Message: What really stood out to me in Genesis 4 this morning is that we don’t just happen upon trouble. It is usually rooted from something deeper going on within us. In the case of this story, Abel was offended at God because God accepted his brother’s sacrifice, but not his. There is no description for what Cain gave or what God found wrong with it. The passage just highlights the fact that what Abel gave was the first fruits of the flock. God spoke to Cain in his offense and advised him that he had an opportunity to sort things out and do right. He warned him that “Sin is crouching at your door. It’s desire is for you but you must rule over it.” Rather than changing his own ways and working on his own obedience he fed his offense into a rage instead and he killed his brother. This is pretty extreme but for me it posed the question. What unchecked offense and rebellion is going on in my heart?
Command: Pay attention to unchecked emotions. For Cain there was an offense that probably came from a mix of jealousy, insecurity and pride. Things that I have definitely identified in my own life.
Promise: If I listen to God’s correction when I am in my emotions, I crush the threat of sin crouching at my door.
Warning: If I don’t listen to the voice of God when he warns me, I am vulnerable to my emotions and at risk to be overtaken by sin.
Application: I see opportunities to get my emotions in check not only daily but even hourly at times. Emotions are inevitable but they are not intended to rule me. This is what God was warning Cain of. The sin that was crouching at his door and wanting to rule him was in regards to his emotions. He wasn’t in sin for feeling them, but the sin came when he refused to put them in check. While I could easily brush this aside by saying that I don’t see myself having the capacity to kill over it, this example reminds me of the seriousness of my emotions. I need to get my emotions in check like there is violence waiting on my doorstep.