|English: Cain and Abel; as in Genesis 4; illustration from the Sunrays quarterly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
In Genesis 4 God posed questions to Cain after he and Abel had offered sacrifices to God. The questions came to Cain because his offering was not accepted by God. Abel's offering was accepted, and that gave Cain a reason to be angry. His vengeance was directed at Abel, and he killed him.
No rules or laws are recorded to explain the sacrifices and offerings, but, in hindsight, we say that Cain brought an offering of produce from his crops and Abel brought a blood sacrifice of his flocks. Analyzing the offerings in light of the Law of Moses, we now say that Cain was proud of his offering saying look, "Look what I produced." Abel in humility slaughtered his best stock as a sacrifice to God. The difference was not explained in scripture before the death of Abel. Did Cain and Abel know the meaning of sacrifice? Now we know that bragging before God is not wise and does not bring forgiveness or blessing. Cain lived a long and painful life to prove this lesson. We will do well to learn it without the experience of Cain.