Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Sin Is Crouching At Our Door

Genesis 4:7

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 rule over it.

As I write this devotional thought I’m listening to Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

Doing the right thing is not always easy – is it? Most of us know the right thing to do – in most circumstances – but at times we fail to do the right thing. We struggle with doing the right thing – it doesn’t seem to come naturally to many of us.

Most of us won’t kill someone – literally – but we at times kill them figuratively with gossip or hurtful/abusive talk. Today’s passage comes from the story of Cain and Able. It is a sad story for sure – brother taking the life of another brother.

One of my friends and colleagues who serves a church in Baltimore reminds us constantly of the number of murders in Baltimore – typically equally or greater than the number of days in the year. These are brothers and sisters – killing brothers and sisters – boys and girls – even the elderly.

Here’s the story today’s passage comes from. Genesis 4:1–16 – 1 Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 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 rule over it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

In the climate we face in the United States right now – where everything seems to be something to divide us further – we need to keep watch for sin crouching at the door of our hearts. I was caught up in it last week – with the NFL players and kneeling during the anthem. I respect their protest but am sad they did it during the anthem when our flag was waving. I appreciated how the Cowboys (not my favorite team) knelt for support as a team but stood for the National Anthem. We are our brother and sister’s keepers – those of any color – from the mainland or the islands and even throughout the world. As Christians we need to have a heart for all of God’s people – whether they agree with our ideology – our theology – or our views on right and wrong.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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September 27, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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