August 6th, 2021 – Late Friday Evening
“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” ~Genesis 4:7
While we do not know the exact details of why Cain’s offering wasn’t acceptable to the LORD, we do know that his reaction was not reflective of a humble and submissive heart. That attitude of rebellion and anger continued even after this reminder from LORD and it eventually led to the death of Cain’s brother Abel. That being said, what the LORD communicated to Cain in this passage reveals the lovingkindness and patience of the LORD and it serves as a reminder to us today.
How does this verse reveal the LORD’s patience and mercy? Think about it. If Abel’s offering was accepted and Cain’s wasn’t AND Cain became very angry AND the LORD did not indicate the reason why Cain’s offering wasn’t accepted, it may be that Cain already knew that his offering would be inferior to Abel’s. An angry and unreasonable ruler would destroy such a servant, but the LORD graciously speaks to Cain instead of striking him dead. In addition, the LORD gave Cain the solution to his problem in what He communicated to him; this too is patience and mercy on the LORD’s part as He indicated His desire for Cain’s repentance by giving him the solution.
How does this verse serve as a reminder to us today? Look at what it says: First, godliness leads to joy and rest for the believer. When we are striving against the LORD, intent on our own way and our own desires, we only bring more trouble and heartache upon ourselves (not to mention others). Yet, when we walk with Him in humble obedience, what comfort and peace we find! What grace and joy is ours! Second, just as Cain was in his day, we are warned of the nearness of sin and of our need to rule over it (instead of being ruled by sin). This is impossible in our own strength, but not in His! And, if you and I are in Christ, we have been given His power through the Holy Spirit. Sin must not be allowed to get the upper hand and it must be (and can be) conquered in our lives!
In response to this passage, let us praise the LORD in two specific ways: 1. Praise the LORD with your mouth and thank Him for His constant mercy and patience with us…especially when we have sinned! Remember His character and experience the joy that comes with praise. 2. Praise the LORD with your life by diligently ruling over sin by His power, grace, and mercy. Godliness flows from a humble and surrendered heart that thrives on the love of Christ, and no temptation is too difficult for those who take Him at His Word.
May He be glorified in and through us and may we revel in the goodness and lovingkindness of the LORD!