Genesis 4:1-7 ,”now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and His offering but He did not respect Cain and His offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 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 it’s desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
We have all heard the story of Cain and Abel. Two brothers raised by the same parents yet so different. Both came to worship , both prepared an offering . Both have free will and have the right to choose whom they serve. I John 3:10-12 explains the situation a bit more. “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor does he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.”
Abel’s life of obedience and unswerving faith was to Cain a perpetual reproof…The brighter the heavenly light that is reflected from the character of God’s faithful servants, the more clearly the sins of the ungodly are revealed, and the more determined will be their efforts to destroy those who disturb their peace.
Apparently Cain did not prepare his heart before he came to worship God. He was of the wicked one. He hated his brother. Families are complicated aren’t they? Siblings seem to have this love hate relationship. Most of us don’t kill our brothers or sisters but we have the propensity to. If we allow Satan to control our mind and don’t rebuke him we all could succumb to murder. We must prepare our hearts especially before we enter into worship at church. Church is our extended family . Satan would love nothing better than for us to go to worship with animosity towards another church member. Unprepared hearts causes conflict in the church. Many hurting people with hatred towards another, put on a mask before going to worship. God did not accept Cain’s worship because of his attitude towards Abel. His heart was unprepared. Are we any different? Why do we think that God will be pleased with our worship if we have a disagreement with our spouse or another church member before we go to church. Let us search our hearts and ask God to give us a spirit of forgiveness for others. People sometimes carry grudges for years and the effect on their physical body is apparent . Stress is a silent killer.
Jesus forgave even those who did not ask for forgiveness from him. He knew they would not and he still forgave them. No bitterness, no anger, no resentment was harbored in his heart. Having resentment towards another is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. It only hurts yourself.
Let’s learn a lesson from Cain’s mistake. Let us enter into worship to our God with a clean heart, with love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, so that God can be praised and honored as He should be and we can be blessed with peace of mind. Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.”