Read: Genesis 4:8-9
You’re sitting in your car on the way to work. It’s 7:55, you have to be there at 8, and you are still 15 minutes away. The person in front of you is driving 5 miles below the speed limit. You notice their license plate is an out of state license, confirming the fact they are tourists who have no idea where they are going.
At first, you might be just annoyed, muttering to yourself how late you are. But after the third wrong blinker and another slow down, your anger starts to grow. You start saying your mutterings a little louder. You yell at the car in front of you to speed up and get out of the way. You know they can’t hear you, but it makes you feel a bit better. Your arms start to raise and you start gesturing. The anger has begun to consume you.
But no one would actually go so far as to flag them to stop, get out of their car, and beat them up, right?. That is just going too far. But when it is just you alone in your car, it doesn’t seem to do any harm. You are just venting your anger so you don’thurt anyone. This is an all too common occurrence for me when I drive. I think my venting isn’t hurting anyone, but we are about to see what really can happen with our pent up anger.
In verse 8, Cain is still upset over the offering debacle. He has spent time stewing in his own heart and mind. He knows he needs to move on, but he refuses to do so. We then see that his anger has escalated to him verbally confronting Abel. I would venture to guess that there was some verbal abuse. But, even then, the anger did not subside. He then took Abel out into the field and killed him in cold blood.
Cain let the anger fester and grow into something that was irrational and out of control, resulting in the first murder. And, God was right there to confront Cain after it happened. He asked the same “where” question to Cain that He had asked Adam and Eve in chapter 3. Unlike his parents, Cain does not confess but responds with defiance, callousness, and a bit of spite. He denies all knowledge of what had happened and ignored the fact that God already knew the answer.
Our anger doesn’t affect just us, it affects those around us, too. To let it sit and linger does no one any good, as it will grow and grow. You must root it out quickly, deal with it, and ask for forgiveness.
We all have past hurt in our lives that we dwell on and let fester. There are times, we don’t even know it still affects us. Pray today that the Lord will show you places of anger you have not relinquished. Pray for the strength to deal with them and let them go altogether.