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Genesis 4:1-16

Adam and Eve were banished from Eden after disobeying God. Later they have two sons: Cain and Abel.

Sibling Rivalry


When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.

“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
(Genesis 4:3-7)


The Bible does not say why God did not accept Cain’s gift. Perhaps Cain’s attitude was improper, or perhaps his gift was not up to God’s standards. Proverbs 21:27 says, “The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when it is offered with wrong motives.” God evaluates both our motives and the quality of what we offer him.

After Cain’s gift was rejected, God gave him the chance to right his wrong and try again. But Cain refused. Sin was “crouching at the door,” waiting to control him. Cain would have to give up his jealous anger in order to subdue the sin that was waiting to attack and destroy him.

Sin is still waiting to attack and destroy us. Like Cain, we will be victims of sin if we do not subdue it. But we cannot subdue sin on our own. Instead, we must turn to God to receive faith and turn to other believers to receive encouragement and strength. The Holy Spirit will help us overcome sin. This will be a lifelong battle that will not be over until we are face-to-face with Christ.


Cain refused God’s second chance, and the rest of his life shows what can happen to those who refuse to admit their mistakes. The next time someone suggests you are wrong, take an honest look at yourself and choose God’s way instead of Cain’s.

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