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New Life, Lost Life, Troubled Life September 12, 2010

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Uncategorized.
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Now let us turn the page, and peer into…

Life After the Garden.

Adam and Eve had a son and named him Cain.  And Eve acknowledged the Lord was still with her, even though she had messed up so badly, when she said, “I’ve given birth to a son, with the help of the Lord.”

That says a lot, you know?

Well, guess what!  Adam and Eve had another baby!  And they named him Abel.

But babies, as you know, grow up to become adults.  Cain and Able grew up, each learning their own trades:  Cain, a farmer, and Abel, a herdsman.

Well, the time came for an offering to be made to the Lord.  So Cain brought produce from his garden, and Abel brought the “firstlings” from his flock.  The Lord liked the offering that Abel brought, but He didn’t like the offering that Cain brought.

Hmm. Why didn’t He?

Well, there are two possible reasons why this was so.  One reason could be that Cain’s offering was not an animal, while Abel’s offering was, and God expected the offering to be an animal.  But another reason can be seen in the way their offerings were… well, offered.

It says that Abel brought the “firstlings” of his flock, but it doesn’t say that Cain brought the “first fruits” of his garden.  Is it possible that Abel brought what was asked of him, the first and best of his animals, while Cain just brought whatever he wanted to bring?  If this is the case, then it’s pretty easy to see why God wasn’t impressed with what Cain had brought.  There was an attitude involved in Cain’s offering that wasn’t pleasing to God.

Let’s be honest with ourselves: what matters more? What we do?  Or the attitude with which we do it?

And you know, since the Lord had sacrificed an animal (or more than one) to make the coverings for Adam and Eve, this reason for God’s dislike of Cain’s offering could be a combination of both these reasons.  Perhaps, Cain didn’t make his offering the way the Lord requested it to be made, and he didn’t think it mattered how he did it.

When the Lord didn’t like his offering, did Cain humble himself before the Lord, and say, “I’m sorry.  You’re right.  I didn’t do what You requested.”

No, Cain got so upset that he killed his brother Abel.  Cain expected to be treated better because he was the first-born, so he got jealous of Abel when Abel was treated better by the Lord.

Once again, the Lord asked Cain the same thing He asked Adam and Eve in the garden:  “What have you done?”  Once again, the heart of the Creator of all living things had been broken.  For once again, one of His children had not followed His rules, and now He was going to have to do as any good parent would do: deal with the situation.

So the Lord had to lay out the consequences for not following the rules:

“Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.”

Was Cain repentant even then, after the Lord said these words?  No.  Cain complained;  he told the Lord that this was too much to bear.  “Someone will find me and kill me, now that I am cursed from the ground and also driven from Your sight!”

Yet… because of His Love, the Lord provided for Cain.  He somehow created a warning so whoever found him would know:  Do not harm this man.

Isn’t that amazing!  Even in his troubled state of being a vagrant and wanderer, Cain was still protected by the Lord.

Children, even when you disobey your parents, they still love you.  They still do things to make sure you’re safe.

And when God’s children disobey, break His rules, do things to cause Him pain, He still, still, still… loves His children, and works to protect them.

All because of Love.

Think on His Love as you rest tonight.  Sleep well.