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, hope you’re doing well and thank you for reading today. I have been thinking about the phrase “Cain rose up”. Have you ever heard of the saying “to get a rise out of somebody”? Well today I want to think about Cain rose up in terms of our lives. Because we can be quick to rise up like Cain, God’s word is quick to get an angry and unrepentant and selfish rise out of us. Oh boy, God’s word gets a rise out of this sinful world. God’s word gets a rise out of our flesh. If you don’t believe it, just go and tell someone the gospel… you’re likely to get a rise! Or even more personally, what about when someone tells you something you’re doing is wrong… oh you and I are quick to rise up aren’t we?
It’s easy just to read this as a historical account. Yes, Cain murdered his brother. But this story is abundantly relevant to us today. Because we all have a Cain in us. I’m pretty well acquainted with Cain in my life. He’s quick to make an appearance when things don’t go my way! Cain is a picture of our unsaved, unrepentant, selfish, proud and sinful fleshly nature. And we all have trouble with Cain rising up. I’ve had Cain rise up in me out there in the field… in this world this world. I can be going along in life and next minute, something doesn’t go my way or I do something wrong and I get rebuked, and next I know Cain has risen up, angry, unmerciful, selfish… stupid.
The context is that God had rebuked Cain for his sacrifice. Cain went to church, he took his offering to God, he was religious, maybe more religious than you and I… but he wanted God to accept him doing it his way, how he saw fit. Sounds a lot like Christianity today. They love Jesus, but they’ll serve Jesus their way… supposing that God will accept it. But God did not. To obey is better than sacrifice the Bible says. Cain knew what sacrifice to bring, but he didn’t want to bring a lamb, he deliberately disobeyed God. He knew better. Do you know better? That’s classic Cain rising up in us, Cain who knows better, Cain who does it his way.
Cain knowingly and willfully disobeyed God. Is he so different to us? And after God told him how to get right, I suppose Abel also told him how to get right. We don’t know what was said, but we can have a pretty good idea. We know Abel obeyed God… and so we know that whatever Abel said, he was pointing Cain to obeying God’s word. Maybe Abel said, hey, what you did was wrong. But whatever it was, it made Cain angry enough to kill him. So it must have been the truth. The truth always gets the rise out of us. Whenever someone speaks truth into our life, Cain is quick to make an appearance isn’t he. The justification, the blame, the anger, the resentment, the bitterness… haven’t we all been there?
We have Cain in us. And he’s ready to rise up at a moment’s notice. We have serious heart problems don’t we. You know, if our heart was perfect, everything else would be alright. Everything sinful and disobedient and rebellious to God in our lives comes straight out of our heart. Deep in us Cain usually has residence. Look what comes out of our heart… as Jesus said “evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness”. If these were a checklist I could confidently tick the boxes. All this stuff can easily RISE UP out of my heart. How about you?
I’ve thought about how Cain has “rose” up many times in my life. I got angry. I got jealous. I got bitter. I got hateful. I got vengeful. And when I think back, it was always me at fault. See, Cain was the only one at fault in this chapter. God wasn’t at fault. Abel wasn’t at fault. His parents were not at fault. Cain had the problem. It is so fundamental to being a human that we get mad at someone who tells us the truth that we need to hear… but don’t want to hear. Look at this world, it hates Christianity, it hates the Bible… not because it isn’t the truth… but because it is the truth. They don’t want to hear the truth, they don’t want to be convicted or reproved by truth. I really believe Abel just told Cain, hey why don’t you just obey God? Is it that hard? God has told us how to sacrifice and how we can be accepted… why are you being so proud and stiff necked? And wasn’t that the truth?
But then Cain rose up.
When Jesus told his parables the field was always symbolic of the world… and out in this world, Cain keeps rising up. I’ve been out in the field, and Cain keeps popping up. Cain hates truth. Cain hates righteousness. Cain has a problem with authority. Cain has a problem with rebuke. Cain doesn’t want to repent. Cain knows better. Cain wants to do it his way. And when people and God don’t bow to Cain, Cain gets mad and Cain’s going to take it out on everyone else.
Maybe you don’t think you have much in common with Cain because you haven’t murdered someone. Well, good for you. But how many people have you murdered in thought, how many people have you murdered in your heart, how many people do you murder in what you say about them? How many people have you murdered by not warning them how not to go to hell when you knew they were going there? We are far more murderous than we think. Have you murdered someone’s virginity? Have you murdered someone’s hopes and dreams and happiness? There’s a lot more murder out there than just the physical act. Satan is a murderer, but how many people have you seen him physically murder? Yet he murders people’s souls and spirits all the time, he murders their testimony, he murders their witness for God, he murders everything they could be for God. We need to stop pretending we are so good when we just aren’t.
And the next time you feel that anger, that hatred, that lust rising up inside you, just think of Cain rising up, ready to kill his innocent brother. Cain rising up can cause a lot of destruction. How many times today did lust rise up and ruin a marriage permanently? How many times did bitterness and resentment rise up today in your soul? Cain rose up… just picture a cobra rising up to strike, that’s what we are like a lot of the time. Ready to lash out at everyone else because we won’t get right with God ourselves. Watch out for this Cain fella. He’s in all of us. Cain rising up will give you a lot of regrets. Cain rising up will produce things you can’t undo and can’t take back. We all better do something with that Cain in us.
So the next time you get rebuked and you know it’s true, don’t get mad, don’t rise up against it. See the word “against”? Because we are always “against”. Why do we always have to be against everything God says for us to do? Why do we always have to be against truth? Why are we always “against? What is it in us which rises up against anything that is true and right? Why do we all have that Cain in us? But we do. Why do we always let him take over? Because we need to do something with Cain. Because when takes over, he will ruin our lives. He will separate us from God, just as Cain did. Cain doesn’t fear God. Cain is no good for us in our lives. Pray for God to deal with your Cain. It’s going to take the power of God. Ask God to give you a new heart, a clean heart, ask God for his grace… because he giveth more grace. We have to live a life entirely trusting in the intercessory work of Jesus Christ for us, because he is greater than Cain, and he can set us free from Cain. Stop being a slave to Cain, stop watching on as he rises up and takes over your life, get saved from Cain!
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 :)