Be it spy movies, espionage movies, western movies or good guy bad guy movies, there is always deceit and deception. Someone always lures someone else into a dark alley or dangerous situation where they are mugged or killed. You sit there watch, saying in your heart … “No, don’t do it. He is dangerous. He’s going to kill you or rape you or steal your wallet and watch.” You know what’s going to happen. It’s a movies or perhaps you’re reading a book and with all your heart you don’t want it to turn out as it is going to. Your heart pumps … and you know what will happen in the next shoot or on the next page. That is what happens in:
Ge 4:8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Because of the previous verses you know that as Cain says to Abel … “Let’s go out to the field” … you know what is going to happen.
1) The invitation. Some have seen a variety of things in this verse that do not exist. One is that Cain wanted to update Abel about what God said to him. Another is that God told Cain to tell Abel what He had said to Cain. None of these carry about interpretative weight. Let’s go out to the field … is an invitation to Abel who is none the wiser as to God and Cain’s engagement. Perhaps he was not too perceptive as to Cain being angry and depressed. Possibly he was not aware that God rejected Cain’s offering. Basically he does not suspect any ill feelings towards him from his brother.
2) The motive. Cain knew what he wanted to do … and so did God. The term … “out to the field” … could be translated … “out in the country”. In other words, the idea is that they are far away from anyone who could observe what would happen. It’s the idea of that … “dark alley or dangerous situation.” No witnesses as to what shall transpire.
3) The action. And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. We see the picture … they are out there where no one is present. No witnesses to report back to father and mother. He could spin whatever story he liked because no one could see what was about to happen.
(1) The word “attack” actually means … “he rose up against his brother.” This means he rose up to undertake to do something. This is where the NIV gets the word “attack” from.
(2) To show the horror of what he did, the words “his brother” follows immediately after the word “attack”.
(3) His attack is so successful that it results in actual murder.
(4) The word “fratricide” is used of a sibling killing a sibling. We can say the enemy of God was responsible for the spiritual murder of Adam and Eve in the Garden and their offspring (including us).
Jn 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning.
Having said that, Cain’s act of fratricide was the first actual murder.
4) The curse starting to unpack itself. God’s enemy never sleeps. He is always out to attack. Although this murder was one of Cain’s sins, the devil was orchestrating his plans, using Cain as his instrument to get at and disrupt God’s plan for the human race:
Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
From the Garden, between Adam and Eve, to Cain murdering Abel and throughout human history, the devil is out to destroy God’s plan for man. He tried to have the baby Mary birthed (God Incarnate) killed. Through the religious leaders he tried to get Jesus killed. Even using Judas Iscariot, he thought he would bring God’s rescue plan of Genesis three verse fifteen to an end. He puts people up against people, even blood relatives up against blood relatives … but know this, there is nothing and no one in all creation, including the spirit world that can bring God’s intention to nothing. One of the greatest promises a believer ought to hold onto is:
Jude 1:24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Take note of those words … “Him who is able.”
5) The Omnipresent God. Not only is God always present everywhere all the time, He is Omniscient. He sees everything.
Ge 4:9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
This question asked by God is not for information purposes. It is to let Cain know where his brother Abel is! It’s the sort of question God asked of Adam and Eve when they were hiding in the Garden. They responded evasively and then positively. Cain however starts off hard hearted … rude and disrespectful.
(1) God … “Where is your brother Abel?” This question brings to Cain’s mind exactly where his dead brother is. He is lying in his own blood and he, Cain is responsible.
(2) Cain … the rude response … “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” There is a double lie here. The first is … I don’t know. He did know. He knew where his brother was and he knew his brother was dead … and more he knew he was the cause of his brother’s death. The second lie goes something like this in the Hebrew … “Am I supposed to watch my brother all the time?” Before God he does not want to draw attention to himself by saying … “Am … I … my brother’s keeper?” Rather the emphasis is on … “Am I supposed to … watch … my brother all the time?” Where our sin might … (though maybe) … of the magnitude of Cain, we must know that God is aware of every motive (heart response) to every sin. He is present to see it all. Do not be fooled! Allow me to work this a little. He sees and knows that glance, that thought, that desire (lust), act and cover up! As men, you and I might have looked at that lady. We might have grappled with that picture to set it aside, yet it resulted in lust. God knows. As a woman you might have entertained an abortion and gone all the way. It might have plagued you ever since. God knows. You might not have wanted to, but eventually you moved in with your boyfriend or girlfriend and are sexually active. In the beginning it was such fun, yet now it is bothering you because you know its sin. God knows all about it. Before we continue with Cain, let us deal with ourselves at this point.
(i) In this chapter we find grace because God is gracious. He wants us to admit our sin through true confession and then that we pursue a repentant lifestyle.
(ii) No one can seek a healthy relationship with God whilst living in sin. This is why the follow up to confession is repentance. God requires that you are serious. Sin is and remains a barrier wall between you and God.
(iii) Deal with your sin before you become like Cain and cannot repent. This is staggering:
Gen 4:16 So Cain went out from the LORD’S presence.
Dear God our loving, caring and gracious Father, thank you for being longsuffering and merciful. Whatever sin or sins there are in my life, help me to deal with it right now before You, so that our relationship may be restored and You glorified. Amen.