What Did Cain Do Wrong?

What Did Cain Do Wrong?

I read the Bible for the first time when I was about 13 or 14. I loved the capsules of stories put together in the different Bible storybooks that my parents bought for me and my brothers, and I wanted to get to the origin stories of my favorite Bible characters. So I took up the Bible and started reading.

And I HATED IT!

I mean, now I understand that the negative feelings I was feeling as I read chapter after chapter of the Bible was me hating what I was reading. But back then, to my young teenage mind, I was struggling to understand why the god in the Bible I was reading was such a villain, compared to the good, loving god that was preached to me either by the Sunday school teacher or the reverend from the pulpit.

The malignancy of god was exemplified in many instances in the Bible, but the very first one that struck me – and I remember this vividly because I had a very strong reaction to it – jumped right out at me in the book of Genesis.

The story of Cain and Abel.

Growing up in Sunday school, Cain was often framed to be this bad guy that got what he deserved. It didn’t help that he murdered his brother, Abel. And so, like other Big Bads in the Bible, Cain was the original villain, the very first person you hate once you start getting taught the Bible.

But then, I started reading the Bible, and in Genesis 4, I hit the first bump that made the 13-or-14-year-old me start questioning the goodness of god.

v1: And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.

“v2: And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

“v3: And in process of time, it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

“v4: And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.

“v5: But unto Cain and to his offering, he had no respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

“v6: And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?

“v7: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

How exactly did Cain NOT do well? I have never understood the reason behind this story of god rejecting Cain’s sacrifice and favouring Abel’s.

What did Cain do wrong?

He made a sacrifice from his occupation, which was to farm. Just as his brother made a sacrifice of his occupation, which was to tend sheep. They both offered unto god from their labours, and god chose one over the other.

WHY?

And when PREDICTABLY, Cain felt bad about this, god went on to gaslight him by chastising him that he didn’t do well!!!

I just… I’m a 30-something-year-old man and I am still as furious with this story as the 13-or-14-year-old me was. Maybe not as much now as then. But by god, I HATED this story.

And I’ll tell you why. I had that strong resentment for it as a child because I am a firstborn. To my very impressionable mind, what I was getting from that story was that I wasn’t good enough for my own father. I was 11 when I started realizing that I may like boys and not girls. And I was 13 when I first kissed a boy and liked it. This was also around the time I discovered my frantic love for writing, a craft that had me tearing out pages from my notebooks to scribble life to the imaginations that crowded my head

I don’t know if it was because of the pages I was ripping out of my notebooks or if it was the writing thing as a whole; whatever was the reason, my father disliked my writing as a child, and he did his darnedest to crush it. He berated me. He flogged me. And when neither of those worked, one time, he gathered all the tiny stories I had written in all my tiny makeshift novels – he gathered them together and he burned them. That broke my heart. I sobbed like someone who’d lost a part of him. And the lesson I finally learned from that incident was: my father hates this part of me.

Another thing I suspected he’d hate? The fact that I liked boys and was kissing boys.

So, for all intents and purposes, I was growing up into my teenagehood, the firstborn son who had all these characteristics that my father disapproved of, this firstborn son that my father would not like.

And then I turned to the Bible, only to encounter the Almighty Father himself invalidating the world’s first firstborn son.

WHY?

Because he made a sacrifice of crops instead of meat?

Why was that such a heinous thing?

Why were his crops so bad in the sight of the Father?

Why was my writing so bad in the sight of my father?

Why did kissing that boy make me feel like I’d done something that’d be so bad in the sight of the father?

I empathized with Cain so much, because I could relate to the struggle of being the firstborn who, through no fault of his, was deemed wrong by the Father.

And because I resented god’s treatment of Cain, I disliked Abel for being the smug chosen one, the goody-two-shoes. I was probably the only child in Sunday school who thought that Abel deserved to get killed.

Written by Pink Panther

Previous WHAT ABOUT BRIMSLEY AND REYNOLDS? (A ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’ Review)
Next ‘Abbott Elementary’ star Tyler James Williams responds to rumors about his sexuality — and explains why such speculation is “very dangerous”

About author

You might also like

Editor's Desk 18 Comments

Waka Pass Diaries

August 22 There are some guts some people get, some kind of liver they carry that makes me wonder if we’re all in this same homophobic, gay-hating country together. A

Editor's Desk 4 Comments

URGENT ACCOMMODATION NEEDED

Hello I’m in dire need of accommodation anywhere in the Island close to Onikan (Obalende). I just got a job in Onikan, Lagos Island and I stay in Agboju with

Editor's Desk 10 Comments

I LOVE YOU

Note: Spoilers for Heartstopper Season 2 ahead. I love you. Those are the words that most everyone who’s queer in Nigeria would agree is the most abused statement in the

19 Comments

  1. Loki
    May 28, 11:48 Reply

    I always thought it was because Abrl offered blood. I mean his offering involved sacrifice of blood and thats why his was accepted. But yeah it was also annoying hearing all the hate Cain had to go through.
    I feel you, and I feel your pain, my dad actually called my writings “useless waste of time” 🤧 and I promised I would prove him wrong.
    Just keep being u.

