Tempted to raise Cain

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, May 23, 2018

By John Warren


We have been preaching a sermon series called “Game Changers” about the people in the Bible whose lives have made a difference in the world because of the choices that they made to further the story and mission of God.

The children have been doing a fantastic job of bringing us the stories of folks such as Esther and Ruth, Peter and Noah.

We have Moses this week and we will finish it up with David our brave little warrior on Memorial Weekend.

It raised the question; what about people in the Bible that didn’t make a lasting impression we should follow?

I didn’t have to look very far before I found one person, his name is Cain. Cain was not his younger brother Abel. No not by a long shot.

But whenever you bring up Cain you must bring up Abel they go together like salt and pepper. This is the first story of sibling rivalry. Abel’s name means “puff of smoke” perhaps indicating his short lifespan.

We learn that God loves him. Some may ask, how can you tell? Well, I think you have to look at the way God was overjoyed with Abel giving his best offering.

But I think you can also tell about how you look at how God dealt with his older brother Cain. God used Abel as an example to Cain, to which instead of Cain taking God’s advice and learning from it he decided to rid himself of the competition for God’s approval.

What is so suprising in this drama is God’s reaction.

The law allowed for an eye for an eye, a life for a life. And many of us still operate from that law. But God did something bigger, something unheard of. God showed his love for Cain by sparing his life. Cain was allowed to live but as a marked man. He got to live but he had to live with what he had done to his brother the rest of his life.

This is the basis for our modern day life sentence. There are many men and women living in our prison systems who owe it to God’s loving response to Cain’s action for their opportunity to live even if it is behind bars.

So I guess we can learn from ol’ Cain as well.

So when your temper gets the best of you and you start to raise Cain remember your actions will have consequences but God will still love you.


John Warren is Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church, 502 North 6th Street in Orange.