SOURCE: Jim Bill McInteer, Gospel Advocate, 4/15/1977, pp., 228-29.
By Jim Bill McInteer
The Bible speaks of those things that were written aforetime for “our learning that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” One of the things written aforetime was a “woe” pronounced on those “who go in the way of Cain.”
Cain’s story is one of the most familiar ones of the Bible. All remember that he brought the firstlings of the field rather than the firstlings of the flock, thus disobeying God in an avenue of worship. His brother Abel subscribed to those things God specified he wanted—and God accepted the offerings of Abel’s faith. In a jealous rage Cain slew his brother. The first murder occurred, having been precipitated by a religious jealousy.
What then are the obvious conclusions that can be drawn from a study of Cain? It seems these things would be in order. For one to practice self-will is to open the door to the murder of his own brethren, as well as the destruction of his own soul. When a man enthrones himself rather than the authority of God, he crowns his own cataclysmic end.
Secondly, Cain lived as though there would be no judgment. He evidently knew what God had said, but somehow led himself to believe God would not keep his word. For a man to be unmindful of his rendezvous with Jehovah is to close his eyes to a definite certainty.
Thirdly, whenever a person chooses sin over his choice of God, he has God to reckon with. God is a jealous God. He will not allow a permanent dethronement of himself and an installation of a rival force.
Fourthly, it’s blaringly obvious that a substitution of an avenue of worship, even though benevolent in its origin, is still an affront to the Almighty God. He knows what he wants; he’s spelled out what he desires; for man to assume that he can please God by altering the wishes of God is to play with foolishness indeed.
Fifthly, for one to live by impulse rather than by the persuasion of the Lord is to further court destruction. Man has no right to take the law into his own hands. There is no justifiable result that can be shown for an action which leads a person to believe he can set aside the commands and the restraints of God and follow whatever seems to be right at that particular moment.
Sixthly, for one to obey his own voice rather than the voice of God is to destroy not only his fellowship with heaven but also with his fellowman. The quickest destruction of brotherhood is found in the ignoring of the commands of God. When one severs his fellowship with the Lord, he naturally severs it with the peoples of the Lord. His selfishness thus defies God and destroys man. Perhaps it has been painfully noticed that when a man demands liberty and latitude, it has a way of making him one of the most cruel of men.
And, lastly, Cain is that tragic example of moral skepticism. God has not asked man to decide matters for himself. God has spoken! God has declared his wishes, man needs to honor that which God has specified. The story of Cain is in the Book so that by his example one may avoid his mistakes without having to experience them. Let mankind learn his lesson extremely well.