Rapidly the consequences of the alluring but deadly principle of the lie became evident. Out of their miraculously remaining but strained oneness, Adam and Eve were given their firstborn “possession,” Cain. Eve said, “I have gotten a man from God.” She recognized God’s gift, but her son grew up to reject such dependent acknowledgment of the greatest of all Givers. A second son came and was perhaps prophetically seen to be “vaporous breath,” Abel. After Adam and Even had chosen to follow the lie, God had committed to the race the symbolic service of animal sacrifice, to remind the humans of their taking life through the principle of self-seeking, and to foreshadow the giving of life by Another to the lost race, who would come to them, for them, as them, at infinite cost to Himself. Cain in his possessiveness rejected such a ceremony to express humility and faith in the Other’s giving of life, and in his attempted worship instead gave what amounted to a thank offering. Abel in the tenuous vanity of his sinful humanity apparently sensed his need, and in faith offered the blood sacrifice with his offering. God affirmed Abel’s faith and rejected Cain’s unbelief. Cain lived out his refusal of self-giving love by taking in anger the life of his brother. This first human death brought home to Adam and Eve, in the strongest way they had yet experienced, the consequence of their initial choices to live for self.
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