Wednesday, January 25, 2017

This Post Is for (Gonna-Be) Murderer... I Mean... You! (Genesis 4:3-8)

Time passed. Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm. Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. God liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk. God spoke to Cain: ‘Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.’ Cain had words with his brother. They were out in the field; Cain came at Abel his brother and killed him
(Genesis 4:3-8, The Message)

The brokenness of the post-Fall world reached a new level in the relationship between Cain and Abel, the first brothers. One day they both brought their offering to God. Abel, a herdsman, brought an animal; Cain, however, brought fruits or/and vegetables.

God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and rejected Cain’s. Cain was furious – whether furious at God or Abel, the Bible doesn’t clearly say. Nor the Bible explained why God rejected Cain’s sacrifice, but it seems likely that it was due to the state of Cain’s heart that stood between him and God (NOT like what I heard from a pastor that said it was because of the type of offerings, vegetation versus animal sacrifice. It was not about technical part, it was about the conditions of the heart. See that Abel brought “choice cuts of meat” the best! But Cain probably brought an ordinary sacrifice, not the best).

If you do well,” God admonished Cain, “won’t you be accepted?” God followed the question with a stern warning: “And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it” or as New King James put it: “you should rule over it.”

Even as God looked into Cain’s dark heart, He gave the first murderer a choice. But Cain chose to enslave himself rather than master his sin. Cain let it ruled over him. His barbaric act was a manifestation of a deeper sin inside. Each of us may have the same anger or hatred toward one another – family members and friends – but each of us also has the same choice as Cain. God says, “You’ve got to master it” or “You should ruled over it” because He knows, with and in Him, we can. What’s your choice? What we do with it is up to us.


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