Genesis 4:8 – And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
Hello readers, thanks for reading today. I hope you get something out of this blog. What did Abel say to Cain that made Cain kill him? We are told that before Cain rose up to kill Abel that he talked with his brother. The situation is that both guys had brought a sacrifice to God. Pretty good aye. We’d probably say well look at Cain, the dear lad, he cares about God so much, he’s so hard working and dedicated.
Well, Abel by faith in God’s word brought a lamb of his flock. He simply obeyed God. God had shown his parents what was required because of their sin. Sacrifice, the shedding of innocent blood, was required because of man’s sin. Man has always needed a sacrifice to approach and be accepted by God. There is no relationship and fellowship and worship and praise without obedience to his word and sacrifice, that is, coming to God on the basis of his Son Jesus Christ, who is our sacrifice.
Man was made with a consciousness and desire towards a relationship with his Creator. That’s just how God made us. We were created for God’s pleasure, to serve him and give glory to him… that’s why things like praise and worship are called sacrifices. We can offer our body to God as a sacrifice, saying here’s my life, I want to obey you in my life rather than doing my own thing. Our true fulfillment and purpose in life comes when we live a life giving glory to Jesus Christ, and pleasing him, and without faith the Bible says it is impossible to please him. Abel pleased God, Abel was accepted by God… because Abel obeyed God’s word.
Man has always understood the need for sacrifice. Look at heathen cultures, to appease their gods, to gain their favor and blessing so they thought… they sacrificed their children. This is what you do when you reject God’s word, when you’re walking in darkness. What a barbaric, ungodly practice this has been throughout human history.
Man does have a desire to please and appease God and have his favour, but you can’t please God without sacrifice. And Cain wasn’t opposed to the idea, hey he brought a sacrifice as well. Probably did more than we do. Put more effort into religion than we do.
Problem is Cain didn’t obey what God had said to do, rather Cain disobeyed God’s word and did it his own way. That’s like us, on the surface he was obeying God’s word, just like us, on the surface our lives appear to be a sacrifice to God… but really it’s about us doing what we want to do how we’ve decided to do it.
It doesn’t matter what you think and want to do. What matters is what God wants us to do. When will we get that through our thick scones? And what does God require of us? God has always required the same thing, believing and obeying his word. See, he’ll requires faith and obedience to his word before the sacrifices of worship and praise. See, Cain was like this world, and like many churches today… they do their worship and praise and blah, but there is no obedience to his word. And they’re rejected, not accepted.
It’s always been faith, right from the start. Believing God’s word and obeying it. When we get saved, that’s obeying the gospel. We are commanded to repent and believe on Jesus Christ, and those who obey that are saved.
This story takes place many thousands of years ago, Abel and Cain were living in a sin cursed world already, and because of that sin, a sacrifice was required. Everyone had to bring their own sacrifice. You have to be saved yourself. Noone can get saved for you.
Why does God require a sacrifice anyway? Is he some barbaric, blood thirsty, evil God? No, it’s because he is holy and just, and sin must be paid for. And the sacrifices were actually showing his mercy, because he made away for us to be accepted even after we’ve all committed sins and lived a life more than worthy of eternal hellfire.
God can’t and does not accept you in your sinful state, he’s too holy and good and righteous for that. He doesn’t compromise on who he is, on his holiness… he’s not like us, who change the rules when it comes to us and who we love.
So Abel brought his lamb in simple faith to God’s word. And that lambs blood couldn’t take away his sin nor purge his conscience and change his sinful heart, but he offered it in faith in obedience to God’s word, seeing the fulfillment of that sacrifice afar off. We who are alive and reading this today look back and see what it was all about, how much more without excuse are we? Those sacrifices in the Old Testament pointed to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who would be our sacrifice.
While Abel by faith brought a lamb to God, Cain instead brought the work of his hands, the fruit of the ground. Maybe he thought brining a lamb and killing it … he was too holy for that. It’s strange how Christians even live and think today, they think they’re holier than God. They’re above that evil God of the Old Testament right. They have a holier standard than God when it comes to understanding the sinner , showing compassion on and helping the sinner… so they don’t obey God but they do it their way because they know better than God’s word.
It’s not that Cain didn’t have religion, it’s that he just wanted God to accept his sacrifice done his way. So often our lives are really just done our way. Even under the guise of religion. Furthermore, we are that audacious and without the fear of God that we demand God accept us on our terms, and then we he doesn’t, we get angry at God.
I’ve often thought about that small phrase of what happens next after God spoke to Cain telling him to bring the right sacrifice to be accepted… “and Cain talked with Abel his brother.” After that is a colon. What that means is that what comes next is a result of what has just been said. The fact that Cain killed Abel was based on the conversation they had. What did Abel tell Cain that made Cain murder his own brother?
By the way, before we move on, notice how much grace God showed Cain. It’s not that Cain didn’t know how to get right or that God had it in for him or was being unreasonable, God said… if thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? We could do a blog on that many times over. Hey, we all have every day of our lives, a chance to obey God and be accepted by him. All God requires for us is to place our faith and trust in him. We have to come to God on God’s terms. He’s made a way for us to be right with him and have a relationship and fellowship with him and walk with him… we need but take it. It’s not Cain couldn’t obey, or didn’t know what to do… it’s that he rejected God’s word, just like we do today pretty much all the time.
