“Just because your pain is understandable, doesn’t mean your behavior is acceptable.” – Steve Maraboli.
How long would it take before the ugliness of sin caused major tragedy? Not long, not long at all. The ugly effects of sin bend mankind toward wicked deeds; truly “sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” – James 1:15. Cain, led of jealousy, bitterness, and anger, killed his own younger brother Abel. It is one thing for brothers to fight and squabble with one another, but this was something entirely different. Cain rejected the call of God to repent of his unacceptable sacrifice and adjust his attitude, and instead allowed it to fester.
His anger, like a putrefying wound, grew worse and worse. Every time he rehearsed the event in his mind he became more and more enraged, and more and more justified in his thoughts. No doubt he reasoned, “I did the best I could… WHAT is that not good enough for them?”, and “Abel thinks he is going to “rule over me”, he has another thing coming!” The more this internal conversation went, the deeper the tap root of bitterness grew.
Eventually Cain’s bitterness destroyed him. He slew Abel, yes, but Cain wrecked his own life and the life of his family. Just see the result a few generations down the line with Lamech (Gen. 4:23-24) who compared his sin to that of his great, great, great grandfather.
The depth sin can take man is beyond measure. This is evident by the necessity of the flood. Man’s wickedness abounded and there was only evil on everyone’s mind continually. The old saying, “sin will take you farther than you ever thought you’d go; it will keep you there longer than you ever intended to stay, and it will cost you more than you ever expected to pay” is definitely true.
Just a casual observation of our world today would give some very telling evidence of just how depraved man can be. I don’t believe illustrations are even necessary, just turn on the news this evening and you will find plenty of examples of the fallen sinful nature of man.
If you have been saved by the wonderful grace of Jesus, God has mercifully given you a new nature and new desires. This doesn’t mean that you are perfect or have arrived, but it does present us with some wonderful truth. We have a choice, in Christ, to live in the light of His truth and grace or allow our sinful flesh to be in charge.
Today, make the choice to love God, love others, forgive, remove bitterness, live righteously, and emulate Christ who lives inside you. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve…” – Joshua 24:15
Daily Scripture Reading
(Follow this Scripture reading plan to accompany this devotion and read through your Bible in a year)
“But Noah found Grace in the eyes of the LORD.”