One thing about me is that I have a brother and a sister. I am the oldest of the three of us, with my siblings both being four years younger than me because they are twins. My parents were Christians long before any of us were born and all three of us had the privilege of being raised in a loving, Gospel-proclaiming church with loving parents who consistently pointed us back to Christ. We are in no way a model family, but through lots of prayers and the grace of God, each of us three siblings is still following Christ and are active in our local churches!
Being the oldest sibling, I got many things before my siblings did. I was the first to get a phone, Gameboy, freedom to hang out with friends, and the ability to stay up later, to name a few. If you have siblings, you understand the jealousy that comes in from the younger siblings when the older one is given or allowed to do something that the younger ones cannot. It usually leads to frustration and jealousy. For me though, growing up, I remember a reverse type of jealousy that I felt. I had to wait until I was almost 16 years old to get a phone but my siblings got a phone as soon as they turned 15. I got a “dumb phone,” while they got an iPhone first. In my mind, it was not fair! This sibling jealousy is not something new. It has manifested itself in families for thousands of years.
We see it from the very beginning in Genesis chapter 4 in the lives of Cain and Abel, two brothers. Genesis 4:1-6 tells us that Cain and Abel were bringing their offerings to the Lord; their way of worshiping God. Abel brought his best and Cain brought leftovers. Insignificant as that may seem, it was a reflection of their attitude towards God. Abel sacrificed his best because he knew that was what God deserved. Cain did not give up much in his offering, just his leftovers. The Lord was pleased with Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s. This made Cain angry. Verse 7 gives us God’s words to Cain about this, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Between siblings, it is easy to be jealous. God had a very stern warning for Cain. He tells him that because of his jealousy and anger towards his brother, “sin is crouching at the door.” The power of sin is that if it is not dealt with it will manifest itself in sinful actions that have real-life consequences. In the life of Cain, his sin that festered because it was not dealt with, led him to murder his brother.
One warning to believers today through the story of Cain and Abel is that envy and jealousy have to be dealt with, confessed, and ripped out. A sin that is left “crouching at the door,” is prey for the evil one to take hold of. What is crouching at your door because you have not dealt with it and confessed it?