So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Genesis 4:6, 7.
The Lord was not ignorant of the feelings of resentment cherished by Cain, but He would have Cain reflect upon his course, and, becoming convinced of his sin, repent and set his feet in the path of obedience. There was no cause for his wrathful feelings toward either his brother or his God; it was his own disregard of the plainly expressed will of God that had led to the rejection of his offering…. Abel’s offering had been accepted, but this was because Abel had done in every particular as God required him to do. This would not rob Cain of his birthright…. Thus the matter was plainly laid open before Cain; but his combativeness was aroused because his course was questioned and he was not permitted to follow his own independent ideas. He was angry with God and angry with his brother. He was angry with God because He would not accept the plans of a sinner in place of the divine requirements, and he was angry with his brother for disagreeing with him….
Cain invites Abel to walk with him in the fields, and he there gives utterance to his unbelief and his murmuring against God. He claims that he was doing well in presenting his offering; and the more he talks against God and impeaches His justice and mercy in rejecting his own offering and accepting that of his brother Abel, the more bitter are his feelings of anger and resentment.
Abel defends the goodness and impartiality of God and places before Cain the simple reason why God did not accept his offering.
The fact that Abel ventured to disagree with him and even went so far as to point out his errors astonished Cain…. Cain’s reason told him that Abel was right when he spoke of the necessity of presenting the blood of a slain victim if he would have his sacrifice accepted, but Satan presented the matter in a different light. He urged Cain on to a furious madness, till he slew his brother, and the sin of murder was laid upon his soul.—Signs of the Times, December 16, 1886.