Battle of Repentance

Scripture Reading — Genesis 4:1-16

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?” — Genesis 4:6-7

While Cain is angry, God urges him to do what is right. God also warns Cain not to let sin become his master: “It desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” But Cain ignored God and soon murdered his brother.

When God speaks to Cain again, we might expect Cain to be trembling before the Lord and seeking mercy. We might also expect God to execute Cain for committing murder. Instead, we witness Cain being totally self-focused, while God is gracious. The Lord gives Cain every opportunity to repent. But Cain is so full of himself that instead of confessing his sin and seeing the pain of his brother, he complains, “My punishment is more than I can bear.”

The road to restoration is repentance, but it is a difficult road. We so often let pride rule us, claiming that our actions are justified and that someone or something else is at fault. Like Cain, we are also often heartless and exclaim, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

In godly repentance we must come to our senses and own our wrongdoing. We must confess our sins before God. This takes humility and a great deal of strength. God’s grace and love enable us to break from our destructive self and live in freedom. Forgive us, Lord, for we have sinned.

Prayer

Loving Father, I have sinned against heaven and earth. Blot out my selfishness and my offenses before you. I come to your cross seeking to be recon­ciled. In Jesus’ name, Amen.