“Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.”
And again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.
And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell,” Genesis 4:1-5.
The first two sons born to the man and woman had a striking difference in their natures. Just as the Lord made men and women different, He created every individual to be unique. He obviously loves creativity, but this leads us to one of those ultimate questions. Why does the church, which represents God to the world, tend to be so boringly uniform? Why does the church, which is supposed to be one with the Creator, tend to be so void of creativity, prone to follow the trends of the world, and usually only limping along years behind it? Those who know the Creator should be the most creative people on the face of the earth. We must cast off the oppressive yokes of limited vision imposed by counterfeit spiritual authorities that pressure the church into conformity. The church is going to be free. Then she will astonish the world with her creativity, and instead of following the trends of the world, the world will start following her.
The struggle for freedom began among the first two brothers. Jealousy led to oppression. Jealousy is always rooted in insecurity, and it has continually been the source of most human conflicts. We see in Matthew 27:18 and Mark 15:10 that it was because of jealousy that the Lord was delivered to be crucified. We also see repeatedly in the Book of Acts, and the apostolic epistles, that persecution was often motivated by jealousy.
We are told in James 3:16, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.” The true root of almost every division within the church is jealousy. Men may use differences in doctrines and other things as excuses, but at the root of them will usually be jealousy. It is the root of almost every human conflict, and is the source of the stifling oppression that seeks to crush uniqueness and creativity. We must learn to recognize and repent of this evil in our own lives, and resist the influence it seeks to impose on us through others.
The root of jealousy that was manifested in Cain can be traced to his occupation. Cain was a tiller of the ground, which speaks of earthly-mindedness. The ground had been cursed so that it would only bear fruit by sweat, which speaks of human effort, or our own works. This is fine for farmers, but Cain tried to offer the fruit of his own works to the Lord, which will never be an acceptable offering to Him. As Paul said in Acts 17:25, “neither is He served by human hands.”
Abel offered a blood sacrifice, which God accepted. This was a prophecy of the blood sacrifice of Jesus that would alone be an acceptable offering to God. That the sacrifice was offered by the younger son was also a prophecy that it would be the “last Adam” that would make the sacrifice acceptable to God. From the very beginning, the Lord made a provision for the redemption of the fallen world, and also from the very beginning, prophetic actions point us to Jesus and the redemption of the cross.
The acceptance of Abel’s sacrifice and the rejection of his own outraged Cain. This was a prophecy of the enmity that would exist between those who tried to offer God their own good works for acceptance, and those who would trust in the blood of Jesus. Jesus was not persecuted by the base sinners of society, but rather the self-righteous. The same is still true. There are many, including some who claim to be Christians that put their trust in their own works as their righteousness. They usually try to make the New Testament into another law, the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They will likewise rage against and persecute those who base their faith on the righteousness of the cross. Therefore, seen in the first two sons is the nature of the serpent, and the nature of the one who would defeat the serpent by His death. Trust in the cross. It will bring persecution for a time, but it has already gained the ultimate victory.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|