Cain was the first criminal.
He wasn’t a criminal because of his disadvantaged background.
His parents were probably about as close to perfect as any man and woman could be. And Adam and Eve certainly didn’t have any personal baggage handed down from their parents!
If anyone didn’t have an excuse for his bad attitude, it would be Cain.
None of us knows exactly what Cain’s problem was.
He had an attitude, that’s for sure.
Genesis 4 recounts how both Abel and Cain brought their offerings to the Lord. Abel, of course, brought offerings from the firstborn of his flocks, and Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil.
The offerings themselves weren’t the problem.
God was displeased by something in Cain.
Cain was very angry. God said to him, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you. But you must master it.” (Genesis 4: 6,7 NIV)
Even after God’s warning, Cain continued to be angry.
His anger centered on his brother, Abel, and the perceived favoritism God was showing him.
Can you relate? Do you ever think someone else—your sibling, your friend, your business associate, etc.— is getting the long end of the stick and you are always receiving a lesser portion?
It’s so easy to focus on what you’re not getting and to grow resentful and angry.
I’ll bet you can think of at least a handful of news stories where some disgruntled employee killed his boss or associates because he felt he’d been treated unfairly.
We think: I’d never get that angry. Those people in the news were crazy.
Maybe, maybe not.
I believe most murderers aren’t crazy.
Just really angry and selfish.
Like Cain, they focus on themselves.
They fail to see God and how He can bless them if they will submit to Him.
Cain could have repented of his really bad attitude.
But he didn’t. After God rebuked him, he just got more angry.
Cain selfishly held onto his anger, and the result was death.
For us, the sin of unconfessed anger may not lead to physical death.
But think of the ramifications of our anger in all of our relationships.
Do you want to be around someone who’s angry?
When I was a young mother, I had to pray for Jesus to help me deal with some anger issues. I knew, if I didn’t, not only would it harm my relationship with the Lord, but it would harm the spirits of my precious young children. Thank the Lord, He made me sensitive to His prompting to get out from under the yoke of anger.
Is there anger in your life that is getting in the way of your relationships?
What would the Lord have you do?
Ephesian 4:26 says: “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”