“Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him” (Genesis 4:8).
Things escalated. God refused Cain’s offering and anger filled his heart. Mercifully, God told him there was no reason for his displeasure. If Cain would have brought the right offering, it would have been accepted. God continued to instruct Cain about the consequences of his refusal to worship appropriately—namely, that sin would devour him. In other words, God said to Cain, “You dug your own trap, now don’t fall in it.”
Sadly, Cain ignored God’s warning. He fell into his own trap, and sin devoured him. The Hebrew language in this passage is cold and tragic. The tone is equally sinister. “Cain spoke to Abel his brother,” but there is no mention of what he said. It didn’t matter. Silence was more fitting for such a dark setting. His words meant little when his actions were so severe.
Sin took lead and death soon followed. “And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.” The sinful son slayed the innocent one. God’s words in the garden were already being fulfilled. There was enmity between the offspring. The wicked hated the righteous. The evil slaughtered the guiltless.
In a way, both sons died that day. One died physically, and the other died much more deeply. In the depths of his soul, Cain sank further into darkness under the mastery of sin. What began in the garden had infected the children of mankind. Sin was like a disease being carried along from Adam to his sons, and death followed. God had spoken the truth.
- What are the similarities and differences between the fall of the parents and the fall of the son? What patterns do you recognize in their progression to sin?
- What did you learn about God in this passage? How does it validate what He said in the garden of Eden? Do you trust God when He speaks?
- In what ways does this passage help you today? Are there warnings in the story that might affect your choices in life?