So what did Abel tell Cain that made Cain murder him? The same thing that God tells us today. Cain, repent, believe, obey. Is it that hard? See, Christians through time have had the Abel treatment for doing what Abel did, just simply telling a lost sinner God’s word. How often the unbeliever finds fault in the messenger, they say, oh Abel you hate me, oh Abel you’re so judgment, oh Abel you’re a horrible person. Anyway that follows Christ will always endure that contradiction of sinners against them (just as Jesus did in Hebrews 12:3), because it was actually Cain who was in the wrong the whole way.
Look at your own life? Who are the people you hate the most? Are they the people that tell you the truth? Are they the people who truly love you, but they tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear… and that’s why you don’t like them. We have a way of hating and despising and avoiding people who are walking in the light, because they’re so exposing to the sin in our life.
Whatever they talked about, you gotta get pretty full of hate to then murder your own brother just because of a conversation. But it wasn’t just the conversation truly, it was his life, the Bible says his deeds were righteous. Abel didn’t just talk it, he lived it. The way we live our lives speaks as loud as our words, and many times moreso, because what are words if they aren’t backed up in action? When people see that this thing isn’t a joke or a game, they’re liable to really take note and there will be some weight to our words.
Was Abel what Abel said wrong? No. It was that Cain was in the wrong. Often Christians are always told they’ve gotta be nicer, they’ve gotta love more… and that’s a way of making Christians not tell people the truth. The truth is the truth, yes it should be spoken in love, but nonetheless, the gospel does offend the lost sinner. Being told you’re going to hell if you don’t believe, that’s rough. The gospel confronts the lost sinner and brings him or her to a decision point in hsi life that they won’t want to be at. Nobody wants to have to confront such a serious decision, we prefer safe shallow water right.
You think Abel told Cain… hey Cain, why don’t you just take a sheep to God? Is it that hard Cain? Why can’t you just obey what God has told us to do. Maybe Satan had already sown that same seed of doubt that he did with Eve in Cain’s life… he doubted and disputed God’s word. He’d already rejected God’s word, that’s why he didn’t obey God’s word. So many Christians today have already been conquered by Satan’s lies where they doubt and question and investigate and dispute and debate what God has said. They do that because really they don’t want to obey it.
Abel affirmed what God had told Cain. A faithful Christian should do this, tell people what God has said. When we stand on God’s word, when we tell people what the word of God says, that’s quite a lot of power we have. Truth is very powerful. God’s word is a sword, you think the sword of truth cut Cain’s heart up? When your heart gets cut… that’s when you go and kill someone. Remember how they stoned Stephen because of God’s word… it cut them to the heart.
Oh God’s against me Abel. Maybe they talked and Cain wanted Abel to understand his point of view. Abel my opinion matters. We want to have a discussion about what God has said and whether that’s what he means and what did he really say. Hey Abel, what does the Greek and Hebrew say? Abel didn’t go along with Cain’s rubbish, he didn’t pander to the rebel. Rebels want to be listened to, not rebuked. A wise person will receive instruction and rebuke and correction… but the fool won’t. Reader, God is not against you. He told Cain the truth, and Abel told the truth… so that Cain could get right with God and do right and be accepted.
What is in Genesis 4:8 is one of the most fundamental truths in the Bible. Christians tell people God’s word, and those who are told the gospel, because of sin in their life and unwillingness to confess and repent… they hate those that speak the truth. Abel simply told Cain the truth, that’s why he killed him. People hate Christians who hold to God’s word, they always have and always will as long as this world goes on. This world hates truth, it hates light… and it’ll hate you if you follow Jesus Christ. So often we want to follow Jesus Christ and not pay the price of rejection that Abel paid, that Christ paid. We want a rejection and offense free life. But the fact is, the Bible says the preaching of the cross is foolishness to them that perish, it’s a savour of death, it’s offensive.
The message doesn’t need to change people, the hearers need to change. You know, if you’ve read 1 John, Cain is referenced in that book. And the Bible says this in 1 John 2:7 – Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. Cain rejected the same commandment you and I have a choice to reject or obey today. He had God’s word, we have God’s word. The choice before him was to believe and obey and be accepted… or go his own way, refuse to obey God’s word and be rejected. Why do we expect a different result to what Cain got? God is not changing, not for Cain, not for you. God’s word has been made known to mankind from the beginning to now, this pattern in Genesis 4 is followed through all of human history.
People want to come to God without the blood. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin the Bible says. See, Cain’s sacrifice was blood free. Your sin is that bad it requires not just blood, but innocent, pure, sinless blood. That’s why you and I can’t pay for our sin, we have nothing we can bring God that can atone for our sin. There’s power in the blood, when you believe on the blood of Christ, the life is in the blood, and his blood paying for your sin, washing it away… that has power to change your life, to change you inside.
