You Must Master It
by Bruce Okkema

    "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 is lurking at the door; its desire
     is for you, but you must master it."
Genesis 4:6-7

With so much happening in the opening chapters of Genesis, it is surprising how much we are not told. We know that Cain started a fight with Abel out of jealousy, but did he know that the striking or whatever he did to his brother would result in death? Quite likely, neither of them knew what death was, and furthermore we do not know if that was Cain’s intention (verse 8). How did the brothers know that God had accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but not Cain’s? Who are the people that Cain says will kill him (verse 14)? Several more questions surface in our minds as we read the ensuing story, but they are left unanswered for us to focus on the main issue.

Essentially God is saying to Cain, “What’s your problem? You know the difference between right and wrong. In every situation you face, you are going to have a choice. Sin is lurking at the door; it desires you, but you must master it."

From the very first temptation, in which Eve certainly could have chosen not to listen to the serpent, until today, the Adversary will continue to come back with another suggestion; that's the way life is.  God has given us the responsibility to choose between activities which honor Him and those that don’t. He promises us that if we ask Him, He will make us wise in our choosing and strong in resisting the temptations that confront us. I Corinthians 10:13 says,

“No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”

As an athlete trains diligently day after day to increase his endurance, to improve his performance, so on the day of the race he can win, let us faithfully, day after day, study God’s Word, pray, and prepare intensively, so that when we face life’s trials and temptations we will be ready to “master” them.

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