A Voice in the
"So Jehovah said to Cain, Why does your anger burn? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, is there not exaltation? And if you do not do well, sin is lying at the door. And its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." (Gen4:6-7)
First of all, let us clear up one false doctrine of the Reformation, of Calvinism; what they think of the Sovereignty of God. While sin exists in the world, please understand clearly that God DID NOT AUTHOR IT; as they teach. "For You are not a Mighty God that delights in wickedness; nor shall evil dwell with You." (Ps5:4) And again, "Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone." (Jac1:13)
Where does sin come from? "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. Do not be led astray, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no change or shadow of turning." (Jac1:14-17)
There is another false doctrine of easy-believerism that teaches variations of the concept that: When a person becomes a Christian, life suddenly becomes a bed-of-roses, there are no more temptations, we waltz through life la-dee-da continually happy and care-free; and since we are saved, we now have the "victory through Christ" (1Co15:57); so there is nothing left for us to do, but enjoy life without any cares or concerns.
Without going into details, we know how 'lust' was the means by which Eve was enticed to sin. (Gen3:6) We also know they were given the ritual basis of faith through the animal sacrifices. Adam and Eve's sin made them realize they were "naked". (Gen3:7) So God instituted the animal sacrifice, and from that made them coverings. (vs21) It covered not only their flesh, but also their sin. When you read the description of Abel's offering, being from the flock "and their fat" (4:4), it is clear that the laws and rituals given through Moses regarding the various animal body parts and "fat" (Le8:16) were not new concepts. The Law of sacrifices did not begin with Moses, but God gave it initially through Adam and Eve. Noah knew about it (Gen8:20); as did Abraham (Gen12:8); and also Job (Job1:5, 42:8)
There is also another false notion that: God DOESN'T CARE, as long as a person "means well", and is "sincere". That the -specifics- DON'T MATTER to God. A person can go to any church, and God accepts all worship. A person can sing any songs, read from any "bible", recite any denominational creed, practice any ritual, pray any kind of prayer, call God by any name (Allah, Buddha, Marruts, Ra, Isis, Ishtar/Mary)...IT DOESN'T MATTER! It's all part of the universal god-consciousness, of which we are all partakers; since we each contain a "spark of the divine". So, it doesn't matter whether the sacrifice is animal, vegetable, human, wafers, rice cakes, prayer candles, incense... ANY-and-ALL is acceptable to God.
Israel worshiped, incorporating many heathen practices, rituals and idols, but God retorted: "Take away from Me the noise of your songs; for I will not hear the melody of your lutes (guitars)." (Am5:23) "My soul hates your new moons and your appointed feasts. They are a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them." (Is1:14)
At the most basic elemental form of this argument: Abel's (animal) sacrifice was accepted, but Cain's (vegetable) sacrifice was not. (vs5)
If a person truly has regard for another, and does something which is not pleasing to them, what is their first instinct? To -rectify- their error. Yes?
Thus, what can be said about Cain's reverence for God? He did not love God. In fact, he was angry with God for not accepting his sacrifice, even though it was not what God had specified. But, where did he vent his anger? At God? No! At Abel...who had done right.
This is the playground 'bully' concept. Who does the bully pick on? Other bullies? Others who are getting poor grades and are of rowdy behavior? No! They always pick on the 'good' kids; the ones who are not continually getting into fights, and who study hard and get good grades.
Why? I've never understood it; even though as a kid I was always at the receiving end of it. But God's commentary of the matter is that "..it is in flesh to sin.." (Gen6:3) And even though righteous Noah had just been saved through the flood, with his family, God summarizes that "..the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.." (Gen8:21)
It is not as modern psychology proclaims, that babies are "born innocent" ...that humanity's problem is "environment". But is as the psalmist concludes, "I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Ps51:6)
Does God 'pacify' Cain's anger? Does He proclaim to Cain, "I love you just as you are...all is forgiven" ?? Uh...do you see anywhere in that passage where Cain 'repents' and produces a -new- 'correct' offering?
But what does God say to Cain? You have messed up; the root cause is that 'sin' is trying to overtake you; but you need to resist it. (vs7) As we are exhorted to "resist the devil" (Jac4:7) That was something Eve had not done; she did not resist, but gave in and followed her lusts for the false promises the serpent was offering her.
