Doing the right thing – Genesis 4:1-16
Today’s Reading Schedule: Genesis 4-7
The man Adam knew his wife Eve intimately. She became pregnant and gave birth to Cain, and said, “I have given life to a man with the Lord’s help.” 2 She gave birth a second time to Cain’s brother Abel. Abel cared for the flocks, and Cain farmed the fertile land.
3 Some time later, Cain presented an offering to the Lord from the land’s crops 4 while Abel presented his flock’s oldest offspring with their fat. The Lord looked favorably on Abel and his sacrifice 5 but didn’t look favorably on Cain and his sacrifice. Cain became very angry and looked resentful. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why do you look so resentful? 7 If you do the right thing, won’t you be accepted? But if you don’t do the right thing, sin will be waiting at the door ready to strike! It will entice you, but you must rule over it.”
8 Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 The Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
Cain said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s guardian?”
10 The Lord said, “What did you do? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 You are now cursed from the ground that opened its mouth to take your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you farm the fertile land, it will no longer grow anything for you, and you will become a roving nomad on the earth.”
13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Now that you’ve driven me away from the fertile land and I am hidden from your presence, I’m about to become a roving nomad on the earth, and anyone who finds me will kill me.”
15 The Lord said to him, “It won’t happen; anyone who kills Cain will be paid back seven times. The Lord put a sign on Cain so that no one who found him would assault him. 16 Cain left the Lord’s presence, and he settled down in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
WHAT DOES THE PASSAGE say?
V. 1-2 Adam and Eve had a child and named the first one, Cain. She praised the Lord for helping her have a son. Their second child Able was born, and his identity was ‘Cain’s brother.’ Cain farmed the land while Able took care of the flock.
V. 3-5 Two brothers offered the fruit of their crop to the Lord, but God only accepted Able’s offering and made Cain resentful.
V. 6-9 Cain takes his brother out in the field and kills him, and God confronts Cain.
V. 10-12 God’s verdict to Cain was to ban him from the land.
V. 13-14 Cain pleads to God knowing if God’s protection leaves him, he will be good as dead.
V. 15-16 God listens to Cain’s request and grants him a blessing of protection.
What Does the passage Mean to Me/US?
It is always interesting to learn something new from a well-known story when you read it again.
Of course, there are questions of why God did not receive Cain’s worship, which we might never really understand.
What we can learn from this passage is that God wants us to learn God’s way, and continues to seek and rule over sin instead of being ruled by it. The following verse never really popped out to me before I read it again.
“6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why do you look so resentful? 7 If you do the right thing, won’t you be accepted? But if you don’t do the right thing, sin will be waiting at the door ready to strike! It will entice you, but you must rule over it.”
Maybe, the point of faith is to look into our lives and discern what is right in God’s eyes.
We so often, clouded by our own understanding, deny what is right in God’s eyes and do what we feel right in our own eyes. God still reached out to us, to warn us, so we avoid sin ruling over our lives.
Cain despite God’s warning, goes out to the field and does what seemed right to himself.
What is right in God’s sight?
Lord, it is such a hard task to see what is right in your sight. We so often judge, condemn, and even sin because we see things and others in our own sight. Help us to see your ways, today. In Christ Name, we pray, AMEN
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