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Hiding in the Reeds

Words of Faith Final

Hiding in the Reeds
Words of Faith 2-2-2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2022
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Genesis 4
    [6] Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? [7] If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
    [8] Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

           How did the first murder come about? Cain did not set a goal in life to become the first murderer of history. The murder grew out of sin. It grew out of a neglected relationship with the Lord and a neglected relationship with a brother. It started when Cain did not trust the Lord and did not offer his best by faith. It grew out of the festering envy that resulted.
           The situation was so severe that the Lord spoke directly to Cain. That was a big deal after leaving Eden. The Lord talked, but Cain did not even answer! With any sin, we often can become so determined that the Lord Himself cannot talk us out it. We just stop listening.
           Cain was not determined to kill, but he was determined to hate. He was determined to cling to his anger and envy. 1 John 3:12 tells us that Cain "belonged to the evil one." At some point, Cain chose to turn himself over to the anger and wooing of the evil one. Satan is the one who comes to kill, steal and destroy. He is involved in every murder. John asks: "And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's actions were righteous" (1 John 3:12).
         The Lord tells us a lot here in His effort to reach Cain. He told Cain that "sin is crouching at your door." This Hebrew phrase was used to describe a predatory animal such as a lion or tiger crouched in the reeds. Sin crouches in hiding in much the way a big cat stalks its prey, waiting for just the right moment.
         This is a powerful image. It describes sin as being thoughtful and careful. Sin does not reveal itself as sin. Sin has a silent strategy. We often will not recognize it as sin. It hides among the reeds of rationalization and self-justification. It waits "desiring to have you" until just the perfect moment of vulnerability.
          The Lord tells us that any particular act of sin can be mastered. The Lord implored Cain saying, "You must master it!" We cannot rid ourselves of the sin nature, nor can we entirely remove sinning from our lives. But we can resist a particular impulse. We can master a particular sin. We never HAVE to sin in a particular way.
        How can we do that? We can turn to the Lord. We can surrender to the Lord rather than to the impulse! But Cain refused to even discuss it! What pain the Lord God must have felt as He watched Cain lead Abel out to that field.
        I have sat eye to eye with murderers who are now believers. They found redemption through prison ministry. They still were doing life sentences. Not one ever set out in life to be a murderer. In the news, we even hear a minister or a rabbi who committed murder.
       How does the unthinkable happen? It starts when we neglect our relationship with the Lord by not living by faith and giving Him our best. It festers when we neglect our relationships with others and allow envy to enter in. It takes hold when we ignore the warnings of the Lord and fail to see the ravenous predator hiding in the reeds. When sin pounces, it is too late.
       We live in a violent world. All killing of human life grieves God even if it is a necessary act. Human life is precious and sacred. How can we make a difference? We start by giving careful attention to our relationship with the Lord and our fellow man. Love God; love neighbor. We choose to live by faith and offer our best to the Lord. We continue by living out the Gospel of redemption, forgiveness, and power.

           Lord, forgive me the times I have neglected my relationship with You. Forgive me the times I have not walked by faith or offered my best to You. Forgive me my moments of envy. Forgive me for neglecting relationships with my fellow man. Keep my ears open to You!   Keep my eyes watchful for the predator. You have broken the power of sin in my life. I claim that freedom in Jesus' name. Amen.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)        
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2022 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.