What a tragic story the first murder recorded in the Bible is. Scholars have speculated as to why God approved Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. The only commentary we have on the reason God chose Abel’s offering is in Hebrews 11:4 “by faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain” (NKJ). In other words, the New Testament reveals that Abel’s offering was an offering of faith which is the currency of relationship with God. Speculating on any other reason why God received one offering over the other is a waste of time. The motivation of Abel’s heart was right because he was bringing his offering to his creator in faith.
One of the most interesting verses in our reading today is verse 7 (NKJ) “…sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” This has been the dilemma since the beginning of time, ruling over the sin that crouches at the door of our homes and lives of our children. For many of us “ruling over sin” is a battle we go back and forth on. We win then we lose, we get back up and fight, then we lose again. You may have a son or daughter who is struggling with an addiction or having a hard time forgiving you for sinning against them. You observe them trying to resist the sin of bitterness or lust, but after a while they give in and carry the load of guilt associated with a hypocritical lifestyle or saying one thing while doing another.
By the way, do you as a father ever suffer this way as well? You try your best to stay away from the things you know will hurt you and your family, but you have a bad day and give in to your flesh. Then, you feel really bad, ask God to forgive you and you are free for a short time until the crouching sin is at your door again.
I have good news for you today. When Satan tempted Adam and Eve, God predicted that Eve’s seed would bruise the head of the Serpent or Satan. The entire Old Testament provides the narrative that predicts and points to the day when Mary would have a child, divinely conceived, and that child (Jesus) would go to the cross and conquer sin once and for all and be resurrected, showing his divine purpose to be Lord over sin and death. In this process, Jesus secured for you and I the miracle of mastery over sin.
The battle no longer rages in the Christian’s heart of whether he or she is able to defeat Satan because it has been done. The battle we face now is in the mind, “did really God say?” are familiar words we all consider when we are faced with temptation. When you and your children are faced with sin crouching at your door, the issue is not if/will Satan win, the issue is will you remember what Jesus did at the cross and act like the child of the King that you are. As a Christian, God has given you everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The battle is not between God and Satan; that battle has already been settled. The battle we now face is between our ears. Will we believe that God has done and what he has said? If God truly defeated Satan at the cross then we can enforce his victory by “remembering” and saying no to the devil and recognizing him as a defeated foe. The only tools the enemy has now are lies and deceptions and if he can get you to believing the lies then you will never deal with the sin crouching at your door.
Sweet victory is ours in Christ. He has defeated the enemy and has conquered sin on our behalf and as a result, our children can walk in victory from sin!