In Genesis 4 we read about Cain and Abel, two sons of Adam and Eve. After just a few verses of the chapter Abel dies but Cain lives on to have a wife and progeny and to build a city. So Cain is the more successful of the two brothers, right?
Anyone familiar with the Biblical record about these two men knows that Cain’s outliving Abel does not mean that Cain was better off than Abel. For one thing, Cain also died in time, so longer physical life is not endless life.
Recollections of Cain tell of his having murdered his brother and the curse that he bore as a result of his sin and lack of contrition (Genesis 4; I John 3:12; see also Jude 11). Cain remains through thousands of years an example of unrighteousness and impenitence.
Abel on the other hand is recalled among the faithful (Hebrews 11:4). Cain outlived Abel and had more experiences on earth, but that has very little meaning when all is said and done. Jesus said, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
We may live a long life or a short life on earth, but what matters is whether we live by faith in God. That type of life requires that we learn His word and surrender to its message.
By Joe Hickman