Check this out!!! I was reading the scripture this morning and this revelation came to me. I saw the scripture at a new angle and I'm excited to share it with you.
Genisis 4:6-7 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
God saw Cain was upset. Seeing Cain's anger God took the opportunity and shared it as a teachable moment. He warned Cain about the dangers his attitude. Then God gave him the secret to overcoming the danger. God told him to always do what is right.
Knowingly doing the wrong thing- or our avoiding the right thing all together- brings in a temptation to sin which makes the situation even harder to go through.
Let's dig a little deeper.
In Cain's situation he was angry because God found favor in Abel's offering not with his.
We know Abel's offering was from the first fruit of his flock. The first-born livestock could have been used for continued growth in his flocks. Keeping the first fruit could have brought more money and more resources to Abel. Also, Abel offered the best part of the animal to God. Abel brought the BEST of his best to God. God found favor in Abel's personal sacrifice when he showed his appreciation to God.
Cain chose not to give his best to God and was called out for it. It made Cain feel angry towards Abel. Taking a giant leap and putting myself in Cain's shoes, I could have also felt like I was second best to Abel. Maybe I wasn't feeling appreciated which could have lead to hurt that would fuel the anger. Maybe I would have felt like I wasn't enough. But Cain didn't take accountability for what he had done wrong so we can't feel sorry for him. Instead he directed his emotions toward someone else, his brother.
God recognized Cain's feelings and talked with him about them. He gave Cain the opportunity to let go of the feelings that entrapped him. God told Cain it was important to do the right thing.
Always do the right thing even when it was inconvenient and difficult.
Always do the right thing even when no one was watching.
Doing the right thing keeps temptations at bay.
Instead, Cain didn't listen to God's warning. His feelings fueled his anger. Cain invited his brother into the fields and killed him with a rock.
It's not easy to do the right thing. It's not easy to have a difficult and honest conversation with ourselves about how we feel. It's not easy to honestly face our feelings and admit we were wrong.
Cain should have been honest to God. Cain should have recognized his lazy inventions and asked for forgiveness. Instead, he denied them- or ignored them. As a result, Cain became one of the Bible’s most notorious villains, a murderer.
Let's look at this from another angle.
I was walking through my yard looking at the Spring gardens and noticed my magnolia tree only had flowers budding on the south branches. The flowers on the north branches were still protected in their casing. The southern branches receive full sunlight while the northern branches are sitting in the shadow of the house. Are you with me so far? Okay. Let’s take a step further.
Here it is>>>>>
When we allow ourselves to remain in a casing that protects us from our feelings or difficult situations, we allow ourselves to remain in the shadow of hurt and pain. We will remain encased in that pain and hurt. The world will never see the flower we were designed to bloom into. We must stop and ask ourselves, are we really protecting ourselves by staying in the case or are we hiding from the truth of what’s right and true? When we allow pain, shame, hurt or unrighteousness to fall away we will be open to receive all the glory from the Son.
We will NEVER reach our full potential if we choose to remain encased in sorrow and hurt and shame. We must be honest with ourselves and have those difficult conversations.
What’s interesting is God KNOWS our every thought, feeling and he knows the beats of our hearts. God saw Cain’s inner parts when Abel couldn’t see it. God knew Cain’s intentions when Able did not. Think about that- if Abel saw what Cain was going through, would he have walked into the field with his brother?
Sometimes we wait for our friends and family to recognize the pain and hurt we are going through. Sometimes we wait for someone to save us from ourselves. That's not fair. People aren’t God. We can’t wait for someone else to bring our healing. We are our own best advocate when it comes to facing our own righteousness or lack of it. We must take accountability for ourselves.
When we fearfully and arrogantly choose not to do the right thing - or when we choose to avoid the reality of a problem- the shadow of the pain we are in can cause a great temptation to sin or to do the wrong thing.
It can make us lash out and hurt someone. It can create a temptation to stay hidden from the feelings by idolizing our own pain above our own healing. That's when it's easy to seek after other idols to ease that pain instead of seeking after God.
... the list goes on.
Not confronting the TRUTH behind our feelings can lead to a very dangerous place.
My friends, I write this as an encouragement to you to always do the right thing. Always be honest about your intentions so you can avoid the dangerous trap that caught and defeated Cain. Don’t let your feelings drive your spirit into a dark place.
As God said, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?”
If you do what is right and are not accepted the blame will not fall on you but on the one who opposes you. Your righteousness will protect you against the attacks that come against you.
Righteousness is something that will be gifted to you. 2 Corinthians 6 says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” If we chose to suit up and follow righteousness, when we chose to wear the breastplate of righteousness it will protect our hearts from remaining in pain and hurt. It will defend us against unrighteous attacks.
I know that was a lot!! But I hope you enjoyed the study as much as I did.
Love you friends.