January 2 – A Tale of Two Brothers

Anyone else have any children and they are as different as different can be? One is an introvert and quiet. The other? You practically have to beg him to please. stop. talking. (Purely hypothetical, of course.) It seems Eve was on the same boat. While the bible does not give more details on the personalities of Cain and Abel, we sense a difference in the two brothers, at least in their chosen profession.

 

Abel kept the flocks and Cain worked the soil. We see Cain and Abel both making their offerings to the Lord. Abel’s offering were from the first fruit of his flock (v. 4) and Cain’s was some of the fruit of his soil (v.3). But it says God looked with favor on one and not the other. 

 

Why is that? I don’t think God was playing favorites but He definitely has some ideas about the type of sacrifice that is acceptable. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4 ESV)

 

Maybe when they were little instead of rolling his eyes like Cain did thinking “Oh, no, not this story again!” Abel paid attention when his parents told them about what happened right after they ate of the fruit.

 

Gen 3:7 “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” ESV

 

God however provided them with something much better: Gen 3:21 “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” NIV

 

It’s as if Abel understood the difference between works of men vs. work of God. He had an inkling of the plan of salvation: Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22 ESV)

 

Cain, on the other hand…Did he not think that Abel’s animal sacrifice was enough? That it needed more? The sweat of his brow, perhaps (not literally because that would be gross)? Cain insisted on doing things his own way. He wanted his offering to be a result of his work (Gen 4:3). 

 

Sound familiar? When my cousin Tony first shared the gospel with me, I scoffed. Yes, scoffed! You mean, that’s all I have to do? Accept Jesus and all my sins are forgiven – even the ones in  the future? Well, what’s the point of being good, then? Wouldn’t people just go on their merry way sinning left and right because all is forgiven? Surely there’s more. It took 16 years for the message to sink in. (Thank you, Lord for your patience.) When I realized my need for Jesus Christ and how He gave me His all, I finally understood what Tony was trying to tell me. Yes, what Jesus did on the cross, that’s what love and grace really meant.  Jesus gave me His all and nothing I do can add to what He has already done. I cannot earn my way to salvation:

 

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

 

In this story, Abel died but he really lived. Cain lived but…Genesis 4:16 said that Cain went to the land of Nod:

 

Strong’s H5113 – Nowd
נוֹד

Nod = “”wandering”

1) land to which Cain fled or wandered after the murder of Abel

 

Cain ended up in the land of Wandering. Lost. Away from God’s presence and fellowship. In my opinion, that is a fate worse than death.

 

 

[Reading from  Blue Letter Bible Chronological Plan]

 

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9 thoughts on “January 2 – A Tale of Two Brothers

  1. Yes, I so feel the same way as you do: away from God’s presence and fellowship is worse than death! When we sin we lose out on His presence, we begin to wander just like Cain did. We lose our footing on God’s path and before we know it, we’re off to the right or to the left going in our own direction. “But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you” (Genesis 4:6 NLT). Spending time in God’s Word each day allows us to know His will for our day. As we read the scriptures the Holy Spirit is able to guide us, instruct us, and counsel us throughout the entire day. Hugs, Lori

  2. In today’s reading, I noticed a God of second chances! In Genesis 4:6, God says to Cain “Why are you so angry? Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right……”IF YOU DO WHAT IS RIGHT”….God, in His grace and mercy is offering Cain a second chance to do the right thing. Was it pride that caused him to turn away from God’s offer? I had never noticed before, the 2nd chance he was given…..Thank You Lord for being a God of 2nd (and 3rd, and 4th, etc….) chances….Your mercy and grace is beyond measure. Amen.Morgen

  3. Great post! Thank you! What stuck out to me was how God saw us as consistently and totally evil. Everything we think or imagine is evil and we break His heart. We break His heart and that was in the beginning. Think of how patient and loving He is to send His only Son, to give us His Spirit and to give us chance upon chance to follow after Him 🙂 we must obey His Word and stay in His presence and the best part is He gave us His Spirit to empower us to walk away from temptation and to allow His light to shine! May we have a blessed day! Love and hugs! Bethany

  4. Love these thoughts today!!! Here is my post and what really stood out to me today…As I was reading something new popped out at me that I had not noticed before. I had heard that “Enoch walked with God” but the whole verse in Genesis 5:22 says, “And after the birth of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and fathered other sons and daughters” (emphasis mine). Could it have been that the birth of his son made him realize that he needed to take his walk with God seriously? I know for me that is what happened in my life. I was very far away from the Lord and when Will came along 8 years ago my life turned upside down. It was then that I did not want to raise my child in the state that I was in and pass on to him all that bondage that I was living in. All the shame and anger and bitterness, all the resentment and insecurity that clouded every single decision I made. I was miserable! It was his birth that God used as the catalyst to change me and move my life in a different direction. It seems that it also may have been the birth of his son that also moved Enoch in a different direction as well. He was from the line of Seth and knew about God, Genesis 4:26 says that when Seth had Enosh people began to call on the name of Yahweh, but knowing about God does not mean you are following God. I knew about God from the time I was small, but I did not follow Him. Maybe Enoch was this way as well, the Bible does not say. But when Enoch started following God he did not do so from a distance or he wasn’t lukewarm about his walk, he walked with Him. He lived his life consistent with His will and had fellowship with Him. He heard His voice, He recognized His hand and His actions in His life. That is what I want and seek to live out each day as well. May it be said of me, “After the birth of Will, Brandee walked with God.”

  5. Amen, Brandee! I can’t help but ponder on the birth of Jesus, God’s Son, and how He empowers us to walk closely with the Father, reconciled us with the Father! May we all walk closely with the Lord each day living in victory! Love to allBethany

  6. I love these comments and thoughts, they bring The Word alive and real. Today my take-away was v. 4:7 “…Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” In my morning reading in the HCSB there was a wonderful commentary on this verse. ‘The parallel use of desire in this verse and 3:16 suggests that sin wishes to be as intimate with humanity as a woman is with her husband. The only way to avoid this is to be its master, not its companion.’ This commentary made me think just how many times I have chosen to companion with sin instead of being it’s master? Have a glorious day in Jesus.Mary Ann

  7. Wow, Mary Ann- thanks for sharing that!! So true- and I was so caught up in Cain’s offering not being accepted. I’m grateful for all the responses that everyone is sharing–What caught me today is Gen 6:3, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal life-span will be no more than 120 years.” Hmmmm- I wonder what He is thinking now. “So the Lord was sorry He had ever made them…It broke his heart.” I know I have broken my Fathers heart so many times- especailly before I was actively seeking Him. I guess this reading tugged at my heart-strings- we are nothing but mortal flesh- and at times (especially back before I walked with Him) I behaved & acted as if I was queen invincible. I pray that I will seek Him with ALL my heart, mind, strength, & soul & always remember HE IS GOD— and I am NOT!!

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