WHAT IF GOD HAD PREVENTED CAIN FROM KILLING ABEL?
shocking human murder is described in Genesis 4. The event is exceptionally
tragic for various reasons. First of all, it is the first murder of a human being; secondly, it is a fratricide, that is a
murder of a brother by a brother; thirdly, because it foreshadows a way of life
that has characterized humanity ever since.
The event is also meaningful because, for the first time, God does not
intervene in human affairs and allows the actual murder of an innocent person to
take place, even though He clearly knew it was going to happen and witnessed its
happening. God had warned Cain that sin lay at his door “and its desire is for
you” (Genesis, 4:7). But God’s warning fell on deaf ears “…and it came to pass,
when they rose in the field, that Cain rose against Abel his brother and killed
him” (Genesis, 4:8).
But what if God had intervened and had prevented Abel’s death? What
if God had simply warned Abel of Cain’s intent and had asked him to stay away?
If God had intervened, a different pattern would have been set for
God’s relationship with humanity. To be consistent, God would have had to
intervene every time a potential murder was on the way, or before any wars
occurred. If God had chosen the path to intervention and prevention, it would
have also made logical sense for Him to prevent thefts, lying, fornication,
adultery, and so on.
Some might say that this approach would have been
more reflective of a God who is supposed to be loving and just. After all, God’s
consistent intervention in preventing evil would have brought about a decent,
peaceful and safe world free from sin and suffering. This reasoning seems to be
sound, but is it?
When Adam and Eve took of the Tree of Knowledge of
Good and Evil, they placed all of humanity on a path of independence from God
and of slavery toward Satan. The Bible makes it plain that Satan, not Almighty
God, is humanity’s chosen god (II Cor. 4:4, Eph. 2:2). From the start God has
been set aside by a rebellious humanity, and He “gave them up to uncleanness…and
a debased mind to do those things that are not fitting” (Romans 1: 24, 28). Adam
and Eve, and their descendents, were going to be allowed to taste the horrors of
sin in their entirety. Humanity would learn the hard way what it means to reject
God and follow in Satan’s footsteps.
No doubt standing aside and watching untold evil and
its tragic consequences from taking place must have been very painful for a God
of love. Yet, in the long term, God is showing a kind of love we do not
understand. We humans can only see the immediate. God sees the very long-term,
eternal benefits. He sees that the learning of this eternal lesson will
ultimately lead to eternal peace and joy. Thus, he is willing to suffer
along with humanity as long as, in the end, humanity will inherit eternal
God, therefore, is allowing sin to be manifested for what it is: a
destructive, pain-filled choice that hurts perpetrators and bystanders. God
wants humans to see the horrors that Satan-inspired actions will bring upon
humanity. The long-term lesson is that sin hurts and that righteousness is
always the better way.
CLICK ON TOPICS BELOW FOR A THOROUGH ANALYSIS
The Tree of Knowledge
Cursing of the Ground
Cain and Abel
Joseph in Slavery
Death of David's Child
David's Punishment for the Census
Sennacherib and his Armies
Removal of Foreign Wives
Sodom and Gomorrah
Ananiah and Sapphira
Catastrophes of Last Days
LITERATURE FROM UCG.ORG
(No Follow up)
Why Does God Allow Suffering
IS GOD CRUEL?