I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. Isaiah 48:5
Recently I heard a Rabbi ask an audience to what other language Hebrew is closest, and after a few guesses from the audience the Rabbi gave his opinion that Hebrew is closest as a language to chemistry. Just as chemical compounds are formed by combinations of elements with each element possessing specific properties and each compound also possessing specific properties, so too each Hebrew letter has its own rich significance and Hebrew words derive profound meaning from the combination of these letters. Furthermore, syllables of longer words can often be viewed as shorter words the combination of which many times creates additional insights, and words placed together in sentences bring another level of meaning, etc—all this in a way and to an extent that to my knowledge is not found in other languages.
I believe truth in general is analogous to chemistry and Hebrew in this way, axiomatically in fact because both chemistry and Hebrew are branches or representations of truth. The more one studies and considers principles of truth the more one sees the same patterns at work, recurring in ways that reinforce and deepen understanding and unify the most basic of truths.
For instance, in the Garden of Eden God gives Adam and Eve commandments and instruction, and they are to obey and through that obedience grow in their knowledge of God and the truth He embodies. With disobedience of commandment Adam and Eve are then given the law and ordinance of sacrifice, pointing to the sacrifice of the Son of God that is made to atone for their sins, providing a way for them to gain a knowledge of God and the truth He embodies through faith and grace despite their fallen nature. Through their familial roles and the associated sorrow they are given to experience they are also ordained to sacrifice in similitude of Christ.
Cain follows an opposing paradigm, which is instructive as a contrast. First Cain rebels against God, disobeying His commandments, as for instance in his sacrifice, which is not according to God’s instructions. Second, Cain desires and gets gain at any cost; he is willing to murder his brother Abel for gain and glories that his brother’s flocks fall into his hands. The name Cain means possession, and he and his posterity who form the first, wicked City of Enoch follow this path in their rebellion, desiring, loving, and building up possessions at the expense of others, whether those possessions are material things, honor, power, etc. This is the first multiplying of evil in the mortal world, a precedent to Babel, Egypt, and all other worldly cultures.
Although the first in the mortal world this pattern of evil is after the pattern set previously with Satan’s rebellion in heaven where he rebels and seeks gain at all costs. In contrast, Christ from the beginning obeys without sin and submits Himself fully to His Father’s will as a sacrifice to answer and overcome all subsequent death and sin, becoming thereby from the beginning the Rock of Salvation.
I believe the first and second of the Ten Commandments follow this same foundational pattern of obedience and sacrifice as contrasted with rebellion and love of possession:
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:3-6
The following or rejection of these two commandments leads to everything else, and in reality encompasses everything else. First, simply, who is the god I worship and obey, one or more among a multitude of counterfeits or the One True God? Second, am I willing to follow the One True God at all costs and receive salvation from Him alone, or do I form false gods, forming and pursuing a false salvation, serving man-imagined, man-formed ideas, traditions, and institutions? Nothing is more important, nothing is more difficult, and nothing often so obscured and requiring true faith than this matter of who God is and how do I follow Him and receive salvation from Him alone.