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Bitter Fruit

Bitter Fruit

And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. Genesis 4:8

Read Genesis 4:3-8

The actions revealed in our text occurred as the result of the fruits which the two brothers had presented to the Lord. The one gave of the fruit of his herds and the other from the fruit of the land. These sacrifices may be seen as the first thanksgiving offerings given to God. However, the Lord does not primarily consider what has been placed on the altar, but He looks at the hearts of those giving the offerings. The Lord respected Abel and his offering, but not Cain and his offering. God did not receive the one offering due to what He saw in the hearts of the two brothers. Since we do not know what lives in a man’s heart, our assessment must be based on externals. Abel took the most beautiful and best animal from his flock, while what Cain brought from his produce receives no special attention.

The fact that Cain’s heart was not properly motivated in humble service unto God is shockingly revealed in the aftermath. The jealousy that had been fermenting in Cain’s heart suddenly bursts forth when he kills his younger brother out in the field.

Many lessons can be drawn from this history. We must realize that jealousy is a deadly evil (sometimes literally). Much damage and shame is experienced due to envy and spiteful feelings. The Lord Jesus teaches us a different posture. Whoever learns to rest in His sacrificial love receives a higher calling, “Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Phil. 2:3)

Thought: People are more often jealous about others’ possessions than their character.

Psalter 341:2, 3 (based on Psalm 119) Deceit and falsehood I abhor, But in Thy law delight; Throughout the day I praise Thy Name, For all Thy ways are right. Great peace has he who loves Thy law, Unmoved, he safely stands; For Thy salvation I have hoped And followed Thy commands.


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