February 6, 2009 • By Ed Wrather02.06.09
So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." - Genesis 4:8.
For the wages of sin is death. - Romans 6:23a.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. - John 10:10a.
In San Francisco, a man with a meat cleaver ran down a busy street hitting and slashing those in his way. Two women were hospitalized with head and neck injuries. A police officer also suffered injuries when he attempted to subdue the man who had a history of mental illness.
The story about the crazy man with the meat cleaver reminded me of when I was a parole officer. One of my clients had a new found friend and had moved in with him. I tried to warn my client that his new friend had mental problems, and I took extraordinary measures to protect my client from his friend. My client’s new friend had once been arrested after neighbors called reporting he was chasing his unclothed pregnant girlfriend down the street in the middle of the night with a butcher knife. My client did not really understand why he had to find some place else to live until a few weeks later. A few weeks later my client’s new friend broke into a home and robbed a family at knifepoint.
Sin is like a crazy man with a meat cleaver who wants to destroy you. God told Cain, "sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you...." Sin is not reasonable. Sin is unreasonable and therefore, you cannot negotiate or compromise with it. Sin tears down and destroys our lives in every possible way. The end result of sin is death, and it destroys those around us just as Cain killed his own brother. One of the reasons we do not prosper (Not just financial prosperity.) is sin. Sin robs us of blessings and starves our souls. The Bible makes this clear. Here are two verses, which speak of this:
"Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good from you (Jeremiah 5:25)."
"Thus says God: ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He also has forsaken you (2 Chronicles 24:20).’"
Overcoming temptation, however, results in blessing. As James writes, "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12)."
A temptation that leads to sin is usually very appealing and alluring. The true nature of a temptation is usually not so obvious. So, the next time you are tempted, remember your temptation is worse than a crazy man with a meat cleaver, and he is trying to destroy you, your family, and everything that you love and care about.