“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 4:6-7 NKJV).
One of the workers at Khulna Bible College called Brenda around behind the main building on our campus to show her something. There, high up on the back wall was a large hive of honey bees, just outside an open window. Maybe that explained the many bees we had been seeing inside the building the previous few days.
Open windows and swarms of bees are not a very good combination. Those are not the insects you particularly want the building to be full of. Well, to be honest, exactly what kind of insects does one actually want inside a building? In any case, something had to go; either the bees would be removed or the window had to be closed.
It is not hard to make spiritual application of that situation. When Cain became angry at his brother Abel because Abel’s sacrifice was more pleasing to God, the Lord warned Cain to improve his attitude. He essentially told him, “If you simply do well (i.e., do what is right) you will have no reason to be angry.” But Cain did not choose to learn that lesson. Instead he nursed his grudge and when opportunity arose he killed his brother.
It is far too easy for us to open windows or doors to temptation and sin. Wherever we are, evil is not far away. When we leave ourselves unguarded, they will enter in and cause us much harm. We must learn to recognize those openings and learn to close them, keeping unwanted invaders away.
Cain’s “open door” was jealousy. Abel received a commendation which Cain wanted for himself and the older brother would not accept that his was the fault. Jealousy and envy are powerful emotions that cause much harm. We are told in the New Testament that it was envy that caused the leaders of the Jews to hand Jesus over to Pilate and ask for his execution (Matthew 27:18).
Anger is another ready opportunity for sin to gain entrance. Paul cautioned, “Be angry and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Anger causes us to act rashly without due consideration, and often provokes harmful words and actions.
Greed may be the widest of all openings to sin. Paul warned, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare,” and then explained, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:9-10). The lust of the eyes seduced Eve and it has tempted vast numbers of weak humans ever since.
Satan is wise and clever, and always seeks to entrap us and cause our destruction. We must beware of his tricks, watching always for every weakness and seeking to strengthen ourselves against him.
Sin will always lie at the door waiting for us. Let us seek to do well, and avoid its peril.