“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
How do you feel when a teacher allows one student to do something that another student is refused the privilege to do? How do you feel when one student receives a certain punishment for breaking a school rule and another student does not receive the same discipline for their actions? How do you feel when you are being compared to your brother, or sister, because your actions, behavior, or effort in school does not measure up to their standard approved by your parents?
Adam and Eve’s actions in the Garden of Eden assured us that justice, fairness and equality may not always be attainable in our efforts to be validated and justified in our actions when it comes to favoritism. Even Cain, the brother of Abel, felt angry, saddened and deeply troubled when God rejected his offering and accepted Abel’s. Insight is provided as to why Cain’s offering was rejected when you read Genesis 4:7. God reminded Cain that if he did what was right he would be accepted by God, or receive the same favor Abel did. Cain is upset with God and becomes jealous of Abel, but he neglects to focus on the fact that God is telling him he is not doing something right.
Have you ever felt like Cain? I have. I go to church, I pray and read my bible. I give to others, help and encourage others and I’ve even led others to Christ! So, Father, how come I am angry, saddened and deeply troubled sometimes? I always hear His still, small voice remind me of something else I promised to do, know I need to do, or have refused to do that God is telling me if you do it then you will have favor, joy and peace. Like Cain, I want to get by, do less and expect more from God. I’m trying to slide by, get over and be slack in my effort to live right for God, but I am expecting God to bless me like those who sincerely seek to serve Him and make the right sacrifices and have the right attitude to live for Him and do what pleases Him.
I want to live carelessly and expect to be blessed abundantly by God. I want to live in sin, ignore God’s command to repent and expect Him to be okay with me because he knows my heart and loves me. Jesus said that God causes it to rain on the just and the unjust and makes the sun to shine on the righteous and the unrighteous. Sinner or Saint, there are general blessings God provides to everyone out of His goodness and love for everyone, but there are blessings, called favor, He reserves for those who are faithful to Him and does what He requires for all who seek Him. We can either live like Cain expecting favor without being obedient or, like Abel, we can receive God’s favor through obedience.
May God bless you and help you to walk in the light of His favor, grace, and goodness so you may encounter the fullness of life Christ came for us to have.