As the Sabbath begins, we can rejoice in the peace, purpose, and hope that God gives to us. Sadly, remembering our Creator and being reminded of the plan of God does not block out everything from a week that has come to an end.
This week a young man went into a Florida school and opened fire killing and wounding students and faculty.
One of the sad things about the event is that people had noticed and reported warning signs about the nineteen-year old shooter. The young man had been expelled from school, and surely the faculty of the school had issued warnings about the destructive path the young man had been on.
It is a strange quirk of human nature that human beings all too often fail to heed warnings of danger. The failure to listen to wise counsel leads all too often to serious consequences.
To me this coincides with the biblical example found in the story of Cain and Abel.
The two sons of Adam and Eve came to God with offerings. God recognized Abel’s offering because it met the criteria that God had apparently established. Cain’s offering did not meet the standard God had established. Note Genesis 4:5, “He (God) did not respect Cain and his offering.” Not only did God not respect Cain’s offering but He did not respect Cain because of his wrong attitude.
Did Cain have a wrong attitude? We only have to look at the end of Genesis 4:5 where we find Cain filled with anger and “his countenance fell” over God’s rejection of his offering. If you had been on the scene of this event, Cain’s wrong attitude would have been clearly visible.
Did God recognize the problem? We only have to look at Genesis 4:6-7 where God addresses Cain’s wrong attitude, “So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."”
God pointed out that Cain was being ruled by sin and if he did not change his line of thinking there would be a terrible outcome. God counseled Cain to recognize his wrong mindset and rule over it. God knew the potential that could unfold if Cain did not reverse his course. Sadly, Cain did not heed God’s counsel. He allowed anger to rule and explode into the murder of his brother.
As we look at the all too common atrocities in our world, we are not going to end their occurrence until we recognize that “sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you and you should rule over it.” Until men and women recognize sin lurking at the door and take measures to reject the sinful mindset, evil of all kinds will continue.
Unfortunately, how many people are self-aware enough to reject sin? Even if the majority of the world’s population are oblivious to the need to rule over sin, we in the church know this to be a crucial aspect of the Christian life.
As the Passover draws close, we need to recognize that “sin lies at the door” for all of us. Do we recognize the pulls and pressures of sin? Do we seek to repent of those sins that still plague us? Do we beseech God for His help to rule over sin?
As we ready ourselves to come before God at Passover, is our attitude like that of Abel: humble, faithful, obedient, offering the first and best? Or is our attitude like Cain: prideful, disobedient, offering that which is blemished?
Where we stand in regard to the Passover is a most worthwhile consideration for the Sabbath.
Have a pleasant and profitable Sabbath,