And the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you annoyed, and why has your countenance fallen? Is it not so that if you improve, it will be forgiven you? If you do not improve, however, at the entrance, sin is lying, and to you is its longing, but you can rule over it.” ‘
as a religious school teacher’s, our house was filled with bible story books. i read these book countless times and have seen countless video programs on the topic.
genesis chapter 4, lines 6 and 7, is one of the most important exchanges in the torah. god lays out the the path to recover from moral failure. there are second chances in life. it also warns that failure to return to the moral path will lead to bad things. it tells mankind that each individual has the power to make amends.
cain proved the point. he failed to take personal responsibility and improve himself. he instead, double down on his sin, and murders his brother.
why is this important part of the story often not told as part of the re-telling? humans, perhaps, hard time both admitting and accepting moral failure. they are no longer the perfect person and they have the power to and make the effort to correct their errors. this is painful. most people don’t like think poorly of themselves, don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions, and don’t want to work.
to those who have never done it, taking the steps to right one’s wrong is difficult at first. once done, however, it is a rewarding experience. correcting one’s mistakes has the power to set one free again. it allows for the ability to resume life without holding onto the burden of wrongdoing.
thus, god’s exchange should always be valued and remembered in trying times. we all make mistakes. as the story tells us, it is how we deal our mistakes which shows our character.
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genesis 4: 6-7