Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story
How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.
Genesis 4:1-9 New life through the first Birth, Sacrifice, Murder
“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
“So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
“Now 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 killed him.
“Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”
He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?””
GOD reveals to us the weakness of our humanity
We see the first human family torn apart with jealousy, violence and shame. First, there is new life which is wonderful.
The first birth of the human race
Eve conceives and gives birth to Cain. How wonderful! Then she gives birth again to Abel. A double blessing… but not for Cain.
The boys grow, Abel offers a sacrifice to the GOD whom He recognises. Here is sacrifice, a sincere desire to worship the Creator.
But Cain’s sacrifice is deemed unworthy. Perhaps it is because he is copying his brother and it isn’t a heart-felt sacrifice. Perhaps it is because there is no blood shed that Cain’s sacrifice is not recognised. But GOD shows compassion as he seeks to teach Cain, ““Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?If you do well, will you not be accepted?” He warns Cain to do well.
GOD is GOD. And he who is humble is a blessing and is blessed while he who is insecure, proud and rebellious will reap what he sows. In Genesis 4, we see sin is in Cain’s heart and it leads to fury, jealousy, murder. Cain first strikes, then he shirks responsibility, and finally he must be outcast. Yet, even though he is cast out, we see later that GOD shows him mercy, giving His own mark of protection upon Cain.
Pain of parenthood
And the story doesn’t mention Adam or Eve at this point. What suffering do they endure as one son is killed, the other has caused the parents’ grief, and then he is banished for it.
What does GOD want us to understand?
Moses wrote down Genesis under GOD’s instruction. Surely there were many stories but GOD chose which stories to share, where to give detail, and what will be remembered across time through His Word.
In this aspect of Biblical history we learn the importance of relationship to Creator GOD. We discover there are godly ways to honour Him and ungodly ways. We learn that GOD sees, He receives, and He teaches if only we will learn. We learn the bitter heartache that selfish pride causes. And we learn that in spite of our sin, He seeks always to teach, guide and protect us even from ourselves.
The story of Cain and Abel is crucial to GOD’s message to us: He values sacrifice and yet it is valued on His terms. He sees into our hearts and exposes pride which is so destructive and does not escape GOD’s gaze. He always seeks to show mercy, grace and justice. Amen.