Two Offerings and Two Motives Yield the First Murder

Woodcut of Cain and Abel offering up sacrifices

All the way back in the earliest days of creation, there were two brothers, the first sons of Adam and Eve. One was a shepherd and the other a farmer. Both were hard workers and each one put all of his effort into producing the best livestock or crops possible.

When the appropriate time which had been appointed by God came, as an act of worship, each brother offered up to Him a portion of what he had raised as his sacrifice. At face value, this approach sounded good. The first brother, Abel, prepared the best one of his sheep, while Cain put together the best portion of his crops.   

“But unto Cain and to his offering [God] had not respect. And Cain was very [angry], and his countenance fell”

Genesis 4:5

But the problem came when they actually presented their sacrifices to God. He accepted Abel’s offering but did not accept Cain’s, which he did not take well. “But unto Cain and to his offering [God] had not respect. And Cain was very [angry], and his countenance fell” (Genesis 4:5). Cain had felt that this was the right way to go, since his brother raised sheep and he tilled the ground.   Why did God refuse Cain’s offering? And what was so special about his brother’s offering that Continue reading…