Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ. 1Th 5:18
If it is God’s will for us to be thankful why is it so hard? Life takes many turns and twists. The truth is that it’s near impossible to be thankful when our hearts are aching over a broken relationship, unmet expectations, disappointments, and health issues, loss of loved one/s or material possessions. Life serves us though punches at times that yank the air out of our lungs. In addition comparison, selfishness and disobedience harden our hearts and distort our vision to the gifts God gives us daily.
Today we’ll look at the story of Cain and Abel. Why God looked with favor on Abel and his thank offering? Are we able to spot Cain’s shadow in our responses when disappointed? “In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.”
Gen 4:3-5The gifts reveal the condition of the givers’ heart and their relationship with God. Cain offered some fruits. Abel on the other hand offered the fat of the firstborn of his flock. Abel’s offering speaks of his humble and grateful spirit; it signifies honor and respect towards the Lord. Cain’s gift seems to be a fulfillment of formality not an expression of gratitude. Unaccepted he was overtaken by feelings of anger and disappointment. “Then the Lord said 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. Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” Gen 4:6-8The first thing we notice in these verses is that God reaches out to Cain but he was not open to correction. Instead he gave in to misdirected anger and envy. Cain had allowed pride, jealousy, and wrath to harden his heart leading to disobedience and murder. The sin separated him from God and family.
Making it personal
These were the questions going through my mind after reading Cain and Abel’s story:
Let's use Psalm 139:23-24 as our prayer for today:
"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Amen.
Walk with God and glorify His name.
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