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Are You Able?

The first organized sport that I played after moving to Delaware was basketball. Unlike baseball which is more of an individual sport when you’re batting, I learned that you needed all five players on the court to be on the same page. If someone forgot their position and role, the play our coach called didn’t work. During a timeout, I can remember one of the coaches asking, “are you able to do this?”

And Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions. And the Lord had respect and regard for Abel and for his offering, But for [a]Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed, Genesis 4:4-5.

According to Moses, Able was the second child born on earth to Adam and Eve. While his older brother Cain followed in his father’s footsteps as a farmer, Able decided to become a shepherd. Perhaps Cain was pressured by dad to carry on the family business. Whatever the reason, Abel seemed to delight in his new trade. This contentment inside of Able made Cain envious and jealous.

[Prompted, actuated] by faith Abel brought God a better and more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, because of which it was testified of him that he was righteous [that he was upright and in right standing with God], and God bore witness by accepting and acknowledging his gifts. And though he died, yet [through the incident] he is still speaking, Hebrews 11:4.

This internal struggle forced God to intervene in Genesis 4:5-7. Apparently, God approached Cain and spoke to him about what was going on. Commenting about his depressed appearance, God asks an open-ended question. “Are you able to master the sinful thoughts crouching at the front door of your soul?” This question is repeated every time human beings are confronted by a tempting situation today. The next time you find yourself in a similar state as Cain, are you able to overcome sinful desires?

by Jay Mankus

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