Crouching Sin, Hidden Dragon

Genesis 4:4-5, 8, And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell… Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Many of us have probably read this account many times. Why did God reject Cain’s offering and not Abel’s? Abel brought the best of his flock for God, whereas Cain just brought whatever he wanted. God is not interested in haphazard measures. We know God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7), so God saw something within him that He could not accept. In verse 7, God gave Cain a warning. I purposefully did not include this verse in the passage above so I could focus on it here: “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 for you, but you must rule over it.” God warned Cain that sin was crouching at his door—its master, Satan the dragon (Revelation 12:9), desired to rule over him, but God warned Cain he must rule over the sin. In the end, we find out Cain lets the crouching sin in and the hidden dragon is no longer hidden when he murders his own brother.

This is where we first see the effects of the Fall—of fallen humanity. We see how estranged man has become from God. Sin is always crouching at our door. What is our defence? The Word of God. What did Jesus do when Satan, the hidden dragon, tempted Him? He spoke God’s Word against him, even when he misinterpreted Scripture, and eventually Satan left in his failure (see Matthew 4:1-11). We have the same Word of God as the same defence! James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” Satan can’t do anything against God’s Word.

This is why baptism is so vital. When we’re baptised, and Satan tries to convince us that we won’t see God’s kingdom or that God does not love us, we can say, “Get behind me, Satan! I am a baptised child of God in the clasped hands of Jesus Christ, in whom my salvation rests!” Surely, he will flee from such a response, but he will return and try again. Satan sees your name and calls you by your sin; God sees your sin and calls you by your name, for He sees you covered in the justifying blood of His Son. One of the reasons why we read Scripture on our own and go to church in fellowship and for edification is so we begin to know God’s Word more and more for things like this—resisting the Devil. God’s Word is a double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Satan cannot face it. Whatever labels Satan puts on you is of no significance. The only label that matters is the label God puts on you: child of God. As a child of God, you are His; you belong to God.

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