Is Sin Crouching at Your Door? Hold on, there’s Hope!

In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also presented an offering—some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions.”  Genesis 4:3-4a

What did the Lord share with Adam and Eve after they left the garden of Eden? How did the first family know to give God offerings? I picture the pre-incarnate Jesus speaking to Adam and Eve around a campfire one night, explaining the significance of the curse He made upon the Ancient Serpent, Satan. Perhaps He told them how exactly Eve’s son was going to crush the head of the serpent, and how the serpent would crush His heel. Maybe this is why Abel offered the firstborn of the flock, and why Cain’s offering was insufficient. It was the heart attitude of their offerings, but also what was offered that held such great significance. This family were the beginning of where prayers and offerings were established.

The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but he did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent.Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent? If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.’” Genesis 4:4b-7

The Lord is gracious, loving, and a God of order. When he speaks, you and I ought to listen and obey because it is always a good and perfect reason He tells us to do things a certain way. He had given Cain (and us) such a clear warning about sin before it happened because He cared, yet, how often do we think it’s easier to give into sin than to rule over it?

In Mark 14:38, Jesus told His disciples something similar. “Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

This warning the Lord gave to Cain was the first words recorded from Him after the consequences of the curse of sin were spoken. He gave Cain such a teachable, loving warning, and a greater window into what happened in the garden of Eden. God told Adam and Eve to rule over every living creature, including the serpent. If they had done what God had asked of them, they would have continued in peace and acceptance. But, sin was “crouching at the door” and they chose not to rule over it.

The Lord reached out to Cain to provide a way of escape from Satan’s temptation of anger. His warning is the same today for you as it was then. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it.” This was Cain’s way out. Sadly, though the Lord spoke to him, Cain did not respond. Instead, he ignored Him and followed through with his plan.

Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go out to the field.’ And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’

‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s guardian?’

Then he said, ‘What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! So now you are cursed, alienated from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood you have shed. If you work the ground, it will never again give you its yield. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.’” Genesis 4:8-12

Listen to the sorrow in the Lord’s voice over Abel’s murder. It is evident by the exclamation mark added at the end of “Your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground!” I believe it is rare to see an exclamation in God’s correspondence. And yet, here, the first murder took place. Human blood was shed and our Creator, who put so much detail and care into every part of our bodies, grieved this loss. Can you feel His grief in your heart as you read that sentence?

God warned Cain in order to give him life, and instead, he took life and received yet another consequence of a curse for rebelling against the Creator. Oh, how the Lord grieves the choices we make to reject Him and hurt others in the process. He did nothing but good for us, and this is how we repay Him – total apathy for His beautiful creation.

Cain finally corresponds with the Lord, but still shows no regard for His holy authority; he only thought of himself.

But Cain answered the Lord, ‘My punishment is too great to bear! Since you are banishing me today from the face of the earth, and I must hide from your presence and become a restless wanderer on the earth, whoever finds me will kill me.’” Genesis 4:13-14

Cain had chosen to follow Satan, the Father of Lies. His reply to the Lord is evidence of this. There was no reverential awe, love, or care for God in his answer. And the response of fear and shame Adam gave to the Lord after sinning in Genesis 3:10 was now similarly experienced by Cain.

Something I’ve never thought of before is that in his fit of rage, Cain had no problem killing his brother, but now that fear and shame took over, he was afraid of his own death or being murdered himself! Oh, the irony. Though as the curse of separation from his family, roaming the earth, and the toil of his labour multiplied, he probably wished at times things were different. How often do we pray for things in fear of what might happen, only to make things that much harder on ourselves? The whole adage, “Be careful what you pray for,” comes to mind.

Cain’s sinful apathy ran throughout his family. He never showed a heart of repentance or a willingness to pursue his Creator in afterwards. He murdered and the evidence of generational sins is brought to light when his descendant, Lamech, also killed someone for hurting him. Instead of turning to the Lord, he tried to create his own avenged mark, like God did for Cain. This is what the apathy of sin does to us – it makes us pursue trying to become our own god, while separating us further from the God.

But – there’s always hope. Thank the good LORD for Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us! By His amazing grace, He allows us to turn back to Him when we’ve sinned and repent of our wrong, in order to return to the pleasing and acceptable relationship with Him. It’s all that’s needed; to turn back to God, respect His authority because of Jesus, and choose to live rightly before Him. His love runs deep for you. Where’s your love for Him?

Dear Father,
As a child of the Living God, LORD please help me to do what is right; to rule over sin, so I may be a “pleasing and acceptable sacrifice to You!” Thank You that I am always seen that way to You, Father, because of the gift of salvation Jesus Christ has given to me, and that He and His Spirit constantly intercede to You on my behalf, allowing me to be seen as holy and righteous in Your sight. Lord, my spirit is willing to follow You, but my flesh is so weak! Please let Your Spirit transform my spirit into Your likeness in order to keep me from sin and give You glory! Help me to identify any cycle(s) of generational sins in my family, so I can bring them before You. Then please break us from them so we may receive Your abundant blessings. This is Your will for us when we follow Jesus. Come and have Your way, I pray.
In Jesus’ Saving Name,

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