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May 9, 2021 | Chris Baselice
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“Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.”—Genesis 4:8 (NKJV)
We can’t escape the impact of what happens in Genesis 3. In chapter 2, all was well with the world. Humanity was in perfect harmony with God, with its environment and with itself. Absolutely nothing was wrong. Then Genesis 3 happened, sin happened; and as we move into the very next chapter, Genesis 4, we see sin running rampant to corrupt the creation as Cain murders his brother, Abel.
We might look at Cain’s action and be tempted to exclusively focus on his act of killing his brother. But there’s actually a more subtle sin that rears its ugly head before Cain ends Abel’s life.
Notice that it says, “Cain rose up against Abel.” In the Hebrew, the word for rose up can carry a connotation of pride or self-exaltation. This would perfectly fit the way sin works. Why? Because pride is the one sin from which just about every other sin grows.
The incomparable C.S. Lewis once made the following observation about pride in his masterpiece, Mere Christianity: “The essential vice, the utmost evil, is pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison. It was through pride that the devil became the devil. Pride leads to every other vice, it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”
It really is true when you think about it. Pride is the one sin that exerts the most influence over the rest of our sinful actions. And, it’s also the one sin that seems to be able to hide in plain sight. Pride doesn’t get red-flagged the same way more overt sins do. It has the ability to camouflage itself and stealthily fly under the radar.
That is, until it does what we see in Cain’s life . . . until it raises its hand against someone else in thought, in word, or in deed. You see, the tendency can be for us to view Cain’s account from afar, assuming that it has no real bearing or relevance to our lives. Be careful! You may not murder your brother but when pride goes unchecked, the potential for what it can produce is shocking.
It doesn’t take long for sin to proliferate, which is why we would do well to learn from Cain by nipping sin in the bud and dealing with the insidious seed of pride by the power of God’s Spirit.
DIG: What does Genesis 4 reveal to us about the nature of sin?
DISCOVER: How does this play out in Cain’s life? What action should be taken in light of this?
DO: Pray Psalm 139:23–24 (HCSB) today: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” Ask the Lord to sift through your life and reveal areas of unchecked pride. Then ask Him to help purify those areas and purge pride from your life.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.