Sin’s ugly head

Once sin gets a foothold it continues to build. In Genesis chapter four we have the historical account of Cain and Abel. Here we see the ugly head of sin. The sin nature is passed through Adam into his sons and it results in the first death of a human created in God’s image. Genesis chapter four begins with the birth of Cain and Abel. In verse one, we see that Eve recognizes that the child comes from the Lord and she understands her role in bearing children. It should be understood here that children are a blessing from God. Though there is the natural process of procreation, the enablement of that process comes from God. All children ever conceived are gifts from God. No child is an accident. Proverbs 17:6 says, “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their father’s.” I know for me, one of the greatest blessings of my life is my children. I love spending time with my children. They bring so much joy to my life. Children are truly a gift from God.
In verse three of Genesis four it mentions that ‘in the process of time…’ We do not know exactly how much time has gone by, but Cain and Abel are obviously full grown men at this point. They come to the Lord to bring Him an offering. It needs to be understood here that, contrary to what some may think, this is most likely not a sacrifice for sin. This was a regular sacrifice that was customary with Adam’s family. Cain and Abel were probably taught by their father to worship God on a regular basis. The mode of this worship was a sacrifice being offered to God. Each man brought a sacrifice based on his profession. Cain was a tiller of the ground, as was his father, while Abel was a keeper of livestock. Abel brought the firstlings of his flock while Cain simply brought some of the fruit that he had grown. There is no indication that Cain brought the first of his crop. It is mentioned that God receives Abel’s offering, but Cain’s, He rejected. Here we learn how God sees the heart. There is nothing at the onset that causes us to believe that Cain’s offering was not a good one. As matter of fact, it most likely looked very good. Often time’s people will do all the right things. They will ‘look good’ worshipping God. They come to church and sing songs of praise with a big smile. They will give a good amount of money when the offering plate passes by. They will serve in various areas in the church. But, yet, their worship, their sacrifice, is not acceptable to God. Psalm 51:19-20 says, “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it; thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” The ‘acts’ of worship have their place and are important in the life of the believer, however, God is not concerned with the things we do as much as He is concerned with our attitude and our motives. Cain was like many Christians today, he gave to the Lord out of obligation rather than out of love. God saw his heart; He knew that Cain was just going through the motions. What about you? Are just going through the motions? Why do you do what you do? Is it because you really love God or is it just something that you do? Only you and God know what is on the inside. Examine yourself and see if your motives and attitude is pure. As a pastor, this is something that I do regularly. Often times I ask myself why I do what I do. Do I preach and teach because I enjoy it? Do I visit the hurting because it’s just my job? Do I serve Him because I love Him? We should all take time to examine ourselves, dig deep, and make sure that we are worshipping and serving Him in a way that He will accept and bless.
In verse five of Genesis four we see that Cain became very angry over the fact that God accepted Abel’s offering over his. He became frustrated with God. A lesson that we learn here is that unrighteous anger leads to more sin. In verse seven it says that ‘sin lieth at the door.’ In other words, the snare of sin will grab hold of our lives when unrighteous anger broods within us. Do you get angry with God? Do you get frustrated with God when He does not give you what you want? Cain obviously already had something against God as he worshipped half heartedly. There was already a sinful attitude in his heart. He came to God for the wrong reason. He came to God expecting something in return instead of coming to worship out of love. When he was not satisfied, he became very frustrated and angry. Oh my, if we were honest with each other, we would have to admit that we have done the same thing that Cain did. We serve God because we think that in so doing, God will do something for us. We give to God thinking that God will in turn bless us and give us more. If this is our motive going in, then we will never receive anything from God. We should serve Him because we love Him. We should give, because we desire to please Him. We should sacrifice unconditionally and unexpectingly. When we do not get what we want and anger begins to build, it will lead to more and more sin. As the anger builds up in Cain’s heart, he turns on his brother Abel, and kills him. Cain’s anger got the best of him and he lost control. Here we find the first murder and the first death of a man. This was a sad day in the history of man as the reality of sin and the consequences of the fall begins to set in.
In verse 9-26 we see the results of sin. The curse of sin is passed from one generation to the next. Sin continues to increase in the hearts of men as it eventually leads to another murder. Lamech, who was Cain’s great-great-great grandson, admits to his family that he also killed a man. It is evident throughout scripture and throughout history that the sins of a father are passed down to his sons and his sons children. We see that in our world today. Most children will follow the footsteps of their parents. Many will take on the same trade and live the same type of life. With this, however, is the terrible thing of sin. The sins that a father struggles with are often passed down to his children. The only way to break the cycle is for one person to say enough is enough, I will not follow the sins of my parents; I will do what is right. Perhaps you are that person that must break the cycle of your family. Even though sin is passed down from one generation to the next, we cannot blame our sins on the previous generation. We make our own choice to sin. Just as we make our own choice to sin, we can make the choice to reject the sin and follow after holiness.
To break this vicious cycle of sin, there is only one solution. Jesus is the answer to our problem with sin. Only He can free us from sins snare. It is only through a personal relationship with Christ that the ugly head of sin can be brought down in our lives. Do you have such a relationship with Jesus?

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