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The Stupidity of Sin

Don't think.

Genesis 4:8-16 (ESV)

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

This is sin run amok. Abel didn’t do anything to Cain. He only offered a more acceptable sacrifice to God. Cain kills him for that?!? Cain is angry about his failure to please God, and he’s jealous of Abel, but escalating this to murder is nuts. Has Cain lost his mind? He knows God will find out what he did. Does he really think that killing Abel will fix his problem?

Of course not, he doesn’t “think” anything. This isn’t about thinking; it’s about blind jealousy. As God warned in verse 7, sin’s desire is for Cain. Now Cain is owned by sin. It has taken over.

Then, when God pronounces sentence, which is lenient, Cain starts whining. If this were a movie and Cain were to fall to his death at this point, the audience would cheer. What a loser.

Imagine how Adam and Eve must feel right now. The ugliness of sin – their sin – is now on display. They never imagined it would get this bad. Their loss is unbearable, and it’s all their fault.

Imagine the arguments they must have had. They must have gotten over them though because they had at least one other child. Fortunately, divorce wasn’t much of an option at this point.

Of course, divorce is way too much of an option now. Marriages are dissolved at a rate of over one per minute, and that’s just in the US. It’s a national tragedy.

Like Adam and Eve, many folks are less than fully informed about the consequences of their choices. Sin clouds our minds and leads us down terrible paths. We don’t know what will come of our sinful actions, and we don’t want to think about it anyway.

Always pray for marriages that are on the rocks and for the people hurt by them – especially the children.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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