Christ Versus Cain: The Fruit of Their Own Sweat

(Cain Versus Christ: a stark contrast)


I. Cain Felt the Strain of His Own Pain


Though jealous Cain knew how to sweat, what sort of fruit did he beget?

For, God liked Abel’s offering, but Cain brought fruit that didn’t sing.

The soil in which Cain strived to toil somehow resulted in turmoil.

Alas, to have one’s fruit inspected and then totally rejected

Doesn’t make one feel accepted, but can that be overcome?


Some cave into rage to blot out their own pain, because cutting it off at the root is easier than facing it. But a slice of bad advice will lead to ruin in the end.

In other words, Cain clearly felt the strain of his own pain.

The fruit Cain did beget by his own sweat led to regret.

II. Abel Got it Right, But Not to Cain’s Delight


Because Abel got it right, but not to Cain’s delight.

Cain couldn’t be happy for him, therefore his countenance grew dim.

He coveted his brother’s favor, yet the feast he couldn’t savor

For his injured pride refused in any way to be amused.


In anger this man chose to stew. That’s what comparison will do.

Like worthless riches it will rust and leave you lying in the dust.

Had Cain repented of the sin which he’d allowed to enter in,

God might have sent refreshing rain and a blessing on his grain.

But there can be no true prosperity without heart charity.


Behold God’s message to him: “Do like Abel. Offer up a spotless lamb!”


Oh, if only Cain had believed! If only he had received the gift of grace offered freely from God’s hand! But Cain refused and wallowed in the strain of his own pain. And when he murdered Abel, the first prophet to be martyred, the very ground turned against him. He became a restless wanderer, having squandered the marvelous riches of God’s mercy toward him.


The fruit Cain did beget by his own sweat caused him to fret.


III. Jesus Came to Bless, Not Stress, Those Under Duress

After all, you can’t be blessed when you feel the stress that comes from being pressed beneath your father’s curse. A ground yielding thorns and thistles was Adam’s punishment for eating from the forbidden tree. The knowledge of good and evil, in effect, killed his joy for growing food. (see Genesis 3:17).

Cain knew evil and it really killed him. He felt the post-traumatic stress caused by his own duress. But God still chose to bless, even though Cain refused it.

“My punishment is more than I can bear,” Cain told the Lord (Genesis 4:13).

Fast forward many years later when Jesus the “second Adam” would take upon Himself the punishment no man can bear. He laid down his life as a completely pleasing offering to God. By the sweat of His own brow He redeemed us from Adam’s curse.

Much good fruit did He beget from His own sweat.

Jesus’ blood speaks a better word than the blood of Abel (Hebrews 12:24). Let’s not waste the grace He has for us.



How Emotional Pain Effects the Body

Emotional pain and physical pain are closely intertwined, I have discovered. When someone hurts me emotionally, for example, it can make me feel worthless inside. Dark thoughts assault my brain. If I fail to resist them, I start questioning who I am. Depending on the trauma involved, I may even question the reason for my existence.

As miserable thoughts pound my head, my ears begin to hurt. My nose runs, my ears tear up, and my throat aches. I can picture an invisible hand trying to choke me. Coincidentally, the German word for flu is Grippe, like something horrible that has you in its grip.

A little over a month ago, when a certain phone caller was causing me intense emotional pain, I came down with a bad cough. I also had a sore throat and fever. A coincidence? I don’t think so.

At first, I wondered if I had the flu because I wasn’t getting better. I also thought it might be strep because it came with a sore throat that went away for a while only to return with a vengeance.

It wasn’t the flu and it wasn’t strep. It was pneumonia.

My mother-in-law died of pneumonia the year before. I wasn’t about to follow in her footsteps. So, as much as I don’t believe in relying on doctors to heal me, I was desperate and sought emergency care. The medicine I received made me better physically, but upsetting circumstances in my family caused me intense emotional pain. As one bad report followed another, I struggled to keep my healing. The trauma definitely slowed down my recovery time.

At times like those, the only things that keep me alive are knowing Jesus loves me and remembering His promises. For when the devil tempted Him to turn stones to bread to end his fierce 40-day hunger pangs, He answered with scripture. “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3).”

We should receive His Word as we receive any other food from God: with praise and thanksgiving. If anything will help cure emotional pain, that will. I know because I’ve taken this remedy often, and can testify to the fact that it really works. That’s not to say the pain will not come back. However, as I learn to thank and praise the LORD amid the trauma pressing on my mind, the hard feelings begin to subside. In my mind, I hear the demonic thoughts that lie behind the emotional pain. As I rebuke those thoughts, I start to see more clearly. The forgiveness that flows from God’s presence ends every torment. Joy replaces sadness as I tap into God’s grace.

There is healing for me in God’s presence, healing Jesus purchased for me through His death on a cross. Through Him I Live and by His stripes I am healed (Isaiah 53:5).