The Book of Genesis is foundational to all of the Revelation of God to man. It is a succinct theological account of the earth and man’s beginnings. It is by no means exhaustive. Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters, for example, but Genesis focuses on the story of Cain and Abel.
Every account in Genesis was hand-picked by the Holy Spirit because it offers the fundamental understanding of some aspect of either the fall or the salvation of humanity. Ironically, though Genesis is an account of the beginnings, it is also full of eschatology, the beginning corresponds to the end.
I believe that the story of Cain and Abel goes beyond being the account of the first murder. There would be many, many more murders in human history, and for varying reasons and circumstances, but the story of Cain and of Abel is about much more than the sin of murder.
This first account of murder, and of fratricide is placed immediately after the account of the Creation and the Fall of man, as being basic to the entire development of man after the fall.
Consider that the context of the first murder is worship. Both Cain and Abel were monotheistic worshippers. Abel offered the God appointed blood sacrifice and Cain offered of the fruit of the ground. But sacrifices are statements in and of themselves.
By offering the God appointed bloody sacrifice to God, Abel was saying in effect, “I come to you dear God, by the blood of this substitute which you have ordained,. I admit I am a sinner, and deserving of death. Please accept this sacrificial death in my place!” .
Cain also made a statement by his offering. Bringing the best of the produce of his crops, the fruit of the ground which God had blessed, Cain was saying that he was willing to admit his utter dependence upon God as creator, and blesser of the ground. But by refusing to bring the bloody sacrifice God appointed, Cain would not admit that he was a sinner in need of substitutionary redemption.
When God rejected Cain’s offering, and accepted Abel’s, Cain slew Abel, shedding his brother’s blood.
The point is that sin would require blood, either way. Someone is going to have to pay for sin. God has appointed a substitute for all of us (Jesus the Messiah). But like Cain, a good portion of humanity finds sacrificial redemption too humbling and abhorrent. As one Muslim proudly told me on an airplane,“We Muslims need no sacrifice!”.
I answered him gently, “Then why do Muslims kill so many people all over the earth?”.
The religion of Cain rejects the sacrifice appointed by God, i.e., the blood of Jesus. But consequently it demands bloody sacrifice in other ways.
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.( I John 3:11-15)
To the Lord’s apostle John, there are only two paradigms for all of humanity ; Christ or Cain.
Love one another, is what we have been hearing from the start, ie the onset of our Christian walk. Love pervades the gospels, the epistles, the story of Jesus, indeed, in the whole concept of God seeing us in our sin and misery and sending his Son to suffer in our place as a substitute, Love permeates Christian spirituality.
Yes Love is commanded, but even if not it is so implied that since we have been so loved, in such an unworthy state, how could we not gratefully Love one another?
The paradigm for those who have truly received the gift of Life is Jesus, whose love for God and for us was acted out in the Incarnation, and on the cross in the giving up of his own life, and in our subsequent adoption into His family.
But John suggests a second paradigm, one which he warns us not to emulate, for it is the sure sign of spiritual death and darkness, that is Cain. We are told that Cain was “of the wicked One”, that is, he lived out his life at the disposal of and in the character of the Devil.
Cain “slew His brother”. The word “slew” here has a religious and sacramental significance. In other words there is a sense in which Cain offered up his brother as a sacrifice, just as Abel offered up a lamb as a sacrifice. Abel “slew a Lamb”, Cain “slew His brother”.
But notice that though perhaps he felt he was above slaying a lamb to offer to God, he didn’t hesitate to slay his brother. In other words, sacrifice is inevitable, someone is going to have to pay for sin, someone is going to be offered up on an altar to a god, if not the true sacrifice to the only true God.
Cain offered Abel up to his own rage, on the altar of his hurt feelings, envy, and rebellion. Thus Cain”slew” his brother. He wouldn’t kill a lamb but he killed his brother. He wouldn’t offer to God but he offered to himself! But in all religion, true or false, sacrifice is going to be offered no matter what!
Muslims hate Jews and Christians. But almost universally, wherever possible, Jews and Christians are good to Muslims. Muslims have more rights in Israel than anywhere in the ‘Arab World’. Terrorists get the same treatment in Jewish hospitals than the people they tried to kill. America bends over backwards to try to please Muslims.
Muslims hate us because we are good,and they know it!
Why did he slay his brother? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous…
Cain actually hated his brother for doing rightly, for coming to God in the God appointed way! It was because his brother’s righteousness showed up his own faux righteousness that Cain Killed Abel. He “slew” him for being good, and because He himself was determined to remain a sinner!
The story of Cain and Abel doesn’t specifically predict Islam, but it is certainly the way to understand the psychology beneath it. All false religions demand bloody sacrifices, one way or another, even atheism. Look at the millions slain by Mao and Stalin, or the millions of children aborted.
By this story near the very beginning of scripture, the LORD was telling us tat man’s conflicts would primarily be spiritual, and that those who refuse to be redeemed by the God appointed sacrifice of Love end up offering bloody sacrifices of their own, making others pay for their sin.
Islam has been basically subdued for about a hundred years, by the Judeo Christian West. Now that our leaders are defecting from the Judeo Christian worldview, the beast has awoken and demands blood.
Those beheadings we read about through ISIS,ISIL, and Al Queda aren’t mere war crime atrocities, they are ritual killings, sacrifices to false Gods, making others pay for the sins of the Muslims.