Thursday, October 11, 2018

Envy And Murder, A Curse In Our Times

Let us revisit an event that happened eons ago and consider how relevant the story is today. 
Here it all began as fallout from the parent's original sin in the garden of Eden where Eve was beguiled by the voice of the tempter who had introduced her to feelings of envy.

Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. And to Adam God said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; (Genesis 3: 1-6 & 17)

This act of disobedience to God was the moment when envy was conceived on earth, as the tempter appealed to the woman through the lust of the eyes, (the fruit looked appealing), the lust of the flesh, (she could become like God), and the pride of life, (she felt compelled to have it). She took it and ate and gave some to Adam who was complicit and fully responsible as head of the human family, suddenly both knew good and evil and became self aware, exchanging an inherently good nature for one of sin and wrong choices, a trait to be passed on to every generation that followed.

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4: 1-7)

Some might think that God had treated Cain unfairly for not accepting his offering, a portion of the fruit from the ground which he had planted and nurtured. One must consider that God had cursed the ground for the sin of Adam and Eve, and that is what made Cain's offering unacceptable. Cain may have known better and could have traded some of his goods with his brother for a lamb to offer God, but he made the prideful decision to present what he had grown from the ground that God had cursed.

The reason Able's sacrifice of a lamb from his flock was acceptable is because, "the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21) It was extremely significant because the first blood sacrifice was made by God Himself on behalf of man as a covering for his nakedness. And it would be by the shedding of the blood of a lamb without blemish or spot that would be acceptable to God. When Able sacrificed a lamb from his flock it was pleasing in the sight of God who looked ahead in time when He Himself would offer His perfect and only begotten Son on a cruel Roman cross as a ransom and a covering for the sins of all mankind.

Cain was filled with envy toward his brother Able who was successful in pleasing God while he himself had been a failure, and his envy grew to malice until he became filled with rage. Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. (Genesis 4: 8)

All this occurred long ago but is repeated continuously throughout the world today. The Islamic world has always envied and hated Jews and Christians who are being murdered in great numbers even as I write. Those who are successful are universally always envied by those who have accomplished little and throughout Western Civilization those who adhere to godly principles of rule and law are generally more successful than those who don't. " A wise man’s heart inclines him toward the right, but a fool’s heart toward the left." (Ecclesiastes 10:2) In today's world God fearing people who live by the rule of law are envied and hated by the typically hedonistic self-absorbed people who shun all previously revered tradition. The rift between the Right and the Left has become a wide chasm whereby the enemies of God and of those who are His attempt to destroy all that is good, perfect and righteous. 

Understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. (2 Timothy 3: 2-4)
This is a call for those who wish to be approved by Almighty God to take a stand and ask Jesus into your hearts and lives, He is God's only approved covering for the sins and failures of life. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)