A Quick Look: Genesis 4:3-8
Really Read It: Genesis 4:1-26, Hebrews 11:1-4
Memorize: Psalm 18:1-3 I love you, Lord;
you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies. (NLT)
Kana was home alone. He wasn’t scared even though he had never been by himself before. He didn’t even think about it until he heard a knock at the door. Kana’s mind started to race. Seven thoughts in .7 seconds. Is it locked? Is it someone I know? A package. A bomb. Pizza? A robber. A kidnapper. He decided to look out the window before he opened the door. He could see the front door from the window in his sister’s room. As he snuck through the house, he heard the knock again. He got to the window as the scary music started to play. He slowly pulled back the curtain and peeked out. There was no person at the front door. Maybe there was something, but Kana was sure it was not a person. He heard the knock again, so he looked more closely. It was a dark shape, a gray mess crouching at his door.
That is the scariest story I have ever tried to write. I don’t know if it was scary to you or not, but I got a little nervous writing it. I am not a fan of scary movies or scary books. The fear battle is tough enough without finding fake fear. But I wrote about Kana because he really had something bad crouching at his door. In the real story his name was Cain and he didn’t have a door. But still sin was crouching at his door.
Cain was the first person ever born. He was the oldest son of Adam and Eve. Their second son was Abel. The Bible tells us nothing about what kind of kids they were or their adventures on the brand new earth as they grew up. In the same verse that Abel was born, he got a job as a shepherd. We do get a few clues about their lives in God. We know that Adam, their dad, used to talk to God a lot. God used to come down and talk with Adam each day. Adam should have learned a lot from that, and he should have told his kids about it. We can’t be sure that he did, but somehow Cain and Abel learned how to worship God. Maybe Adam taught them, maybe God still came down, so He taught them. Either way, they both worshiped God by bringing an offering. Cain brought some grain and Abel brought some meat for God. Chances are they burned up their presents to give them to God.
When they were done worshiping, they both got a grade from God. God told them or showed them what he thought of their gifts. God liked Abel’s but he didn’t like Cain’s. The amazing thing to me is that Cain knew. Every week people go to church and they worship God with songs and prayers and money. Some of it God likes and some of it is trash to God. But the people who bring God their trash don’t know it. They walk out of church smiling. Their worthless worship doesn’t bother them at all. Somehow God was in Cain’s life so that he knew that God didn’t like his worship.
After the bad offering, God gave Cain a choice. God preached to Cain. He showed Cain how far away he was. God gave Cain a way to come close. Genesis 4:7 says, “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."
Cain opened the door and held out his arms to give sin a welcome hug. The sin crouching as his door came right in and together sin and Cain went to work. Cain planned the murder of his brother and then he did it. From that day until today, Cain is known as the first murderer. His crime is even worse because he knew that Abel was good. He knew Abel was right. Cain’s crime is worse because he knew about God, he knew the way to God and he ran the other way. He knew God, but he didn’t love Him.
I don’t expect that anyone who might read this is planning a murder. You don’t have that sin crouching at your door, but you must still hear God’s words about sin. Genesis 4:7, “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." That is the same verse I stuck in just 135 words ago. Those were God’s words to Cain, but those words are powerful today. You must and you can master sin. You must and you can be accepted by God. Cain’s path seems so extreme, so rare. Sadly Cain’s view of God is not so rare.
Cain is famous for killing and Abel is famous for dieing. He is in Hebrews 11 as one of the great examples of faith. It says, “by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.” Hebrews 12 talks about Abel again, but it says that the blood of Jesus speaks better than the blood of Abel.
What does this dead guy say? What does the blood of Jesus say?
They say to love God with everything. Love God so much that you would die for Him. You would give up your life, you would give up any part of your life, you would give Him anything in your life. Love Him. Love the King. Love the only true God. The only One who matters. The only way to be accepted. The only acceptance that matters.
Abel gave God a goat. Or maybe it was a sheep. It doesn’t seem like much. But Abel gave God his heart. Abel lived to love God with all of his heart. Abel died loving God with all of his heart.
What would it look like if the people at church wanted to be there and wanted God? What if God’s people had nothing better to do? It might look like this. http://www.worldrevivalchurch.com
You can find more of Nathan’s writing on lulu and helium.