    P. S on a whole unrelated issue, any news from Beni yet??? 🥺🥺🥺

    • Pink Panther
      June 04, 07:00 Reply

      I’ll reach out to him and let him know that the people are still waiting for guidance from Nakia.

  2. Francis
    May 28, 12:11 Reply

    😂😂😂😂😂 @ the end. Lemme wait for the church people to come and explain this mess. Abi the food offering Cain brought was rotten ni? 🤔

    • Pink Panther
      June 04, 07:00 Reply

      Lol. Yeah, they try. But judging from how annoyed my Sunday school teacher got and tried to shush me when I dismantled that excuse years ago, even they have to know that that excuse doesn’t make sense.

  3. FRED
    May 29, 10:17 Reply

    JWs taught me (as a kid) that Cain’s offerings/sacrifice) were from the worst of his yields. Also, knowing that him killing Abel wouldn’t have changed anything meant that he was fundamentally irrational.
    But I think that The Bible wasn’t clear enough as to the why (or why’s).

    • Pink Panther
      June 04, 07:01 Reply

      Considering that it is the word of god which has been used to dictate the lives of generations of people, it should always be clear and easy to understand, don’t you think?

  4. Maduka
    May 29, 14:00 Reply

    So God blessed both Cain & Abel’s occupations. Abel brought the best of his proceeds in appreciation to God’s blessings, Cain brought the least of his proceeds, hence God’s displeasure with him. Cain got upset & jealous of God’s love towards Abel , made him resent his brother & ultimately, killed him.

    • Pink Panther
      June 04, 06:59 Reply

      All of these, god would have seen. Are you telling me that in knowing that Cain would kill his favoured one, Abel, he couldn’t have handled the business of their sacrifices differently? In a way that doesn’t cause Cain to be jealous and kill Abel? You mean to tell me that he foresaw Cain’s actions and still went ahead with the actions that would lead to that? Saving Abel from being murdered wasn’t even important enough for him to do things differently so Cain wouldn’t feel so rejected, he resorted to murder?
      LOL.

  5. Oba of Benin
    May 30, 16:26 Reply

    During my Sunday school under Assemblies of God Church, we was told Cain offered rotten fruits while Abel sacrificed the best of his sheep

    • Pink Panther
      June 04, 06:56 Reply

      Yup. that is what we were all thought. Except, I have long since realised that that was the interpretation Christians manufactured (with no basis to support it from the Bible) to make sense of that senseless action from god.

  6. swan-dragon
    June 02, 15:38 Reply

    There was “and the fat thereof” said about him in the bible. I guess. Maybe he didn’t give God his best.

    Like the saying goes- “its not the gift, but the thoughts that count”

    • Pink Panther
      June 04, 06:53 Reply

      He was a farmer. What was his best supposed to be? Maybe he should have sacrificed bananas instead of mangoes? Maybe god liked pineapples instead of oranges? lol. For a god that is supposed to be good and loving, he sure can be very petty and unforgiving.

  7. Angel☺️☺️
    June 02, 18:37 Reply

    Hello everyone 👋, I am new here. I stumbled across this website by chance and wow, I am amazed at the stories I read here. Before, I used to think the gays and the lesbians and the bisexuals had it easy than us the transgenders. But I now realize, we all don’t have it easy. We struggle in our different ways.

    So, to everyone who reads this, I hope you’re safe out there and I love you all ❤️❤️

    Ps: I really need a trans friend, or any friends here 🥹

    Peace 🕊️🕊️✌️

    • Pink Panther
      June 04, 06:52 Reply

      Welcome, Angel. Feel free to also share your stories so others can also feel a kinship to the things you have been through that made you stronger.

  8. Anon
    June 03, 23:58 Reply

    Some versions of the bible lime Good News do a better job of explaining. Cain offered the less desirable batches of his crops while Abel offered the very best of his sheep. So maybe do a little bit of research next time Mr/Ms/Mx Poster ?

    • Pink Panther
      June 04, 06:51 Reply

      Lol. You must feel like you did something with this comment, don’t you? So you really expect that a 13 year old reading the Bible should have done research before taking away their understanding of what was written in the Bible? They should perhaps, after reading from the King James version, endeavor to go hunting for the English Standard version, or perhaps a New American Standard version, or maybe a New International version. Any reader of the Bible should not rely solely on their version of the bible they’re reading. For any chapter that doesn’t make sense – like when god committed genocide when he killed the world’s population and saved only Noah and his family, or when he made a bet with the Devil to torture his faithful servant, Job, or when he struck down a bunch of children with bears for simply making fun of Elisha – when a bible reader gets to these parts in his Bible, and it doesn’t make sense why these are the actions of a loving god, they should quickly set their bible aside and go researching by hunting for other interpretations, right? Because the Word of god shouldn’t be easy to understand, surely not. We must do research to understand all the things that god wants us to know about him, right?

      • Francis
        June 04, 07:59 Reply

        You’re very disrespectful. It’s the god all through for me 😭😭😭🤣🤣🤣

  9. trystham
    June 10, 06:34 Reply

    You know, after seeing this post on FB, I went to check and check again. It was the first sacrifice ever performed. There was no template whatsoever. Abel probably saw his brother do this and did copy copy and got the jackpot. See ehn, first kids ALWAYS have it rough. Whatever you bring to the table will never be enough

Leave a Reply