Why Did Cain Kill Abel In The Bible?
All of my siblings in the house, stand up! Aah, if you have brothers and sisters (I am an only child, but the way my cousins and I wore each other’s clothes and ate each other’s food, we might as well have been siblings), then you know that siblings can get on your nerves in ways that most people can only imagine. Whether your brother or sister stole you clothes, got you in trouble with your parents, or showed your date that embarrassing yearbook picture from three years ago (you know, the one where you had so much acne, your dog called YOU Spot), siblings love to get under one another’s skin, even to the point of fighting. However, in the vast majority of cases, siblings will apologize to each other, make up, and all will be well in 48 hours. Even when siblings throw around the “I’m going to kill you” phrase, it’s usually just out of anger, and he or she isn’t ACTUALLY going to kill you-maybe punch you in the shoulder or throw a shoe at you. What happens when one brother becomes so jealous of his younger brother that he actually does kill him? This brings us to the story of Cain and Abel.
If you’ll recall from my last post, ” An Apple a Day Won’t Keep Jesus Away,” https://jesusbedtimestories.com/an-apple-a-day-wont-keep-jesus-away/, after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, God cursed them, which included telling Eve that she would experience great pains during childbirth. Cain and Abel were Adam and Eve’s first two children, but all was not well between them. Cain, the older of the two brothers, was a farmer, while Abel, the younger of the two brothers, was a skilled shepherd who took care of the family’s animals. Cain and Abel normally brought sacrifices (animals or personal possessions) to God to worship him and thank him for being so good to them. On one particular day, Cain and Abel brought very different sacrifices to God. Genesis 4: 3-5, says the following:
- Genesis 4:3-5 (KJV): And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
Cain offered grass and seeds to God, while Abel offered God the fattest of his sheep-God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but he rejected Cain’s. This made Cain’s blood boil (you know that feeling when someone makes you so mad that you just want to-WATCH YOURSELF! What would Jesus do?), and I think we can all picture Cain’s reaction: What makes Abel so special, God? Why did you like his sacrifice better than mine? I bust my behind in the field everyday, and I gave you the best that I had (was that REALLY your best, Cain?). I’m the older brother, so if anything, I taught that little squirt everything that he knows, so I should get the credit for the sacrifice, not him! That’s not fair, God! That’s not fair! God tried to reason with Cain, but Cain didn’t want to hear it; God’s words went in one ear, and out the other (you better recognize who you’re dealing with, Cain; God isn’t just some buster off of the street). At this very moment, Cain decided to kill his brother, Abel. Genesis 4:8-16, reads as follows:
- Genesis 4:8-16 (KJV): And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
After reading that mountain of a paragraph, a few of you are probably ready to throw a rotten tomato at me-you know darn well that I don’t understand half of what I just read. Is this a joke? Is this a joke? Really?!! Really?!! Relax! I’m here to break it down for you in simpler terms, in two sentences flat. Cain killed his brother, Abel, God asked Cain where Abel was (God saw what had happened), God asked Cain why he had killed Abel, and God cursed Cain as punishment-Cain would no longer be able to grow any crops on his farm, no matter how hard he tried, and he would spend the rest of his life just walking around-no job, no money, and separated from God. Cain couldn’t handle his punishment, but get this, God would not allow anyone to kill Cain. Cain had just killed his brother, Abel, and God was angry with Cain, but he loved Cain so much that he still wouldn’t allow anyone to hurt Cain, and he placed a mark on Cain’s body to make sure that no one touched him (talk about being untouchable!).
We can all learn a valuable lesson from the story of Cain and Abel. Firstly, never allow jealousy, whether of strangers, friends, or family, make you so angry that you’re willing to kill someone over it. God loves each and every one of us the same, and he has great plans for ALL of our lives; we just need to be ready, willing and able to accept the great gifts God has for us. Secondly, when someone makes you angry, try to talk to that person and work things out. Oftentimes, a person doesn’t know that he or she has made you angry, and even if that person does know, TALK ABOUT IT. When we take time to talk to each other, we can learn about one another, we can apologize and forgive one another, we can help one another to accomplish our goals, and we may find out that we’re a lot more alike than we think (communication is a powerful thing).
The next time that you and your siblings have a disagreement, don’t go Tazmanian Devil on them like Cain did to Abel; stop, think, talk about it, work it out, and go back to putting plastic spiders on each other’s faces during the night. If talking doesn’t fix the problem, pray, pray, pray some more, and wait on God. God will take care of everything, and before you know it, you and your siblings will be back to putting plastic spiders on each other’s faces during the night, and probably filling each other’s new sneakers with shaving cream as well. God bless you all!