Do you remember the TV show “The Incredible Hulk?” The main character was a scientist named Dr David Banner. He was basically an amiable man. But whenever he got angry, his eyes would turn green. And he would be transformed into this big green hulking monster.
If you were a person in need, he would save you. But God help you if you were the one he was mad at. Because he would pick you up. And throw you on the other side of the room like you were a rag doll.
Dr Banner didn’t like what anger did to him. In fact, the whole show is built around Dr Banner’s desire to find a cure so that this won’t happen to him anymore. It seemed to me if you don’t learn to deal with your temper, it could turn you into a monster of a person. It could change you into someone you don’t want to be.
This is what happened to Cain in Genesis chapter 4, of the OT. He had a bad temper to start with. But he didn’t deal with it and it turned him into this other person. An evil person.
Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. Verse two says that “Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.” God has blessed both Cain and Abel with the ability to work with their hands. Cain has a wife. So he has employment. He has companionship. He has his health. And he has a God in heaven who is watching out for him.
Sometimes when we get angry, we forget about the good things that we’ve been blessed with. And all we can think about is how we have been wronged, how our rights have been violated or how this person wasn’t kind to us. I’m sure by now, you have discovered that life is not always fair. Life is not always easy, there are disappointments, there are difficulties and hard times.
But one thing that will help us to put everything into perspective is to take time to thank God for the things that we DO have. And thank God that he loves us enough to deprive us of what we don’t really need! He has our best interests at heart.
I think that Abel understood this. Perhaps Cain did, also. I believe that deep down, they knew that every good thing that they had in life came from God. And so they decided to give back to God a small portion of what God had given to them.
Cain offered up some of the fruits of the soil and Abel gave God the fat portions of the firstborn of the flock.
The Lord looked with favour on Abel’s offering. But he rejected Cain’s offering.
The question that has puzzled people for centuries is “Why did God reject Cain’s offering? What was wrong with it?”
If I were Cain, perhaps I would have said, “Lord, what did I do that was so bad? You’ve blessed everything I’ve done so far. I just wanted to show my appreciation. Is there anything wrong with that?”
You might be able to argue that Abel put more thought into his offering. After all, Abel didn’t just give God any old slice of meat. He gave him the fat of the firstborn. He gave him the best of what he had! God saw something in Cain’s life and in Cain’s heart and in Cain’s attitude that made the offering unacceptable. God is also concerned with how much you are giving of YOURSELF!
Are you loving Him with all of your heart and all of your soul and all of your mind and all of your strength? Or are you merely going through motions of Sunday morning religion? Are you a true worshiper of God like Abel?
Sometimes, the Holy Spirit will convict us of sin in our lives that we didn’t even know existed! And it can be very embarrassing and very humbling.
We can respond either by saying, “Lord, you got me. You hit the nail on the head. I apologise. Please help me to be the best “me” that I can be.”
That’s what Job did in Job chapter 42. Or we can get angry and lash out at God in frustration. That’s what Cain did. In fact, verse five says that Cain was furious. The Hebrew word for anger is the same word that people used to describe the burning of a fire. So Cain wasn’t just mildly exasperated. He was burning with anger!