Summer Devotional and Sermon Series
Week 2/Heroes: Cain & Abel
Reaching the “Hall of Fame” is the pinnacle of an athlete’s professional career. To be recognized as one of the “elite” in their chosen sport must not only be an amazing, but also I suspect, a humbling experience. Many acceptance speeches echo that thought as athletes share how honored they are by the experience.
In Hebrews chapter 11, we find what we can call an Old Testament ”Hall of Faith”. The chapter lists person after person who lived a life of faith and in whom we can find an example of how to live our lives. I find it interesting that the first person on that list is Abel. His story is a short one but cannot be told separately from that of his brother Cain. He and Cain were the sons of Adam and Eve and were the first of God’s chosen people to be born of human procreation. When Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, they were left with the responsibility of caring for themselves which meant finding their own food and raising their own livestock, etc. As part of their family responsibilities, Cain became a farmer and Abel tended the family herds.
In verse one of Chapter 4, Eve gives birth to her firstborn son, Cain. Her response to his birth was “I have acquired a man from the Lord” which literally means “I’ve got him” or “here he is.” One commentary I read suggests that Adam and Eve may have thought that Cain was the deliverer that God had promised. If that is the case, they must have had high hopes for their son. As we will see, those hopes and dreams for Cain and Abel would not be fulfilled.
God had plans and dreams for His people that began with Adam and Eve and with their children. Those plans would not be fulfilled for many many generations in the future but in spite of all that time, He never gave up on His people. Just as He does not give up on us but has plans for our future. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Cain and Abel had a place in God’s overall plan for humanity and so do we.