This topic came to mind as I pondered on the murder Abel by his brother Cain. Genesis 4: 2 says that “Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground”. They both gave an offering to the Lord, Cain giving the produce that he had farmed and Abel giving “the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof”. In other words, Abel gave a burnt offering. However, God was displeased with Cain’s offering.

I assume that Adam and Eve would have told their sons that the correct way to atone for sins was to offer an animal sacrifice. Why did Cain feel that his works would do the job? Maybe he wanted to gloat about the beauty and fruitfulness of his labor. Did he present a fruit basket to God? Here again we see the effort to attempt to please God with a form of godliness.
Cain’s response revealed that he was very competitive and unable to deal with losing God’s favor. His bitterness of spirit was revealed and he became “very wroth, and his countenance fell” (Gen 4: 5). He experienced anger and depression. God drew his problem to his attention, but Cain took matters into his own hands rather than asking God to help him. Watch this spirit of competitiveness in believers – people who always have the need to sing their praises and put others down if they succeed. With extremes of this spirit, they may even commit murder in their hearts. This will not be seen on the surface, but by discernment.

Cain rose up and slew his brother in the spirit of anger and jealousy. However, he talked with him in the field, appearing to be friendly. I believe that he killed his brother as they laughed and talked. Beware of backstabbers! In response to God’s question about his brother’s whereabouts, he said, “I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?”. In the words of Minister Winston, Cain was full of arrogance, mercilessness and pride. He got rid of the source of irritation, the person who daily reminded him that he had not pleased God.

More next time. Please pray for me!