Christian Churches of God
Cain and Abel:
Sons of Adam
(Edition 1.0 20030809-20030809)
Adam lay with his wife Eve and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. This paper has been adapted from Chapter 2 of The Bible Story Volume 1 by Basil Wolverton Published by Ambassador College Press.
Christian Churches of God
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(Copyright ã 2003 Christian Churches of God, Ed. Wade Cox)
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Cain and Abel: Sons of Adam
In paper No. CB6 we learned about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. When they sinned they were put out of the garden and so began a life of suffering and hardship. Remember that the ground was cursed because of the sin and this was part of their punishment. Adam then set about the tasks he was given by God. His first task was to replenish the earth (Gen. 1:28-29).
After a time a son was born to Adam and Eve. This first baby in the world was named Cain. Soon after another son was born whose name was Abel (Gen. 4:1-2). Cain became a farmer, and raised fruit, vegetables and grain. Abel was a shepherd, and took care of sheep, which Adam and Eve found were also good to eat when cooked (Gen. 4:2). Cain and Abel learned to make sacrifices to God on stone altars. This was their way of contacting God and asking forgiveness for things they did that were wrong.
Today we don't make sacrifices because Jesus Christ came almost two thousand years ago to die for all of us. Now, if people are truly sorry because of disobeying God, they can show it by repenting and being baptised when they are an adult (Acts 2:38). Then God puts the power of His Holy Spirit into their minds so that they can understand and obey the Creator's laws. Thus they can be close to God and know that He hears them when they pray, and that He speaks to them when they read the Bible.
Before we are old enough to be baptised we should tell God we are sorry for our sins and ask God to forgive us and then not sin any more. We can also apologise or say we are sorry to the person we hurt. Children who have at least one parent who is baptised are sanctified (1Cor. 7:14). That means the child is set apart and holy to God. That child is given special care and attention by God’s angels and people in the Church.
It was different with Cain and Abel. One day when they brought their sacrifices to the altar their attitudes turned out to be quite unalike (Gen. 4:34). Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought some of the fat portions from the firstborn of his flock. Cain's heart wasn't right; he had a bad attitude. He felt that God's way wasn't the best way for him, so he did what seemed right in his own mind. That is the very thing most people have been doing ever since. The Bible states that the way that seems right to a man is nearly always wrong, and can bring death (Prov. 14:12). God's way is always right, whether or not it seems right in human minds. That is a lesson we all should learn early.
The First Human Murderer!
God could not accept Cain's sacrifice (Gen. 4:5). One reason would be because his offering came from the ground, which was cursed. Also by accepting Abel’s offering, God was making it clear that a blood sacrifice from the first-born (or firstfruits) was needed. When Cain learned that his sacrifice wasn't pleasing to God, he became very envious of his brother, who had done the right thing. The envy turned to anger and then to hatred. Here Cain broke the tenth commandment: Thou shalt not covert thy neighbours goods.
This is a powerful lesson and we need to remember to control our thoughts, or they will result in breaking God’s laws. Later, when the two brothers were out in a field alone, Cain furiously turned on Abel and struck him, perhaps many times, with such force that he killed him (Gen. 4:8). By this action Cain broke the seventh commandment: Thou shalt not kill.
The Bible tells us to love one another. He who sins is of the devil, because the devil (Satan) has sinned from the beginning. Here we see that Abel was a righteous man because he obeyed God; but Cain was wicked. He murdered his brother because his works were evil and his brother’s works were righteous (1Jn. 3:8-12; see also Heb. 11:4).
The first baby born in the world thus became the first murderer! When Cain realised what he had done, he foolishly tried to hide. Of course God knew where he was, and confronted him. This is the same being who spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden - the Angel of Yahovah.
"Where is your brother?" asked the Lord (Gen. 4:9).
"I don't know," lied Cain, hoping that God wouldn't come across Abel's lifeless body. "How should I know my brother's whereabouts?" (Read Prov. 28:13).
Here was more unhappiness for Adam and Eve. Besides losing their second son, they learned that their first son was a murderer and a liar. The brothers obviously knew the law and the requirement for sacrifices. Abel’s sacrifice was of the firstfruits as required under the law. Cain chose not to kill any of his flock and instead offered produce from a cursed earth. From this exercise of Cain and Abel we can see that the harvest sacrifices were put in position with Adam. So the harvest festivals, as well as the Sabbath, were known before God gave the law to Moses at Sinai.
