Cain begins by deceiving his brother; pretending there was some reason for them to go out together. “Lets go out in the fields” (v8) He says. I’m sure Abel had no idea what was on Cain’s mind and willingly went to spend time with his brother or to help him. Remember that Cain was the older of the two and Abel would naturally have respected him as such. But Cain knew exactly what he was doing; he had already planned to kill Abel. It was not as if they had some disagreement when they went out and Cain killed him during a dispute. Abel was completely innocent of any wrong doing and Cain turned on Abel suddenly killing him in a premeditated attack; he murdered his own brother due to uncontrolled jealousy and an evil heart.
Jesus warned very strongly against the attitudes and hypocrisy of the religious leaders and teachers of the time. Their ancestors killed the prophets and were plotting to kill him. He called them snakes – reminding of the deceitful ways of Satan. They looked good on the outside but inside they were full of evil and deceit. They were allowing innocent people to be killed – the punishment was going to fall on them (Matthew 23 29-36)
Abel’s innocent and righteous blood still speaks and cried out to God condemning them, even though he is dead (Hebrews 11 v 4)
Cain shows no remorse for what he had done. He is shown to be callous and heartless when God asks “Where is your brother?” As we saw with Adam and Eve, God asks the question, not because he does not know, but giving opportunity for confession and repentance, but Cain’s response shows that there was none. “I don’t know. Am I supposed to take care of my brother?” (v9).
God again gives Cain opportunity to repent by asking “Why have you done this terrible thing?” (v10) but Cain’s heart is so cold that he falls under the same curse as Satan.
You are placed under a curse and can no longer farm the soil. It has soaked up your brother’s blood as if it had opened its mouth to receive it when you killed him (v11)
He was to be banished from the fruitful soil he had been working and sent away from God’s presence. Still there is no sense of remorse or repentance. He is only thinking of himself “it’s not fair” is the response. He accused God of being too harsh on him (v14)
This punishment is too hard for me to bear (v 13)
Yet his sin had built up and up from;
- a lack of reverence for God (v3)
- anger (v 5)
- jealousy leading to deception and murder (v8)
- lies (v9)
- selfishness (v13)
At no point did Cain show any sign of remorse or repentance and so was sent on his way, banished from God’s presence (v16)
Even here though we see again God demonstrating his love, care and protection over Cain. Even though he had to send Cain away, he put a mark of protection on him so that no one could avenge Abel’s blood (v15)
In Ezekiel 9 v 4 we see again that a mark of protection is placed on people to prevent them from being killed when the city of Jerusalem was purged.
God used a mark too on the Israelites to protect them from the plague of death in Egypt (Exodus 12)
God is very gracious to us and gives us many opportunities to repent and do the right thing
We must not be like Cain; he belonged to the Evil one and murdered his own brother Abel. Why did Cain murder him? Because the things he himself did were wrong, but the things his brother did were right (1 John 3 v 12)