So this is when Cain kills Abel because of God’s response to their offerings. It’s curious that both sons gave things that would have the potential to please God, but Able’s worked and Cain’s didn’t. I wonder why.
Genesis Four says nothing about why God favored one and not the other. Maybe it was the quality of the sacrifice? Maybe it was the quantity? Maybe it was the attitude? I don’t know, but I noticed a clue in verse five: “…but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.” Huh. It wasn’t just the offering. It was Cain himself. Which leads me to assume that Cain’s heart may not have been as dedicated as Able’s. And God sees deep into hearts.
Aw, jealousy. It changes us, if we let it. It makes us bitter and angry and do stupid things. Cain doesn’t appear mad at God for not seeing value in his offering. He’s mad at his brother for giving a better one.
One of my all-time favorite scriptures is in this chapter, when God warns Cain to make a good choice:
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 master it.” (vs. 6-7)
**It says “rule over it” in the new NIV, but my 1986 version uses “master it,” which I love.
What a vivid picture of what we’re up against. Sin is like a lion, ready to pounce, and we must master it. So great. So not easy.
Side Note: “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” (vs. 1) Great verse for a birth announcement! 😉