You know, putting it in today’s terms, here’s what Abel said. Cain, we are all sinners and we need a Saviour. Cain, unless you humble yourself and repent of what you’ve done and believe on Jesus Christ, God is never going to accept you. Oh maybe Cain said, oh Abel you think you’re so good. Was Abel the bad guy, because he did right? Cain had power to do right. Abel wasn’t a self righteous goody goody, he just chose to believe and obey. See, you have the same access to the Bible I have, the same ability to obey God as I do, the same ability to believe and be accepted. It’s not my fault if you choose to reject God. I’ve heard people saying about Noah, oh he was such an evil guy, surviving while everyone else died. It’s such a misrepresentation of truth and a warping of the story… that old world had the same ability to call upon the name of the Lord and trust and obey him as Noah did… just Noah was the only one who had faith in God’s word. It’s not Noah’s fault, we like to blame, but their blood was on their own head.
If you ever share the gospel with other people, you may not have had the full Abel treatment, but you sure know what rejection, scorn, contempt and hatred is all because you loved someone enough to tell you the truth. Abel didn’t hate Cain, Abel just told him the truth. Why do we always take truth as “you hate me”, “you’re being so judgmental”, “stop Bible bashing me”.
This world hates Christians who believe and speak God’s word. Here in Genesis 4 that simple truth is being established. If you obey God, if you believe on Jesus Christ the Lamb of God, if you are saved… this world is going to have a problem with you. So often we are trying so hard to get along rather than embracing the fact that truth divides, God divides light from darkness. As far as we know Cain and Abel got along fine, or at least fine enough to co-exist together… but when it came to the issue of faith and sacrifice… that’s what divided these two brothers. You know why you get along so well with Christ rejecting sinners? Because you’ve steered away from telling them the truth, you’ve got your light under a bushel so that you can both get along in the darkness. You’ve backed off God’s word to come down to the level of the God’s word hating sinner. Do you want to keep the peace or are you willing to tell someone the truth, to hold forth the gospel and risk the division that God’s word makes?
We know some things that Abel didn’t say. He didn’t pander to Cain’s sin. He didn’t go along with Cain wanting sympathy for disobeying God’s word and making God the bad guy. He didn’t go along with Cain debating and questioning God’s word. He didn’t excuse Cain’s rebellion. I’m sure it would’ve been a lot easier for Abel not to say anything that could upset Cain, Abel wasn’t an idiot he could’ve easily navigated the conversation to keep things pleasant.
But no, he told him God’s word, that’s why Cain killed him. And the truth is, it wasn’t Abel that Cain hated so much, it was God. We are hated for Jesus’ sake. You can’t follow Christ yet avoid the rejection that he endured. Somehow we get it in our minds that we are going to manage to love Christ and follow him and also get adulation and honor and respect from this world. If the world loves you, it’s probably a sign you’re a compromiser, it’s probably a sign you’re in darkness like they are.
Get rid of the Christians, get rid of God’s word. That’s what this world is doing today. That’s what society does, that’s at the heart of it all. Shut God up, shut Christians up, shut God’s word up. Erase God from our world. We want to build a civilization without God… well that’s what Cain did, he went out and built a city. Cain killed Abel to get rid of the reminder of his sin, to get rid of the light that was exposing his dark heart and life. If Abel told Cain something that made him want to kill him, it really is a damning indictment that he was willing to take up his cross, yet we thousands of years later, with all we know about the true Lamb of God who died for us, we are unwilling to take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ.
What did Abel tell Cain that made Cain kill him? He told him the gospel. He told Cain repent, believe and obey. It’s the same message today as back then. It was the same message back then as today. God always said to obey is better than sacrifice. The Bible speaks of obeying the gospel, if you get saved, it’s because you obeyed the gospel, you heard the news that Jesus died for your sin, and you obeyed it in believing it. You hearkened to the word of God. Faith is what pleases God. It’s not that you can’t be saved, it’s not God is against you… it’s you are your own worst enemy. When we stop blaming and excusing and justifying and realize, hey I’m the problem. Why couldn’t Cain just own his own sin? What started as a sacrifice to God ended up in cold blooded murder. It’s incredible how out of hand it can get so quickly. God had told him if he didn’t do right by faith that sin lieth at the door… and it sure did. It seems innocent enough, your rebellion, until it turns into something a whole lot uglier than you planned for. You take that path of rejecting God’s word, and by the end your life will be one big mess.
Repent, believe and obey. I hope you decide to trust God’s word, and trust Jesus Christ to save you from your sin. It is worth it. Maybe you are a Christian and it seems like you’re the one losing, well, it looks like Abel lost as well right. Cain went on and lived a life and had kids, Abel never had all those joys and pleasures, and he didn’t even do anything wrong… but he did die in faith, and the promise of God is something better. That’s how Hebrews 11… Abel saw something better. The future belongs to the born again child of God. Abel told Cain the word of God. He preached the gospel faithful to him. That’s what got him killed. It’s what got so many of the prophets killed. And today Abel still speaks, he says, repent and believe, trust and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)