When we think about how the world began, Adam and Even no doubt come to mind. The names Cain and Abel may also be familiar to us as the first two sons born of the first couple. Sibling rivalry at it’s worst. If you’ve had children or had siblings growing up, you know that there are times when kids don’t get along. Since each of us is gifted differently, there are bound to be issues. For instance, the musically inclined may wish they were athletic and visa versa. Perhaps the oldest (or the youngest) gets more attention. It’s when jealousy gets so overpowering that it can be dangerous.
In our Biblical account, the jealousy turned deadly. We’re not told why Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t accepted, but that was a big deal for him. We did hear that Abel brought “choice” lambs from the “best” of his flock for his sacrifice. It didn’t say Cain’s was bad, but it didn’t indicate it was his “best” stuff. God could clearly see the heart. In Cain’s despair, God cautioned him, “Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” Obviously, Cain was not able or willing to be a master over this evil.
God could very well be giving us this exact message. Sin is crouching and waiting for our moments of weakness. Do you ever find yourself jealous of others, comparing what you have to what they have? Unfortunately, it’s an easy trap to fall into. The “grass is always greener” effect haunts all of us from time to time. Maybe you’re saying, “If only I had “X”, I would be happy.” We need to remember that our happiness doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with material things. Our happiness and well being comes from within.
We see how Cain felt abandoned and lost when he suffered the consequence of his deed. I can’t even imagine what his parents must have felt. They had been given the task of filling the earth with their fruitfulness. Seeing how easily their numbers could be reduced at the hand of sin was frightening, not to mention the grief of losing a child.
Cain also tried to lie to God about what he had done. That doesn’t seem like a very smart thing to do either. Who did he think he was fooling. God knows all. Cain must have forgotten that, or truly had no fear and respect for God. We, on the other hand, do know the majesty of God and have an inborn fear and awe going on. We begin to cultivate that fear when we begin a relationship with God. We learn more and more about him and his character, and we strive all the more to please him. At least, that’s my experience.
There are plenty of people who go through the motions of life without giving much thought to God, their creator. There may be a tiny inkling of connection, but it is unrecognizable. It’s for those people that I feel most passionate about. I don’t want them to miss out on the best relationship of their life. A God who loves and protects. Who disciplines and provides for them.
Take time today to pray for those people who do not know God, or if they do, they are neglecting a relationship with him.
Let’s pray. Lord, forgive me for when I have not been totally focussed on you. I am clearing away the clutter now and pray I will see you and your path for me more clearly. It has been a distinct honor and privilege to lead worship and write this devotional. I feel closer to you than ever before. I wish that for my brothers and sisters in this world. Help me overcome my feelings of inadequacy when I look at others with nicer things, etc. May I no longer compare myself to others, knowing that you have made me to be me, not them. Thank you for the reminder to stand strong against evil because he is lurking in wait. With you I am strong. In Jesus’ name. Amen.