The Two Sons And The Two Offerings

THE fourth chapter of Genesis begins

with the birth of the two sons of Adam and

Eve, their names, and occupation.

Cain, the oldest, was a tiller of the soil;

that is, he was a farmer. Abel, his brother,

was a shepherd.

Here we see more of the effect of the

curse. The earth must be tilled, the thorns

and thistles subdued, before man could obtain

food to eat. This was Cain's occupation.

Adam, by his sin, had lost dominion over

the animals, and they now ran wild. Before

they could be of use to man, they must be


Those which would best pay for the

trouble, were trained and cared for by man,

and protected by him from those of a ferocious

nature. This was the business Abel


"In process of time," we read, these two

brothers brought offerings unto the Lord.

Each brought the productions of his care

and toil, Cain, the fruits of the ground;

Abel, the firstlings of his flock and the fat


The Lord had respect for Abel's offering!

but for Cain's he had not respect.

It may seem strange to some why this

was so. Both, no doubt, had been instructed

what to bring unto the Lord, and

how to present it.

The firstling of the flock perhaps a lamb

showed faith on Abel's part of a Saviour

to come, who was to die for his sins; and

no doubt he presented it with a full sense

of his being a sinner, forever lost, without

that Saviour.

The fruits of the ground bore no faith on

Cain's part of a coming Saviour, and his

offering might have been presented grudgingly

and with a complaining spirit.

Cain had to labor hard to obtain a livelihood.

The sight of beautiful Eden from

whence his parents had been driven, may

have caused him to have wrong feelings

toward his Maker; and with such feelings

he could not realize himself a sinner, nor

see the justice of God in such dealings

toward his parents; nor could he understand

his mercy in sparing them after they

had sinned.

His heart was in no condition to have the

Lord respect his offering and bestow upon

him a blessing.

We read that he became very angry.

Here let us pause and see if we do not often

witness some of the same spirit in others

(and may be in ourselves) that was in


If others are enjoying what they have

not, instead of considering how many undeserved

blessings they do have, they become

jealous, envious, and angry; and if they

can, will say, and may be do, many things

to injure those who never did them harm.

My dear young reader, beware of such

a spirit. It will make you very unhappy,

if not lead you to ruin, as we shall see it

did Cain.



  Another sad tale of

sin is ours to reflect upon in connection with

the offerings of Cain and Abel.

It seems the Lord still wished to benefit

Cain, even after his exhibition of anger.

In the ninth verse, we read how kindly,

and yet how plainly, he tells Cain how he

also may obtain the blessing.

Did he accept of this good counsel?

No; he sought for Abel, and talked with

him. We have no knowledge of what this

conversation was, but may judge it was

about their offerings. Cain's anger was

only the more aroused by it; for now it

bursts forth, and he slays his brother.

We are shocked at his crime, and may

wonder if he was not. His victim lies dead

at his feet. Does he not relent now? It

seems no feeling of sorrow or regret moves

his heart; for, when he is asked where his

brother is, he adds a lie to his crime, and

declares he does not know, and boldly asks

the Lord if he is his brother's keeper.

Oh, how wicked! And all of this comes

from disobedience. First, he refuses to

bring the proper offering; then, is angry

because it is not accepted.

Even now he does not repent; but is

angry still more because Abel's offering is

accepted. See 1 John 3:12. He hates

Abel, and, to get him from his sight, slays

him. He feels no sorrow, manifests no

shame; but dares to confront his Maker

with a lie and an insulting question.

There is no hope of his repenting; so the

Lord drives him from his presence, and

adds to his labor by declaring the ground

henceforth should not yield her strength

that is, her full increase. He is also to

bear the stigma of fugitive and vagabond.

Does Cain, even in this, relent and feel

sorrow for his sin? No; the punishment

for his crime he complains of as being

greater than he can bear, and not the sin


In the fourteenth verse, we learn that he

feels his loss by having the Lord's face hidden

from him; and as a murderer, a fugitive,

and vagabond, he fears others may

take his life. God is still good to the poor

outcast, who is not deserving his mercy, nor

his protection; and, as he would not take

from Cain his life, he would not suffer any

one, else to. Hence, that he might be known,

a mark is set upon him, and a terrible judgment

pronounced on that person who should

not respect that mark.

Here, my dear young friends, we learn

what a dreadful thing it is for a man to have

his own way.

How many, like Cain, from childhood to

youth, from youth to manhood, and from

manhood to the grave, have their own way;

and unless the mercy of God interposes,

and they repent, are lost, lost forever.

Try, oh! Try, children and youth, to find

the way that leads to God, instead of seeking

your own, and at last, like Cain, find

yourselves cast forever from the presence

of God.