“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Romans 6:16
Sin carries such a heavy burden on the soul it causes our bodies to sag and slump. It saturates our very being with guilt and shame so as to reflect the disobedience in our hearts. I’m reminded of the child that has disobeyed their parents, but confesses nothing of the such. He goes about his day thinking and feeling the pride before his fall. Not until he stands before his judge (his father and mother) does he begin to feel the weight of the sin of disobedience. And once he does, his head drops, shoulders slump, eyes turn away, a frown appears and a strong desire to be somewhere other than here manifests itself.
Cain experienced this with his brother, Abel. In case you’ve forgotten the glorious details of this amazing story (Genesis 4), allow me to shed the highlights. I would encourage you to read it, read it again and then read it slowly!
In response to God’s receipt of the brother’s offerings, Cain became angry. Cains body reflected his anger and his heart stirred in his countenance. God asks Cain why his face is so downcast. And then, the most profound words perhaps in the entire Old Testament are spoken by God directly to Cain. He said, “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” WOW!!!! Perhaps the first . . . . okay, the second lesson on sin! It didn’t work the first time, so now God is spelling it out to Cain. Sin doesn’t own you!!
But Cain, in his sin and shame, responds much like many of us respond to our own sin. Filled with shame and guilt, we listen to the lies about who we are, what we are like, what others must think and rarely recover from the self-inflicted wounds to our own heart. Cain felt so ashamed of the most horrid of crimes he committed, killing his brother, that he condemned himself to become an outcast from God’s own sight and a target to any who find him.
God’s response? The most amazing grace ever found in Scripture! While Cain felt certain his punishment would lead to death, God’s plan . . . God’s way was and is much different! God said to Cain, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.” WHAT? God raised His glory from the ashes of ruin in Cain! Through the pain of Cain came the salvation of the world!!!
How might you ask? Well, Cain was used to build a city. Then, through the descendents of Adam’s third son, Seth (because Cain killed Abel) came Noah! WOW!
Salvation of the world through the pain of Cain! Who knew?
“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 master it.” Genesis 4:7