In order to fully "submit to God" (Jac4:7) it is a struggle. Paul speaks of the struggle between the flesh and the spirit in Romans ch7. And while he concludes that discussion that "Jesus Christ our Lord" is the solution (vs25); he also continually talks about self-control (Ac24:25, Ga5:23), perseverance (Ro8:25, Eph6:18), endurance (2Co6:4), striving (Php1:27, Col1:29), etc. It is spiritual warfare; of being "strong" in the Lord. (Eph6:10~~)
Ever wonder why there is famine and non-bountiful crops? Murder. While Adam and Eve's sin resulted in weeds and hard labor (Gen3:17-19); Cain's murder of Abel resulted in the earth "..no longer [yielding] its strength.." (4:12) The shedding of man's blood, the murdered soul "crying out to God from the ground". (4:10) Besides politics, why is the African continent so continually drought-stricken? Their many centuries of pagan (religious) ritualistic enslavement, murder and cannibalism of their fellow-human beings. When man sheds man's blood in such fashion, the earth becomes less-productive due to God's judgment.
What is the solution?
"...if My people who have been called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from the heavens, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2Ch7:14)
What is the solution? We need more prayer meetings, prayer "vigils", national days-of-prayer. If we can just pray "powerfully" and "reach-through-to-God", then we will be blessed. Right?
Well, that verse has three other things that people ignore. I mean...
even Oprah speaks of "praying". Many hospitals now have special
spiritual people who will "pray" over patients, as they think they have
tapped into some sort of mystical "power-of-prayer". What are they
ignoring? Why is the world not healed?
One man prayed: I thank you that I have so much self-esteem; the other
prayed, not even daring to lift his eyes upward: God be merciful to me,
a miserable sinner. Jesus said, "... this man went down to his house
justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be
humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Lk18:10-14)
"Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and
your joy to shame. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He
will exalt you." (Jac4:9-10)
"As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one." (Rom3:10-12) "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way (Is53:6)
David, the one after God's own heart, says to Solomon, "As for you, my
son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a perfect
heart and with a willing mind; for Jehovah searches all hearts and
understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be
found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever."
The word "turn" being the essence of "REPENTANCE". "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent," (Ac17:30)
But man today insists that repentance is not necessary. The staunchest KJV-toting 1611-ists specifically proclaim that salvation "does not include" repentance. Today's perVersion-promoting apostasy proclaims from their pulpits that "God accepts you JUST AS YOU ARE...that is graaaeeesss". Judgment comes to a nation in the form of alleged terrorist attacks, and the nation's president (a world leader) proclaims, "Don't change anything; continue living your lives JUST AS YOU HAVE BEEN DOING; we as a nation will not bow to anyone! (even God?); our national 'pride' will give us the victory".
Thus, is it any wonder that this same nation has had devastating droughts in the west, along with destructive wildfires, storms across its mid-section, and recently repeated devastating storms in the southeast..!!
Having mastery over sin is not a simple matter of engaging in churchianity's cliche: Read the Bible and Pray.
It necessitates Humility, Seeking God with the whole heart, and Repentance.
"Blessed are those who keep His Testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart... With my whole heart have I sought You; O let me not wander from Your Commandments!" (Ps119:2,10)
There was once "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.... (Mr1:3)
That 'voice' proclaimed: "Therefore bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say within yourselves, We have Abraham as our father (i.e. "we're christians!"). For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And now already the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore any tree which does not bear good fruit is cut off and thrown into the fire." (Mt3:8-10)
Understand: "...from their fruits you will know them" (Mt7:20)
"...the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (1Pe4:17)
Mastery over sin is gained by submission.
But, you might retort, Are not "mastery" and "submission" contradictory terms? Cain took the mastery into his own hands and killed his brother; refusing to submit to God's righteousness. He committed murder. He wanted to be "in charge", and do things his way. The world has suffered ever-since.
God is in charge. God laid down the rules. Satan did not want to submit to God, so he was cast out. Eve decided she liked satan's rules better than God's, so she sinned. Cain did not want to submit to God's rules regarding worship, and instead committed murder. God is the one who created us, through whom we draw breath (Ac17:28), and His Son who holds all things together, by whom "all things consist" (Col1:17) Thus, no person is totally independent and self-sufficient. We cannot make "one hair white or black" (Mt5:36) Thus, we are 'subject' to Him who created us. If we submit to Him with willing and pure hearts, He provides the means to gain mastery over sin.
"Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" ... "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Rom6:16, 12:1-2)