When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift-the best of the firstborn lamb from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master. Genesis 4:2-7
When we think of the Cain and Abel story none of us wants to be Cain. He murdered his brother for crying out loud. If we sit and read that story and ask God for wisdom to see the story and understand it, we will see that is about so much more than murder. Cain and Abel were asked to give God an offering. One would assume it would their very best. Abel understood this, Cain, not so much. Aren’t we like Cain sometimes? We think God will understand if we don’t give him our best whether that is the very best of ourselves or monetarily. We fool ourselves into thinking that it is acceptable or that God won’t mind so much. Then we feel dejected because deep down we know it wasn’t our best. I think this is what Cain was feeling. He didn’t give his best, he knew it and God knew it. Furthermore, God told him it wasn’t his best. Cain could have and should have said, “Your right Lord. It isn’t my best. I am sorry. Let me fix that and do better for you.” Instead he pouted and stomped about feeling sorry for himself. He let that turn into anger and jealousy for his brother, Abel. Abel didn’t do a thing except honor God with his very best. Cain couldn’t handle Abel being acceptable in the sight of the Lord while he was not.
I have friends that I know will always tell me the truth even when it is hard for them to do. Sometimes they tell me I am wrong and that I honestly just need to get over whatever or whoever it is I am struggling with. Other times it is just offering a different perspective from my own. It isn’t easy to hear I am wrong, but I am always grateful for the opportunity to reflect and pray to God. When God reveals to me the same thing I then have an opportunity to ask God to forgive me and to change my heart. How different things would have turned out if Cain had just accepted that he was wrong and asked God to change his heart.
Admitting that we are wrong is not easy and very humbling, but change never happens until we do. It is easy to blame others rather than ourselves. Genesis 2:7 says,” You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you.” Let’s not let sin control us.
Gracious God, we pray boldly in your name that we do what is acceptable in your sight so that we resist to desires to let sin control us. We love you so much and thank you for your unending love. In Jesus Name, Amen