Have you ever felt a small curl of melancholy, or maybe a tendril of fear, or a root of bitterness, or a little flame of anger, asking “Why me?” What does it mean to persevere, to be patient in affliction, to have joy and contentment in every circumstance?
I remember reading, once, that when we help someone, we reduce the amount of suffering in the world, we become part of the process of God working things together for good.
In my mind’s eye, Adam stares with numb shock and sorrow as God’s mark appears on Cain. Perhaps automatically he lifts his arm to draw Eve close, and she shudders with horror as the reality sinks farther in. Her firstborn, brought forth into their harsh world with cries of agony and wonder, with such eager hope, was now leaving them forever. And her other frail, beautiful son, lost forever to the ground they had come from, “…for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
Our God-given capacity to feel, emotions that enhance our knowledge and experience of Him and each other, cover the whole spectrum of life, from ecstasy to horror, from rapture to envy, from sorrow to elation, grief to bliss, serenity to rage. Cain’s smoldering resentment, anger, hurt pride, jealousy, and envy, which he brooded over and nurtured, covered a dark spectrum that drained away his joy and delight.
"For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me."So I find it to be a law that when I want to do … Continue reading Desire
What was really more wrong with Cain was not what he offered, but the condition of his heart when he offered it. God was not pleased with Cain because unrepentant sin was already in his life.
Adam and Eve immediately noted the difference in their two boys: Cain was the chosen one; Abel was the also-ran. It would have been natural for them to favor Cain as the firstborn, maybe the one to fulfill God’s great promise. If there was parental favoritism, it would help explain much of what happens in this chapter.