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I am back in Bellingham and enjoying the sunny skies of summer. It was great being with my family in California, and now it is good to be home with more of my family and summer months to finish several home projects. My travel schedule is soon to increase, so I must finish all that I have to do here.
Today I am reposting a blog from five years ago. It fits with what I shared last week regarding valuing God the Creator above things that are created. When we value God above all created things, we seek to hear Him above all other voices in creation. We trust His voice and His values above our own or any other voice in life. We honor Him above all other things in life. Unless we put God in His proper place in our lives, we become hindered in our ability to put others in their proper place of honor in life. When we value God for who He is, we can value others for who they are.
If you read the story in Genesis chapter 4 where Cain killed his brother Abel, you will find how a father who is honorable deals with a son who has been dishonorable. God looked at the situation and He realized that the only way He could bring honor to a dishonorable reality was by doing something that would bring the dishonorable individual back to the source of honor. Cain could not honor God and he could not honor his brother Abel, because he honored the work of his hands more than he honored the Creator. He loved his values above the values of God. Honor is love. It is a testimony of recognizing who someone is. God said to Cain, “Didn’t I tell you if you do good all would be well.”
Genesis 4:7 “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
Cain fell for the sin that was at his door and now God cursed the ground for Cain’s sake. God did not curse Cain. He cursed the place of dishonor. The thing that was being honored above God was cursed for Cain’s sake. Creation was being honored above the Creator. God wanted his son Cain to discover the Creator.
Genesis 4:10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”
The earth would no longer give its strength to Cain. It would no longer honor him. God did not curse Cain. He cursed the thing that Cain was attached to. He cursed the place of dishonor in Cain’s life. He cursed the ground for Cain’s sake. God wanted Cain to turn and attach to the One who gives life and liberty. He wanted Cain to see his own need for who God was in his life. God did not care if the sin was great, because God is the one who frees all men from sin. He is the one who brings us out of Egypt; He brings us out of darkness. God is the one who sets us at liberty. It was not too late for Cain. God wanted Cain to discover honor, but it was dishonorable for Cain to love the ground more than the place of honor. So now the place the Cain loved was cursed for his sake. It would no longer honor him. God’s hope was that Cain would turn and honor God so that honor would be restored in his life and the curse would be broken in the earth. But Cain said, “This is too much for me!”
Genesis 4:13 And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”
Cain said, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. This is more than I can bear. Why are You so judgmental in my life? Why have you made a decision about me God as though I have no good opinion? Why are you speaking curses over things that I am doing?” Cain might have been thinking, “Why are you cursing me?” But God was not cursing Cain. Cain said, “Surely you have driven me out from the face of the ground, and I will be hidden from Your face. Anyone who finds me will kill me.”
Did God say he would be hidden from His face? No, He did not. Sin did not separate God from Cain. It separated Cain from God. God still recognized who Cain was. He said, “Sin is at your door, if you do honorably it will be well with you.” God did not say, “Cain go away from me! I never want to see you again!” God created an environment that said, “Cain, I do not approve of your focus. I cannot bless what you are focusing on. I am making a judgment on your behalf. I have cursed what you are focusing on so you will turn and focus upon what you should be focusing on. I don’t want your world to be cursed, but unless you turn your heart to the Father you cannot recognize that the heart of the Father is already towards you.” God was thinking, “Cain I know who you are. You are the first. You are the best, but you do not know who you are. Now you are a taker. You are looking to find things in order to take things from the earth to make you strong. You are looking to take honor to make you strong. But strength doesn’t come from what you can take. Honor is not something you take from anyone or anything. I am the Lord your God who brings you out of Egypt, out of darkness, out of bondage – you shall have no other God’s before Me. I am your source. I am the giver of life. I want you to turn towards inheritance.” So Cain says, “This is too much! I will die!”
Genesis 4:16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son — Enoch.
God’s curse upon the ground was an act of honoring Cain. As long as Cain attached to the ground, he was going to be attaching to something that could not give him life. God wants us all to find life, but to find that life we must all first attach to Him! We must honor the Creator above all of creation. He is First before us, and He is the Last in all that we do. He must fill all in all for us to see His glory in all that we are and do. When we value God for who He is, we will seek to hear His words above all other words. When we value God for who He is, we will seek to embrace His values above all other values.
Ted J. Hanson
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