Friday, July 24, 2009

Genesis, chapter 4

This week ends on a down note as we get the story of Cain & Abel. It is really the final story in the Bible that relates directly to the creation. It is a story of bitterness and jealousy, two emotions that probably came into this world as a result of the Original Sin. They are also emotions that have caused untold pain and suffering for thousands of years. I know they have caused me untold problems personally.

It was such emotions that led to the first murder in this chapter when Cain killed his brother Abel. Both were asked to give a small sacrifice to God. Abel gave the best he could give, while Cain simply gave because he had to. God found Abel’s gift more pleasing because he knew it came from the heart instead of being based in an obligation. How does this relate to us in the present day? It tells us that God wants the best thing possible from all of us.

3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." – Genesis 4:3-7

I often wonder if I am doing what is right when God remains silent as I push through this world. Cain was unable to do what is right, and that is devote himself fully to the Lord. It is part of the nature of being human. We have a choice to follow whatever we believe in. Since Cain was unable to master sin by devoting himself fully to the Lord he had to suffer the consequences.

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