Dissappointment. Jealously. This is where it all began. It’s so easy to look at the story of Cain and Able and understand why Cain was so discouraged after joyfully coming before God and giving Him the very best of all His hard work, only to find it rejected. How disappointing. What must have been running through his head about himself, his worth and God’s love for him.
Yet, there is much to learn of our Savior here, much we can learn about our own worth in Him.
As Samuel said to Saul after offering another misguided sacrifice, God does not require sacrifice, but obedience. The sacrificial system was set in place that man may understand the seriousness of sin and understand the salvation that was coming. It was a sacred system of pure sorrow melded with unwavering hope. These lessons, these sweet truths, were what God longed for Cain to have. I can imagine that God was proud of Cain’s labors and excited that he was so willing to give of his hard work, yet such a sacrifice would not produce the fruit God wished to grow in Cain’s heart.
As Cain’s frustration and jealousy grew, he did the unthinkable. Cain became the first murder. Again, God’s heart broke. It broke over the loss of Able. It broke for the loss for Adam and Eve. It broke for Cain and his confused and wounded spirit.
Despite it all, God continued to extend tremendous love to Cain. His love for Cain was not spilled out and emptied on that bloody field. There were consequences for his choices, yet God protected Cain. He continued to extend His love to His wayward son. Cain remained loved as his value was not in his sacrifice, but in who he was – a son of the King.
May I always remember these lessons of God’s love and care, the importance of obedience and my value because I know no matter what happens, God’s love will never die.