I wrapped up our Ticked Off! series yesterday with a sad story. It appears right in the opening pages of the Bible, and it’s a story where one man’s anger preys on him, like a lion on a wounded animal.
Now Able 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. But Able brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Able 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.
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.” (Genesis 4:2-7, emphasis added)
We’re not sure exactly why “the Lord looked with favor on Able and his offering, but not on Cain and his offering.” Except we know that the Bible says obedience is better than sacrifice. In other words, it’s not what they brought as a sacrifice, but how they brought their sacrifice. Apparently, Able’s heart was worshipful and Cain’s was begrudging.
Able’s heart was focused on God; Cain’s heart was focused on himself. That’s why Cain became so selfishly angry, because he wasn’t getting what he thought he deserved!
This anger was setting up Cain for disaster. Anger itself is not a sin, but unaddressed anger can put us on a slippery slope toward sin!
Notice God told Cain, “YOU must master it.” God can’t help us until we stop trying to help ourselves. God wants to help us defeat the crouching lion of sin, but we have to ask him to help us.
Sadly, there is no biblical record of Cain asking God for His help. Instead in the next verses Cain—so consumed by his anger that he cannot think straight—murders his own brother. Cain was preyed upon by anger because Cain didn’t pray about his anger.
The devil is looking for any opening at all where he can pounce on you. And Ephesians 4:26-27 says that unaddressed anger is just such an opening. Don’t let your anger defeat you as it did Cain. Confess your anger to God (Psalm 32:1-5) and let God help you defeat the crouching lion of anger.
Sin is PREYing. You must be PRAYing.
If you want to check out the other messages in our series called Ticked Off! you may click here.
March 6, 2023 at 7:28 pm
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