The Story of Redemption


The Beginnings of Death

While Abel justifies the plan of God, Cain becomes enraged, and his anger increases and burns against Abel until in his rage he slays him. God inquires of Cain for his brother, and Cain utters a guilty falsehood: “I know not: am I my brother's keeper?” God informs Cain that He knew in regard to his sin—that He was acquainted with his every act, and even the thoughts of his heart, and says to him, “Thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” SR 54.1

The curse upon the ground at first had been felt but lightly; but now a double curse rested upon it. Cain and Abel represent the two classes, the righteous and the wicked, the believers and unbelievers, which should exist from the fall of man to the second coming of Christ. Cain's slaying his brother Abel represents the wicked who will be envious of the righteous and will hate them because they are better than themselves. They will be jealous of the righteous and will persecute and put them to death because their right-doing condemns their sinful course. SR 54.2

Adam's life was one of sorrow, humility, and continual repentance. As he taught his children and grandchildren the fear of the Lord, he was often bitterly reproached for his sin which resulted in so much misery upon his posterity. When he left the beautiful Eden, the thought that he must die thrilled him with horror. He looked upon death as a dreadful calamity. He was first made acquainted with the dreadful reality of death in the human family by his own son Cain slaying his brother Abel. Filled with the bitterest remorse for his own transgression, and deprived of his son Abel, and looking upon Cain as his murderer, and knowing the curse God pronounced upon him, bowed down Adam's heart with grief. Most bitterly did he reproach himself for his first great transgression. He entreated pardon from God through the promised Sacrifice. Deeply had he felt the wrath of God for his crime committed in Paradise. He witnessed the general corruption which afterward finally provoked God to destroy the inhabitants of the earth by a flood. The sentence of death pronounced upon him by his Maker, which at first appeared so terrible to him, after he had lived some hundreds of years, looked just and merciful in God, to bring to an end a miserable life. SR 55.1

As Adam witnessed the first signs of decaying nature in the falling leaf and in the drooping flowers, he mourned more deeply than men now mourn over their dead. The drooping flowers were not so deep a cause of grief, because more tender and delicate; but the tall, noble, sturdy trees to cast off their leaves, to decay, presented before him the general dissolution of beautiful nature, which God had created for the special benefit of man. SR 55.2

To his children and to their children, to the ninth generation, he delineated the perfections of his Eden home, and also his fall and its dreadful results, and the load of grief brought upon him on account of the rupture in his family which ended in the death of Abel. He related to them the sufferings God had brought him through to teach him the necessity of strictly adhering to His law. He declared to them that sin would be punished in whatever form it existed. He entreated them to obey God, who would deal mercifully with them if they should love and fear Him. SR 55.3

Angels held communication with Adam after his fall, and informed him of the plan of salvation, and that the human race was not beyond redemption. Although fearful separation had taken place between God and man, yet provision had been made through the offering of His beloved Son by which man might be saved. But their only hope was through a life of humble repentance and faith in the provision made. All those who could thus accept Christ as their only Saviour, should be again brought into favor with God through the merits of His Son. SR 56.1