Sunday morning in Sunday School I taught out of Genesis 4..The story about two brothers who chose two different offerings that altered their lives forever. Cain and Abel…. Cain was the oldest and he spent his time cultivating the land and Abel spent his time being a shephard. Cain is the first person to murder in the bible. What I found so interesting is that he was given a choice just before he let his anger get the best of him. Growing up being the middle child I have always had to keep up with my brother and sister by constantly trying to gain the attention from peers, and my mom. She did the best she could being a single mom but it was still hard being in the middle. I didn’t understand the term “middle child Syndrome” but boy do I now. When looking at this story I realized that after he has seen God bless his younger brother’s offering the jealousy had to rise up in him, and the anger well, I am sure it was overwhelming. If you are a sibling you can relate. We often mark our efforts and failures by those around us that are succeeding because if they are succeeding it must mean we are failing. NOT AT ALL:) I have had to learn over that years that your walk with Christ, is not the expectations I should have for myself. Its giving myself (like Abel) my wholehearted devotion and offering of my heart. Nothing less…..Cain chose to give “some” of his crop. We stand in worship with hands held high, and we turn and walk out bashing the pastor his sermon and the songs we sing, or we bash the girl who came with a short skirt on or we choose to not talk to certain people at school/work because they are not like us. Thats not your best…I was talking to a girl in our youth group last night about relationships, and how we let our anger affect our lives in so many ways that we don’t even realize it, and I said lets pray right now because I don’t want you to murder your worship…The more I thought about that I was like WOW that is it. God clearly gave Cain the opportunity to make things right and yet he chose to kill his brother. He chose to give a half hearted offering and then it led to anger and then murder and then ultimately out of God’s presence. Soak that in OUT OF GOD’S PRESENCE…that brings tears to my eyes! We long to be in His presence yet we make dumb decisions reacting out of anger, or selfishness and then we wonder what happened in the midst of pain, and suffering. ! God is so amazing and His unconditional love and forgivness overwhelms me at times. Look at it from Abel’s side he gave with his WHOLE heart. Like Cain was the first murderer, Abel was the first martyr for Christ. He gave all and look what he gained:) When you were kids, when another sibling would get credit, or not in trouble for something you always play the “favorite card” When I read The Lord’s response…its clear He wasn’t playing favorites, he looked at their hearts and it was also clear who gave out of obligation and who gave out of love for God. I am praying that today as you are in bumper to bumper traffic, or a co-worker, or sibling, parent,classmate, teacher whomever makes you mad, frustrates you etc that you will not react in a way that doesn’t honor God. Its ok to mad, its just how you choose to respond with that anger. Also when you worship, when you love, when you read the word do you bring “some” of your heart, or do you give your WHOLE heart to Him?
Love to all:)
1 Now Adam[a] had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the Lord’s help, I have produced[b] a man!” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother and named him Abel.
When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. 3 When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought a gift—the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.
6 “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.”[c] And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.