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"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book 1: Cain and Abel

You know, a lot of today's movie and story cliches come from the Bible. Case in point with this story. A jealous brother who wants the same fame and fortune as his brother. (Well, not fortune in this case.) This story follows Cain and Abel, the first sons of man. Let's get on with the review.

Cain is the older one, and worked the soil. Abel is the younger one, (obviously) and kept the flocks. So this is what life was like 6,000 years ago, simple. (Not too different than the Pilgrim's way of life.) They both gave their offerings, Cain gave some of the fruits of the soil while Abel gave huge portions of the firstborn of his flock. God looked at Abel with great favor. Of course, this made Cain angry. Can't say I blame him, I would be too. (But I wouldn't have done what he did to his brother. O_O)

I like how God sees this and speaks directly to Cain. (This was back when He spoke directly to people, you don't see that happening much these days.) "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." That quote is probably what sums up the whole book for me, probably the most important quote for every day living.

Despite this, Cain got Abel to go into the field and eliminated him. (The first murder act.) It is never said, but I'm going to assume they were in their late teenage years at that point. They probably didn't have the best relationship growing up, I bet Cain secretly had planned that moment for years. Though I wonder what Adam and Eve were doing at that moment. (I wonder if they built some sort of house.) I like this next part. Kind of similar to what happened in the last story.

Instead of bluntly saying what Cain had done, God simply asked "Where is your brother Abel?" (Character right there to anyone who says He is just an overlord who looks down upon us.) Cain wasn't exactly the nicest of guys, and his response was as expected. "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper?" That's one heck of an answer if you ask me. I like how God kind of exploded on this guy, saying "You will be a restless wanderer on the earth." Of course, Cain pretty much mellows down saying "Whoever finds me will kill me." But check this out. God's response to that was "Not so, if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Just think about that for a sec, this guy had just committed murder, yet God still cared for the guy, not letting anyone kill him! (He even placed a mark on Cain so no one who found him would kill him.) So Cain left God's presence, got a wife, and had a son named Enoch. (What follows is a very complicated thing of sons after sons after sons.) Later, Eve had another son called Seth, who then had a son named Enosh. (Where do these names come from?!)

In closing, the story of Cain and Abel demonstrates that evil personas in us humans existed way back then with the first murder act, and also demonstrates that God is the merciful God He says He is. Another interesting story.

Next up: Noah and the Flood.


  1. Hey, finally got a chance to read this one. Here's a couple of quick thoughts.

    It made Cain angry, but I think a good question is "why?" He had done something wrong. Abel was generous with his offering, Cain was not. God was calling character into question (arguably sin). People don't like that. I also don't like it when people call me into question that way, but remember, it was what he brought on.

    I don't think that God was necessarily trying to bless Cain or look out for him with the curse. He was trying to make sure that he didn't get the easy way out. It would have been more bearable for Cain to just die and be over with it. Instead, God wanted him to understand (and everyone in the future to understand) that with sin comes consequence.

    Interesting, the name Enosh has it's root in the word frail or mortal. Probably a reminder of man's frailty, especially in light of this story.

    I can't remember what Enoch means, I'll have to look it up. :-)

    good stuff.

  2. Thanks Adam! Looking back at it, your points make great sense. I like the first point the best, good stuff.