Adam loved God with all his heart and wanted to please God. He had no fear or pride or jealousy. He had a pure undefiled heart and mind. He lived in the garden that God had created. He spent his days naming plants and animals it was what he did and he did it with excellence. Then God gave Adam a wife, life was wonderful. But one day everything changed…and you know the rest of that story…let me tell you what happened after they sinned and had to leave the garden.
Eve conceived and had a son, she named him Cain. Cain was the very first of their children then Able came along.
Cain worked in the fields; his job title might be that of a farmer. He knew hard work and took pride in what he did but he was self-centered and arrogant. These were traits of the sin life that came from the sins of his parent’s disobedience to God. Good and evil. Cain chose evil. Keeping the best of what he had for himself, he gave God the left overs. He gave God the “stuff” that was not too badly worn there was still a lot of good left in it. Thinking to himself, God won’t mind, he knows I deserve the best for this and after all I’m the one who worked from sunup to sundown to accumulate all this wealth. It’s not like I’m throwing the “stuff” away. It’s good enough. I’m sure God will understand.
(The tempter still at work whispering in man’s ear.)
God did understand. He understood that Cain was his own God. His heart was far from pure, his heart was full of evil and it would not abide well with him.
Able, the youngest son of Adam and Eve, tended animals he was more of a shepherd than a farmer. Able loved God and wanted to please God with all that God had given him. His was a labor of love, joy and thankfulness. He rose early in the mornings to make sure his flock was watered and fed. He anointed them with oil to keep pests off of them. He walked with them in green pastures and slept with them in fields. He would protect the flock from predators, putting the flock above his own needs. To show his gratitude to God he would select the most excellent of his flock, the first-born lamb, and he would give them as a sacrifice to God. He gave only the very best to God, second best would not do. This pleased God because Able gave it to him in faith. A blood sacrifice, Able followed God’s example that only blood can cleanse the stains of sin and wash away guilt and shame so that fellowship and relationship can be restored between God and man.
“Why doesn’t God accept my sacrifice?” Cain whined and wiped his brow. “Look at Able always happy, always getting everything he wants. I need to teach him a lesson. Life isn’t easy all the time. I sweat and toil in these fields and I barely get by. I love God. After all I give him everything I have that’s left over from my fields. Still he does not honor me or give me favor. Everything I touch is desolate and sun-scorched.” Crying in his soup bowl he tosses it aside and runs into the field where Able is tending sheep.
Cain sees Able and calls out to him. “Able come here, I want to talk to you little brother.”
Able smiles and runs to greet his big brother. “What’s up Cain?”
“Wipe that smile off your face you know what’s up. It’s you and God.” Cain sneers as evil rises up within him and spews from his mouth. “You think you’re so good. You think I don’t notice how you and God are always hanging out. You’re his favorite golden boy. You’re the apple of his eye. If he’d give me just a second of his time my fields would flourish and I’d be as well off as you are. But no, He smiles on you, takes walks with you and makes sure you prosper.”
Able stepped back his smile quickly vanishes. “What are you talking about Cain? Why do you have to be so jealous and envious? Your fields are thriving. What is your problem bro?”
“What’s my, problem? I’ll tell you what my problem is…YOU!! You’re my problem.” Cain in a rage picks up a rock and hits Able in the head. Able stumbles and falls down his blood spilling out onto the ground. Cain is a murderer. He killed his brother, Able.
Cain stares in horror… “What have I done?” He runs away to hide.
God calls to Cain… “Cain where is your brother Able?”
“I do not know? Am I my brother’s keeper?”
God said, “What have you done? Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground. Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer give its strength to you. You will always travel from place to place on the earth.” Genesis 4:1-12.
The tree of knowledge of Good and Evil is ever present as proven in the story of Cain and Able. Jealousy, pride, anger, envy all stem from the nature of man because of disobedience to God. The sin of Adam and Eve continue throughout time. The only way to restore obedience to God was with a perfect blood sacrifice. God’s plan was hidden although he gave hints and revealed his secrets to his prophets and seers along the way. He would redeem mankind through His only begotten son…but it would take years to come into play. (God’s plan would be foretold but not manifested until it was time.)
People didn’t believe Noah when he was building an ark on dry land. Rain had never fallen from the sky until that day came and it began to rain. The world cried out but it was too late.
People didn’t believe the Son of God, Messiah was born in a stable in Bethlehem until the day of His resurrection when over 500 people witnessed him alive and men of Galilee saw him ascend into heaven. (Jesus said I will come again.)
Some people still don’t believe…but just because you don’t believe doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
A lot of people today don’t believe that Jesus is going to return to the earth…but I’m telling you as sure as I live and breathe that He Is Coming…it is going to happen just like the flood came…just like the Son of God was born and died and rose again…Jesus is coming again!!
No not even the angels in heaven know exactly when he will return but he gave us signs…watch and pray…be ready…and tell others…
We are our brother’s keeper.
~~Marla Shaw O’Neill July 27, 2017
The Coming of the Son of Man
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:29-31 (NKJV)
The Risen Christ, Faith’s Reality
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. 1 Corinthians 15:1-16 New King James Version (NKJV)