Abel brought the best of his flocks as a sacrifice to God. Cain brought some of his crops to offer to God.
It wasn’t that Abel offered an animal and Cain offered some of his crops. After all, Moses later gave commands for grain offerings as well as animal sacrifices.
Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable to God. He, however, brought the best.
Cain’s wasn’t. He brought some of his crops. Not the best perhaps.
Maybe it was because of the attitude of their hearts when they brought the sacrifices.
Cain became angry because of God’s reaction. And God warned Cain about his anger and that what was in his heart was going to cause Cain problems.
Cain didn’t listen.
Instead he deceived Abel into going into the field with him, and he killed him.
Cain was angry that God did not accept his sacrifice. But he could have changed his heart and offered what was right.
But he didn’t.
He took out his anger with God on Abel.
Cain was perhaps jealous and felt that God loved Abel more than he loved him.
The very first murder was in one way over religion.
But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, Fool!’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, You moron!’ will be subject to hellfire. (Matthew 5:22 HCSB)
Murder begins with anger. Anger is very dangerous. Cain killed Abel, because he was angry.
He was angry that God did not accept his sacrifice.
He was angry that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice.
This led to jealousy.
Genesis 4:7 tells how God tried to warn Cain that his behavior was going to led to sin, and that is was waiting to attack him. The person who attacked was first attacked by sin.
Cain could have made a different decision. He could have changed his life and repented before it was too late. But he didn’t.
If you are angry with someone, be very careful. It may take you somewhere you do not want to go, and leave you with regret.
It might not be murder, but it could be assassination of character, or words that you can never take back once said.
We can learn from Cain’s mistake and choose to repent.