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.” (Genesis 4:7 NIV)
Two brothers, Cain and Abel. Abel was a shepherd, while Cain was a farmer. Two respectable occupations. And they each brought an offering to God from the fruits of their labor. God looked with favor on Abel’s offering but not on Cain’s. And Cain became angry.
Why the brother’s made an offering to God is not told. And why God looked with favor on Abel’s offering but not Cain’s is also not revealed. Neither is essential to the story. What is important is what God told Cain.
You have a choice. You can do what is right, or you can fail to do what is right. If you do what is right, God will look with favor on you and your offerings. But if you fail, disaster awaits you.
Sin Wants to Devour Us
Sin is pictured here as a wild beast, like a lion, that crouches at our door, waiting for us to walk through it so it can devour us. But God told Cain that he must rule over it by doing what was right. Cain had a choice to make. Rule over sin, or allow sin to consume him.
What God told Cain is appropriate for each of us today. We have a choice. Will we do what is right and find favor with God? Or will we follow our own desires and fall prey to the devil, that roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Pet. 5:8-9)? Cain failed to heed God’s warning and became a victim. But we do not have to. Resist temptation, stand firm in the faith, and you will have victory over that beast.