What was the riff between Cain and Abel? In a nutshell it’s the same riff between people today. In particular between the followers of Christ and the rest of the world. What is that riff? Who God says He is in the Bible verses the making of God in our own image.
Abel was a prophet. Jesus said about him: “Therefore the wisdom of God also said, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’ that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple” (Luke 11:49-51). Jesus calls Abel a prophet. Abel was a minister of God. As a prophet, Abel spoke to men on God’s behalf. Abel was obeying God’s instructions when he was making an offering.
“Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him” (Genesis 4:2-8).
Notice the scripture says, “And in the process of time it came to pass,” and “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted?” This wasn’t the first offering that Cain and Abel had done together. Cain knew what God wanted. Cain knew what to do “well.” He had done this before. Cain knew what to do for his offering to be accepted but he refused to do the right thing.
The sacrifice that Abel was offering to God was for the atoning of sin. The innocent animal was taking the place of the guilty sinner. This wasn’t a tithe or an offering to the poor. Cain knew this. I’m sure that what angered Cain was Abel’s refusal to bring Cain’s offering to the Lord and accept his personal “truth.”
Cain wanted to make his own religion. Maybe he wasn’t thinking in those terms, but that is the result of his disobedience. He knew what God wanted, but he wanted God to accept his version of righteousness and worship. Have you ever noticed that, most often, it’s those that don’t respect the word of God that persecute those that desire to do the will of God. We see the religious community (the priests, scribes, and elders) in Jesus’ day attacking Jesus. They did the same thing to the disciples after the resurrection. It happens even today.
To me this story sounds a lot like the way many churches are going today. So many are bringing sin into the congregations and calling it worship, and anyone who dares not accept their narrative is persecuted: they’re labeled racist, homophobic, unloving, misogynist, and every other vile name. It doesn’t matter if it’s true and verifiable. Persecution by the world using character assassination, dehumanization, legal bullying, and even physical assault is intended to isolate and destroy all opposition to the new world order. Many churches are jumping on the politically correct band wagon just as the scripture says: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).
(If you’re interested in greater details of the use of propaganda, study how the communist and the Nazi’s effectively destroyed everyone they hated. Tens of millions died and many more were brought to poverty and depression to bring about their vision of world order, and especially the destruction of God’s people. I personally believe that when the U.S. falls we’ll see a minimum of one-hundred million killed in same ways that the Soviets and Chicom’s destroyed their people.)
I really hate to sound so dooms-dayish. Then again, being naive is guaranteed destruction. Corrie Ten Boom writes of a conversation she had with a priest who survived Mao’s persecutions against the church when Mao came to power in China. The priest related to her that church leadership was telling everyone that Jesus was coming. But Jesus didn’t come, and as a result many turned their backs on the faith when the persecution came. He told Corrie what they should have done was to prepare the people for persecution. Lesson learned.
Anyway, the riff between Cain and Abel was about creating ones own religion verses worshipping God the way God gives instruction. We’re blessed that we have the written word of God to believe and learn from. Of course, no one agrees on everything, and that is OK. But there are things in the Bible that are very clear and can’t be disputed if you’re a true disciple of Christ. But keep in mind that being doctrinally sound won’t keep the Cain’s of this age from persecuting you. Nonetheless, we should continue in the faith knowing in the end it’s worth whatever “Cain” does.