Sibling Rivalry 101

Good morning everyone? How are you this fine Monday morning : ). Blurgh the thought of going through another week sucks but on the bright side, we are alive! Hopefully we are all healthy and best of all we have an opportunity to do better and be better.

I started the year reading the book of Genesis and coincidentally its the plan on my daily devotional as well as the current series at church. God is not a God of coincidences so its interesting to see the different interpretations of scripture.

Anyways the story of Cain and Abel has always been a thorn in my flesh so to speak. I have always felt that God was unfair to Cain. Why didn't he accept his offering? Why did he favor Abel? Did he create strife for an opportunity to have a lesson and then it all went downhill? Why? They were siblings and so it looks like sibling rivalry to me at its worst. I'm sure we all know families that are broken because of sibling rivalry. People who have no regard for each other even when they have a bond as strong as blood.

Cape San, Sebastian by goingslo



I digress. I have thought about this story on numerous occasions and it disturbs me and sometimes I just want to skim over it. Being a first born doesn't help either. First Cain's gift is rejected and then he kills his brother. I'm like great move Cain, you are setting a great example. I look at myself through this lens and it causes me to cringe because I do not want to be that kind of first born or sibling. What would I have done if it had been me? I hope I would not have followed Cain's lead.

Cain was filled with anger and jealousy and all the things that come along with rejection and comparison. He let these emotions simmer not heeding the words that God was speaking to him. There is a verse I always missed over time and during a sermon a few Sundays ago I finally let it sink in.
Genesis 4:6-7
The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

God actually gave Cain a chance to come back and make good. God is sovereign and there was a reason why Cain's gift was not pleasing to him. Maybe he didn't bring his best to God, I mean if you are going to give the author of creation anything you might as well give him your best. He made all things, he lacks nothing so why give him anything but your best in everything? Right? Think about it, people always ask what do you give a person who has everything? The answer is simple, your best.

So God warns him and says watch out, sin is crouching, temptation is at your door. It wants you to succumb to its calling so guard yourself and do not fall prey. But Cain did the opposite. He instead went to look for Abel. I can imagine he was filled with jealousy, rage and misdirected anger and he killed him. He should have been angry with God who did not accept his gift instead he was angry at an innocent party. Isn't that how sin looks like? It makes no sense to an outside party.

Have you seen people do crazy things and wonder what is going on there. Simple sin. See the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy and he doesn't rest. He knocks at your door filling you with thoughts that have no good outcome. But God is fighting for us, even when he wasn't pleased with Cain, he still sort him out and counseled him. This gives me hope. Many times I know I have fallen short of the glory of God but he has always given me a chance and an opportunity to do better.

So lift up your faces friends and remember our God is a God of many chances. If we do not do well the first time, well come back and do better. Do not succumb to sin, choose the high road as hard as it may be.

Listening is loving...


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