What gets you angry?
Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 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 rule over it.”
8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”
13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear.14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Classic story. The first murder in humanity. Cain kills Abel. It seriously does not take long for the impact of sin and brokenness of purity to spread. Cain was battling his own emotions. I can picture emotions of envy, disdain, and loathing and not to mention the anger that Cain was dealing with. God had explicitly warned Cain about his anger and various emotions in verses 6 and 7. God had warned Cain about his actions following his anger. But we read for Cain, there was no other outlet rather than to take it out all on his brother Abel. You see, Cain directed his anger and emotions in the wrong direction.
Cain was overcome with his anger that he could not harness it, but rather gave into his emotions which led to him to committing the unmerited murder of his brother. There was no justified reason to be angry at his brother – so why did Cain kill him? Cain gave into the battle of his own selfishness and sin.
How often is that like us? That we are overcome with emotion, that we direct it in ways that lead us also into sin. Sometimes we struggle to harness our emotions for good rather than to be fuel for our sinfulness. We let slip in our battles against sin which intensifies the situation. We need to look to Jesus at these times, and remember that instead of Jesus being angry at all of humanity for our sins which led to his ‘unmerited murder’, he displayed the ultimate act of grace at the cross. How utterly unfair is that?
Head: What makes me angry most often?
Heart: How can I change my response of anger to grace?
Hands: In what ways can I show patience and grace in the relationships I have with the people in my life?
Prayer: Thank you Lord that you see everything, you are with us in everything and you know every emotion that we feel. Thank you, Lord that we can know you and be changed by your unmerited grace towards us. Help us in moments of anger to not give into sin but to fill those moments with grace that only comes from you. Thank you that you love us and forgive us even though we fall short.
A song to listen to: How Deep