…but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
As a result, Cain’s emotions were stirred up and he became upset. But do we really understand him or what he was going through?
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 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.”
I believe that these verses are the key to understanding Cain. I see some things that are happening here that sometimes get overlooked because we’re so familiar with the story.
First, I see that God loved Cain. The Lord wanted the best for him. I see it by the way God talks to Cain. God speaks to him as a father would speak to a son.
I also see that Cain had a great deal of respect for God. He didn’t have an angry outburst or talk back to Him. I think that speaks volumes especially since some of the Old Testament prophets – Moses and Elijah, just to name a couple – talked back to God in their anger.
The fact is that in all our dealings with God, He knows what’s in our hearts. There’s no way around that. It was the same in this encounter with Cain. God spoke to the real issue.
God told Cain that if you do right, you’ll be accepted – which literally means promoted or exalted. So what was Cain really looking for? He wanted acceptance from God.
That surprised me more than anything. Cain’s goal was a relationship with God.
Even more than that – Cain talked with God, and God talked with him. They had conversations together. Think about it. Wouldn’t you want a relationship like this with God?
I came to the conclusion that Cain was a great guy! If he showed up at our church, we would love him. He would worship and sing right along with us. He would look and act no different than anyone else attending our service. And that’s what concerns me.
It’s also why Cain was so upset. He wanted to show his love to God through an offering, yet it wasn’t accepted. In effect God was saying, “I love you, Cain, but I cannot accept your offering.”
But God’s statement implies something else. Cain knew the right way to bring an acceptable offering to God. Because if there’s an offering God doesn’t accept – then there must be one that He does accept.
In my next post I’ll talk about exactly why Cain’s offering wasn’t accepted. We’ll need to understand it if we’re going to keep off of his path.
Question: Have you ever been upset at God for something?
© Nick Zaccardi 2016