Sunday, July 31, 2016

First Murder

So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
Genesis 4:6-8, NKJV

First Murder

You will remember from our previous devotion that Adam and Eve bore two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain became a tiller of the land, and Abel became a keeper of the sheep. In the process of time, each son brought an offering to the Lord: Cain brought an offering of fruit, and Abel brought an offering of the firstborn of the sheep. God was pleased with Abel's offering, but He was displeased with the offering of Cain. In response, Cain became angry.

Now, in verses 6 and 7, we find God speaking to Cain. "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted?  And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

Think about what God said to Cain. Cain's anger was unreasonable. We all make many choices in life--some are good choices and some are not. How well, when we make a bad choice, do we receive correction? Most of us, like Cain, respond in prideful anger. We do not like to be corrected. God, knowing what would happen, said to Cain, "Sin lies at the door." In other words, God knew that this was another occasion where the devil was tempting Cain, just as he had tempted Eve. Satan desired to rule over Cain. Who won? 

Verse 8 tells us that when Cain was speaking with Abel, his brother, he rose up against him and killed him. Who won? Satan! Rather than listen to the good advice given to him by God, Cain murdered his own brother.

How often are people surprised, when a murderer is revealed, to hear that a particular person actually committed a murder. To many who knew that person, he or she seemed absolutely incapable of murdering another person. Let us not think too highly of ourselves. For left unchecked, the sin of anger can, indeed, turn into the sin of murder.

Jesus even told us in Matthew that if we hate our brother, we have committed murder against him in our hearts.

What is the answer? What was God trying to tell Cain (and tell us as well.) Did Cain have the ability in and of himself to keep from sin? No! How then, do we actually keep from sin ourselves?

The secret to living a holy life is to continually go to Christ for strength and help to live our lives in a manner which is pleasing to Him. When we find sin in our hearts, we must go to Christ, confess that sin, and ask Him to help us forsake that sin.

Due to the hold that sin has in our lives, we will often find ourselves going again and again to Christ over the same sins! While we live in this world, we will always struggle with sin. However, if we are able to catch sins in our lives while they are still just thoughts in our hearts and confess them to Christ, He will give us the strength to forsake those sins before a greater sin is committed.

It all sound so easy, does it not? Is it easy? No! One of the great blessings of heaven will be the fact that we will be released forever from our sin natures. No longer will we struggle with sin! 

As we consider this revelation, in Genesis 4, of the first murder, let us pray that God will keep us from sin. Let us pray that our lives will be a glowing example of Christ living in us! A victorious Christian life is a gift from God. It is all about Christ, and nothing about ourselves or our own abilities.

God Bless You,

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