One day, Cain told Abel to join him in the field. Thinking nothing was wrong, Abel went out with him. Cain looked around and noticed that no one had seen them, and then he attacked and killed Abel. Cain thought he no longer had to compare himself to Abel; no more inferiority, no more anger, and no more jealousy. He committed homicide for the first time in human history. But who can deceive the Almighty God? How can he hide his heart from God?

The Lord knew it and saw all, but He did not condemn Cain from the beginning. Instead, He asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

God already knew that Cain had a hatred for Abel and had killed him. The reason God asked may be that He expected Cain to confess his sin. The Lord wanted Cain to repent of what he did and ask Him to forgive it. He gave Cain a chance. However, Cain replied like this, rather than repent: “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” He rejected the chance the Lord gave. He was hostile not only to Abel but also to God.

Since Cain did not repent to the end, the Lord judged and punished him with two things. One was that Cain could not reap the crops in the fields. Genesis 4:12 said, “When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you.” It means he would get little or no outcome, no matter how much he worked. It was a tragedy for Cain, because he would harvest little to nothing, even though he would plant seeds, water them, and wait for them to ripen. Given that the Bible did not say Cain died of starvation, it seemed the Lord permitted him to get a minimum of food. Genesis 4:17 stated that Cain had begotten sons and formed a family.

landscape photography of river and vallet

Another punishment was that Cain was to wander around because he would have no place to seek rest and settle down. God said in verse 12, “You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” He would unpack his things at a given place and put up a tent and work in the fields to settle down with his family. However, he would be forced to pack again and go around to find another settlement, because he could not get to live there. He had lost two essential things to live: food and settlement. It was the first economic recession in humanity since Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden.

What is important is that we need to look at this story with the profound insight why people are experiencing the recession.

Once again, let’s summarize how it happened over time. Cain did not fear and worship the Lord wholeheartedly. He began to hate Abel, who feared God with all his heart. He planned to kill Abel and eventually shed innocent blood. God knew all and gave him a chance to repent, but Cain refused it. The Lord finally punished him for his sin. In conclusion, the recession Cain suffered was a result of his sin. The consequences would have been different if he had repented when God gave him a chance.

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Adam and Eve disobeyed the word of the Lord and were cast out of the Garden of Eden. The infinite supply of the Lord has been cut off since then, and people have had to work on their own. Moreover, another harsh phase began when Cain killed Abel. He could not gain as much as his effort should yield.

Those events are significant to us who are experiencing the various economic depressions. We must look at the event we are experiencing from a biblical perspective. Only then will we be able to find the cause.


From “The Wise Investment of the Bible”