In a previous post I noticed that the first temptation and sin involved food. Adam and Eve were forced to move outside of the Garden of Eden. There Adam would have to grow food from the ground with sweat and struggle, unlike before. The first brothers were born … Cain and Abel. We can make several observations about these siblings, but I notice that both of them bring a sacrifice of food to the Lord.
I’m not the first one to speculate that God had given them instructions about what kind of sacrifice was to be brought before Him. Genesis 4:2 tells us, “Abel became a shepherd of flocks, but Cain worked the ground.” So when they brought their sacrifice to the Lord, they both brought something from their own labors. However, God accepted Abel’s sacrifice. Cain’s was rejected. When he was angry about this God said to Cain:
“Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent? If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” ~Genesis 4:6-7
The wise thing for Cain to do was to listen to his heavenly Father, but [Spoiler Alert for Bible Newbys!] unfortunately Cain decided to take matters into his own hands and kill his own brother.
I realize this is not a passage about the war with food that many of us are fighting, but I do see some principles at work.
There is something to do that is right. What Cain decided to do with the food he raised was to offer it to the Lord instead of what had been asked of him. I doubt that many of us are overweight because we had no idea that cookies had such an adverse affect. We have more nutritional information than ever before. But there is a right path and we must continue to seek it.
Temptation is crouching at the door. God knew that because of Cain’s anger he may do something that he would later regret. Temptation is near. Food is everywhere. Every church gathering. Every commercial on television. Even the grocery store is a snare … set up in such a way as to entice you to fail. If we do not realize that we can even sabotage ourselves by having the wrong foods in our house, we are not being honest.
You must rule over it. Cain could have subdued his anger and found another way to express himself. However, he let his anger rule him. Haven’t you ever felt that you just HAD to eat something you knew you shouldn’t? This is the time to realize that we have the rule over that action. We may not want to rule over it; we may even want to convince ourselves that we cannot rule over it. But if anything is going to change, we are going to have to exercise our power to choose.
Thanks for reading, JD.