Cain did not repent of his sin, so God put a curse on him as punishment. He had to leave his family and become a lone wanderer in the world. Furthermore, God made Cain a marked man because he had murdered Abel, but he made it plain that Cain should not be murdered by anyone. Instead, he was to live on with the miserable memory of killing his brother (Gen. 4:11-15). Again we see the result of disobedience leading to sin.
The story of Cain and Abel is like that of Christ and Satan in the Host. The pastoral sacrifice of Abel is more acceptable to God and it symbolises the personal sacrifice of Christ. The rejection of Cain’s sacrifice is based on the same attitude that saw Satan rejected for his pride and greed. So when we obey God we find favour and acceptance in His sight.
The Lord who was dealing with Cain was the same Angel of Yahovah who was in the garden with Adam and Eve. So now Cain had to go out from the presence of this angel because of his sin. He went to the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Another son called Seth
Adam and Eve had more children. They grew up and had children of their own. Cain had married one of his sisters, and they had children (Gen. 4:16-17). Cain’s first son was named Enoch. The generations of Cain went on but none of these offspring of Adam obeyed God’s laws.
When Adam was 130 years old another son was born to him and Eve who was named Seth. He, too, took a sister for his wife, and they had children and many grandchildren. The generations of Adam under the line of Seth called on the name of the Lord (Gen. 4:25-26).
Adam lived for another 800 years after Seth was born. He had other sons and daughters who are not mentioned by name in the Bible. Adam then died when he was 930 years old. The generations of Adam carried on and we see that the people in those days lived to be a great age.
As we read about the generations of Seth, we see another important person being born. His name was Noah and God was going to use him in a very important way in the story of these early inhabitants of the earth. After Noah was 500 years old he became the father of three sons called Shem, Ham and Japheth.
By the time Adam died, there were many people living on the earth. The more humans increased, the more they fell away from their Creator. It wasn't a very happy group. Men were naturally mean and greedy. Instead of working for things they needed and wanted, many of them cheated and robbed and killed for them.
People banded together in towns and cities instead of spreading out as God intended (Gen. 4:17). This lead to strife and misery, because by now people were not obeying God’s laws. It was not possible for them to live together and still love one another.
The more people gathered into cities, the more men banded together in small armies to protect themselves. Others banded together to attack towns and cities and to seize the wealth from these places. Nothing was safe from greedy men. So it was that wars started on earth. Man became so evil that killing hundreds of human beings at a time was a sport in which many loved to take part (Gen. 6:5).
Giants in the land
At this time there were giants in the land. They were called Nephilim. The Bible tells us that they were the offspring of "the sons of God" and "the daughters of men." We are told that the sons of God are the angels of God. In this case they were the fallen angels.
Genesis 6:1-3 1 When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal, his days will be one hundred and twenty years". (NIV)
Satan and the demons wanted to interfere with God’s plan for humans. By their physical sin of marrying human women, the angels produced a race of humanoids, which was inferior and violent. They were often considered to have been superior in size and power and so, mighty. They polluted the Adamic system.
The Nephilim are also known as Rephaim. They were a humanoid form like Adam, but not of God’s creation. The Bible tells us that they have no resurrection. So they had no access to the God’s Spirit and because they were inferior, they had to be destroyed. For details of the Rephaim see Isaiah chapter 26.
Isaiah 26:13-1413 O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. 14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.
The reason God decided to destroy the earth by a flood was because of what mankind and the fallen Host had done up to the flood.
After the first humans had previously lived for hundreds of years, God now reduced their life-span to 120 years. Humans became so corrupt through interference and sin that God was sorry He ever created them, and His heart was filled with pain (Gen. 6:5-6).
However, Noah had been perfect in his generations. So God said to Noah "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth" (Gen 6:9-13).
It was because of the Nephilim and the terrible corruption of the human race that God decided to destroy the people and the earth. Then God goes on to instruct Noah how to build an ark to save him and his family in order to start a new society after the flood. We will discuss the consequences of this in the study paper Noah and the Flood (No. CB8).