Genesis 4 is about life outside of the Garden (for a picture of how life looked inside see Genesis 2). Adam and Eve are building their family and bring forth two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain is a farmer and Abel a shepherd. They decide to bring God offerings of their work. Cain brings forth fruit and Abel brings forth fat portions from his flock. God looks with favor upon Abel and his offering, but not on Cain’s. This causes Cain to burn with anger and pout. God shows up on the scene and begins to reason with Cain. God even advises Cain that if he will do what is right he’ll be accepted. But if he saturates in his anger, the desire to sin will overtake him.
Cain ignores God and takes matters into his own hands. “Maybe if Abel is out of the way I won’t have to worry about the competition in pleasing God,” he thinks. So, Cain murders Abel in cold blood. God, like He did with Adam and Eve, seeks Cain (the sinner) out and inquires about his brother. Cain responds that he isn’t in charge of his brother and has no clue where he is. God, being all knowing, confronts Cain and curses him and he becomes a wanderer of the earth.
Reviewing Cain’s actions we see that:
- He became angry (maybe jealous?) because God looked with favor upon his brother’s offering
- He ignored God’s advice
- He devised a plan to murder his brother and followed through with it
- He lied to God to cover up what he had done
- He showed no remorse
Now, what lies behind Cain’s actions is his heart. From the heart the mouth speaks the Scriptures tell us. What else comes from the heart? Our actions. Everything Cain did was a matter of his heart not being right with God (a consequence of the Fall and his own choice). God tried reasoning with Cain to reveal to him this truth in Genesis 4:6-7. But Cain ignored God, which tells us that he didn’t want anything to do with God. A conscious choice made from his heart. Cain’s heart wasn’t open to receiving the Word and as a result, sin consumed and led him off to murder his own flesh and blood.
I dare you to stop and think about the things you do (good and bad). Have you ever done that before? If you do, try and trace them back to their source. If you follow the footprints long enough, you’ll discover that they lead back to your heart.
- How’s your heart these days?
- Is it open to receiving God’s Word?
- Do you believe our actions come from our heart?
- Why or why not?