Daily Devotion For Tuesday March 07, 2017

Genesis 4:1-16

March 7, 2017

Genesis 4:1-16

Consider the following related group of characters: Niles and Frasier Crane; Tom and Dick Smothers; the Prodigal Son and his older brother; James and John; Joseph and his ten brothers; Moses and Aaron; Jacob and Esau. Sibling rivalries and their stories have been with us since the beginning of time. Now think about the first sibling pair: Cain and Abel. It is written in Genesis, chapter 4, that Abel’s animal sacrifice was admired by God while Cain’s grain offering was not. No reason for the deference paid to Abel over Cain was given in the Genesis account. “It’s not fair!” came the cry from Cain. Does this sound familiar? God, being the responsible grandfather, responded to Cain with advice by encouraging him to try again, and if he does better the next time, his offering will be accepted. But, if Cain does not do better, he can expect the same outcome and he must accept it. After all, God was God. Then God cautioned Cain by adding that whatever the outcome in the future, Cain must be aware that pride, jealousy, and conceit are close by and await the opportunity to take over his actions (Gen. 4:7).

Now Cain had been raised by a couple who had their own difficulty with boundaries. (Refer to the previous chapters in Genesis.) Is it any surprise then that, just as they had done, Cain ignored the good advice that he had been given and trusted in himself to make his own decisions? Cain wanted to save face and protect his ego, and so he assuaged his disappointment and eliminated his competition.

Lord God, remind us that we are not each the center of creation. Help us remember that our sisters and brothers are not our enemies any more than we are theirs. Rather, we are children of a loving and generous creator.
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