“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.” ~Genesis 4:7
According to Matthew Henry’s Commentary, God set before Cain life and a blessing, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” God is no respecter of persons, each person is given the same chances that every other person is given. We are each given one human life time to learn to yield ourselves to the one True God! (Keep in mind that some lives are shorter than others.) Each and every man who pits himself against God, thereby makes enmity between he and his Creator. This will justify God in the destruction of sinners, and will aggravate their ruin.
He also sets before him death and a curse, ” And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you…” Although, God stated point blank that “…you should rule over it.” God gives us the ability to change our thoughts, habits, and actions/reactions with respect to all we do in life. If we could learn one thing (other than, of course, the remedy to our sin, salvation through the blood of Jesus) is the fact that we can change, which makes us greater than all the other animals of this world. We can learn, we can adapt, and we can change our approach based upon what we have discovered.
Man inherently requires boundaries, beyond which he should not trek. Meaning we must have rules to live by, which our Creator has provided to us. They are moral guidelines, laws and commandments. Man who possesses certain proclivities and tendencies shows that “…the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…” This by itself shows that man needs to have boundaries. However,
“The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.” ~Psalm 14:1-3
The only way that man can, or attempt to, lead a righteous life is to follow godly rules. Even though we will never attain perfected righteousness, we can at least try to walk that path. And NO! It will not be easy at all. Living as a Christian, walking the path of the Christ, and following the word of God is not an easy life…it will be damnably HARD! In some cases it will be much harder for some than for others. Anyone can live an easy life, but is that the purpose with which we, as Christians, have been charged?? There comes a point in time in every, or almost every, persons life where they ponder the idea that there must be something better. Or that there must be some ultimate purpose, or some grand plan to this adventure we call life.
We each have a purpose in life, and that is:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.” ~Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
But it doesn’t just end there, for there is so much more to do and that is to pass this great wealth of information to those we know, love and care about! Our neighbors, our family, our friends. We were charged by Jesus, the Christ, to make disciples of all nations and all peoples. And believe it or not, it starts with the hardest task of all…conquering our self! We must rule over our thoughts, our urges, our sins, our wants, and submit them all to God! When we control over our selves, we will find it much easier to be a good role model for our neighbors, our family, and our friends. Because once we have conquered that hardest part, we can then emulate the perfect one…Jesus! Thereby stirring up in others to ask why we are so different? What made us change? And how we were able to change?
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.” ~1 Peter 3:15-16
We are each called to testify to those around us, but most of us do not do so due to fear, uncertainty, and a whole host of other meaningless problems we tend to conjure up in our minds. We have been called in to the priesthood (see: 1 Peter 2:9) to minister to all people that you come in contact with. However, by making the changes within you, many will ask, “There is something different about you, what has changed?” That becomes an opportunity for you to minister to everyone…just consider this for a bit!
May God Richly Bless You All!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD