In Genesis 3 we saw the root of sin and in Genesis 4 we see the fruit of sin.77 God had spoken of a coming conflict between the seed of the serpent and the Seed of the woman (3:15). Adam and Eve would soon experience the reality of this conflict in the tragic history of their two sons. The story of Cain and Abel, while in every way is to be understood as actual history, is also a picture of the age-old conflict of the two seeds. Cain typifies the seed of the serpent, while Abel is a type of Christ, the Seed of the woman.78 Similarly today, Cain and Abel represent the two families of the world. Cain represents those apart from faith who follow their father the devil, and are, in a spiritual sense, the seed of the serpent. And Abel represents those of faith who are in Christ (Ephesians 1:4) and therefore, in a spiritual sense, represent the Seed of the woman. Cain gave in to the crouching evil within him and eventually sin went on a rampage.
Once the flood of sin was released on the world there was no way to stop it. Everyone on the earth was drowned by it and it stained everything it came into contact with. Following the example of Adam and Eve, their descendants openly rebelled against ADONAI. Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless and ruthless (Romans 1:28-31). The way of Cain (see my commentary on Jude Aq – Woe to Them! They Have Taken the Way of Cain), then, is the lack of faith that shows itself in these dreadful acts, in denial of responsibility and refusal to accept the just punishment God. And the first instance we see of this is when Cain murders his brother Abel.
Cain and Abel had a choice to make, just as you and I have a choice to make. We may choose to be like Cain or like Abel. Like Abram, Abel believed the LORD and it was counted to him as righteousness (15:6). But Cain chose his own way, and the way of Cain led to a civilization that was so evil that God chose to bring the Flood, and start all over with those of faith. What is your choice?