Today’s reading: Genesis 4-6; Matthew 2
Comments by Pastor John
“…and she (Eve) became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.’
Beyond the birth of this little boy named Cain, we know little of his story. Everyone, it seems, is known for something. Noah was known as one “who found Grace in God’s eyes.” God’s Grace and Noah’s integrity caused him to become the savior of the then known world. Ultimately, he saved the world for all of us.
We never get to learn of any redeeming quality that Cain might have possessed, they were eclipsed by one quality that became his demise. The offering of the vegetables from his garden were not acceptable to God. His younger brother Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. Denial of God’s favor on his offering and God’s acceptance of his brother’s offering filled Cain with hatred and jealousy.
Noting Cain’s anger, God gave some wonderful advice for Cain, and for us. “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin crouches at your door; it desires to have you but you must master it.”
Lord! You make it sound so easy. “Do what is right, and you’ll be accepted.”
I am going to make it easy for you with a bit of confession of my own. Through the years, I’ve detected a little bit of “Cain” in me. Moments come when our defenses are down, when that “other” person or circumstance causes anger or, perhaps, jealousy to exhibit its ugliness. Regrettable and irretrievable words are spoken. I suspect that your honesty might admit the same. Intellectually, I know that I am the only one who can allow jealousy or anger to enter my heart.
Jealousy blinded Cain. He couldn’t bring himself to master it; then he murdered his brother. This same anger is displayed in our Matthew reading, King Herod responded to the trickery of the Wise Men with fury. His determination to destroy Jesus being thwarted, he ordered the killing of all of the boy children in Bethlehem and the surrounding area. The ensuing carnage remains a shameful blot on history.
We stand together at the threshold of 2012. This brief biography of Cain challenges us to check the inventory of our spirit.
“Try me Oh Savior, see if there be any wicked way in me…”
Hmm I wonder why nobody is naming their baby Cain