Today I went to visit a friend who had a baby girl five days ago, and due to that wonderful visit, the fun of the Super Bowl last night, and ladies’ Bible study at church tonight, I wasn’t able to post my meditation until now (9:56 pm, CST).
Somehow, I think it was meant to be that way, because I decided to share something different than I had previously chosen for this week’s devotional. I wanted to share about a verse I saw in a new light during our Bible study on anger and shame this evening. This devotion is a bit on the long side, but stick with it–God’s Word is worth the time!
“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 4:7, NIV
These are God’s words to Cain after he failed to bring his “first fruits” to the Lord for an offering. The Lord was pleased with Cain’s brother Abel’s offering, which filled Cain with anger. Therefore, God tells Cain that his offering will be accepted if he does what is right (bring the best of his flock and fields to God). But he also warns Cain that sin desires to have him. This phrase is the same Hebrew phrase used in Genesis 3:16 which says, “Your desire will be for your husband.” (A result of the fall into sin.) The word desire in this context does not refer to intimacy, but rather the desire to capture and control.
From what we read later in Genesis, we find that sin does indeed control him: he kills Abel and tries to deny it when questioned by the Lord. It was so stunning to me that I’d never before thought about this verse in such a way. The NKJV says it like this, “sin lies at the door, and it’s desire is for you.” Sin yearns to enslave us. Satan works to destroy us. The Apostle Peter explains, “your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
A lion both crouches and roars, does it not? And the same crouching lion that roared at Cain’s door snarls at our doors to this day. Because of this, we are instructed to be on the alert, just as Cain was warned by God. Cain fell prey to the roaring lion, the devil, and “the stubborn inclinations of his evil heart” (Jeremiah 7:24). 
Things like this are sometimes hard to hear, especially knowing that it refers to me! But the truth is Satan desires to overtake us (as one woman at our Bible study said, “He works hard!”) How important it is for us to be alert!
The important thing to realize is that we are not without hope! God calls us to “rule over sin” (KJV) How is it then that we are to “master it”? What a great blessing in that God gave us a Savior and the spiritual weapons to use in this daily battle. I’ve only quoted two verses from Ephesians 6, but if you have the time to read the rest of the chapter, you will learn about the armor God has provided for us!
“Where, O death, is your victory?
      Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-58
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6: 10-11


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