DOING SOMETHING BEFORE IT MULTIPLIES
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Genesis 4:8
What did Cain speak to Abel? They had words ‘in the field’ which means away from home. No parental restraints were in place. Whatever the nature of their conversation, I’m sure it was not the first time such words were spoken. One does not murder a brother without a history of conflict.
Cain’s conscience had long been seared by the little choices he had made along the way. Jealousy didn’t start with this argument. It had probably been exhibited when they were children. Did Adam and Eve see it when the boys were small? Had they dealt with it? Just because it ended in murder doesn’t mean they had turned a blind eye to Cain’s animosity for his brother. Wickedness can be bound up in the heart of a child and good parents grieve when they see it. Loving discipline appears to be ineffective.
God is the perfect parent yet, as His child, I sin. He employs righteous methods to raise me up to be like my older Brother, Jesus. He nurtures, warns, woos, cajoles, disciplines, and sets consequences in motion. Stubbornness is bound up in my heart and, for a time, I insist on learning the hard way. I ignore the warnings and choose to sin and suffer the consequences. At that point, God hopes I will return to Him to live another way. When He whispers a warning, will I stop, listen, submit my will and obey?
God gives me opportunities throughout mid-life to deal with issues I never dealt with as a child or as a young woman. He re-parents all areas that were stunted. He knows that each seed of unrighteousness that I ignore will be a seed that grows over time. Whatever issue I turned a blind eye to at 40 will be exacerbated by the time I’m 80. If I privately nursed my fears for a lifetime, I will be known as a fearful person in the senior years of my life. Anxiety won’t be concealed because issues only intensify with time.
But ah, so does righteousness. Whatever I choose to nurture will be multiplied. Cain’s seeds of jealousy evolved into a murderous rage. A holy simpatico could have flowered into a righteous alliance. There’s nothing more beautiful than when one brother gives his life for the other. How stunning God’s ways. How ugly sin’s fruit.
Make me holy. Hide nothing from me when You search my heart. Amen