Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose against Abel his brother and killed him.
Last week, we covered what led up to Cain’s murder of Abel—his anger and jealousy toward his brother. Instead of taking God’s words about his inferior offering and lifestyle as an impetus to change and improve himself, he allowed his anger toward Abel to develop into hatred, which resulted in murder.
God had warned Cain to control his thoughts because they were dangerously close to resulting in sin (Genesis 4:7). Instead of ruling over his impulses, he gave in and allowed the process described in James 1:14-15 to play out in his life. This resulted in the first murder.
Just as his parents set humanity on a course of rejecting God’s leadership in their lives, Cain set humanity on a course of hatred and murder, which has been played out in countless crimes and wars down through history. John 8:44 reveals that Satan is the originator of murderous thoughts.
God later codified the command against murder in the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:13). Read “Were the 10 Commandments Around Before Moses?” for biblical proof these laws existed long before Moses and Mount Sinai.
The most important lesson we can learn from Cain’s sin is that we have to overcome thoughts of anger and hatred toward other people—before they turn into words or acts of violence.
Jesus Christ taught that hate and anger break the spirit of the Sixth Commandment (Matthew 5:21-22). Those who harbor hateful thoughts and attitudes against others walk “in darkness” (1 John 2:11). Hatefulness is an attitude that true Christians must overcome (Romans 1:29; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Titus 3:3). True Christianity is living the way of life characterized by love toward others (Matthew 22:37-40; John 13:35; Colossians 3:14).
To learn more about the deep meaning of God’s Sixth Commandment against murder, read “The Sixth Commandment: You Shall Not Murder.”