Thoughts On Cain & Abel

It occurred to me today that the first murder recorded in the Bible was the killing of Abel by his brother, Cain. I’ve read the story many times, but it never registered that this was the first mention of homicide. More interesting to me today, was the realization that this was a religiously motivated murder. 

So, combining the concepts, there is a lot going on. There’s fratricide, religious murder, and the first homicide all rolled up into the same event. 

People have many different views of the Bible. The inclusion of this story has many lessons for the reader, no matter what view may be taken.

One is this, all murder is fratricide. We’re all members of the same human family.

Another is that a person who tries to earn favor with God by works (as Cain did in bringing an offering consisting of the works of his own hands), will be outraged when those works don’t secure the righteousness they think it will. 

That rage can be multiplied and converted to murder when coupled with jealousy towards one who is deemed to be righteous, not by working for it, but by believing for it, as Abel was.

It is curious to see the relationships between religious works, disappointment, jealousy, anger, and murder. It is sadly curious that the combination of these is stronger than blood.

This thread runs through the Bible (and human history) and culminates with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by the religious rulers of his day. Let’s take heed and try to treat each other with decency and respect, we’re family after all.

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