Cain and Abel

March 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

Genesis 4:1-16 tells the tragic story of the Bible’s first brothers with Cain killing Abel.  As a child, whenever my sister and I were involved in some argument, my mother would always say, “Do we have Cain and Abel here today?”  So I always had this association with Cain and Abel that they are representing the infighting between people.  Of course, in the Bible’s narrative, Genesis 4 is the first logical consequence of the great fall in the previous two chapters.  Since then we live in a world characterized by the motto, “he that fights and runs away, may live to fight another day” (traditional proverb).  It’s worst form is summarized in the words of Adolf Hitler:  “Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live.”  Of course, Hitler also showed the world what that looks like in its most brutal form of an abuse of power against humanity.  But we also do not have to only point at the most brutal forms of killings between people.  It starts with recognizing the small and subtle ways in which we hurt each other in our everyday dealings with each other.  And realize that is why Jesus had to submit to His own murder on a cross.  So that we can be forgiven for our trespasses against each other and live into His command summarized so well in John 15:12-13: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”


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