Justice for the Righteous | The Institute for Creation Research
Justice for the Righteous

"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain. . . . And she again bare his brother Abel." (Genesis 4:1-2)

Genesis 4 details the interaction between these brothers. Abel was righteous (4:4), and Cain was wicked (4:5-7). Consequentially, Cain murdered Abel (4:8). God interrogated Cain, and Cain feigned ignorance (4:9), though God saw the entire event (4:10). At this point, the story takes an unexpected twist.

The rest of the narrative (Genesis 4:11-15) sets up a dilemma, which is never resolved in the rest of the Old Testament. Abel's murder demanded justice--either vindication for him or capital punishment for Cain. Yet neither occurred. Cain lived, and God made no mention of Abel's fate either in this passage or in the rest of the Old Testament.

The words of Genesis 4 make this dilemma all the more acute. Though Abel does not personally appear in the rest of the Old Testament, the word for his name does: "Vanity of vanities . . . all is vanity" (Ecclesiastes 1:2). The word for "vanity" in Hebrew is the same as the word used for "Abel." Thus, both the details of the passage and the word used for Abel's name raise the question: Was Abel's life lived in vain?

In the New Testament, the writer of Hebrews holds up Abel as an exemplary model of living by faith (Hebrews 11:4). How can Abel's short-lived life encourage us to walk by faith?

The answer is found in two stunning events that take place between Abel's life and the writing of the book of Hebrews: Christ's death and resurrection. Like Abel, Christ was murdered. Unlike Abel, He rose again! Now we, with Abel, can be justified together. God did not forget justice. Instead, He delayed it, "having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect" (Hebrews 11:40).

The account of Cain and Abel sets up a tension to point us to the glory of Christ. NTJ

The Latest
NEWS
Inside December 2021 Acts & Facts
How can we understand Christ’s role as our mediator from a scientific perspective? Why was ICR's first dinosaur excavation significant for...

APOLOGETICS
Christ’s Providence Is Clearly Seen in Bird Migrations
Just as monkeys can’t accidently type Shakespeare texts, birds can’t migrate by evolutionary luck, despite imagined eons of time for “lucky”...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Snowflakes
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
The Gift of God Himself
Each Christmas we remember how deeply God loves us. His wondrous plan of salvation—first set in motion in the Garden of Eden—was miraculously...

ACTS & FACTS
Early Land Plant Evolution?
In a recent Science article, two evolutionists consider land plants (embryophytes) to have evolved from stoneworts (charophyte algae).1 A...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Creation and Intellectual Foolishness
In a recent interview discussing his new book In Quest of the Historical Adam, philosopher and Christian apologist William Lane Craig acknowledged his...

ACTS & FACTS
Are Birds “Cousins” to Reptiles?
Are today’s birds genealogical “cousins” to today’s reptiles due to a shared evolutionary ancestry? No. However, birds and...

ACTS & FACTS
Haleakala National Park: One of Many Young-Looking Volcanoes
You can start the day atop the cold peak of Mt. Haleakala and end it on a warm beach on Maui. The sprawling volcanic mountain rises 10,000 feet above...

ACTS & FACTS
The Oceans Point to a Young Earth
by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D.* Over 70% of Earth's surface is covered by water, most of which is marine and contained in...

ACTS & FACTS
Jesus Christ Is Our Perfect Mediator
We’ll never get bored throughout eternity. There is always something wonderfully new to learn about our precious Lord Jesus, the uplifting Holy...