Am I Ever Cain?

(if you are viewing this via email, the website has a recording of this poem and commentary; click the title above)


I’ve often hit the story of Cain and Abel and thought, “I’m not thinking deeply enough about this!” So here’s a prayer. I hope it isn’t merely “fruit of the ground.”

About that “fruit of the ground….” I doubt this, and I honestly haven’t done any study of the matter, but what if it “fruit of the ground” refers to windfall? Have you ever walked by a peach tree or an apple tree and been tempted to pick up a fruit that has fallen to the ground and then chomp into it? No? Me either. That fruit probably isn’t worth much. In any case, SOMETHING about Cain’s offering fell short of “doing what is right.”

As we read the account, notice something astounding: Cain murders his brother even after God has tried to reason with him.

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Genesis 4:3-8 (NIV)
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