“Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is grouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it,” Gen 4:6 -7.
In today’s lesson we learn about how to overcome sin. The story is from Genesis 4: 2b-14 (NIV), ‘The Story of Cain and Abel’.
We learn a great number of important lessons from Cain and Abel let’s get to it.
First of all, the story is a general recommendation that we ought to give offerings to the Lord as an act of worship. In this Bible passage, the two brothers took it upon themselves to give offerings to the Lord, “Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord” while Abel brought, “fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock” Gen 4: 3-4 (NIV). At this point it doesn’t matter what either Cain or Abel offered, the most important act is that the two brothers came together to worship the Lord. How amazing! We should all emulate the same and learn to set apart some of our acquisitions as an offering to the Lord.
But what happened, why did Cain have to kill his brother, when he had just worshiped God?
As the story advances, we learn that, “the Lord looked on favor with Abel and his offering, but with Cain and his offering, he did not look with favor” Gen 4: 4-5 (NIV). God favored Abel’s offering more than Cain’s and Cain thought this was unfair. Clearly Abel’s offering was more appealing, it is only natural that God would favor his from Cain’s, but that did not mean that God did not appreciate Cain’s offering. If anything, God loved and appreciated the gesture, an act of offering to him! Both offerings from Cain and Abel greatly pleased the Lord and they made Him glad. God was simply guiding Cain through an important lesson that he ought to learn to give a better offering, one that befits the incredible glory of our God. But nevertheless, Cain was displeased and “he became very angry and downcast” Genesis 4: 5b. What was he going to do next?
This is where our lesson comes from, how are we expected to deal with the emotions of rage, hate, jealousy and anger that sometimes threaten to lead us to sin? Should we explode into violent outbursts and seek for immediate vindication or should we calm down and allow ourselves to think through our actions?
What did Cain do, how did he act?
NB: To this very day, we are faced with numerous temptations that stand to test us and our ability to overcome sin. How should we act?
The Main Lesson
In the preceding verses, God asked Cain one important question:
“Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is grouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it,” Gen 4: 6 -7.
This question important and it is not only singled out for Cain, but applies to every man even in the present age. It is a question, we have to remember to ask ourselves every time we find ourselves in a situation similar to Cain’s, any situation that may threaten to compromise our faith and good morals.
Just like Adam and Eve, God was testing Cain but did he listen? Did he pass? We are always being tested, are we failing or passing our tests?
God’s question to Cain reminds us of the significance of always asking the question “why?” It is only then that we can gain a clear understanding of where we stand and what we ought to do.
Cain failed this test because he allowed anger and sin to overrule him, he decided to kill his brother even when he had the option of choosing to learn from the incidence. There was nothing to lose, the two brothers had their whole lives ahead of them. All Cain had to do was learn the importance of giving. What have you learned from this passage?
Remember, “Sin desires to have you, but you must overrule it” Genesis 4: 7b. Even now, the devil is looking for someone to deceive, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. Do not let the devil overrule you.
Listen to the voice of God, do the right thing, overcome sin, you have that power, God assures us of this in the book of Luke 10: 19; “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you”.
Prayer: May the Lord shine His gracious light upon you and may He inspire you to do good deeds today and always. May you be reminded of the great Love of God, all in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.