And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. Hebrews 11:4
Faith provokes the world’s anger. And what we have in this story is the world’s first attempt to silence the voice of faith.
Cain believed in God. He came to worship God. He even brought an impressive gift. Surely, God will be pleased with him! “But for Cain and his offering he [the LORD] had no regard” (Gen. 4:5).
Cain’s offering didn’t even get God’s attention, and when Cain saw this he was angry. “How dare God disregard me and what I have done!” What we really feel toward God will be revealed when He doesn’t give us what we want.
Cain’s anger was directed toward God, but he took it out on his believing brother. Can you picture their conversation?
Abel: Cain, it breaks my heart to see you like this. If you bring the sacrifice God requires, God will commend you as righteous.
Cain: Who do you think you are, telling me what to do?
Abel: I’m just reminding you what God said.
Cain: You’re always trying to make yourself look better than me.
Abel: I just wish you would listen to God.
But Cain would not listen. Over time his anger increased, and then we are told, “Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him” (Gen. 4:8). Cain was determined that the voice of faith should be silenced. But here’s what we learn: The voice of faith can never be silenced.
Abel speaks across the centuries. He is an abiding witness to the faith that listens to what God has said and trusts in the sacrifice He has revealed. Martin Luther says of Abel, “He who when he was…alive could not teach even his only brother by his faith and example, now that he is dead teaches the whole world.”
Pray that the voice of faith may never be silenced.