Well at first when I saw his name listed among the "forgotten Lives", I felt like what??? No one as forgotten that guy. The Bible's original bad guy is not forgotten but often overlooked by the swift reader who just wants to get through Genesis. When we read this book of the bible we mostly read it with a mindset of "Oh I've heard about that". The study on Cain here makes us look a bit deeper into the life of the first murderer. The chapter on Cain starts with an astonishing list of statistics regarding murder in the U.S alone. Here are some of the many listed:
- Sept 6th 1949, Howard Unruh kills 13 people in only 12 minutes. After arrest he commented, "I would have killed a 1000 if I had just enough Bullets"
- Aug 1st 1966, Charles Whitman climbed to the top of a tower on the University of Texas campus and killed 16 people before he had to be shot fatally.
- Dec 7 1994, Colin Ferguson methodically shot 21 people abroad a Long Island train, killing 6 of them. He had to stop and reload twice.
- March 24 1998, two boys,aged 13 and 11 shot 16 people in Jonesbro, Arkansas, killing 4 girls and a teacher.
It was fascinating to think that murder started in the second generation itself. It would have been normal if Man lost innocence slowly from petty sins to bigger ones. That was not the case,in Gen 3 we see innocence and as soon as Gen 4 we see sin in the form of murder and that too brethren killing each other. Why exactly did God command Moses to write about this murder in detail?? Swindoll believes that it is to teach us some very important facts about sin(not only murder). Cain couldn't learn anything from this even if God tried to teach him, When God asked him about the whereabouts of his brother there was not even an iota of remorse in Cain's reply.
The author lists these following thins we can learn from Cain's tragic life
OBEDIENCE IS NOT NEGOTIABLE
Cain murdered Abel because of jealousy. He was jealous that God delighted in the sacrifice of Abel more than his sacrifice. He didn't ask why God didn't enjoy his sacrifice.. He was just outright angry at Abel. Jealousy often makes us direct our Anger at someone who is innocent. Cain did not obey God's commands which was to give blood offering of animals. Instead he chose to sacrifice the crops that he cultivated. He did not sacrifice the right thing and he did it in the wrong mindset. If only Cain obeyed his life would have been remembered for the right reasons. Here are the words spoken by the LORD to Cain even after displeased at his sacrifice
"Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast? Is it not true that if you do what is right,you will be fine? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. It desires to dominate you, but you must suppress it."
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AFFECTS EVERYTHING
This is very true.. haven't you noticed that once you are not right with God you get angry at everyone else. Maybe many of us don't know why we can't be happy with all people. Its because we are not right with God. When we are right with God all our relationships will be fine. Cain was not happy with God.. he hated God in a way because God did not delight in his sacrifice. This hatred resulted in murder. Maybe we wouldn't murder anyone but if our relationship with God is good we can remain friends with many people for a long long time.
UNRESOLVED SIN CORRUPTS EVERYTHING
Leaving a sin unresolved makes us more vulnerable to more sin. Look at how God advises Adam after he gets angry. The LORD says, "But if you do not do what is right sin is crouching at the door". It is possible for us to ignore the sin in our lives but it is impossible to ignore the effects of sin in our lives. Sin is waiting for a chance to devour us. It can take dominion over us if we do not do what is to be done. When we repent of our sins and acknowledge the sin, it can no longer do that. Cain did not do that instead he held revenge and anger in his life which finally brought about his own destruction.
UNRESOLVED SIN HARDENS THE HEART
When we leave sin unresolved it not only corrupts our life but it hardens our heart. It makes us less sensitive to sin in our life. It leaves us feeling sorry for some time but if we do not resolve to shed our sinful ways it grows in the heart making it easier and easier to sin. So Take control of your life by first taking control of your sin.
It is in our hands to decide what we do when we sin... Cain did not accept the offer the grace shown by God. When the LORD asked Where Abel was.. He gave Cain a chance to repent. Cain did not take the chance and he suffered. Let's learn a lesson from this. Please take away any anger that is in your life. It might be purely understandable that you are angry against someone or something but from my experience I know that it brings great freedom when we forgive. we will be looking at our next character tomorrow. Till then God be with you and Be happy.