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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

Nevertheless, he continued "a professor of religion"; for "he brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to the Lord".

But the Lord paid no respect to him or his offering; because, in neglecting the sacrifice, he had set up his judgment against God; and in being faithless had in effect treated God as a liar; for, saith the scripture, "he that believeth not God hath made him a liar".

But Cain's sullen anger against God could only wound himself.

His refusal to obey Him could not injure the Most High.

He insulted God with his "will-worship and voluntary humility," and convicted himself as an evil-doer.

Self-condemned and impotent, he vented his rage against his brother, whom God respected and had accepted.

He was wroth against him: "because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous".

He was now a murderer in principle; and with this fratricidal feeling rankling in his heart, brought his gift to the altar.

But God, who "discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart," called him to account for his lowering aspect, and anger against his brother, and said, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?

And if thou doest not well, a sin-offering lieth at the door.

And his hope shall be towards thee, and thou shalt rule over him," or have the excellency as the first-bern and progenitor of the Seed.

But Cain was a genuine "seed of the Serpent".

The thinking of the flesh called by Adam the Serpent, was strong within him.

He talked with Abel, who doubtless, pleaded for the things repudiated by Cain.

But Cain's reasonings were perverse; well-doing was not at all to his taste; so that, having no faith in the promise, he preferred to follow his own waywardness; and being determined to rid himself of his brother's expostulations, he mingled his blood with the dust of the ground.

Thus was slain by a brother's hand the protomartyr of the faith.

A righteous man, respected and beloved of God.

His only offence was, that, in believing the promises of God and doing well, his brother was reproved.

The fleshly mind hates righteousness, and those who practise it; so that between the two parties the truth and righteousness of God lie as an apple of discord.

Abel was the first of Eve's sons of whom honourable mention is made on account of "the obedience of faith".

As Cain was of the evil one by transgression; so Abel was of God by the obedience of faith, which evinced that "God's seed remained in him".

Hence though both of them were born of Eve according to the flesh, their spiritual paternity was as opposite as light and darkness.

Cain was a man of sin; and Abel an accepted son of God.