It’s been said that every baby is proof that God hasn’t given up on humanity yet, and that’s certainly true in this chapter. After being driven from the Garden and from God’s presence, Adam “knew” his wife (in the words of the King James Version), and she bore him children. Some people take from Eve’s pronouncement in verse 1 that she hoped that the promise in 3:15 was coming true with Cain’s birth. Unfortunately, whether she hoped for it or not, their firstborn certainly wasn't the child promised. Instead of being the promised “seed” who would crush the Serpent, this boy would prove himself to be a spiritual “child” of the Serpent himself.
Thank God, this was not the only child that our first parents bore! Isn’t it amazing that the same two parents can produce very different children? One of the greatest mysteries is how the same parents, with the same parenting techniques, passing on the same genetics, can produce active faith in one child, and rebellious depravity in the other.
Abel is the first hero of the faith listed in Hebrews 11, but a word must be said in favor of Adam. True, Abel was an obedient believer, and he's the first one listed in Scripture as an example for us to follow. But since he knew the Lord, presumably his parents brought him up in the faith. Adam and Eve may have screwed up royally, but at least they passed on the truth about God to at least one of their children.
The very first “whodunit” murder mystery was solved pretty quickly, and not just because the suspect list was rather short. Cain tried to cover up his fratricide, but of course he couldn’t escape the all-piercing gaze of the Omniscient One. We might point fingers at Cain, but aren’t we just as foolish when we think we can get away with sin? We might not be guilty of physical murder, but are we guilty of hatred of our brother? Jesus makes it clear that the Lord's concerned with our heart attitudes, not just with physical actions.
A final word needs to be said about this chapter. Bible skeptics love to ask goofy questions like “Who was Cain’s wife?” The answer to this question can be lumped under what I call the “Kissing Mary” principle. The Bible never records Jesus kissing his mother. Should we then infer from this that Jesus never kissed his mother in all his 33 years? Of course not! The Bible tells us all that we need in order to know God and obey him, and it expects us to fill in the blanks with common sense. As distasteful as it would be to us, Cain would've had to marry his sister in order to get the human race started, but of course this was later forbidden by the Mosaic law once it was no longer required. The Lord didn't create you with a brain just so you could let it sit inside your head.
But let's not let this distract us from the main point. We need to (figuratively) tattoo this on our forehead: When we think we've gotten away with sin, we've gotten away with absolutely nothing. Cain must've thought that there were no witnesses to his crime, but there was One. And I don't know about you, but I need constant reminders that "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."
Thank God, although Abel's spilled blood cried out, there's another type of blood crying out as well. The author of Hebrews invites us to come to God through Jesus Christ, “to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” Abel’s blood cries out for vengeance and justice, but the blood of our Savior calls for mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Aren't you glad?
Lord, please seek me out quickly when I think I can get away with anything. I thank you so much for the blood that covers my sin and cleanses my soul once and for all.