A Simple Lesson from Cain and Abel

So I was reading the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4 last night and these verses stood out to me…

“And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; 5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7If 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.” (Gen. 4:4-7)

There were a couple of things I thought about with this verse, the first being about the first part of verse 7 where it says, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?” This was meaningful to me because it impressed to me the benefits and satisfaction we receive from doing what God wants us to do. I know that I always feel much better after helping someone or when I know that I have done what God wants me to do, and this verse is proof of that truth we experience! I just like the way God says that, “If you do well, won’t you feel better and be happy??” We all feel happy when we know we have pleased someone, whether it be our boss at work or our parents at home. It is natural for us to seek approval and recognition from people who set rules and boundaries for us, and I like the way that God states that fact about our humanity. He knows His children!!

The second thing that really made an impression to me was the second part of verse 7, “And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” God makes it very clear that our purpose in our lives is to try to simply do well, and He explains the only other option if we choose not to do well. Sin is crouching at the door… this gives me a huge visual of a large animal sitting and waiting at my door, knocking and whining incessantly and just waiting for me to open the door. Like we have all said before, sometimes we loose our focus and sometimes we are tired and just give in to our desires or what we want to do. We are all guilty of that, myself included! God is so good to remind us of our weakness, or rather to warn us to be careful of those enticements. He makes it seem so simple here to Cain. He warns Cain that you must master sin and not let its desire take him. We all know what happens next, Cain gives into his emotions and anger, his selfishness and frustrations and murders his brother. This is such a horrific tragedy, yet such a simple warning that I think we can all take away with us. 

Do well and have your countenance lifted. Master the sin that is crouching at your door.

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