EHP Day 10-Hearing From God Part 1
And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for (or, against) you, but you must rule over it.”
Once again, we rightly find amazement in a God who personally reaches out to someone wrapped up in the small world of personal sin nurtured by self-justifying anger. Attempting to lift Cain from imprisoning frustration to freeing self-awareness, the Lord again uses questions as He did with Cain’s father (cf. see previous devotional). Kidner comments:
In the Lord’s repeated ‘Why…?’ and ‘If…”, His appeal to reason and His concern for the sinner are as strongly marked as His concern for truth (4:5a) and justice (4:10) [Genesis, p.75].
Through God’s inquiring concern, Cain has opportunity for a life-giving, mid-course correction of heart and action. His Creator’s assessment of what crouches nearby, ready to attack and dominate, needs to be taken seriously. God speaks to us in our failure to correct, restore, and protect, though we may mistakenly interpret His intrusion as Divine piling on. The filter-problem is ours. Yet choosing humility when hearing the Lord’s voice can be the first step which rescues. So warned, and rightly postured with a lowly, teachable spirit, we may dominate sin’s danger.
The Hebrews’ author urged, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion” (i.e.,3:7, Israel’s experience in the desert). No temptation–internal or external–lacks an escape hatch (cf. 1 Cor. 10:13). God is always nearby, asking good questions, pointing the way toward righteousness.