In Genesis 4:1-15, we read about the story of Cain & Abel. Some have attempted to use this passage to condemn others who do not worship the way in which they believe they should. They claim that Cain was a well-intended worshiper but was still condemned because he didn’t do just as God said. Is this summary an accurate description of the story of Cain & Abel? Absolutely not.
This summary couldn’t be further from the truth. While Abel acted by faith and Cain did not (Heb. 11:4; 12:24), the details of the story reveal Cain’s character. When God corrected Cain’s worship to God, Cain did not express sorrow. Instead, he became angry (Gen. 3:5-6). A sincere individual who wants to do right doesn’t become angry when they are corrected. Furthermore, Cain ended up killing his brother because of this (Gen. 4:8). This is certainly not a mark of a sincere individual who is trying to do the right thing. Consider what the New Testament has to say about Cain:
“For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous” (1 Jn. 3:11-12).
“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain…” (Jude 11).
In conclusion, Cain was guilty of having a loveless heart. He didn’t love his brother. He did not have a heart that was truly set on loving God and loving his brother, which are the two greatest commands (Mt. 22:36-40).
– Kevin Pendergrass
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