Your Brother’s Blood
Scripture Reading: Genesis 4:1-12
1 Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 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 rule over it.”
8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”
“Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”
Abel was the first person to be killed in human history, and his brother, Cain, was the first murderer.
How did Cain come to do such a terrible thing? Cain was jealous and angry because God did not look with favor on his offering. But Cain did not give God the best of his fruits of the soil. He simply gave some of them, and that dishonored God. God explained to Cain that he simply needed to do what was right, but Cain refused to listen. He did not control his anger or his jealousy, and he killed his brother.
Though anger can be one of our innate character traits, we must rule over it. We can be angry, but it is a sin not to manage our anger.
Abel was the victim of Cain’s selfishness and wickedness. How undeserving was his death! How searing was the pain in his heart when his own brother killed him? If we experienced such hatred for serving God through faith, how painful would that be?
God understands our grief from injustice and pain. The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” God acknowledged Abel’s grief and stood up for him.
We must walk the path of faith, as Abel did. God will guide our footsteps, acknowledge our pain, and follow up with justice.
God, you understand our hearts and our griefs. Please help us serve you and do what is right, caring for others and not hurting them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.