July 20

Today is…

a great day to poke yourself in the green eye.

“Now Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go out to the field.’ And while they were in the field Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.”  Genesis 4:8 NIV

One of the first lessons God tries to teach us in the Bible is about the evil and destructive power of jealousy.

How sad it must have been for God that not only did the first man and woman on earth make the perfection of God’s creation imperfect by committing the first sin, but their first born son committed the very first murder.

God knew of Cain’s jealousy of his brother, Abel, and tried to forewarn him. “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? 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 4:6-7 NIV).

Most of us are familiar with the expression from “Don Quixote” by Cervantes, “Forewarned, forearmed.” It is important to pay attention to what we are taught. We all must learn a lesson from the failure of Cain to listen to a clear warning: the “green eye” of jealousy, as it is commonly referred to, “sees” things in a way that inflames us, enrages us, and causes us to act impulsively in ways that can interfere with our lives and relationships, at best, and destroy lives and relationships at worst.

The significance of Cain’s jealousy, and the extreme nature of his response cannot be ignored. Certainly God was right when He said, “sin is crouching at your door.

It is likely that we have all known someone who has exhibited extreme jealousy. Perhaps it is us, or our spouse. Many of us have been witness to, or a recipient of, false and unreasonable accusations, and we have all read about the tragedies that can accompany a jealous rage. The impulsive nature of people under the influence of a rage such as this can – and does – have results that could change the course of many lives – or end them.

Just think of the impact that Cain’s inability to “subdue sin” had on the world. How different would things be if Cain had been happy for his brother, instead of being jealous? How would the absence of jealousy have changed our world? Without the first murder, would there have ever been another? Possibly – maybe even probably, but we will never know.

One thing is certain: if Cain had not murdered Abel, we would not have such a vivid lesson to learn from about controlling jealousy. It is a lesson we could have done without.

Eliminate your “green eye,” even if you have to poke it with a stick.

*******

Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson

About Tony Casson

" For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
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