“If you [Cain] do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7 ESV
After Cain brought a grain offering, one that God did not accept, it was not too late for him. Sinning against God didn’t close the door for restoration. If he changes the direction he is going and brings an acceptable blood sacrifice, all will be well. God’s heart of mercy was extended so graciously, giving Cain every chance to avoid the consequences.
God did not stop speaking. The wisdom that followed would echo down through the ages to land at the door of every disciple’s heart. “Christine, you’ve sinned. Now what will you do? Sin will consume you unless you rise up to master it. Will you repent or allow your sin to progress to the next level?”
What I do at the pivotal point of temptation is crucial. Satan may tempt me but he can’t make me sin. He may offer me a quick way out of pain but the long-term pain I would take on is never mentioned. He makes false promises to sweeten the deal but I should know better. The proposition of feeling better, of getting out of confinement and ending my dilemma, is so appealing that I abandon waiting on God. I trade His promises for the fodder of a liar.
Cain’s improper sacrifice was exposed. Instead of being humble, he got angry. Satan tempted him to take revenge, to spend his anger in order to feel better. He killed his brother in rage and jealousy, the one who had made the right sacrifice. Thus began a holy war that is still being played out. No disagreement has the potential to spawn more hostility than a religious one.
Lord, I know I must prepare ahead of time for these pivotal moments. Amen