be taking a look at Cain, the first child, the first son of man and the first murderer. What can we learn from his life?
Cain is the first child born into the world, whereas Adam and Eve were both formed by god in adult form, Cain was born just as we are still today. Cain's birth is a massive point of significance for us as it is the beginning of the first family. The name Cain (kah'-yin) can be translated to mean 'possession' or 'I've got him' and is a literal name to signify of Eve's possession of the first son. It is believe that Eve thought that Cain was the Messiah that God had promised, and in her naming him she believed him to be the Savior of the world. We can see from this that Eve had the faith to believe that this small baby would become a man. As Cain was the first child born into the world, Adam and Eve wouldn't of known that he would grow to become a man, but they believed it due to their faith in what God had told them.
Cain follows in the footsteps of Adam and becomes a farmer, he tends the land. His brother Abel (who we will cover next week) tends the 'flocks'.
Genesis 4:2-8 (NIV)
2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 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, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 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.” 8 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.
Here we see the first time that envy/jealousy presents itself amongst mankind. Cain, seeing that God is pleased by Abel's offering but not by his own, enacts his jealousy through violence. God challenges Cain's downcast attitude.
How do we react when we are told that we have done something wrong?
Sometimes its the easy option to react in anger, frustration or jealousy. But, we can see from God's challenge to Cain that there is always another option. This option may not always be glamorous or gain us plaudits and praise, but God is urging Cain to consider the eternal effects of his attitude here. If we do what is right then we will be accepted, we know now that Jesus has bridged the gap of sin for us, but the condition of our hearts is essential to forming the decision to accept Jesus' sacrifice and God's grace into our lives.
God goes on to ask Cain what he has done, again as we covered in Eve's blog, it's not because God doesn't already know, but because he is challenging Cain for his actions. God curses Cain and casts him out of the land, to wander the earth. Again, we can be thankful that Jesus' blood has paid the price for our sin and gives us the opportunity to reconcile with God. However, if we actively choose to commit sin, like Cain, then we will exile ourselves from God's grace and covering. It's not always easy to make the right choices but we have the opportunity to ask God for His help and He is always willing to provide it.
I pray that we might turn to God in our moments of need and that we might find our strength in Him. I pray that we might strive to be better brothers and sisters and work to uphold one another in God's love.