Monday: 18th February, 2019
Reference text: Genesis 4:1-15, 25
Genesis 4:9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
In the very early years of my life, I recall the account of Cain and Abel presented in such a simplified manner that there seemed to be nothing much to the story. It was a case of two brothers who presented offerings to God and He was pleased with one and not the other. Consequently, one brother killed the other. That was it. But was that it? Certainly not! The many themes present in this text are immense.
Today, I focus on one of these themes: ‘a loss of authority’. In Genesis 1:28a, it is written ‘And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it. The word subdue, includes in its multidimensional meaning: ‘make subordinate or to master’. Thus, God had made man to be masters of the earth and Cain had been a tiller of the soil which responded by bringing forth fruit.
However, after laying hands on his brother, hear the word of the Lord: ‘When thou till the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; (Genesis 4:12). That was the authority stripped off. We can still probe deeper to ascertain what led to the loss of authority: was it God who stripped it or was Cain who lost it? Our answer: Genesis 4:7b ‘and if you don’t do well, sin lurks at the door. And it is striving to get you, but you shall rule over it.’
That was it: once there was a choice, the associated consequences had to be suffered. But glory be to God that the blood of Jesus, which fell on the same earth that was unresponsive to Cain, pleads instead for mercy. Blessed be God that the blood of Jesus speaks of better things than the blood of Abel. Once again, our authority to subdue has been returned to us. Praise the Lord.