What’s waiting just beyond the door?
Genesis 4:1 “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted?
And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
Just when Eve thought her life was going well, she had children. She had a son, named him Cain which means “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” I am sure she was excited about this strong boy and wondered if he would be the one to “bruise the head” of that deceiving serpent that got them kicked out of the garden. Eve then has another child, another boy which she names Abel which means “vapor or breath”. Was Cain favorite because he was strong and maybe he was spoiled? Was this what caused Cain to rebel against God’s way? Why was he so determined that his way was good enough? Was Abel the baby and perhaps weaker therefore received more attention from his parents so much so that Cain was jealous? We don’t know. All we know is what is recorded. Cain refused to bring a suitable offering to God.
When it came time or as is stated in Genesis 4:3 in the process of time, Cain brought an offering of fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock. Adam and Eve must have been faithful parents to teach their children about God’s requirement for worship at certain times. When it came time to offer their sacrifice, both brought a sacrifice.
Where did they bring their offering? I had not thought about this until reading this account. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden of Eden, God placed cherubim at the entrance with flaming swords. Where else do we find cherubim? Exodus 25:17-21,Moses get instructions for building the Ark of the Covenant and the mercy seat. This would be where God would meet the priest who would offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people to be covered until Messiah could come. I believe that’s where they could have taken their offerings for sacrifice. They could not go into the garden but we see God’s pattern in the tabernacle of the mercy seat. Cain brought his sacrifice from the ground or from the work of his own hands. His offering symbolizes what is gathered in his own efforts. God’s requirement for sin to be covered or atoned is blood sacrifice. And the only blood they satifies God’s requirement is the blood of Messiah, Jesus.
What we do see in scripture is that the Lord gave him a second chance!
Genesis 4:6 So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.
Have you ever felt that way? I have! Too many times I want God to do __________ (whatever I want) my way. I rationalize my actions and try to bargain with Him. It never works!
Cain got angry, his countenance fell and his refusal to repent all contributed to “sin is crouching at the door” (NAS version Genesis 4:7) Isaiah 3:9 “The expression of their faces bears witness against them, and they display their sin like Sodom; they do not even conceal it.” God knew his heart; he did not have to see his face. But when we have anger issues, it shows in our face and demeanor.
How often do we have our sin “crouching like a tiger” waiting for his prey just on the other side of the door of temptation? God told Cain, “you must master it.” We also must master our own temptations. We can master temptations by submitting to God and resist the devil. (James 4:7) James 1:13-15 “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own desire and enticed. Then, after the desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and sin when it is full-grown gives birth to death.”
We see Cain refused to repent and opened the door to sin. When sin reached full grown it ended in the murder of his brother and banishment to wandering all of his life.
Do we ever let rebellion become bitterness and bitterness become murder?
Remember Jesus said if you have anger against your brother it is the same as murder. O God, forgive me, us!!!
I pray we will recognize that we too often choose our way instead of yours. We have opened that door to the evil one to many times. Help us Jesus to open only the doors you open for us.
Thank you Father that you have given us your word as instruction for righteousness. Thank you that you sent your one and only Son to be that sacrifice for our sin. Thank you that we no longer have to depend on our own works to please you for our salvation.
I pray that we give ourselves to you as our sacrifice. We offer you our lives as living sacrifices.
We love and exalt your Lord Jesus.
In your name we offer this prayer.
Casting Crowns –The Altar and the Door
O Come to the Altar by Elevation
Treading softly remembering how easy it is to fall!