Friday, December 22, 2006

who's there?

I have started reading through the Bible with the help of a "Daily Bible" that I have had for a number of years. It's the kind of thing where it breaks down the entire Bible into 365 readings. I have tried this before and have gotten bogged down in Leviticus or Numbers or something so I thought I would try to get ahead a little by starting in December. Maybe if I never get behind I won't get as discouraged.

Anyway, a few days ago I was reading through the fourth chapter of Genesis and came across an interesting verse. It wasn't long ago that I taught a series of lessons based on the first eleven chapters of Genesis and this verse was one of the key verses. I think this might even be one of the key verses for understanding the entire Bible. In chapter four Adam and Eve have been banished from the Garden of Eden and have given birth to two sons. It seems for whatever reason (scholars can't agree) that God accepts Able's offerings and rejects Cain's. Because of this Cain is angry. It is in this context that God says the following to Cain;

"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."

Cain had a choice. To do or not do what is right before God.

One of my fears in life is that one night after we have all gone to bed, someone might break into our house to try to harm us. You know the feeling when you get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and in the darkness and through sleepy eyes you see someone (who is really just a shadow or a door that was left open or whatever), but for a split second you think there is someone in your house. I hate that feeling. That someone might be there waiting, ready to hurt me or my family. Sometimes I even lay in bed thinking about what I would do if that really happened. I hope I never have to test my plan to deal with such a situation. But isn't that what God lays out before Cain? "Sin is crouching at your door, it desires to have you, but you must master it.

I think that too often sin desires to have me and I let it. The fact that God expects us to master it should be empowering. It should mean that we can face that which desires to have us. It will always be there waiting, ready to hurt me, but I must master it.

Lord, that I would have the strength to protect my soul from that which desires to have me.

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