The curses of the fall infiltrated throughout all creation. No longer was their rest or peace. Death and destruction were always victorious. Everything wore out and grew worse.
This was the world Adam and Eve had made for themselves by their own choice, and now the world they had to suffer in. Cast from perfection into a state of continual degradation.
As Adam and Eve lived and worked, they had two sons: Cain and Abel. The boys grew up and Cain worked the fields while Abel kept the flocks. Then one day, they made offerings to God. Cain brought some of his crops, and Abel brought some fat portions from the firstborn of his flock.
But God favored Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s. Because Abel gave his sacrifice with a pure heart and sincerely, while his brother didn’t. Because Abel gave his knowing it was not enough, and Cain gave his sacrifice thinking that it would be enough.
And Cain became angry. He had been rejected! His pride couldn’t bear the idea that somehow what he had given hadn’t been enough. He had made a sacrifice of his fruits! How could God reject it? Maybe he shouldn’t have given anything. But God had accepted Abel’s offerings. It was favoritism, in Cain’s mind. God simply favored Abel of Cain.
But God knew what was going on in Cain’s thoughts, and so he said to him: “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Cain chose to ignore God. He chose to dwell in the sin and become part of the sin. He chose to ignore grace. Ignore that his sacrifice would never be accepted as long as he gave it out of selfishness. As long as he didn’t realize it was only by grace that he could be accepted.
His sacrifice should have been accepted, he thought. It wasn’t fair. And so Cain decided to murder his brother. He tricked Abel out into a field then killed him—ruthlessly.
He confronted Cain and drove Cain away, out of his presence. But now, Adam and Eve were left without a male heir. The first murder had occurred–between brothers. The world had indeed fallen. And the seed that God had promised the savior would come through seemed to have disappeared. Without a male heir, no savior could be born to destroy the serpent. But then Seth was born to Adam and Eve and their lines continued—along with the hope that one day all could be repaired.