What makes you angry? Have you ever felt so mad or angry that you couldn’t control yourself?
Yesterday we read about how God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden after they sinned. Not because he didn’t love them anymore, but because he loved them so much that he didn’t want them to eat from the Tree of Life and then live forever with their sin still controlling them.
After leaving the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had two sons: Cain and Abel. And guess what. They were both sinful just like their parents (did you know your parents are sinful too?). And because they sinned, because sometimes they disobeyed God, they needed to bring a sacrifice to God. Do you know what a sacrifice is?
When Adam and Eve sinned God killed an animal as a sacrifice for their sin. The blood of the animal reminded Adam and Eve that they deserved to die. But it also reminded them that someday God would send a hero to come and die in their place. And when Cain and Abel sinned, they too needed to bring a sacrifice to God so that they could show that they knew they were sinners, and trusted God’s promise of the coming hero.
The Bible says that Abel brought one of his lambs as a sacrifice to God. And this made God happy.
But Cain didn’t bring a blood sacrifice. He brought some vegetables. And God was not happy. And so Cain was very angry and jealous of his brother, Abel. Have you ever been jealous?
Listen to what God said to Cain when he got angry:
Genesis 4:6-7. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 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.”
Can you hear how God is describing Cain’s sin? It is both inside of him and outside of him. Inside of him is anger and pouting. But sin is also outside of him. God tells Cain that sin is “crouching at his door” like animal trying to bite him, and Cain must “rule over it.”
Did you know that there is only one way to “rule over sin?” There’s only one true way to not be bad. And it’s not by trying harder and harder to be good. In fact, trying hard to be good might make you even more angry and jealous, because we can never be good enough.
Listen again to what God says to Cain: If you do well, will you not be accepted?
Now, is God simply telling Cain to be a good boy? Like when your parents, or teacher, or babysitter tells you to be stop being bad and to start being good? Not really.
When God tells Cain to “do well” he means that he wants Cain to worship him the right way. Not by trusting in his own good deeds, but by trusting in the sacrifice. Remember, worshiping God with the blood sacrifice was super important because it showed that we know that we can never be good enough and that we need a hero to come and be good for us.
Jesus came to be that hero for us. He came to be good in our place. And he came to be the last and greatest sacrifice for ALL sins. Now we never have to bring God another sacrifice for sins. We simply trust in Jesus.
Because of Jesus sin can no longer destroy us (inside or out).
With Jesus we can worship God instead of getting angry or jealous.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Use these clips from the Little Mermaid to help you understand how sin is both inside of us and outside of us.
Talk about Ariel’s sin that is inside of her – she wants more, she is selfish, she will even disobey her father to get what she wants.
Talk about how Ursula is like the sin that is outside of us, tempting us to be even more selfish and to disobey.
You are always good even when I am not. Help me worship you by loving and trusting you.
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