Cain and Abel (Genesis 4: 1-12)

The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible, in which we can read the story of the origin of humanity. The Old Testament begins with a presentation of the creation story, where God made heaven and Earth, as well as the first humans, Adam and Eve. However, because of their disobedience, sin became part of human nature. Their first son, Cain, killed his own brother out of jealousy. Let us discover the story of Cain and Abel, which reveals to us the evil that comes from a jealous heart.

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The Story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis

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.”

Guard Your Heart

Cain killed his brother Abel, because he saw how God treated him favorably for the offering he made, while his was rejected. In a fit of jealous rage over his brother’s success, Cain killed him while they were alone. This reaction may seem disproportionate to us, however, as Jesus said: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5: 19) “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” (Matthew 15: 18). What was only a feeling turned into an act: Cain let anger into his heart, he allowed this feeling to take over his mind. In the Book of Proverbs, God commands us to: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4: 23). If we let our passions grow in our hearts, they can take shape in our actions, and they can destroy us. When we tend to our heart, our healthy thoughts can grow and take shape as well!

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